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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Portland, OR
    Thanked 67 Times in 60 Posts

    So frustrating, slow brush CS4 - tried fiddling around with some performance settings

    Hi everyone,
    I've been struggling with this problem forever and it's really frustrating.

    first, I'd like to say that I bought this computer specifically so I could paint fast.
    It has a
    i7-2630QM CPU @ 2.00GHz (8 CPus)
    12 GB of RAM
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560M with 4GB of video memory

    I've updated my video card numerous times.

    I've just been using the hard round because it's a lot faster than a chalk - and it's fast at first. Until about an hour into the painting and my brush strokes start chugging along.

    I thought it might help to restart the program but I'm realizing now when I get to a level of paint on the page (I usually paint in one layer) it's slow and no restarting will help.

    I set performance to use all of the memory it needs (100 percent, 3255mb of the graphics memory)

    History states is at 20, Cache levels is at 8

    I have Open GL drawing enabled -

    The paintings I've been drawing in are larger - 300dpi at 6 inch by 4 inch.

    But with the specs I like had I figured my computer could paint at that resolution?

    What is going on??!? So frustrated!!!


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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Thanked 195 Times in 158 Posts
    can you try a CS6 demo and see if it works better there?
    I recall cs4 performance wasn't really good, as it was a sort of experimental release where they tried out opengl features and added 64-bit support.
    if you own a retail cs4 version, not a student one, upgrading to cs6 should be rather inexpensive.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Portland, OR
    Thanked 67 Times in 60 Posts
    Thanks, I'll try a CS6 demo and see how it goes

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Long time lurker. Experienced brush lag with CS4 on my Fujitsu T5010. I am by no means an expert, but I found Adobe's help documentation to be a great resource:

    I just went through each section and my performance improved greatly.

    Some things that also helped me that are not included on the linked page are:

    1. Keep OpenGL checked , but go to advanced settings and uncheck all of the options. Some features will become disabled, like helicopter zoom, but I don't miss them. What's important to me is the zoom anti-aliasing.

    2. Check if the brush lag improves when you draw on the background layer. The way I understand the way Photoshop works is that as you add and remove pixels to a layer, the program will resize the tile (or whatever it's called) that stores the layer in memory. This action leads to lag. The background layer is not resized, so the lag should be less. Anyway, with a new layer I place a dot in both the upper-left hand and lower-right hand corners and basically the lag goes away.

    I hope these steps can help you. I can't speak to performance improvements in either CS5, or CS6, since I haven't tried them out.

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