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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jul 14, 2011
    Posts
    6
    Handling large files in Photoshop
    Hey Photoshop peeps, a little advice... I'm working with some big TIFF files (~1GB) for large-scale hi-res printing (60" x 90", 10718 x 14451), and my system is lagging hard like never before (Retina MacBook Pro 2012 2.6GHz i7 /8 GB RAM/ 512GB HD), shouldn't be a problem for that computer, right? Any ideas how to make the files more weildy?

    So far I've tried:
    1) converting to .psd and .psb
    2) changing the scratch disk to an external Thunderbolt SSD
    3) allocating all available memory to the program within photoshop preferences
    4) closing all other applications

    I'm also considering what system might be better optimized for this if my computer isn't up to snuff. What are the minimum recommended system requirements to handle this file size more comfortably? Newest Retina Pro with 16GB RAM? Or switch to iMac? Mac Pro?

    Thanks so much!
    Last edited by iamb4; 04-21-2014 at 07:10 PM. Reason: clarification

  2. #2

    MacInWin's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 07, 2008
    Location
    Winchester, VA
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    5,596
    Specs:
    2011 MBP, 2008 iMac, iPhone 6, iPad mini, 13" MBP, AppleTV and two MacMinis
    Reboot, open Activity Monitor, look at the Memory tab and note the Swap. Then, with AM still running, open PS and then the big files. Keep an eye on Swap. If it starts to go up, you would benefit by adding more RAM. If it stays 0, RAM won't help. Remember, every time to edit a file, PS makes a history copy (so you can undo all those changes!) and each one is the same 1GB, which can fill up memory (and your hard drive) pretty quickly.

    How much space is on your HD? If it's more than 90% full, you'll have severe speed loss. And combine swap and full drive and you have the perfect storm of slow down.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Jul 14, 2011
    Posts
    6
    Hi MacinWin,

    Thanks for responding. :-)

    Swap went from 0 to 185MB. 512GB HD, 80GB free. No edits or layers at all, the bog-down is happening just with the Quick Selection tool!

    Any other ideas??


    Quote Originally Posted by MacInWin View Post
    Reboot, open Activity Monitor, look at the Memory tab and note the Swap. Then, with AM still running, open PS and then the big files. Keep an eye on Swap. If it starts to go up, you would benefit by adding more RAM. If it stays 0, RAM won't help. Remember, every time to edit a file, PS makes a history copy (so you can undo all those changes!) and each one is the same 1GB, which can fill up memory (and your hard drive) pretty quickly.

    How much space is on your HD? If it's more than 90% full, you'll have severe speed loss. And combine swap and full drive and you have the perfect storm of slow down.

  4. #4

    MacInWin's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 07, 2008
    Location
    Winchester, VA
    Posts
    5,596
    Specs:
    2011 MBP, 2008 iMac, iPhone 6, iPad mini, 13" MBP, AppleTV and two MacMinis
    You are swapping, which is a symptom of not enough RAM for the job at hand. Go to OWC to see what they say is the max for your machine and see how to add more to max it out. If you can't add more RAM, you may need to replace it with a heftier machine with more RAM.

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2010
    Location
    Victoria, BC
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    20,911
    Specs:
    Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB
    The RAM is the issue.

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Jul 14, 2011
    Posts
    6
    Hi All,


    Thanks for the help. So we upgraded to an iMac 3.5 Ghz i7, 32GB RAM, 1TB Fusion Drive, and are using an empty 1TB Thunderbolt drive as a scratch disk. But the computer STILL lags when trying to select an area on the image with the Quick Selection tool (even with all layers merged down). Any ideas? Is this as good as it gets unless we go Mac Pro?? The file I'm working on is 1.2 GB (I've tried working with the original .tiff, as well as .psd and .psb), 300 dpi image 60" x 90". Anything I can do to shrink the file without appreciably losing print quality?

    Thanks again.

  7. #7


    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2010
    Location
    Victoria, BC
    Posts
    20,911
    Specs:
    Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB
    You might also try reducing the number of history states PS needs to maintain. I used to use that trick back in the day.

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