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Poor RAM management in Photoshop CS4 - need help!

Explorer ,
Feb 02, 2011

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I have done numerous hours of research over the years only to give up and come back to this subject later on. I will try again!

I must ask: is there ANY way to get Photoshop CS4 to automatically flush used RAM after closing image files? I'm tired and annoyed of CS4 eating more and more RAM without freeing anything after an image has been closed. An image shouldn't still eat up memory when it isn't even open anymore. It seems to be terrible RAM management of the program itself and how Adobe has forgotten to write that little snippit of code to clear the RAM after an image has been closed.

I know this is not because of:

Cache levels

Setting too large of a saved history state; purging history cache or any kind of cache still never frees RAM

A lack of updates; I have been up to date with CS4 very punctually as they were released

The computer I am on; this poor RAM management has been around since CS2 and it's the same on the last 4 computers I have used

Does CS5 still do this too?

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Poor RAM management in Photoshop CS4 - need help!

Explorer ,
Feb 02, 2011

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I have done numerous hours of research over the years only to give up and come back to this subject later on. I will try again!

I must ask: is there ANY way to get Photoshop CS4 to automatically flush used RAM after closing image files? I'm tired and annoyed of CS4 eating more and more RAM without freeing anything after an image has been closed. An image shouldn't still eat up memory when it isn't even open anymore. It seems to be terrible RAM management of the program itself and how Adobe has forgotten to write that little snippit of code to clear the RAM after an image has been closed.

I know this is not because of:

Cache levels

Setting too large of a saved history state; purging history cache or any kind of cache still never frees RAM

A lack of updates; I have been up to date with CS4 very punctually as they were released

The computer I am on; this poor RAM management has been around since CS2 and it's the same on the last 4 computers I have used

Does CS5 still do this too?

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Feb 02, 2011

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I must ask: is there ANY way to get Photoshop CS4 to automatically flush used RAM after closing image files?

No, because it shouldn't. This is very good memory management - otherwise Photoshop would be significantly slower.  Unfortunately this is more advanced than the techniques typically taught in universities.

Photoshop is not leaking RAM, and reuses the RAM it has allocated.

Unused memory will be paged out, and if the OS really needs more RAM available Photoshop will free up some of it's RAM.

Photoshop's RAM usage should have little to no impact on other applications.

So, why do you think a non-problem needs to be "fixed"?

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Explorer ,
Feb 02, 2011

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Oh great now I'm going to get a B.S. response like that as if I know nothing, and from Adobe. You're getting needlessly defensive since apparently you're answering questions I haven't even asked.

In response to your statements:

1. It shouldn't clear RAM its not using anymore? What? You clean your garage workbench after a project so you can work on the next project right? I hope. If you don't you'll never have the space for your next project. RAM runs at gigabytes per SECOND and couldn't possibly slow anything down by changing allocation. Photoshop is leaving the workbench full after closing images, and remains with next to no space left to work after its built up to %100 usage.

2. I said nothing about Photoshop leaking RAM. You're right. It doesn't leak.

3. Photoshop does NOT reuse the ram from the space it used after closing an image. If it did I wouldn't have any problem here. Once it hits %100 usage and starts grinding at my page file, I can close all the images open but Photostop still remains to use %100 of all available RAM. It also churns at a snails pace with any simple operation like cropping after that since it never frees or reuses any of the RAM until the whole program is closed and restarted.

3. I am not talking about outside application performance, I am talking only about Photoshop and the way it operates within itself. You're right, it doesn't affect outside performance since the OS is left with enough to perform outside of CS4. If it affected programs outside CS4 my system would have locked up or become painfully slow every time it hit %100

4. I think it needs to be fixed because its a problem. Its disrespectful talking to me talking to me as if I know nothing, and treating my request as if there isn't a problem to address. Most people can't expect performance from photoshop since they typically don't have a lot of RAM, but I do on a regular basis fill 7GB allocated to just CS4 with panoramas and mass raw processing. I should have plenty freed after closing a 3GB panorama so I can process my next image or batch of images, shouldn't I? Well, I don't. I don't always want to uload all my images at the same time, and I repeatedly run into the same roadblock. I know its not just my imagination, because I can recreate the problem at any time.

Anyone else have any input on this that runs into this problem as well?

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Feb 02, 2011

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Sorry, but that was the honest truth, and correct.

Yes, allocations (and freeing) are still relatively slow on modern OSes.  We measure the impact every release to see if we need to change the memory allocation parameters (and sometimes we do).  But overall it is much, much faster to reuse memory than constantly free and reallocate.

Yes, Photoshop does reuse the space freed after closing an image (or layer, or channel, or history state, etc.).  After you close an image, the memory that was used for that image goes into a pool of available memory that gets used for the next image (or preset, channel, history state, whatever).  That is central to our memory management.

I'm not being disrespectful:  it is simply clear that I know more about the topic than you do, and have spent a great deal more time exploring the options and their impact than you have, so I am trying to inform you about the things you do not seem to know.  Is a professor disrespectful for teaching you a topic you don't understand?

Again, the memory is always reused -- there is nothing slowing you down, no roadblocks, no need to exit and restart, and no problem except in your understanding of the situation.

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Explorer ,
Feb 02, 2011

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And the best professors still learn from their students from time to time...  this isn't my understanding of the situation, its whats happening.

If Photoshop reused the space, it wouldn't still be performing as slow as molasses after I close 4GB in images. There is a slow down and it stays that way, until I restart CS.

Could this happen:

If photoshop is always reserving the RAM and never reallocating it, once those reserve borders cross into pagefile country, its permanently crossed the border and slowed down. Its doing exactly what its supposed to do and it leaves the reserve boundaries within the page, which is limiting it to the hard disk. So, until you restart CS, you're going to be slow since those borders techncially have never been moved and your reserve is still linked to the page file.  An "Only as strong as its weakest link" situation.

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Feb 02, 2011

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I don't know why your system is performing slowly - but Photoshop's memory management is not the issue.

