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Chapter 3. Working with Preferences > Allocating Memory & Image Cache

Allocating Memory & Image Cache

The Memory & Image Cache preferences, give you control over how much RAM memory is assigned to Photoshop, and how much memory is allocated to screen draws (Image Cache). Photoshop, being a high-performance application, requires a fairly large amount of RAM memory. Adjusting these options can help increase Photoshop's overall speed performance. Photoshop has many names for RAM memory: History States, Undo, Clipboard, and Cache. When you modify the cache settings, you are increasing or decreasing the amount of RAM Photoshop uses for various tasks. Experimentation is the key here. Try different settings and record Photoshop's performance. By fine-tuning Photoshop's engine, you increase it's overall speed, and you'll get more design miles to the gallon.

Allocate Memory & Image Cache Options

Click the Edit (Win) or Photoshop (Mac) menu, and then point to Preferences.

Click Memory & Image Cache.

Select the Cache Settings options you want to use:

  • Cache Levels. Select a number from 1 to 8.

  • Style. For a more accurate Histogram, leave this option unchecked.

See Also

See “Managing System Requirements,” on page 3 for information on RAM and other system needs.

For Your Information

Setting the Cache Levels

Cache Levels are screen redraws. It's how many versions of the current active document Photoshop saves. When you're working on large documents, Cache Levels helps speed up the redraw function, and makes image manipulation proceed faster. However, they are held primarily in RAM memory, so the more Cache Levels you select, the less RAM memory is available for other Photoshop functions.

Enter the percentage of RAM used in the Maximum Used By Photoshop box.

Photoshop needs RAM memory to work efficiently (5 times the size of the open document).

IMPORTANT Any setting changes made for allocating memory and image caching will take place the next time you start Photoshop. Please see the message at the bottom of the screen.

Click OK.

IMPORTANT Never select 100 percent Memory Usage. Selecting 100 percents gives Photoshop your entire available RAM, leaving nothing for the operating system or any other open programs. If you are experiencing more than your usual share of Photoshop crashes, experiment with reducing memory usage.



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