Graphics Cards

34 posts
11 Sep 2014
LaurenceJPower
Photographer
LaurenceJPow..
I've got an HP Elite 7500 i5 3570 machine with on board graphics and 6Mb Ram running W7 64. Windows experience is coming in at 5.1

1)  Occasionally Lightroom crashes due to the entire memory in the machine being used up
2) I would like to speed up the machine without spending megabucks

I note that Adobe now try and suggest a number of graphics cards which PS is profiled for, these are all too expensive. so the question is should I upgrade the RAM to 8 or more MB, or use an "external" graphics card, if so how much memory, how little cash should I be able to get away with?

I realise that some of you will complain about me trying to save money, well I beleive in value for money, one can get the very very best, it will cost an arm, a leg or two and then some, by spending possibly half as much one can often get 75-80% of the desired result, this is what I call value for money, maximising the return on investment.

Thanks guys and girls
Posted 11 Sep 2014
Edited by LaurenceJPower 11 Sep 2014
marlhamphoto
Photographer
marlhamphoto
NB windows experience always reflects the lowest scoring element so best to consider the individual scores.

Which theme are you using? You could try using a Windows theme that doesn't implement Aero - that might help a bit.
Posted 11 Sep 2014
Edited by marlhamphoto 11 Sep 2014
profilepictures
Photographer
profilepictu..
You can get a graphics card for around £35 with its own memory, or upgrade your ram I guess as a fairly cheap tweak.


Posted 11 Sep 2014
HowardJ
Photographer
HowardJ
Or configure PS to use disk when RAM runs out. It should be paging the memory to disk and never running out.

Upgrading the RAM is a temporary fix. Configuring PS correctly would be a permanent fix and you'd learn a little more about how to get PS to really perform.

Posted 11 Sep 2014
HowardJ
Photographer
HowardJ
Try playing with the config as described at:
http://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom/kb/optimize-performance-lightroom.html

Posted 11 Sep 2014
HowardJ
Photographer
HowardJ
http://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom/kb/performance-hints.html?sdid=KBQWU

Posted 11 Sep 2014
CSD_Images
Photographer
CSD_Images
I do hope you have more than 6Mb of RAM All seriousness you're looking at 16Gb system RAM for most modern cameras for editing and batch processing. In addition there's a reason why you have to pay more for the pro lines of cards like Quadro's and FireGL and that's because of additional ISV testing. Whilst consumer cards 'work' there's no guarantee of stability for OpenCL/OpenGL driver stacks. This said, you're probably best off looking at graphics with at least 1Gb of VRAM and ball park price £100-150 which is the mid-range. At this current time you get your best bang for buck out of AMD graphics cards. It's false economy to skimp on either RAM or graphics as this is critical to how Ps/Lr works, if your system is always crashing then that money you spent on 'good enough' will come back and haunt you especially as Adobe barrels down the GPGPU model put more and more emphasis on this area to offload tasks/improve performance.
Posted 12 Sep 2014
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
The performance boost of a graphics card is somewhat insignificant compared to boost more main memory will give you. I'm also not convinced they boost PS/LR performance that much anyway for the majority of tasks as I'm happily using both with crappy laptops and it's always main system memory which ultimately causes delays and slows the machine down, not raw processing power from the GPU (or even CPU for that matter).

Graphics cards do come into their own with video editing though.  Sony Vegas on mine (with a somewhat basic AMD 5770) gives a 10x speed boost over using the CPU alone, but then it performs long arduous calculations/processing.  Editing photos isn't that hard on processing so less of an issue.

And I'd agree that 16GB should be a minimum for a modern machine, personally though I'd be looking at 32GB+ for my next machine and I'm still only working on 20mpix images.
Posted 12 Sep 2014
Edited by RedChecker 12 Sep 2014
EdT
Photographer
EdT
LaurenceJPower
I've got an HP Elite 7500 i5 3570 machine with on board graphics and 6Mb Ram running W7 64. Windows experience is coming in at 5.1 1)  Occasionally Lightroom crashes due to the entire memory in the machine being used up 2) I would like to speed up the machine without spending megabucks I note that Adobe now try and suggest a number of graphics cards which PS is profiled for, these are all too expensive. so the question is should I upgrade the RAM to 8 or more MB, or use an "external" graphics card, if so how much memory, how little cash should I be able to get away with? I realise that some of you will complain about me trying to save money, well I beleive in value for money, one can get the very very best, it will cost an arm, a leg or two and then some, by spending possibly half as much one can often get 75-80% of the desired result, this is what I call value for money, maximising the return on investment. Thanks guys and girls
I'm presuming you're talking about GBytes of memory, not MBytes. You say your Windows Experience Index is 5.1, can you say what the individual elements of that index are? (Click on the text that says "Windows Experience Index" and you will get a breakdown of that index. Are you sure that LR is crashing because it's running out of memory? Normally it should be virtual memory so it would just make room by paging lesser used pages out. Before spending any money, I think the main thing is to identify exactly where the bottleneck is. People will say "Buy this" and "Buy that" but you really need to identify the bottleneck rather than just buy whatever is the "in" accessory. What operations are slow? Have those operations ever been faster? What resources are those operations using?
Posted 12 Sep 2014
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
For the record, I'm using an ancient Core 2 Quad with only 4GB of RAM (W7-64) and it doesn't crash (although it's as slow as you like during heavy edits in PS) so it can't be memory unless you're editing silly-sized files like medium format RAWs. It's most likely the on-board graphics (only just spotted this, didn't read properly earlier) but there's no reason to go mad on a video card, you can get 2GB nVidia GeForce cards for less than £50 (fanless too) and they should be fine with any OpenGL/DirectX processing you throw at it as you only really need more power if you're going to do 3D/heavy video work and it's unlikely that machine's power supply will cope with fast cards anyway.
Posted 12 Sep 2014
EllessePhotography
Photographer
EllessePhoto..
RedChecker