Try opening and closing the same image several times and check the memory usage after each open -- if the memory was not reused, the application memory usage would go up a fixed amount each time. But it will stay the same (in my quick test it went down after the third time and stayed the same for the next 20 cycles, though it could go up a tiny amount due to OS allocations for drawing and event handling).  That shows that the memory allocated the first time the image was opened is being reused on each subsequent open.

Have you tried disabling third party plugins (to rule out leaks or other bugs in them)?

Have you tried logging on under another account and running Photoshop (to rule out system settings)?

Have you tried disabling OpenGL drawing (to rule out leaks in the GPU driver)?

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Explorer ,
Feb 02, 2011

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I've got no third party plugins, disabled openGL and my system settings meaning pagefile? My pagefile is set to min/max 2.4/4.8GB. I know recommended is 1.5x your current system RAM, but the point of having 8GB is to avoid the pagefile alltogether. The page size is just to keep it from locking up, not to use it.

An example situation in where it happens is this:

I  open and work on lots of images or made some big panoramas and have  done a lot of things to them. Then, once the 7200MB I've allocated to PS  is full, it really starts to stutter cause its bumping into the  scratchdisk or whatever. So, I save and close 4GB of images. When I try  to work on the still open images, it continues to stutter even with very  non-intensive actions like exposure.

I can open the  same file as many times as I want, yeah, but if you open different files and close them, that reserve grows and does not shrink. I do see in task manager that if you open a new file, PS does reallocate some RAM for opening that file, but its still keeping that container at a maximum possible size and choking the system somewhere.

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Feb 02, 2011

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but the point of having 8GB is to avoid the pagefile alltogether.

The point is to avoid hitting the pagefile very often.  The pagefile will still get used (which is why we laugh hard at people who try to disable the pagefile on Windows).

but if you open different files and close them, that reserve grows and does not shrink.

Nope, it's the same as opening one file many times:  the memory gets reused.

Ok, Photoshop should not be stuttering like that -- something on your system is causing a conflict with Photoshop.

Did you copy any plugins from a previous version of Photoshop?

What else on your system might be interfering?  Corrupt fonts?  Bad anti-virus software?  Bad disk utilities? Bad external disk?

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LEGEND ,
Feb 02, 2011

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Overfocused is not wrong about his observations.

I have to say - and this is VERY subjective - that when I moved up to Photoshop hCS4 from CS3 way back when (I now use CS5) that I felt that occasionally I needed to close down Photoshop from time to time because it just seemed to "load up" and get balky.  I remember thinking it was a change from before, when I could just edit and edit and edit without ever closing the app.  And Edit - Purge with Photoshop CS4 never seemed to make it all better.

For what it's worth, I can't say I've felt this way with Photoshop CS5 in the past year, though to be fair the mix of things I work on has kind of changed, and I'm running Windows 7 x64 now instead of Vista x64.  Sometimes I work on big, complex astroimages for quite a long time, and I just don't think CS5 performance feels like it degrades like CS4 did over time.  It's as though something has been fixed - I just assumed it was growing pains for the first 64 bit version.

-Noel

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Explorer ,
Feb 02, 2011

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@Noel - That's what I'm talking about. I edit on large images, or a ton of RAW images at one time for batch procesing, and then it starts reaching some slump point where its not quite as it should be and it gets iffy.

@Chris

The stuttering only happens when I reach the maximum RAM photoshop is permitted to use, and then trying to close images to free up RAM to continue working on more images. The fluidity of working on anything just bogs down and seems to stay in a slump till I restart PS.

If I was aware that something was bad on my system, I'd fix it ASAP. My AV software is Avast, not sure how I'd even know if a font was corrupt I've never had any issues with fonts, no disk utilities run in the background, and the external hard drive I use is only for system image backups not scratch space. It's off %95 of the time I'm on the computer.

Opening one file over and over vs. many different files over and over work differently when I tested it. I can record my screen with task manager open to show you how the OS sees the RAM add up on my machine

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Feb 02, 2011

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Opening one file over and over vs. many different files over and over work differently when I tested it

Doesn't work at all differently -- Photoshop has no memory of the previous document, it just reuses the memory made available by closing a previous document.

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Feb 02, 2011

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Overfocused is not wrong about his observations.

He probably is seeing something cause a slowdown.

But his supposed cause and reasoning are completely, and verifiably, wrong.

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Explorer ,
Feb 02, 2011

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What i meant was opening 1 file over and over works much differently than opening many different files to work on them*

I'll just make a video (it wont be very long dont worry)

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Explorer ,
Feb 02, 2011

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I can't seem to quickly force it to stutter as it usually does the in the way that caused me to finally start this thread in the first place. It happens over a period of time editing, closing, and opening new documents to edit. I opened enough files till CS started using the hard drive, and then closed all the files. CS is shown in task manager as taking 6.7GB of RAM with all the files closed. The program is running slightly slower than it typically does, but the reason I started this post is because many times I have had it down to a stuttering and painfully slow workflow, with CS obviously using just the hard drive as the HDD light churns and churns away for basic tasks and filters inside of CS. There is a correlation somewhere between CS using its maximum alotted RAM and starting to churn the hard drive exclusively even after closing image files on my machine.


Argh. If it only happened rarely I'd suck it up but I remember many times having to reboot CS in order to be able to work on new images.

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Feb 03, 2011

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Again, if you're having to quit and restart Photoshop - something is wrong outside of Photoshop (or you failed to pick up a dot release where we fixed a nasty bug).

Stuttering and painfully slow -- that's usually a symptom of something like a bad third party plugin, a bad driver (usually OpenGL), or a bug in some system utility (like AV).  Once in a while we've seen corrupt font files cause memory leaks and odd performance issues, but we usually catch those issues and fix or work around them.

Yes, Photoshop will use the scratch disk once it runs out of RAM, but unless there's a problem with the disk or you are working on documents much larger than RAM - that should go pretty quick.  If you close all image files, Photoshop will page in a little bit from the scratch and stop.  It should only be really active when using image data that won't fit in RAM.

Have you tried the obvious and reset or deleted the Photoshop preferences?

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LEGEND ,
Feb 03, 2011

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Overfocused wrote:


@Noel - That's what I'm talking about. I edit on large images, or a ton of RAW images at one time for batch procesing, and then it starts reaching some slump point where its not quite as it should be and it gets iffy.

