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Scratch disk & Memory usage - Adobe Photoshop Elements

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  1. Moderated Post

    Default Scratch disk & Memory usage

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    Patti Anderson Guest
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Scratch disk & Memory usage

    Patti

    !st thing would be to get another 512M of memory, if possible. Elements itself isn't that resource hungry, it is when you start to use it.

    Windows XP is considered 'bloatware', it hogs memory with a lot of what people would consider useless behind the scenes stuff, and could easily chew up more than half ofyour 256 just starting up. Everthing else you have plugged in and in your system tray will eat a little more. For example, my machine runs using over 200M, doing little more than warming the room up.

    When you allocate a percentage of memory to use, you are saying 'take this much and let Elements use it'.
    The possibility is you haven't got that much left, so windows will use its own swap file, where anything that is not being used at that particular time will get saved (sort of) to hard disk, when you need it again, it can reload from disk, when it has made room in memory by saving something else.
    For example, if you dont move your mouse, it may save your mouse program to use the memory for something else, but as soon as you move your mouse, it has to swap it back into memory again. Probably why your hrad disk light is nearly constantly on.

    Elements uses a scratch disk in much the same way. Picture files can get very large without you realising it. Every layer adds about the same size to the picture as it was when it was opened, for example if you open a 250K file, it may take up 1.5M of memory, add to that 6 more layers and a few resizes, you can end up with a 60-70M file before you know it (Ive got up to 800M and wondered why my machine was getting slow)

    So, back to my first lines, the more physical memory you can squeeze in, the better it will be.

    It's not a technical explanation, but I hope you get the idea.

    Paul
    Paul L UK Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Scratch disk & Memory usage

    The first thing I always think about when someone says Elements isn't performing well is fragmented HD space. When was the last time you defragged? Even though your hard drive might show as having quite a bit of free space (you don't give any specs on it), if that space is broken into many small pieces, Elements won't be able to get enough contiguous space for processing.

    If you haven't defragged for a while, try that first and see if you notice any improvement.

    When using a laptop your C drive is all you can rely on for scratch disk, as far as I know. Doesn't XP take care of memory management all by itself? I don't remember offhand; I know the newest Mac OS does, and I was thinking XP did, too.

    The Elements box says the minimum memory requirement is 128, but even at 256 your computer will have to struggle harder than if you upped that RAM. Could you do that? I think you'd be pleased with the performance boost.
    Beth Haney Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Scratch disk & Memory usage

    On the Photoshop forum, the Adobe engineers recomend not exceeding 70% of RAM for Photoshop use, leaving the rest for other apps and the operating system. Elements, I suspect, has the same requirements. I hope this is helpful with a small part of your question.

    Agreeing with the others, you will see a definite improvement if you can add another 256 MB of RAM to your system, and keep your hard drive defragged .

    :-)

    Brent
    brent bertram Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Scratch disk & Memory usage

    I can vouch for the fact that you can run at 256 MB of RAM, but you run much
    better at 512 MB! I used to have problems with certain filters, and Save
    For Web would only work if I shut everything else down. Now the problems
    are few and far between, even though I'm using a relatively antiquated
    computer on Windows 98 SE. The RAM investment was a good one!

    Chuck


    Chuck Snyder Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Scratch disk & Memory usage

    Thanks for the info everyone! I know more now than I did before I asked. This forum is SO helpful! I can defintitely increase the RAM, but as I recall I think I can only go up to 384 MB on this laptop. 128MB is fixed and there is only one slot. The price of adding RAM is pretty cheap these days, so it's worth a try.

    As far as defragging, I do that monthly, sometimes more. I also clean out temp files, etc. on a regular basis.

    I have taken a lot of things out of Startup via msconfig, but I leave those things alone when I don't know what they are for...and those things I know should be left alone. People are amazed at how fast my laptop boots up!

    Now as far as processes running in the background, I can see a very long list, but I don't know what most of them are. XP gives you a separate tab for processes, applications, and you can even watch the CPU performance if you want. It's very interesting to watch when you're playing with filters in PE!

    I have not had problems with XP, like I hear about. I really like it! As I said, everything runs fine, except PE. So...I think I'll start by increasing the Memory usage to 60% wait a week and then add as much RAM as this Compaq can handle. That way I can see if one or the other makes a difference. In another year, I'll probably get a new laptop anyway!

    I'll let you know what happens. Maybe someone else will have the same questions.

    Patti
    Patti Anderson Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Scratch disk & Memory usage

    Patti, which Compaq notebook are you using? The Compaq website has a memory
    selection routine that leads you to a purchase screen:

    [url]http://h71016.www7.hp.com/sp_main.asp?hp_url=memoryconfig.asp[/url]

    Chuck

    p.s. Even 384 MB should give you improved performance vs. the base case.


    Chuck Snyder Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Scratch disk & Memory usage

    Hey Chuck, I just checked their site probably at the same time you typed your post! Looks like 384 is the max for my Compaq Presario 700Z...darn. So I will replace the one removable 128MB with a 256. HP-Compaq doesn't sell them anymore, so I'll have to look elsewhere. I checked PCMall and it will cost around $70. I may get it for less at the computer shop down the street. They will call me tomorrow.

    Patti
    Patti Anderson Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Scratch disk & Memory usage

    Patti,

    You might also compare prices at:

    <http://www.kingston.com/>

    <http://www.crucial.com/>

    Nancy
    Nancy S Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: Scratch disk & Memory usage

    Patti - What do you mean "I have taken a lot of things out of Startup via msconfig"? How do I get to startup to find these temp files that were dumped in startup?


    Quote Originally Posted by Patti Anderson View Post
    Thanks for the info everyone! I know more now than I did before I asked. This forum is SO helpful! I can defintitely increase the RAM, but as I recall I think I can only go up to 384 MB on this laptop. 128MB is fixed and there is only one slot. The price of adding RAM is pretty cheap these days, so it's worth a try.

    As far as defragging, I do that monthly, sometimes more. I also clean out temp files, etc. on a regular basis.

    I have taken a lot of things out of Startup via msconfig, but I leave those things alone when I don't know what they are for...and those things I know should be left alone. People are amazed at how fast my laptop boots up!

    Now as far as processes running in the background, I can see a very long list, but I don't know what most of them are. XP gives you a separate tab for processes, applications, and you can even watch the CPU performance if you want. It's very interesting to watch when you're playing with filters in PE!

    I have not had problems with XP, like I hear about. I really like it! As I said, everything runs fine, except PE. So...I think I'll start by increasing the Memory usage to 60% wait a week and then add as much RAM as this Compaq can handle. That way I can see if one or the other makes a difference. In another year, I'll probably get a new laptop anyway!

    I'll let you know what happens. Maybe someone else will have the same questions.

    Patti
    Unregistered Guest

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