you can get 2GB nVidia GeForce cards for less than £50 (fanless too) and they should be fine with any OpenGL/DirectX processing you throw at it as you only really need more power if you're going to do 3D/heavy video work and it's unlikely that machine's power supply will cope with fast cards anyway.


+1

Using on-board graphics will also eat into your available system ram, a cheapish GFx card will free that up too.  Memory is the key here, 16GB ram will serve better than a high end graphics card (and cheaper too). Check the max memory the motherboard will take before you buy though, but should be fine.  I would buy new memory rather than trying to add to existing ram, get good memory like crucial, corsair, kingston et al.  If you only have 1 hard drive, the addition of a small second one as a scratch disc will help too (a 320GB 2.5" Western Caviar black works well).
Posted 13 Sep 2014
Edited by EllessePhotography 13 Sep 2014
Plymjack
Photographer
Plymjack
Please check your swap file (virtual memory) settings are correct... (got to C/properties/system/advance/performance/advanced - yes its well hidden but should be set to system managed (its default).
Please ensure you have at least 50Gb free space on your hard drive, run defrag to ensure there is a continuous block for the swap file to use.
The system will normally set the maximum to be the same as your actual memory so that should be enough. A neat and cheap option would be to add a small SSD and point your virtual memory to use that.


Posted 13 Sep 2014
HowardJ
Photographer
HowardJ
You could get the books from Scott Kelby or Martin Evening which tell you how to setup your machine in the best way for lightroom including scratch disks, virtual memory, physical memory, etc.

Posted 13 Sep 2014
Edited by HowardJ 13 Sep 2014
EdT
Photographer
EdT
Out of interest, I've just had a look at the computer I use for photo editing.

It has a Windows Experience Index of 3.6 but is pretty decent for photo editing. The index shows the lowest of the things that make it up, in my case the Gaming graphics at 3.6 and the Graphics index at 4.4.

Processor and Ram are both 7.2 and hard disk is 5.6.

I'm working with a screen resolution of 2048 x 1536.

Processor is an Intel 2.6GHz Quad Core with 8GBytes of memory.

I have both Bridge and Photoshop open and I'm working on two images simultaneously, each being 12.2 MPixels. Each picture has about 7 layers at the moment, each with a mask.

The total memory being used by Photoshop is about 1.75 GBytes, and the total memory in use on the system with all the usual stuff hanging around (Skype, IE, Media Player) is about 4GBytes. I've been running PS for about 20 mins now and as yet it hasn't had more than 20 hard page faults in all. So memory wise, for what I'm doing, 8GBytes seems to be plenty.

The only things that seem slow are things like Liquify which is really laggy. When I try that, the CPU hardiness at 27%. Photoshop is using pretty much all of that, 78% of one core and 22% of another core (25% of available power). Returning the result of the liquefy took an age (over a minute, but it was just a random set of swirls I did), during which time CPU is the only thing active, disk acive less than 1% of that time.

Conclusion? In this case, until I start using 30MPixel images or change the processing I apply, the 8GBytes seems to be pretty much OK. Processor seems to be a bit slow, but it will take a little bit of digging to find out how much a graphics card would help (I'm using on board graphics).

Adding a SSD would make little difference except in the opening and closing of programs. If the image files were kept on the SSD opening and closing them would be faster too, but disk and memory are not my bottlenecks.


Posted 14 Sep 2014
Plymjack
Photographer
Plymjack
Maybe you should try an SSD - it makes a lot of difference..... you system will still be using a page file and that will be a bottle neck - ..

Posted 14 Sep 2014
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