It's possible OpenGL, in my case, was at fault.  OpenGL has always been somewhat flaky, and I do remember switching to Basic mode did make things better for me.   I know you said you have OpenGL disabled.

-Noel

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Explorer ,
Feb 03, 2011

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I've deleted preference files before yes. It's happened for as long as I remember using CS4...

Either way, I figure I'll try to set the allocated RAM to a bit less than what it is now. I'm wondering if maybe PS is triggering my OS to start using the page file. If it doesn't ever stutter anymore I may have allocated too much to PS. Technically I haven't, I've left 800MB to the operating system, but it may still be having trouble anyway.

Thanks for listening, for now I guess I'll just do my normal thing and see how it works

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Explorer ,
Feb 03, 2011

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OK! I have encountered the severe stuttering again, and I know why since I was paying close attention this time. It goes like this:

- I make a panorama. I work on it, do a bunch of stuff to it, save it and close it.

- The PS ram reserve stays the same size that the image + history states combined equaled even after closing.

- I start and finish about 4 more panormas, and now the CS is reserving the full 7.2GB I have alotted it, and the physical memory to my OS is %98 full.

- With such a small gap left at %98, the OS is using the pagefile.

So, this means PS is holding hostage all the free RAM from the OS, for all the previously closed documents I have worked on even though I've saved and closed them.  For those that need to wring every megabyte safely out of their RAM,  this type of workflow presents this bottleneck. I just happen to be one of those guys that  edits many massive images in a row, and has happened to find it since I try to give PS the maximum RAM possible without cutting my OS's life support. So far camera images have become larger and larger in filesize proportionately quicker than the maximum RAM in consumer PCs, and possibly some workstations as well. This bottleneck may just pop up more in the future if there are more RAM hogs such as myself that want to stay away from paging and scratching as long as possible. (Nikon D3 users come to mind)

I believe if PS had the option to cut the reserved RAM its hiding from the OS down to what it was actually using after an image was closed, this wouldn't happen unless a user actually had %100 of their physical RAM full. Including history, I'm currently using maybe 3GB for the current

panorama that is open, and while PS can see the 4.2 GB as a free reserve, my OS any other OS cannot. It is an OS problem, but it is being caused by the way CS manages (or doesn't manage) its maximum RAM reserve.

For now, I will cut the RAM allocated to PS by about %10 and see how it goes. It will probably smooth all but the panoramas I sometimes generate that take ~7gb of data to create and bump into filling the physical memory completely in Windows. Time to restart PS for me. Lol.

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Feb 03, 2011

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So, this means PS is holding hostage all the free RAM from the OS,

No, because much of Photoshop's RAM will have already been paged out, and when the OS starts paging heavily we free up more RAM.

I just happen to be one of those guys that  edits many massive images in a row,

That describes a lot of users, most of whom don't have your slowdown problems.

I believe if PS had the option to cut the reserved RAM its hiding from the OS down to what it was actually using after an image was closed,

And each operation after that would be much slower, and address space fragmentation would be a much larger problem.

I try to give PS the maximum RAM possible without cutting my OS's life support.

Yes, we give you the option to adjust the RAM limits even to ranges where you probably shouldn't -- assuming that if you change the limit you probably have some idea what you are doing (and why we give the "ideal" range in the prefs dialog).

It sounds like you've set the Photoshop RAM limit too high and need to dial it back a bit.

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Explorer ,
Feb 03, 2011

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No, because much of Photoshop's RAM will have already been paged out, and when the OS starts paging heavily we free up more RAM.

- Well thats obviously not the case because its coughing and hacking like a 90 year old man with asthma, its bottlenecking with the OS and page file even if PS is paging more RAM, its obviously not able to do it any more quickly in my situation. Funny enough, right after I posted my last post, my machine locked and crashed while trying to save the panorama to close it. I was watching in real time my OS stuttering to manage page + the 7.2GB taken by PS + save a 700MB layered file. To the OS, none is freed it is only full and hence it sees the need to page.

That describes a lot of users, most of whom don't have your slowdown problems.

- Most users don't want to reserve 7GB of RAM for operations... I do

And each operation after that would be much slower, and address space fragmentation would be a much larger problem.

- This is RAM. Fragmentation means nothing. That's why its Random access memory. Nanoseconds, not milliseconds. The idea of defragmenting RAM has never been capitalized on because that is a non issue. Even state of the art processors can't come close to saturating the bandwidth of memory, and if they do, it is only in synthetic benchmarks.

It sounds like you've set the Photoshop RAM limit too high and need to dial it back a bit

- Yes, it does. In this situation I'll just dial back the usage about 700MB.

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LEGEND ,
Feb 03, 2011

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Overfocused wrote:

- Most users don't want to reserve 7GB of RAM for operations... I do

A previous post on how much RAM can one allocate to PS came up with a general guideline that 1.5 to 2 gigs for the OS the rest for PS seems to work well.  This is not a scientific study, just users experience.  You may be a little light with only 0.8 gigs.

If you need more RAM for for largre images, for PS buy another 8 gigs of RAM.

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Explorer ,
Feb 03, 2011

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8 is the maximum supported for this laptop, otherwise I would have considered 12 or 16 when I had bought 8.

I toned it down to 6.5GB reserved for PS a bit earlier. If I'm going to do a giant panorama that needs 7GB, I'll just set it to 7.2 for that specific pan generation, and pull it backafterward. Even just 700MB of paging slows it down considerably compared to the speed it achieves when generating a panorama %100 in the RAM.

When I had only 4GB of RAM, it took 50 minutes to generate a 21 image vertical photo panorama (minimal distortion when pans are taken vertically - much better and more accurate pictures) When I had 8GB, it took less than 3 minutes.

This is why I want every MB I can scrape out of my machine. Anyone who thinks paging is a good thing for non-emergency operations can scratchdisk my arse haha (joke)

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Explorer ,
Feb 03, 2011

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Well, I basically have found my answer here, although not an automatic solution that would allow me to use that extra 700MB permanently. I should have named the title 'CS4 Memory Bottleneck issue,' not poor management.

