Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I currently have a low-end Acer laptop with:

  • Intel Pentium CPU B960 2.2GHZ processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • Windows 8 64-bit

It runs great until I start Photoshop CS6. That slows it right down, and if I try to load more than 8 pictures into Photoshop, it slows down to a crawl.

Will simply adding 4GB more RAM help, or should I get a machine with a faster processor as well? I'm currently looking at an HP with an i7 dual core processor and 4GB of RAM. Will the i7 make a difference, or will I still need to add another 4GB of RAM to that as well?

I also like to run Adobe Premiere, but there's no way I can run it at the same time as Photoshop on my Acer.

share|improve this question

closed as primarily opinion-based by nc4pk, Moses, gronostaj, mpy, Shekhar Nov 21 '13 at 21:09

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

@athomsfere is right to suggest looking at performance monitor. You can see this in the Task Manager (ctrl + shift + esc) and select show more as well as take a look at the Performance and view the Resource Monitor (link at the bottom) for more performance information. Once you find the hyperactive culprit you might be able to come up with a quick solution (SSD as opposed to processor). – iamwpj Nov 19 '13 at 3:13

I just went through this for some of our computers.

We had Core 2 Duo, 4GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drives.

For CS6, my first instinct was RAM and I had a pair of 4GB to swap for the 2GB and it made next to no difference.

The users were working with 600 - 700MB images, so I used performance Monitor and created a custom set of filters with RAM, CPU and Hard Drive usage. I then let the users edit the images for a while and checked the logs.

IO on the hard drive was constantly high, or full. RAM and CPU was consistently low waiting on the hard drive.

I swapped the 250GB 7,200 RPM Western Digital Blacks for a 120GB SSDs and it saved the day.

If I were looking to fix CS6 again, I would go straight to Performance Monitor in Windows, profile the system and then probably go straight to buying more SSDs if my findings remained consistent.

share|improve this answer

Think of ram like a cup. You pour water into it.

When you buy more ram, you get a larger cup. You can hold more water.

But say you were already only filling the cup up 1/2 of the way full. Getting a larger cup wouldn't help you that much. However, if you are filling the cup all the way up, you do need more ram (which is what's happening here). You have a small "cup" with only 4GB ram, and increasing it would be good.

If you ever find yourself saying "Do I need more ram" in the future, just remember that adding more (getting a bigger cup) won't help if you aren't using all the ram you have now.

share|improve this answer

In general more ram will make a much bigger difference - or maybe replacing the hard disk with an SSD if thats an option. You can test if your bottleneck is disk performance/memory/swapping by looking to see how much time your hard disk light spends flashing.

i7's are not "by definition" faster then i5's - it really depends on the exact CPU.

share|improve this answer

You must see where the bottleneck is. You can use Task Manager for that. If the Physical Memory usage is high, buy more RAM, but if it is low and the CPU usage is high when you start Photoshop, then you simply need a faster CPU. Please note that more cores does not make it faster, in fact make it slower if the application (as it uses to happen) is single-threaded. It is not the same to have 5GHz in single core (that is 5GHz for your app) than to have 6GHz in Dual Core or even 16GHz in Quad core (these would be 3GHz or 4GHz for your app).

And if on Task Manager you see no bottleneck in CPU nor Physical memory, buy a better graphics card or better Hard Disk drive (or better Motherboard with better Hard Disk bus).

share|improve this answer

I don't think you even need the task manager in this case. The key point is that it slows down even more when you go over 8 pictures. That screams out of memory to me. That's not to say that there might not be other factors ALSO.

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.