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Thread: photoshop cs4 slowing down

  1. #11
      Coyotemax is offline
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    Ok, I've done the swap, have a copy of CS3 ready to go. The heat really did factor into it as I found out. I let the machine sit for an hour or two, then came back to it. The first ten mins of puttering in cs4 wasn't bad but then the fan kicked in and it started to go like molasses again. Which is doubly annoying because ps7 doesn't slow down at all.

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  2. #12
      Coyotemax is offline
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    Ok, final verdict: CS3=no slowdown. yay!

    And it does what I need it to do, so I'll be sticking with this, probably for the next 5 years or so (that's about how long it's been since I first got 7, got my moneys worth out of that copy, let me tell ya) (in fact, i probably would still be using 7 with no complaints if not for the pathing for the text, and that 90% of the brushes I got from the one CD wouldn't work with 7)

    So, saga complete. Thanks for the suggestions to all who suggested, it really did help narrow down the issue (and rule out other possibilities I hadn't considered)

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  3. #13
      AslanC is offline
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    Yay! Now back to work I keed, I keed

  4. #14
      Coyotemax is offline
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    No, that's exactly what it is. Tools that don't work the way they are supposed to can be very demoralizing. now that it's back to being about the work and not the tool, I'm glued to the screen again

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  5. #15
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    Hey Coyotemax,

    Late to the thread here, but we're running CS4 here at work, and the artists have complained about similiar issues. (I work in the video game industry and my job is tools support for the artists, including writing scripts for Photoshop - so I get to hear all the complaints!).

    I'm really interested in anything I can learn to help solve this issue.

    Here's my take on things so far.

    I think the hardware acceleration introduced in CS4 is largely the source of the problem. From what I've seen, it looks like a lot of CS4's processing power has now been dumped over to the video card, so with that 128MB card you're running, that might be part of it.

    And turning the OpenGL option off honestly seems to do almost nothing in terms of performance increase.

    We're running 512 MB Quadro FX 1700's (primarily an OpenGL card) and we *still* get slowdowns. We ran CS2 smoothly and then as soon as we upgraded to CS4 we ran into problems.

    Of course, we're also still on 32-bit XP machines with 2 GB of RAM.

    Which brings me to... what OS are you running? CS4 has a 64-bit version, and running that under a 64-bit OS is obviously going to help. Windows XP 32-bit (I've never run 64-bit XP) - recognizes 2 GB maximum, 3 GB with a little bit of jiggerypoke. Windows Vista 32-bit will recognize about the same, Windows Vista 64-bit will recognize up to 64 or 128 GB or something like that. However, I'm not entirely sure CS4 will even take advantage of all that extra RAM, and I haven't had the opportunity to try that, unfortunately.

    If anyone else out there is running CS4 with a blown out PC config, I'd be interested to know how it runs!

    I have run into a RAM limitation problem at home on my Mac Pro (I'm running OS X.5.7). In the CS4 preferences, it will only allow you to allocate 3 GB to it, and I have 8 GB in the machine. It doesn't make sense to me why Adobe would put a restriction on that, and then put the heavy lifting on the video card. Apparently, with Snow Leopard's release in September, it will up the amount of RAM you can allocate to CS4. Not sure how that is going to work, but that what's I was reading of late. (If you believe what you read on the internet... )

    Oh, one last thing which probably know already - make sure that your scratch disk drives are not the same as your OS drive. It helps somewhat if Windows and Photoshop aren't competing for access to the same drive.

    Cheers,
    GiantAcroyear

  6. #16
      Redrobes is offline
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    Can I clarify a few points. I reckon its extremely unlikely that its OpenGL slowing the system down if you have a decent GL card fitted. It is possible that Adobe borked the coding so that its crap but there ought to be (almost) no reason why any graphics command that could be executed on the card would be slower than the CPU. Also, and I think here's the killer, if you go to the desktop visual settings and go to the graphics adapter / advanced / troubleshoot and yank the slider for hardware acceleration down to none and restart app and it still goes slow, then its definitely not a graphics acceleration issue.

    A PC running Win2K, XP (not 64bit) or Vista (not 64bit) etc has a 4Gb absolute top memory capacity because 2^32 is 4Gb. The kernel takes some of that. The best you can hope to get as a user is about 3 and a bit. If you have XP64, Vista64 then you can indeed get 64Gb. You need a 64 bit capable CPU before you can even run the OS and your apps MUST be compiled for 64 bit in order to use more than 4Gb on that app. Therefore the OSX 5.7 might still be a 32 bit OS. Even if you have 8Gb fitted then its 4Gb wasted. Has to be 64bit OS to go over 4Gb.