I'll nail the perfect balance so I can wring out my RAM for every KB that it's worth

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Feb 03, 2011

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, my machine locked and crashed while trying to save the panorama to close it.

Photoshop locked up and crashed?

Or the machine hung or rebooted?

(because those would have different causes)

Fragmentation means nothing.

LOL!  No, address space fragmentation means a lot.  It's less of a problem right now with 64 bit addressing, but a huge problem in 32 bit addressing. (and will be a problem in 64 bit when people get more RAM into their machines)

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Explorer ,
Feb 03, 2011

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PS hung then my computer hung... my music kept playing, then the machine hung athlough it kept playing my music just fine until I rebooted. PS was maxing out the resources, then when I tried to save it was PS trying to get more and it crashed.

Every other program I've ever used in my life actively manages RAM, whether its games, image editing, video editing, whatever. I don't get why this screwball concept is even being argued about when in fact it does not reduce the amount of ram it is using to the rest of the system after you close an image.

There's no excuse for a crappy 'advanced memory algorhithms not taught in universities!" when every other resource intense program I use can manage its own RAM just fine without bloating the whole machine, even if it is reserved it still only uses the memory that it NEEDS not holds a massive chunk hostage on the side. Other capable programs would use and manage all 7.2 GB if I allocated it to them, and would unload resources it was no longer even using. PS doesn't do that.

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Engaged ,
Feb 03, 2011

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Yeah, like 16 terabytes!

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Feb 03, 2011

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Photoshop does actively manage the RAM, and does reduce usage when the OS needs more RAM available.

Just because you don't understand memory management does not mean that it is wrong.

Photoshop is doing what it needs to do to process images quickly.

But the system lockup/hang sounds like you may have other problems than one application using a lot of RAM.

Normally the system would continue working but slow down as it paged more often.

But what you're describing sounds more like a kernel level leak or a bad hard disk.

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Explorer ,
Feb 03, 2011

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Well CS obviously isn't releasing any RAM here because when I monitor it in task manager, it never goes back down. I can't say it any simpler.

I may as well run it in safe mode, won't be much difference really since my system is minimal on any active system maintenance or management software.

Imma give'r a go in safe mode!

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New Here ,
Dec 10, 2018

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Doesn't seem like, takes 6GB of ram, "I had settle to used until 4,4GB" and it doesn't care and uses 6GB instead, I close all the documents and open a new small one and now is in 7GB, im totally lost with your meaning of "very good memory management"

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 02, 2011

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As somebody who has been involved with performance analysis and tuning of the largest business application systems in the world I was interested in seeing Chris’s description of the memory management philosophies as implemented in Adobes CS* products.

Chris has outlined management strategies that are consistent with SAP’s high volume business processing platforms. The old school thinking of allocate and de-allocating memory has been outdated for many years. SAP abandoned these old school techniques close to 20 years ago with the advent of their R/3 product. They were inspired to do this to help minimize support costs which stabilizes the processing engine, which in turn keeps the customers happier and good word of mouth in the end helps them to sell more software. Everyone wins…

Smaller scale users usually never have to confront these high resource intensive systems/designs, but here is one such case where the education process does needs attention to take these users into the 21 century of high quality software design.

Chris’s finger pointing to other areas possibly causing issues definitely have merit. However, even as SAP has learned, they do uncover glitches in their products now and then. In this case, a different type of support is needed to pinpoint and resolve the issue and I really doubt an internet chat form like this is the most effective way to tackle things. I guess we will see soon enough.

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Engaged ,
Feb 03, 2011

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An interesting discussion about memory management. I would like to ask i-Iliz if he/she has any suggestions for small users in troubleshooting/tuning our systems should we suspect memory problems of the nature described here. As Noel mentioned, there was problems in the past, resolved by purging or exiting and reopening the program that is no longer a problem today at least on Win7 64. Yet things apparently are not perfect.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 03, 2011

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Hudechrome wrote:

An interesting discussion about memory management. I would like to ask i-Iliz if he/she has any suggestions for small users in troubleshooting/tuning our systems should we suspect memory problems of the nature described here. As Noel mentioned, there was problems in the past, resolved by purging or exiting and reopening the program that is no longer a problem today at least on Win7 64. Yet things apparently are not perfect.

Well I cant offer much in terms of words of wisdom as I know nothing about the processing architecture of the CS* software and how it interplays with the OS.

If it were me trying to better understand my environment though, the first thing I would do is boot the computer into Safe Mode and do my testing from there. If I remember correctly, Safe Mode only starts the vital portions of the OS thus eliminating other elements, especially 3rd party software that might be affecting my tests or results. If the stuttering stopped in this environment I would know some extraneous software would most likely be helping to cause the issues.

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Engaged ,
Feb 03, 2011

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Thanks.

Agreed about Safe Mode.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 03, 2011

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In catching up in this thread, it seems there were two main issues.

1)      You overallocated your PS RAM and needed to be scaled back.

2)      Your historically conditioned to believe software apps should swap data a standard way. The way your using the system is probably not the most effective processing for your workflow. It probably is though for a high % of other users that use the application. You just have to live with it… or jump ship.

>>> This is why I want every MB I can scrape out of my machine. Anyone who thinks paging is a good thing for non-emergency operations can scratchdisk my arse haha (joke)

              

You don’t have enough experience with these topics. This is actually a true statement. Most companies with systems large and small have to think about what it costs to process specific jobs. If one in a thousand jobs swap, a decision must be made to know how much it would cost to retrofit a very expensive environment to keep that one job swap from occurring. Most times it is better to let the swap happen for this non-mission critical item than pay $50,000 to upgrade all systems.

>>> There's no excuse for a crappy 'advanced memory algorhithms not taught in universities!"

Your po-pooing stuff you don’t know much about. Your blaming the world for your self inflicted woes. Look from within grasshopper.

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Explorer ,
Feb 03, 2011

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Your historically conditioned to believe software apps should swap data a standard way. The way your using the system is probably not the most effective processing for your workflow.

