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The Photoshop CS2 Speed Clinic chapter 10
T U R BO BOOST
GETTING THE
MOST OUT
OF YOUR RAM
There have been a lot of times when I’m working in Photoshop
and things really start to slow down. When this happens it usually
means it’s time to take a look at my RAM and see how much
of it is allocated to Photoshop. To get the best results from
this tutorial, you should open a few images and go through your
normal working process.
Step One:
As you’re working in Photoshop, click on
the right-facing triangle on the status bar
near the bottom left of your document
window, just to the right of the current
document magnifi cation readout, and
choose Show>Ef ciency from the pop-up
menu. You can use this indicator to
determine how Photoshop is doing with
the current amount of allocated RAM.
Step Two:
If the ef ciency indicator goes below
95–100%, then you are accessing the
scratch disk which, in turn, will begin to
slow Photoshop down. At this point it is still
okay, but if your ef ciency starts to go below
65–70%, then you may see Photoshop’s
performance increase if you change your
RAM allocation or add more RAM.
When working with preferences in Photo-
shop, don’t forget that Macintosh users
can access it from Photoshop>Preferences
(Command-K), whereas Windows users
access the Preferences dialog from Edit>
Preferences (Control-K).
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nuts and bolts
T U R BO BOOST
Step Three:
If you’re still reading, then that means
you’ve realized that changing your RAM
allocation or adding more RAM is in order.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the best place
to show you how to add RAM, but I can
show you how to allocate more of your
installed RAM to Photoshop. First, go to
Preferences (under the Photoshop menu
on a Mac; under the Edit menu on a PC)
and choose Memory & Image Cache. If
you’ve never made changes to this, then
the Maximum Used by Photoshop setting
should read 70% by default on the Mac
and 55% by default in Windows.
Step Four:
Increase the amount of RAM in 5% incre-
ments to start (approximately 3% in this
case). Click OK to close the preferences.
Be careful about allocating too
much RAM to Photoshop. Don’t
forget that your operating
system still needs RAM, as well, and
if you allocate too much to Photoshop
then you may still slow things down
overall if your operating system is
struggling to keep up.
Be sure to restart Photoshop when mak-
ing any scratch disk or RAM allocation
changes in Preferences.
T U R BO BOOST
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The Photoshop CS2 Speed Clinic chapter 10
Step Five:
Quit Photoshop and restart. Then open
the Activity Monitor on a Mac (go to
Hard Drive:Applications:Utilities:Activity
Monitor) or the Performance Monitor on
a Windows PC (press Control-Alt-Delete to
bring up the Task Manager and click
on the Performance tab) to see if your
Photoshop performance is any better.
If you fi nd you still need to increase the
amount of allocated RAM, repeat Steps
Two through Five, each time increasing the
amount of RAM in 5% increments.
Go to Photoshop CS2’s Plug-Ins folder, and
in the File Formats folder add a tilde (
~
)
in front of any fi le types that you don’t use
to speed up Photoshop’s startup time.

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