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I have the Early 2006 iMac Core Duo (not Core Duo 2) and I'm aware that it's almost a dinosaur in computer age, but I'm here to seek help in acceleration for Photoshop. This model can't take more than 2GB RAM unfortunately (late 2006 models can take more) and I have plenty of hard disk space (87GB left on a 250GB drive) but it's nothing but the spinning beach ball no matter what I do. My Photoshop files are usually really big so please don't recommend making them smaller, outputting into separate files, etc. I would appreciate some solid, practical acceleration tips maybe regarding an external scratch disk or specific Photoshop settings, stuff like that, before I lose my mind waiting for every damn process or save to finish. I lose hours a week and I'm unable to get a new Mac at this time.

Thanks, Scott, the freaked out freelancer :/

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migrated from graphicdesign.stackexchange.com Jun 4 '11 at 8:12

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Yes. And you need a metric whackload more RAM. Time to upgrade your machine, sorry. :) –  Lauren Ipsum Jun 3 '11 at 23:38
    
I have only 2GB of RAM and manage to do 3000x2000 images just fine. I suspect I would be ok up to 4kx3x, but yeah you definitely shouldn't expect to be able to do 10kx8k or anything like that with only 2GB... especially if you keep a long history/undo list. –  Michael Jun 4 '11 at 5:24
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Unfortunately, you're dealing with very large files and a piece of software that gets pretty darn RAM hungry. You can try some of the tips outlined here: http://macperformanceguide.com/OptimizingPhotoshopCS5-Intro.html

I wouldn't expect to get dramatic improvements based on the hardware you're using, though. The fact of the matter is, you're hitting the limitations of your hardware and while you can't upgrade right now, it's something you seriously need to do to get the best performance.

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