-  I have hundreds of TIFFS that take 60-120MB each in processing, and 8gb  of RAM. The more total RAM actually usable that I can use the better.  How the heck can using less of what is actually available RAM enhance my  workflow? Standard are standards for a reason. The ink industry for  printing is non-standardized and people waste $3-5 billion+ a year only  increasing on unused ink that is still remaining in their cartridges, because there is no standard way of manufacturing ink, filling cartridges, or monitoring how much ink is actually left in a cartridge. I'd love for more standards in more markets. Unless natively stable, all other programs on my computer work flawlessly with said demonized traditional methods and standards, even in high bandwidth applications a hell of a lot more intensive than  Photoshop CS4 will EVER be. Currently people keep disregarding the fact that in my situation CS DOESNT FREE THE RAM.  CS4 is balloon. Balloon inflate. Never deflate even when emptied. Overflow into other rooms of critical OS space where balloon shouldn't be when it fill the room full. How many analogies must I give? Must I use sign language? Binary?

You don’t have enough experience with these topics. This is actually a
true statement. Most companies with systems large and small have to
think about what it costs to process specific jobs. If one in a thousand
jobs swap, a decision must be made to know how much it would cost to
retrofit a very expensive environment to keep that one job swap from
occurring. Most times it is better to let the swap happen for this
non-mission critical item than pay $50,000 to upgrade all systems.

I said NON EMERGENCY SITUATIONS.  Emergencies are once in a while. You're repeating what I said like a parrot, but in different longer sentences with more words telling me I don't get what I'm talkinga bout. You're missing the full picture of what I am actually saying. That 1 in 1000 overflow would be exactly true in my situation with 7GB used, but it's not. Why not? Because the CS4 balloon will not deflate itself or reuse the empty space inside the balloon when it's needed, and the OS isn't given back any of the empty space to work with to know it doesn't need to page anything. In turn CS4 is going to try and scratch too when the OS is telling it that is has no more RAM left when indeed it does, but its hiding it in its own reserve balloon from itself. If a company needed just 700MB more room and either they spend $50k to upgrade to that, or get CS4 to release some space once in awhile, they'd sure as hell bother Adobe or write their own mod to force CS4 to release unused allocated RAM to get it.

Self inflicted only because I want to push the limit of what is actually usable on my machine, not some 'safe zone' with high tolerance. My system is tuned for a fine line of performance and I know what it can hande. I know what it uses and it does not spike usage for random OS operations. It can handle 7GB to 7.2GB of RAM of freely used RAM to one active program if it needs that big of a workspace to work. If CS4 isn't going to reuse the hollow areas in that balloon, then that's not my fault. My OS can handle the fine tuning, and CS4 is what cannot, obviously, since it can see that much RAM but not use the last %10 correctly.

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LEGEND ,
Feb 03, 2011

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Overfocused wrote:

My system is tuned for a fine line of performance and I know what it can hande.

Hum...as far as I can tell, you've never actually bothered to mention what system nor OS you are using nor really basic troubleshooting like what % of ram you are allowing Photoshop to use.

You spout plenty of opinion, but little actual info.

If you simply want to attract attention, fine...but your rants aren't actually helping you, right?

To be precise, if you want help, you might want to provide basic system and troubleshooting and actually try to work with Chris rather than argue.

Ya see, Chris knows more about Photoshop performance than most everybody else on the planet.

You want help? Cool, ask...you want to Piss&Moan™, fine but you won't be getting much help. You really are only showing your own shortcomings...have fun flailing about...

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Feb 03, 2011

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Overfocused: You're just digging yourself deeper now.  You've proven that you don't know memory management beyond the basics. We understand -- all of us had to learn at one point or another.  You've proven that you are jumping to conclusions.  Ok, we've probably all done that at least a few times.

Now I've shown that Photoshop is reusing allocated memory.

And I've told you (though it's difficult to show) that Photoshop will detect system paging and scale back it's memory usage.

But you keep claiming otherwise.

And you're ignoring the fact that the system should keep running even with 200% of RAM allocated by applications, thanks to virtual memory and the pagefile.  It might slow down if more than 95% of the RAM is active, but it shouldn't stop.

I want to push the limit of what is actually usable on my machine

And that includes a machine that locks up because of a high memory limit set in one application?

Again, you've got something else wrong with your system if that is happening.

We're trying to help you figure out what is causing your system to run slow (mostly allocating too much RAM to one app), and give you ideas about what might be causing the lockup (which we still don't know).

Are you going to listen, and work with us, or continue to repeat things that you know not to be true?

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Explorer ,
Feb 03, 2011

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Hum...as far as I can tell, you've never actually bothered to mention what system nor OS you are using nor really basic troubleshooting like what % of ram you are allowing Photoshop to use.

Good Lord you're thick. If you were actually paying attention and wanted to help out instead of trying to get attention yourself, you'd have all the system info you need. Granted I did not say my OS, I've said every other detail about my RAM configurations. I was working with Chris but no one sees what is happening on my computer no matter how many analogies I give.

I'm not going to let you be a lazy bum and ignore the whole conversation when I've conveyed plenty of information to Chris throughout.

Now I've shown that Photoshop is reusing allocated memory.

Like hell you have! I kept track of what was going on as I experienced it and you still don't even acknowledge that. How many times do I have to tell you ITS NOT REDUCING THE AMOUNT OF RAM THAT IT IS USING WHEN MUCH LESS IMAGE DATA IS OPEN THAN WHAT PHOTOSHOP IS TAKING FROM THE WINDOWS OS.

And that includes a machine that locks up because of a high memory limit set in one application?

Yes, in Photoshop CS4 and CS4 ALONE. You take so much out of context it gets annoying. Tunnel vision to prove your own opinions blinded by your experience with PS, even though I clearly have the situation happen to me in front of my face after I explained it as it was happening, which no one gave a single neuron to try and actually process what I said because you don't believe me and you don't want to believe me because its not in your superprofessional realm of thinking.

If it was as simple of a problem as to what OS I was using or how big my page file is, I wouldn't need to ask the highest level of tech support for answers to such a base level problem.

