PC goes slow when processing large photo files

  hssutton 22:55 04 Mar 2009

Asus M2NPV-VM, AMD Athlon 64 x 2 3800 @200Mhz. 4 Gb DDR2-SDRAM. Graphics card nVidia Geoforce 8600 GT.

For normal applications and also when processing normal 70-80Mb tiff files in Photoshop the PC is more than adequate. However I'm now processing an increasing number of 180-200Mb Tiffs with 7-8 70-80 Mb files open in tabs using CS4 Lightroom and adobe Bridge. When I do this the PC runs very slowly, occasionally freezing which requires a shut down of all my photographic application.

I realise the Graphics card is not the best by a long way, but any help in speeding up this machine would be appreciated.

I have been considering upgrading the motherboard and CPU, but not really sure what to buy. I have been considering the following.

Gigabyte GA-MA770-UD3 770 Socket AM2 and AMD PhenomT X4 Quad-Core 9950 2.6GHz

When working on photography I normally have 3 Adobe programs open. not sure if this warrants a quad core. Again advice would be appreciated

  howard64 12:45 06 Mar 2009

is the cpu 3800 per core or 1900 each core? My first core2duo pc was slower than my previous single core cpu and I discovered that with only the one thing running it was less than half the speed of my single core cpu. It is only if the software is specifically written for multi cores that any real benefit comes about. Your virtual memory might be too small and do you have lots of free memory on your hard drive?

  OCRIDION 13:14 06 Mar 2009

It may be a memory leak in the program, I would take a chance in Reinstalling the program. If it still fails then try a different program, if that works then its Adobe Photoshops large Memory use or a permenant leak in the program. Else you may need to upgrade your computer, the worst thing that could happen is that your Operatring system is not handling the memory well enough and may have to be reinstalled.

  OCRIDION 13:29 06 Mar 2009

Temporary solution -
If you want more response from your PC whilst processing files, go to the task manager, and on the processes tab, select the running process for Photoshop (Photoshop.exe). Then right click it, go to Priority and then select Below normal.

If you are not going to use your PC whilst your images are being processed then you may wish to give the process a bit more speed. In which case instead of selecting Below normal select Above normal.

Warning - do not select Real Time EVER. This gives the process priority of Windows its self, and this is dangerously unpredictable.

  hssutton 15:35 06 Mar 2009

Ok first things first. I'm not up on cpu's, but this cpu has been in my pc a couple of years so I guess it's probably 1900 per core. I forgot to mention that I'm running Vista Ultimate.

Again not 100% sure, but I think Photoshop CS4 and Lightroom are written to take advantage of multi core processors. I've seen mention of photshop CS4 being resource hungry when "Photo Stacking" (increaing DOF by stacking several images together) mainly used for macro photography. this is when I get the major slowdown of my PC

I have CS4 running on both Vista and also Windows 7 with much the same result. I have 4 hard drives "C,F,G & (C)j" all 500Gb. C & F are running at appprox 50% capacity with G at approx 75% C(j) used for backing up my "C" drive. I also have two exteral 1Tb drives for storing my photos.

Ocriden, will try out your suggestion this evening and report back.

Many Thanks for your time and help

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