Getting the best performance out of a PC when using photoshop

spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,030Moderator
edited March 2015 in General Discussions
Hopefully yous guys can help me out here. I know we have some clever people here and I am not any kind of ex-spurt when it comes to the innards of a PC beyond the basics so I have to throw this open for help:

My partners PC crashed it's heads and totalled the hard drive. I had backed up the images so I thought we were safe, but no. Before the crash, it was a Samsung 700Z Laptop which has pretty adequate performance to do what we need it to do when we use it at events. Since the shop replaced the hard drive with a good quality equivalent or better spec one, it has been dawg-slow. The first thing that came to mind is that it had a partitioned hard drive before, but they put it back together un-partitioned. It was returned to them and they tested the drive on some performance measuring program (average access time I am guessing) and it passed. They shrugged their shoulders and said it must be something to do with photoshop (!). When approached about its slowness and the lack of a partition they said not having a partition makes no difference to its speed, it is just a con to make people think they have a separate drive to back up to. I smelled a rat at this point so I took a quick glance at wiki about partitioning drives and that tells me they are wrong about this.

Can any of you guys throw any more light on this? Hopefully between us we can get it going usefully again then while we are on the topic, what tweaks are there that can optimise the performance of PS on a PC? I am thinking there must be lots of details that need tweaking?

Thanks for any help given.
Always learning.
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Comments

  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    Do you have the make/model of the prior and current hard drives handy? They may have sold you a slower drive than you think.

    What happened to the backups?
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    Have your Photoshop defaults been re configured the same as before
    has he installed anything that was not on the old hard drive
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,030Moderator
    edited March 2015
    @Ironheart: I'll get back to you on the part numbers. The old one will be easy, but the new one I'll have to get from the shop. Edit: All I know is they are both 7200RPM 1Gb. He asked them to put a 3 Gb in but they forgot...

    @sevencrossing: He did a straightforward install from CC with no advanced or custom intervention. The hard drive probably has less on it now than before as it only had Windows 7 reinstalled.
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
  • bald_eaglebald_eagle Posts: 97Member
    edited March 2015
    @Ironheart: I'll get back to you on the part numbers. The old one will be easy, but the new one I'll have to get from the shop. Edit: All I know is they are both 7200RPM 1Gb. He asked them to put a 3 Gb in but they forgot...
    I guess you mean TB and not GB... :) The make and model(s) of the new and old drives would be quite useful to know.. Even though they're both 7200RPM, different drives have different buffer sizes and that can make them wildly different in performance (bigger buffer is better)..
    You can get the make and model (usually) if you look in Device Manager in Windows..

    The repairer is "kind of" right about the partition not making much of a difference.. Put windows on its own HDD and all your data on a different drive and there's quite a performance improvement, but 2 partitions on the same drive generally makes no real difference.....

    Some other things to consider:
    Did they re-set the BIOS? If so they could have inadvertently set the HDD to a slower "Access" setting..
    Have you checked the RAM? Is it the same amount and speed as before (it wouldn't be the first time a computer repairer swapped RAM, I even fixed a friend's computer which they got back from DELL Support running like a dog and DELL had replaced one of the 2 RAM modules installed with an incompatible one!!)...
    Lastly, which version of Windows 7 have they re-installed (Home, Premium, Pro, Ultimate) and is it 64-bit..

    Cheers,
    Baldy. ;)




    Post edited by bald_eagle on
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    2 partitions on the same drive may make it worse as it will partition on cylinder boundaries, and may need more seek time if going from a mostly empty partition to an adjacent one.

    ... H
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    The partition shouldn't make a noticeable difference. I have two 2 TB drives with no partitions and they run fine. The only thing I can think of is possibly they didn't re-install the proper OS. If you got a 32 bit copy instead of the 64 bit the computer came with it could be limiting RAM or something. However the PC store not having any idea makes it seem a bit fishy. Good luck, but more info on the drive and OS would help.
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • kenadamskenadams Posts: 222Member
    There surely aren't any 32bit versions of Windows 7 for sale, are there?? Please tell me not..
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,030Moderator
    Oops! yes, I meant Tb... :))

    The back-ups turned out to be a back-up of images done some time ago so no help there.

    The PC is back at the shop who are now partitioning it so the info about the new drive will have to come from them later. I'll ask them if they reset the BIOS, but I know they do that routinely as they asked me if I had done it on a PC I re-installed the OS on.

    I read that the 'C:' drive of a partitioned drive would be the longer outer tracks and so there would be a shorter average access time which makes sense to me (but what do I know).