I know setting PS to 7.2 GB locks it up after doing enough processing and compiling, but it wouldn't if CS would free the damn RAM for Windows that its not even using after its done with it. It stays holding 7.2GB no matter how many images I close and leaves Windows presssed against the wall.

And you're ignoring the fact that the system should keep running even with 200% of RAM allocated by applications, thanks to virtual memory and the pagefile.  It might slow down if more than 95% of the RAM is active, but it shouldn't stop.

And you're ignoring the fact that after I close 4GB of image data that if only 3gb of image data is open it shouldnt be slowing down at all or using 7.2 GB still.

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Engaged ,
Feb 03, 2011

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Pass the popcorn!

Jeff, saw some pictures of Lake Shore Drive after the blizzard. Beautiful but deadly.

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Explorer ,
Feb 03, 2011

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Yeah that was some nasty stuff. Around 300 cars was it?

Funny you mention the blizzard, the last freeze up I had with PS was while editing some large panoramas taken during a trip out into the blizzard... somewhere close to Chicago. Lol.

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Engaged ,
Feb 03, 2011

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I used to live there  and it seems to me the last big one in Chi-Town was right around when I left for good.

Wish I could contribute more but I never used CS4, jumping from 3 to 5.

Chris is really good at this stuff. Work with him.

One thing I would have tried  long ago is a memory test, like mem test86:

http://www.memtest86.com/

Memory is evasive in giving up it's troubles. I added 4G to mine a few days ago and promptly got Blue screened. The messages I was getting didn't point to exactly what the problem was, and it wasn't bad memory. It was misconfigured and I suspected it right off, but even setting some functions in BIOS to Auto made it worse!

It's fine now. A long talk with AMD support confirmed what I saw a being reasonable givin the starting configuration. I'm still a mite suspicious though!

Good luck, I am really interested in what you find.

Please, suspend disbelief for a bit.

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Feb 04, 2011

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ITS NOT REDUCING THE AMOUNT OF RAM THAT IT IS USING WHEN MUCH LESS IMAGE DATA IS OPEN THAN WHAT PHOTOSHOP IS TAKING FROM THE WINDOWS OS.

Yes, we know - and I've already explained why that is perfectly normal, expected, and why it won't cause problems:  because Photoshop is reusing the memory, and will free memory when the OS needs it.

And you're ignoring the fact that after I close 4GB of image data that if only 3gb of image data is open it shouldnt be slowing down at all or using 7.2 GB still.

Correct on the shouldn't be slowing down part - which is why we are trying to help you figure out what is wrong with your system.

But Photoshop should still be using all the memory it has allocated (up to the limit you set in preferences), until that memory is needed by a plugin or the OS.

You need to be looking at your system and figuring out why normal to moderately heavy operation is causing it to lockup.

Even if Photoshop has 7.5 GB allocated, and is only using 3GB, the OS is free to page out the idle memory (even image data you aren't currently using). Photoshop also will page the idle memory and image memory out to scratch so it'll free up faster if a user operation or the OS needs it.

And even if all the RAM is allocated, the OS should not lockup due to simple paging.

I clearly have the situation happen to me in front of my face after I explained it

No, you jumped to several conclusions about your situation, which have already been shown to be false.  Most of that was based on a lack of knowledge about memory management and how operating systems handle memory -- and we've tried to fix some of that lack of knowledge by explaining how things actually work.  Continuing to repeat that black is white, will not make it so.

Your valid observations are: 

* Photoshop doesn't reduce memory usage unless it has to (true, by design)

* That your system was running slowly when most of the RAM was in use (yes, that is likely)

* That your system locked up while paging heavily when most of the RAM was in use (ok, not normal, but we don't know the cause)

Now, we can work with you to solve that last mystery, but you have to work with us.

Shouting and repeating things that you know not to be true isn't going to solve that.

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Feb 04, 2011

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even in high bandwidth applications a hell of a lot more intensive than  Photoshop CS4 will EVER be.

Considering that the common operations in Photoshop are DRAM or bus bandwidth limited, that Photoshop frequently exposes motherboard problems before dedicated testing tools, and that computer makers use Photoshop to stress test their memory and support systems... I kind of doubt that.

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Engaged ,
Feb 04, 2011

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Well, PS is included in standard testing for performance, but I never heard of using it for stress testing. I thought prime 95 was the go to program. Is there some particular component that PS streeses? How is it configured for the test?

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Explorer ,
Feb 04, 2011

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One thing I would have tried  long ago is a memory test, like mem test86:

Thanks for the suggestion, but I ran this on the most thorough setting and let it cycle 30+ times when I bought the 8GB to test for DOA. The RAM I use is good.

Yes, we know - and I've already explained why that is perfectly normal, expected, and why it won't cause problems:  because Photoshop is reusing the memory, and will free memory when the OS needs it.

But its not doing that for the OS here! If paging it is the solution to managing BLANK RAM, then thats just ridiculous.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 04, 2011

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Overfocused wrote:

The more total RAM actually usable that I can use the better.

But you ARE using it and you've told PS how much you actually want dedicated to it. You only did not understand what you were doing and you've choked off your OS then thereafter looking to blame something else than your own lack of understanding with what you were doing.

Overfocused wrote:


Currently people keep disregarding the fact that in my situation CS DOESNT FREE THE RAM.

You don't get it. You have asked PS to reserve a certain amount of RAM so that others processes in your system dont get in your way of your photo processing. The way you would like it to run is to let other processes grab more and more memory when PS releases it and eventually choking off your photo processing.


Professional businesses use PS and this is the best way to keep multi users from choking each other off from a memory perspective. Like I said, GOOD SW DESGIN. The way you prefer it, BAD SW DESIGN.

It is obvious much of this banter is damaging your ego. We've all gone through stuff like this in our own lives. I guess now it is your turn. The best thing you can do from here is keep control of your emotion because in your subsequent posts your not doing your reputation any personal favors.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 04, 2011

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Hudechrome wrote:

I thought prime 95 was the go to program. Is there some particular component that PS streeses? How is it configured for the test?

Prime 95 is correct.

I am not sure what PS stresses though....

