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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussion.

Size of display affecting system performance?


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schwabby

 
Member Since: May 06, 2010
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The MacBook Pro I'm currently using seems to be chugging along more slowly than my old PC when I use Photoshop. The MBP is 2.26GHz, 2GB of 1067MHz DDR3 RAM, and the old PC was 2.0GHz with 2GB of 667MHz DDR2 RAM.

Might this have something to do with the display I'm using? It's the 30" Apple cinema display - would the system chug more slowly due to the fact that I'm loading "X" amount of images into Photoshop and it has to draw each one to fill a 30" screen? I doubt it's this but I don't know for sure. Would I benefit from more system RAM? Is there a way to upgrade the video card?

Also, any tips to optimize OSX performance overall? Thanks!
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Raz0rEdge

 
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The resolution of your screen isn't an issue..but what would definitely help is getting more memory added..go to 4 or 8GB and you'll see marked improvement..

Regards
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schwabby

 
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Thanks for the response! More system RAM is definitely necessary for my workload. However, a friend postulated that the larger display might equal more of a strain on the video card/video memory. True/false?
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Raz0rEdge

 
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Think about it this way..a graphic card is designed and capable of producing set number of resolutions..so your graphics card maybe, for example, capable of displaying a resolution of 1024x768..if you have a monitor that accepts, as native, that resolution, you're in a good situation..

If, however, your monitor really wants 1280x1024 and your graphics card continues with 1024x768..the strain is actually on the monitor to either scale the incoming resolution or somehow display it..in most cases, it will just look bad..

Now if you were to up the resolution..to say 2560x1440 (the iMac 27")..the graphics card is designed to drive that resolution..so there is no strain persay..any potential strain on the graphics card would come from you trying to getting the graphics card to try to display a resolution it didn't already do so..

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schwabby

 
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This makes me feel good & convinces me that the problem is NOT with the MBP's video card, as when I go to Displays in the system preferences, the 30" monitor's full native resolution of 2560x1600 is displayed as an option (it doesn't say "stretched" or anything, etc.) So this MBP is clearly capable of handling this screen.

Also, in order to further obsolete my initial question, I unplugged the monitor last night & did some work in Photoshop, so as to try it out without the MBP having to worry about the 30", & I STILL received subpar performance.

This looks like a job for system RAM, IMHO.
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I think the RAM upgrade will really help you especially with Photoshop and similar tools that really do use as much of it as they can get their hands on..

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schweb

 
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It's also dependent on what OS version, what PS version, and size of the file you're working on.

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schwabby

 
Member Since: May 06, 2010
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It's Photoshop CS3 running on OSX 10.6.4. I've set Photoshop to use up to 70% of my 2GB of RAM.

Thanks for the help, guys!
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chas_m

 
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More RAM will *definitely* help, as will upgrading to the CS4 or CS5 version.

You should also check to make sure your plug-ins are intel-native or universal; otherwise you could be running at "Rosetta" speed which could be dragging the whole thing down.
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schwabby

 
Member Since: May 06, 2010
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Awesome, thank you! How do I check my plugins?
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schwabby

 
Member Since: May 06, 2010
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 29
schwabby is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: 27" iMac (2.7 GHz i5, 16 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 RAM, 1TB HDD, OS X 10.8.4)

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Update: doubled my system RAM from 2GB DDR3 1067 to 4GB. Problem is all but gone. Thanks for the input, everyone!
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