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OWC 128GB Memory Kit: Photoshop CC With Too Little Memory

Last updated 2014-03-30 - Send Feedback
Related: Mac Pro, Macs, memory, Other World Computing, Photoshop

Get Mac Pro at B&H Photo. See also MPG’s computer gear wishlist as well as diglloyd-recommended performance packages for Mac Pro.

OWC loaned its 128GB and 64GB memory kits as well as a 6-core 3.5 GHz 2013 Mac Pro for MPG to delve into the performance differences.

It is easy enough to run Photoshop CC in isolation for a test, pretending that no other applications might be in use or also need to use memory. But what happens when other applications are open and competing for available memory?

For this test, the MemoryTester 'alloc' command was used to scarf up 32GB of memory. While it uses minimal CPU time, this effectively takes away 32GB of free memory and forces the system to juggle the available demands by using compressed virtual memory and also under enough duress, conventional virtual memory paging to disk (SSD).

Here, the diglloydHuge benchmark was used. It eats up about 55GB of memory just for Photoshop, which is just a bit too much for a 64GB configuration even if no other application are running. So when 32GB is scarfed by other programs, the performance hit is massive.

In this case there is a 21X performance hit for 64GB instead of 128GB! A workflow with too little memory can suffer severely like this. This example could apply to any configuration, say, 16GB config that really needs 32GB, or a 32GB that really needs 64GB, etc. It all depends on the actual demands for any particular workflow.

64GB vs 128GB memory with 32GB used for other applications: diglloydHuge benchmark
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