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LEGEND ,
Feb 04, 2011

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j_iliz wrote:


You don't get it. You have asked PS to reserve a certain amount of RAM so that others processes in your system dont get in your way of your photo processing. The way you would like it to run is to let other processes grab more and more memory when PS releases it and eventually choking off your photo processing.

Though the use of charged words like "choking off" creates bias, you're right.  That's exactly what should be happening.  Saying that preallocating RAM is a "21st century" technique yielding "higher quality" results gives off a certain smell.  It's the smell of poorly designed code.

A person populates a computer system with a certain amount of RAM to be able to support all of the expected computing tasks (note: plural).

That Adobe wants Photoshop to just take control of a big block of it in a more or less static fashion is, frankly, a bit like a kid in the playground who does not play nice and takes all the toys away from the other kids.  Sure, Adobe says he'll give them back if someone wants them, yet this does not bear out in actual observed operation.

Photoshop is not the center of everyone's computing universe, and should be able to be set to just use memory dynamically per the operating system's capabilities - just like the other applications do.  This way it can both share resources and get all that are available.

If the mix of operations on the computer happens to slow Photoshop down, then so be it - it's the user's choice to run other stuff.  If the user chooses to run only Photoshop, then so be it.  Adobe should not try to decide this ahead of time!

And - no disrespect to Chris - but I'm willing to postulate that Adobe's memory management prowess just might not exceed that of a major operating system manufacturer.

Before you argue further, you should know I'm a career software architect with 35 years experience, so I can smell what's being shoveled.

But...

Given that this behavior is not likely to change in a product that's reached version 12.0, the only workable solution in a practical sense seems to be to put more toys in the playground - drop another 4 to 8 GB of RAM in the system and just assume Photoshop will be hogging a big block of it.

-Noel

P.S., Chris, have you ever just tried carving out the buffer suite and replacing it with malloc() / free() to see how it would work?

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Feb 04, 2011

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P.S., Chris, have you ever just tried carving out the buffer suite and replacing it with malloc() / free() to see how it would work?

Yep, every cycle we try it.  And it always blows.  We have to actively manage the memory, and reduce the OS allocation/free calls to keep performance at a reasonable level.

Photoshop is not trying to hog memory, we're just doing what we have to do to maintain performance for our users.

Ww try to stay out of the way of other applications (like monitoring paging status to back off our usage, and allowing the user to set the maximum usage).

but I'm willing to postulate that Adobe's memory management prowess just might not exceed that of a major operating system manufacturer.

It's pretty close actually.  But the OS is designed for a general case, while Photoshop is designed for specific usage -- we know more about how we use the memory than the OS can (even using madvise calls. And yes, we have tried that too).

Nothing being shovelled here -- just a lot of experience and results from extensive testing being applied.

Yes, if you don't have the background and experience, some of the decisions probably seem counterintuitive.

But when we talk to other experienced memory management experts, they agree with our design.

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Feb 04, 2011

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I am not sure what PS stresses though....

Photoshop does a lot of sustained highly optimized memory transfers, plus some optimized scatter/gather operations.

These tend to stress different levels of cache, plus the DRAM controllers and DRAM chips.

This can expose power supply issues, timing issues, pulse skew issues, malformed pulse problems due to unexpected access patterns, etc. in the RAM and support chips (all the way back to the CPU).

Photoshop catches a lot of problems that dedicated RAM testing software misses.

From a historical perspective:  http://forums.adobe.com/thread/375773?tstart=0

Hardware design, hardware testing, and extensive software testing on those motherboards missed the problems.

Yet Photoshop pretty reliably reproduced the problems: all traced to hardware design defects (decoupling cap too small, traces too small, regulator too small, etc.).

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LEGEND ,
Feb 04, 2011

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So Photoshop has been optimized at the expense of other applications on the system.  Fair enough - you're not in the business of running those other applications well.

Chris Cox wrote:


a lot of experience and results from extensive testing being applied.

And that, I will agree, cannot be challenged.

However, it is clearly experience with a lot of givens - such as Photoshop's basic architecture, and the business goal of making Photoshop work best, as noted above.

-Noel

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Feb 04, 2011

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So Photoshop has been optimized at the expense of other applications on the system.

That is not what I said.

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LEGEND ,
Feb 04, 2011

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Perhaps that was a bit harsh; I'm sorry.  I guess I'm just feeling frisky today. 

But in all seriousness I wouldn't be here debating this if I didn't happen to agree with OverFocused that Photoshop CS4 was a rather poorly behaved child in the playground.  But given that, I did what I suggested - put in more RAM - which works.

-Noel

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New Here ,
Feb 04, 2011

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Sorry - I had to reboot my system ... where were we?

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Engaged ,
Feb 04, 2011

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Very interesting, Chris.

Do the tests highlighting decoupling caps also tell which ones? If so, I want to know how it's configured and how it is reported!

Traces. Two types immediately come to mind: Power and Controlled Impedance, balanced and unbalanced. If your test points to power supply difficulties I would assume any traces implied would be included. How about the cables from the PS?

As for the controlled impedances, some rather dedicated high speed oscilloscopes, usually sampling, are used to ferret out problems like bad terminations, variations in characteristic impedance due to changes in board dielectric constant etc. Tricky stuff I used to love to do!

Actually, I did suggest that perhaps Photoshop (then CS4) might be a good addition to our testing methods on that overclock utility, especillay for very long term distress tests. Wasn't sure how it would have been configured but it was nixed. (I think that certain people suspected an ulterior motive on my part!)

But I ran tests anyway, not to stress but to see how the cpus handled CS4.

BTW, an interesting factoid about stress test. A big one is simply OS bootup!

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 04, 2011

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Noel Carboni wrote:

function(){return A.apply(null,[this].concat($A(arguments)))}

j_iliz wrote:


You don't get it. You have asked PS to reserve a certain amount of RAM so that others processes in your system dont get in your way of your photo processing. The way you would like it to run is to let other processes grab more and more memory when PS releases it and eventually choking off your photo processing.

Though the use of charged words like "choking off" creates bias, you're right.  That's exactly what should be happening.  Saying that preallocating RAM is a "21st century" technique yielding "higher quality" results gives off a certain smell.  It's the smell of poorly designed code.