    So if your photoshop app is 32 bit then you cannot use more than 4Gb for that app. You can have two of them running on a 64bit machine with 8Gb RAM fitted tho but upgrading OS and fitting more RAM is not going to help unless the app is also changed to 64bit type as well. I.e. its not Adobe restricting the RAM is a physical impossibility to go beyond that figure in 32 bit land.

  7. #17
      Coyotemax is offline
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    I'm running XP right now. I don't know what it was that was specifically slowing things down, though right now my biggest suspicion is the heat. When I powered up after a lengthy cooldown time, it was running ok for a few mins, and then I could hear the fan (variable speed) ramping up more or less at the speed that CS4 was slowing down. Might have been just me making connections that weren't really there, but it was an observable and repeatable combination.


    I made sure the scratch disks were different, that was one of the early attempts at a fix. I've got 2 gigs ram, so the max amount photoshop will let you choose wouldn't be a factor.

    There was no difference with the openGL turned on or off, except that 50% of the time when it was on, the program would crash out as soon as a file loaded. and no matter what I tried, i couldn't get the openGL to STAY off. I would disable it, test, then test again, it would crash out and next restart would say that the opengl options were disabled again - as if I had turned them on in the meantime, which i most emphatically did not.

    That was the point which tipped the scales for me to swap out to CS3, and it's the best decision I've made all week.


    I would try the hardware slider idea to test, but the program's already been uninstalled and the install discs returned.

    1 step back to take 2 steps forward

    My finished maps
    "...sometimes the most efficient way to make something look drawn by hand is to simply draw it by hand..."

  8. #18
      Redrobes is offline
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    Well if your sorted then no need to look any further but its an odd one since it was running ok then started slowing down. I had a PC where one of the struts holding the heat sink broke off and so the heat sink was held by the three remaining and was at a small and barely noticeable angle but there was a small gap between the CPU and sink and it made a huge difference when fixed. The only way you might want to test that is to run up a benchmark app like superpi and do that from cold and run it a few times on same set and see if it degrades. You might find that your PC is running at less than max capable for just getting a new fan or dabbing some fresh thermal paste on it.

    Personally I would keep all opengl switched on. I write a free opengl test app actually which is designed to test to see what its doing and try to resolve GL issues. You can get it here...

    http://www.viewing.ltd.uk/cgi-bin/vi...egory=test_app

    Its done to try to resolve peoples set up for using my GL app. Its not super whizzy and looks terrible but its quite effective. It will tell you whether its too low spec to my app. Your card seems fine but some old would laptops struggle with the graphics. Some people run my demo with a fast card, claim its really slow only to find that they're running at like 1/10th full speed capable due to poor drivers or bad config.

    Really does sound like Adobe has something wrong with their newer version tho.

  9. #19
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    @ Coyotemax:

    Sounds like you made the right decision switching to CS3! I wish that was an option right about now.

    @ Redrobes:

    As it turns out, now that I've done more reading, 10.5.7 is some odd mix (!) of both 32 and 64-bit, the details of which are beyond my ken (I'm half artist, half programmer, instead of all programmer ). I thought I was running 64-bit CS4 on my Mac Pro but it looks like I'm not, which explains the limitation that I mistakenly thought was Adobe's! Snow Leopard, as it turns out, is apparently all 64-bit, so I should be able to allocate all 8 GB when that rolls out.

    I'm going to try turning the hardware acceleration off and doing some CS4 performance tests with that. The reason I didn't really think to try that earlier is that we're running other 3D apps which benefit from the hardware acceleration. In fact, I'm worried it might muck up our other primary app: Maya. Maybe I'll put the slider in the middle and see what happens ... I'll keep you guys posted.

    Thanks for the help!

    Cheers!

  10. #20
      Redrobes is offline
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    I'm not a Mac guy but still interested. Most 64bit OS's run 32 apps as well as 64 bit ones. On windows its called WoW64 or windows on windows64. I.e. its emulating 32 bit OS in a 64 bit native environment. Its probable that your OS is 64 bit but your app is 32 bit in emulation mode. If the apps memory pointers are 32 bit then it cant access virtual memory addresses beyond 4Gb even if the OS has more RAM than that. That's why you might find that you can run two instances of it and burn RAM in each before it slows up from paging.

    But yeah, keep us posted !

    Edit -- oh, putting the slider in the middle usually turns off 3D and keeps enabled the 2D blitter so windows move around fast but no 3D. Going to None turns even that off and you can see the CPU tearing of the window redraw and sluggish performance. If there are options between these three extremes then its likely just cutting down bits of the 3D. In windows and GL in general there's a format index which it might restrict to the simplest ones. Its all a gray area by that point tho. Full or None and your pretty sure tho.
    Last edited by Redrobes; 08-04-2009 at 09:49 PM.

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