Photoshop needs RAM to function properly, it is always hungry for more RAM and it will use all available RAM memory you have installed.
If there is not enough RAM memory, Photoshop starts using the scratch disk – usually the primary hard drive. It is faster to access the information using RAM than a scratch disk.
How much RAM can Photoshop access? Here you go:
- 32 bit Photoshop – 32 bit OS – 1.7GB
- 32 bit Photoshop – 64 bit OS – 3.2GB
- 64 bit Photoshop – 64 bit OS – as much RAM as you can fit into your computer.
Did you know that? Did you know that if you run a 64-bit Operating System and 64-bit version of Photoshop CS5, you can use any amount of RAM in your computer? And I really mean any amount of RAM. And RAM is quite cheap nowadays. Many laptops run 4GB of RAM and you can even buy more RAM. When I purchased my current laptop, it had 4GB of RAM and I purchased extra 4GB so I’m running 8GB of RAM on my laptop.
Then, it’s the matter of assigning RAM to Photoshop. You can do it through Photoshop preferences. Here’s an example from my previous laptop:
Of course, the more RAM the better, because Photoshop can use any amount of RAM you assign to it and the more memory you give to Photoshop the faster it’s going to perform certain tasks.
What I would like to leave you with today is this video on Photoshop performance and RAM from Brian O’Neill Hughes. Enjoy!