This is exactly the root why we don’t meet up 100% on this. It has to do with the general concept of mission criticality, what jobs should be deemed more important in multi user/task environments. I think your frame of mind is in single user environments. Mine is in multi-user environments and Adobe sells a product that is supposed to support both worlds.

Your analogy where one kid in the playground takes most the toys so others can’t play with them assumes the kids play nice and don’t mind sharing. Once it is proven the kids cant place nice with each other mom and dad have to segregate the environment and say “this is your toy” mom and dad decide whom gets what.

It should be up to management to decide who gets what resources and enforce that rule. The traditional world you speak of only opens the door to a battle royal and then both competitors both work less effectively than possible.

I do agree that if there is only one dedicated user not competing for mission critical resources, the traditional OS style of memory management is superior. I suspect that Adobe at one time was confronted with a decision to optimize their performance and minimize their support efforts for multi-user environments and the most effective way to do that is give people their own dedicated playgrounds. By not doing this, the company effectively creates battle royals between high resource types users.

My background is in multi-user environments and it is no mistake that this is the way the big boys do things, Oracle, SAP etc. It is actually a MUST or your business get eaten alive by support costs, your product reliability trashed, then your whole business goes down the tubes.

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Explorer ,
Feb 04, 2011

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Perhaps that was a bit harsh; I'm sorry.  I guess I'm just feeling frisky today. 

But in all seriousness I wouldn't be here debating this if I didn't happen to agree with OverFocused that Photoshop CS4 was a rather poorly behaved child in the playground.  But given that, I did what I suggested - put in more RAM - which works.

-Noel

Since I can't add more and this sytem is maxed, I've gone the other way and gone to safer point and set the max to 6.8GB. I will manually adjust to the 7.2 for the biggest jobs I process since it works smoothly the first time or two it fills to the 7.2 mark in a session.

j_iliz - I think your frame of mind is in single user environments

It is, this is a single user environment

Chris - I am sorry for giving you such crap, however I do because regardless of my lack of pinpoint technical knowledge from a programming standpoint of RAM management, I have been using computers  since I was 4 years old and building them since I was 11. My technical troubleshooting intuition is throwing a red flag that something is wrong, and not with my OS configuration; the OS is behaving exactly as it should. Something is happening though, directly linked between CS and the OS when the RAM fills up. Its like its not just switching to paging. I assume it's possible for the OS to try and page while CS is trying to use the scratchdisk at the same time? Could a double overlapping page action be a cause?

The bully/poorly behaving child terminology mentioned earlier to me seems to describe the problem I'm having. Its like the red line at school by the street around the playground that kids get in trouble (or run over) for crossing. CS4 has the whole playground, but it wants whats past the red line too and fights for it when really it should back off after its retrived the lost ball that went into the street.

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Engaged ,
Feb 04, 2011

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So far as the paging interaction is concerned, if the paging file and the scratch disk are the same HD, or even separate partitions of the same HD, yes, you probably will experience problems with multi-tasking, or even PS alone as the OS looks after itself. Maybe you already know this, but I hate to assume.

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Explorer ,
Feb 04, 2011

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So far as the paging interaction is concerned, if the paging file and the scratch disk are the same HD, or even separate partitions of the same HD, yes, you probably will experience problems with multi-tasking, or even PS alone as the OS looks after itself. Maybe you already know this, but I hate to assume.


Yeah, it happens while PS is doing its thing alone while other programs sit idle and aren't asking for more resources.

However, if there is a dual page/scratch action attempt going on when PS is trying to extend the reserve physically past the 7.2GB mark, it obviously isn't working out so well.  If it went back to use what empty space is inside of it rather than shrinking the available RAM that the OS can see, I think it would quit pushing the OS to use the pagefile while PS is trying to scratch. The OS only sees an ever shrinking available phsyical RAM, even when PS has 4GB free in its reserve, the OS can only see the reserve is trying to expand more. I obviously haven't found a simpler way of explaining it yet, lol.

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LEGEND ,
Feb 04, 2011

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j_iliz wrote:


This is exactly the root why we don’t meet up 100% on this. It has to do with the general concept of mission criticality, what jobs should be deemed more important in multi user/task environments. I think your frame of mind is in single user environments. Mine is in multi-user environments and Adobe sells a product that is supposed to support both worlds.

I understand completely the concepts and what you're saying, though I don't think Photoshop literally needs to support any multi-user environments (in the "multiple users simultaneously running it on one computer" sense).  But yes - multiple different user installations and of course multi-tasking with any number of other apps.  And certainly Photoshop has to work in both Apple and PC environments.  In this vein it surprised me that Adobe was willing to take on the OpenGL Medusa - but that's another story.

What we're talking about is:

Real world defensive implementation vs. ideal implementation.

What software engineers actually produce vs. what could be produced in a perfect world.

Business decision involving risk vs. technical decision involving concepts.

Take over the part of the system that traditionally causes problems so that it can be kept under better control.  I get it.  But it still doesn't mean it's the best implementation for a particular user or in a particular situation.  And all it does is push contention problems elsewhere, as referenced by this thread.  Elsewhere is good when someone else is supporting that.

I sense an improvement in Photoshop CS5 vs. its predecessor.  It's good to know the memory management strategy is continuing to be refined.

-Noel

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New Here ,
Feb 04, 2011

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I have to admit, PS (CS5, Windows XP) does slow down after I process many images.  Closing and restarting PS helps but rebooting the OS is better.

In preferences, what is the best percentage setting for memory usage?  I have read various post on this.

Interesting comment from Chris (thanks btw, for your feedback) - logging on as a different user.  Is this a good alternative that can reduce other, unnecessary programs from running in the background?

Thanks ...

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New Here ,
Feb 04, 2011

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Reading through the reply's - not sure the average user could follow (Im a photographer and pretty low on software architecture side of the index).  However, here are links to some basic information - PS performance.  You may have already have found this, however, it might be useful to others.

http://www.thelightsright.com/OptimizePerformanceCS5-Part1

http://www.thelightsright.com/OptimizePerformanceCS5-Part2

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