How much RAM do I REALLY need? -
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 05:03 PM   #1
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How much RAM do I REALLY need?

I'm looking to max out the RAM on the g5's in my office and I was told that upgrading and higher than 2GB RAM for each G5 is not worthwhile because Photoshop cannot use any more than 2GB. Is this true?

From my knowledge, 6x the average file size being worked on is the amount of RAM needed. Since we work on files as large as 1GB regularly, I assume 6GB of RAM is necessary. Is it not worth it to get the extra RAM? Is he just being cheap?
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 06:21 PM   #2
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1GB's good for office computers, 1.5 or 2 if you want a safety net for performance. My PC at work has 1GB and we use AutoCAD.
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 06:24 PM   #3
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I'm not sure how true that 2GB limitation is ... I would ask in a photoshop centric forum if you can find one. That may also be bad information from a windows user (where apps can only use 1.5G of ram per thread afaik). I know it's not an OSX limitation, so if it is a problem it's at the photoshop end of things.
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 07:01 PM   #4
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Couldn't you determine this by using "top" in the terminal or some other app. while applying a RAM intesive effect to a large PS file?

(By "PS" I mean photoshop of course. Not post script)
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 07:20 PM   #5
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 07:30 PM   #6
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That looks suspiciously like a windows tech note to me, it says:

Photoshop can only use the first 2 GB of RAM on the computer. This limit is based on hardware and operating system limitations.

AFAIK there is either a hardware or OS limitation for OSX/Powermacs of that nature. There IS a limitation of that nature in windows land for both hardware and windows XP (at least the 32 bit stuff).
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 08:03 PM   #7
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You might consider adding the maximum RAM the machine will allow, so that revisions of the apps you are running do not soon leapfrog your existing configurement.
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 09:20 PM   #8
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The 2GB thing is likely true, although not really a reason not to add more. For exmaple, why not give Photoshop all the memory it can handle and then still have some left over for the OS, web browsing, checking your email and anything else you might want to do at the same time.

Anyways, as for the 2GB, what they are saying is likely true. It's more of an issue regarding 32 bit computing and the numbering types.

It means they are likely using a "word/long" number when performing memory allocations which is a number between -2,147,483,648 and +2,147,483,647 It can be addressed by going to 64-bit but the software needs to change to do the 64-bit math.

Regardless, more memory is ALWAYS better!!!!

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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 09:29 PM   #9
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I ordered my iMac with 1GB... should be enough for me to start.
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Old Jan 12th, 2006, 11:39 PM   #10
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Just curious on why your files are so huge? I've only had to work on a 1+ gig file once, and will never do it again. My reason was my client insisted on having a 4'x10' (or something like that) image at 300PPI and it had a few layers, working on a dual 2 G5 with 4GB of RAM, nothing else running, and it took 20 minutes for me to flatten 3 layers, and another 20 minutes to save and a lot of other time wasted opening, changing tools making a change etc. Total waste of time, it would have been fine at 72 PPI if you look at it from a proper distance. My image was pin sharp at 300% viewing, don't need that.

My suggestions, as I work on large files regularly, and switch between apps and having several files open, minimum 4GB of RAM and get a better video card. The stock video card is okay, but if you're working with a lot of images, the stock on any of the previous G5 don't cut it. I find a lot of time wasted waiting for the computer to render the image.

Not sure about the 2 GB limitation either, was true in older versions of PS, but I think it has been changed in CS+ to allow more RAM.

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