Tuning Photoshop for peak performance

Fast performance, as I’ve said before, is the best possible feature: it just works, without requring you to learn anything or to change how you work.  Not surprisingly, it’s always at the top of customers’ lists of requested features.

The Photoshop team works hard to tune the application to run as well as possible for the majority of users, but the ways in which each person uses the can differ pretty wildly.  For example, do you tend to open files with small pixel dimensions and lots of layers, or do you tend to work more with large, nearly flat documents?  The optimal application settings & hardware setups may differ based on your needs & style of working.

To help shed some light on these topics, Photoshop co-architect Scott Byer & performance lead tester Adam Jerugim presented a popular session at Photoshop World last month.  They’ve posted some notes on Scott’s blog, and just this morning Scott uploaded a revised & expanded version of the presentation slide deck (PDF).

0 thoughts on “Tuning Photoshop for peak performance

  1. I think you have all done a great job improving the speed and responsiveness of PS CS3. I am using a midling fast Windows Vista box with 2gb ram and find the speed of CS3 completely adequate for my workflow. However, the gains in Bridge still seem pretty slow in comparison. Clicking between folders containing 50-75 raw files is unacceptably slow as is thumbnail updating and sorting by labels across several folders. I use a second sata II drive to store my picture files so that’s not an issue. My settings are High quality thumbnails and I work in horizontal filmstrip mode. When I switch between folders, it can take several seconds for each thumbnail to appear. And if I click one, the preview is “fuzzy” for up to 5 seconds or more. I’m guessing this may be a cache issue. Could you guys maybe recommend optimal settings for this?

  2. Is it just me, or is CS3 MUCH slower at creating new documents. I literally wait 15+ seconds for something that used to be near-instant. I love CS3, but this is VERY annoying. I get it both on my desktop (3Ghz w/ 4GB RAM) and laptop (2.16ghz core duo w/ 2GB RAM). Both run WinXP. I am creating small documents (1000×1000 pixel @ 72dpi). It makes me sad.
    [I haven’t heard of this problem, but let me pass it along to Adam for comment. –J.]

  3. When documents are created, Photoshop asks the printer for it’s default page size and layout. If the printer is slow in responding (like, when it’s not on the network) then that slows down creating documents. You can try setting the default printer to something like “PrintToPDF” (which can’t be off the network) or a local printer (which should be available) and see if that helps.
    [Thanks for the suggestions, Chris. –J.]

  4. I am having problems with printing from PS 10.0.1 running under Vista printing to a Windows Server 2003 print que. It takes for ever in the print dialog box to get into the settings. We only have this problem with our vista machines, our xp boxes and OSX boxes no problem. Just seems to be with Vista. Any ideas?

  5. I have CS 2 Creative suite basic and I’m considering buying a toshiba laptop to do my work whilst abroad. Are there any plug ins I have to install? for vista

  6. I have been told to delete Color Management on the Printer Driver and Windows in order to prevent a Magenta color shift. Unfortunately, I am using MS Win Vista and haven’t been able to disable it. And, Now I have the Magenta shift that I don’t know how to get rid of. I am using an Epson 488o. Can you help?

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