    The RAM is worrying and as we don't know what it had (beyond general size and DDR type), we can't know if it has changed,

    32bit Windows 7 - now that would be funny! I doubt it, but we will check :)
    Always learning.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,030Moderator
    I can tell you that the old (crashed) drive is a Seagate NP700Z5A-S05UK. The new replacement model number will follow when the shop opens.
    Always learning.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,172Member
    That is the model number of the laptop.
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    edited March 2015
    The stock version of that laptop has an 8GB ExpressCache imbedded on the motherboard. See what little info like the model number can do? This is an accelerator cache for the HDD but it must be installed and configured:
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/guide-on-expresscache-i-want-my-expresscache-back-edition.638788/
    What you really need to do is re-install windows 7 using the samsung OEM distro in order to get a host of device drivers and software specific to your hardware. Either that or go to the service page for your system and download all of the software and install it:
    http://www.samsung.com/uk/support/model/NP700Z5A-S05UK
    Welcome to the seedy underbelly of windows. Unlike MacOS, there is actually a separate distro for every manufacturer, because, well, those pesky manufacturers like to imbed hardware on their motherboards and elsewhere that aren't supported in stock windows (shocking). Do you have the disks that came with the system? Those are best.

    Let me know how this goes, I can talk you through the whole thing.

    P.S. The partitioning thing is a red herring.
    Post edited by Ironheart on
  • bald_eaglebald_eagle Posts: 97Member
    edited March 2015
    +1 @Ironheart... You pipped me to the post there.. ;)

    Welcome to the seedy underbelly of windows. Unlike MacOS, there is actually a separate distro for every manufacturer, because, well, those pesky manufacturers like to imbed hardware on their motherboards and elsewhere that aren't supported in stock windows (shocking). Do you have the disks that came with the system? Those are best.
    In another wicked twist, Microsoft (in so called attempts to stop "Software Piracy") changed it's OEM agreement so that most manufacturers no longer supply Windows OS DVDs but rather include a "Recovery Partition" on the installed harddisk.. Works great, until the HDD packs up, then you're screwed!!
    Cheers,
    Baldy. ;)


    Post edited by bald_eagle on
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    Backup, backup, backup
  • kenadamskenadams Posts: 222Member
    Uninstall, uninstall, uninstall
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    Window OS is an oxymoron, it is a dynamically linked executive and task scheduler, apps can run directly on hardware.

    For best PS performance using a single drive it should be an SSDD.

    ... H
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,030Moderator
    OK, thanks guys. I have been to the shop and collected the laptop and can now give you a better picture. The old and the replacement hard drives are part number ST1000LM024 so that looks out of the picture. The shop has just ghosted the old non-partitioned hard drive and partitioned it 500/500 so all the old data and PS is still on there and working - trouble is, it is still very slow. Up-resing a 300DPI image to 600DPI used to take like 5 seconds, now it takes 5 minutes.

    The shop downloaded all the correct drivers from Samsung for that model and as far as they are concerned it should be perfect. My next step was going to be uninstalling PS and re-installing it as I thought it may re-install differently (better/faster) because of the partitioned drive. Am I right to think that, or is there something better I could do?

    As I have the PC here now, I can do anything you tell me to do rather than have to wait for others to do it.
    Always learning.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    uninstalling and re-installing
    can solve many problems
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    You should really make sure that the ExpressCache is enabled. The link is in my message above. That will be your single greatest improvement in the IO subsystem.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,030Moderator
    You should really make sure that the ExpressCache is enabled. The link is in my message above. That will be your single greatest improvement in the IO subsystem.
    I'll look into that next Ironheart, thanks. The shop did the second part of your suggestion, so it is all coming down to the ExpressCache. I tried the PS deinstall/reinstall, result? No difference.
    Always learning.
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    Have you enabled graphics processor (on the video board) ?

    It is a PS preferences performance option and can help rendering speeds.

    creating a virtual (in memory) disk and assigning PS cache to it (also in preferences) may also help.

    ... H
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,030Moderator
    edited March 2015
    Yee-ikes @haroldp, you'll have to give me a link before I can do that! :-O

    EDIT: Found the 'enable graphics processor' option and it is checked, but still no clue about the virtual disk.
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,030Moderator
    @Ironheart: That link takes me to a thread that talks about SSD - this PC doesn't have SSD, so is it still relevant? To be honest, it also looks to be beyond my meagre skills in this area, so I will talk to the shop if you say it is relevant.
    Always learning.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    edited March 2015
    You have an 8GB SSD on the motherboard. It can be used to cache/accelerate the HDD. Have the folks in the shop help.
    Post edited by Ironheart on
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,030Moderator
    edited March 2015
    Ah, ok, will do. Thanks.
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,030Moderator
    @Ironheart and all:

    OK, they didn't know about the express cache thing, but followed your link and downloaded it etc. It seems there is a small improvement, but not enough to say it is anywhere near normal. The guys in the shop said that the problem now is my partner never made a recovery disc when he got the PC therefore they could only load a generic copy of windows on it and not the original software that came with it. I didn't know, but it seems according to them that just about every computer manufacturer has their own version of windows. He has gone away to email Samsung to ask them if they will sell him a recovery kit to get it back how it was.

    Does that sound kosher to you guys?
    Always learning.
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