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rogtav
12-06-2006, 06:02 AM
I'm running Photoshop CS2 on a Dual 1.8 G5. I plan to work on large files (around 1-2 GB in size) and want to optimise if for Photoshop performance.

I've maxed out the RAM at 4GB and I have recently bought a fast Raptor WD740 drive.

Would it be best to install the system and Photoshop on the existing hard drive (a slower SATA drive) and use the Raptor as a dedicated scratch disk, thereby utilizing the speed of the Raptor for scratch disk performance. Or, would it be best to install the system and Photoshop on the Raptor (utilizing the speed for running the system and photoshop) and use the slower existing hard drive as a scratch disk.

Does anyone know which would be quicker?

TZ
12-06-2006, 06:35 AM
Have you looked at the PDF guide to Photoshop and Storage?

Your G5 is limited - PCI would let you add more drives, but a bug limits disk writes to 75MB/sec. Otherwise I would add 4 channel SATA.

Ideal might be to RAID using two 74GB Raptors. Unfortunate that you can't use the newer 150GB Raptor.

If you run the PS benchtest utilty, it will give you an idea of what type of performance you get, and could compare that to others - which would be using maxed out systems and configurations and best possible scores.

In the end, I would upgrade to a Mac Pro. For the size of files, you need cpu (3GHz quad-core) and RAM (8-16GB but $$$), and only then worry about some fast disk drives (four bays internally) (4 x 500GB or even 4 x 150GB Raptors ($1100)).

Boots
12-06-2006, 08:12 AM
Would it be best to install the system and Photoshop on the existing hard drive (a slower SATA drive) and use the Raptor as a dedicated scratch disk, thereby utilizing the speed of the Raptor for scratch disk performance. Or, would it be best to install the system and Photoshop on the Raptor (utilizing the speed for running the system and photoshop) and use the slower existing hard drive as a scratch disk.

Does anyone know which would be quicker?

Since you are working on really big files, I'd install system & PSCS2 on the Raptor and use the slower 7200rpm SATA drive as Photoshop scratch. With that limited amount of RAM, you are likely to generate additional system swapfiles (page swapping)- the fast I/O of the Raptor will help to offset that condition.

You can also speedup your file opening and saving by using the 7200rpm drive as a "work disk/scratch disk"; put the big file your working on the same volume as the PSCS2 scratch. This will speed up your open and save times.

Don't expect miracles though- for files that big, you are undernourished RAM-wise. A second Raptor for scratch would certainly help.

rogtav
12-07-2006, 09:29 AM
Thanks for the info.

I've now read the Photoshop Accelerator pdf which confirms what you say about using the faster drive for the OS and PS.

However, it states that in a two drive system, if you're working on small files to have the scratch disk on the same fast drive as the OS and PS and to "open and save image files to the second hard drive" and also,

that if working on big files it states "don't open and save image files from the second hard drive" (ie the slower one) but instead "point the “scratch disk” to the second hard drive" - would this mean running the OS, PS and opening and saving files all off the Raptor and only using the second 7200RPM drive as a dedicated scratch disk?

Maybe I just need to do some tests to see which configuration works fastest. But all the advice seems to point to having the OS and PS on the faster drive.

Boots
12-08-2006, 06:04 AM
I see I've given inconsistent advice. :o


However, it states that in a two drive system, if you're working on small files to have the scratch disk on the same fast drive as the OS and PS and to "open and save image files to the second hard drive" and also,

This definitely holds true with a Raptor as Startup. Just make sure there is plenty of free space for scratch. And were talking 256MB files or smaller including all layers and channels.


that if working on big files it states "don't open and save image files from the second hard drive" (ie the slower one) but instead "point the Ůscratch diskÓ to the second hard drive" - would this mean running the OS, PS and opening and saving files all off the Raptor and only using the second 7200RPM drive as a dedicated scratch disk?

I should have been more equivocal in this statement.
My testing has shown with large files, ie. 1G+ - better to use the 2nd slower drive as scratch, rather than continuing to use the Raptor let's say, as in the above example. However, you will probably see benefit to using the second slower drive as work disk/scratch disk- opening & saving from it in addition to using it as scratch. It really depends on the drives involved.

Best way would be to test with PshopTest. (http://www.macgurus.com/forums/showthread.php?p=83824#post83824) You could install everything on the Raptor, then test:

A. test file and scratch on Raptor
B. test file on Raptor, scratch on other SATA
C. test file and scratch on other SATA
D. test file on other SATA, scratch on Raptor

rogtav
12-09-2006, 03:27 AM
ok, that's great, thanks for the advice. :)

Boots
12-09-2006, 02:34 PM
No problem. If you do end up testing, please let us know your results.