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Photoshop CS6 Performance — 16GB vs 8GB, SSD vs HDD

2012 Mac Mini 2.3 GHz quad-core.

The diglloydMedium benchmark requires that Photoshop have available about 15.7 GB of real memory for itself, which means that a machine with less than 24GB of system memory will suffer in performance due to the need for Photoshop to write and read from the scratch disk.

See the previous page for comparisons with other model Macs.

16GB vs 8GB, hard drive vs SSD

These results show the range of performance possible.

  • 16GB memory is essential to high performance, cutting the test time in half.
  • The OWC Helios + Accelsior solution is incredibly fast on disk I/O, cutting the test time by 70% as compared to the Apple hard drive.
  • 16GB memory + the OWC 240GB 6G SSD is very fast, but users looking for “more” will want the OWC Helios + Accelsior solution.
  • Too bad the Mac Mini cannot take 32GB memory! This would likely cut the test time in half again.

Not all work is this disk intensive.

But Photoshop and Lightroom users (photography) should sit up and take notice of these results when considering a Mac Mini. At the least, the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G SSD is a wonderful boost to performance (along with 16GB memory). These are do-it-yourself install, or turnkey.

Note that digital camera RAW files do NOT need to go on the SSD (negligible benefit), but big Photoshop files, Lightroom catalog, scratch, ACR cache, etc should all go onto the SSD.

Photoshop CS6 performance on diglloydMedium benchmark
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