I noticed that when I'm working with spot healing tool the cursor sometimes wouldn't respond or the brush overlay would stay for few seconds before applying the adjustment.

My question is this because of just 8Gb of ram in my system or just the cpu is not fast enough?

I'm thinking of upgrading my system to 16gb of ram, would that speed things up in photoshop?

My system:
CPU: i5 6600K overclocked
GPU: GTX 1070
RAM: 8Gb

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's not about photography, but computer specification. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 26, 2019 at 18:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ What do you mean by "slow", specifically? That is, is PS slow at all times, or is it slow only when opening? Is it responsive when editing a photo? What are you doing when you notice "slowness"? \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Mar 26, 2019 at 18:55
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ I think this is reasonably on-topic; it's a problem (frustrating performance) with a clear problem related to photography (spot healing). \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Mar 26, 2019 at 19:11
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @scottbb slow/unresponsive when working with spot healing tool and relatively large size photos. The photoshop overall is not slow at all, it's just that it has some performance hiccups occasionally and I wonder is it ram or cpu.. \$\endgroup\$
    – Giancarlo
    Mar 26, 2019 at 19:49
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Given the strong tie of the Spot Healing tool to photographic retouching work, I would argue to consider such a question as 'on topic', and slowly rework answers into a useful troubleshooting guide. [photographic processing or retouching/using photographic equipment] \$\endgroup\$ Mar 26, 2019 at 20:04

2 Answers 2


I've experienced what you are talking about. The direct cause, as often happens with such 100x slowdowns, is that the software starts swapping to disk (extensively using scratch files in case of Photoshop). So essentially yes, this is a memory issue.

You can check for it by purging the undo cache, or just saving the work and continuing after restarting Photoshop. The problem usually kicks in after some edits. (Every stroke you do with a brush saves the whole tile under it. By the way, you can try to adjust the History & Cache settings, reducing the tile size for extensive touch-up edits). Also, you should see and hear your hard drive working every time you touch the brush when the problem happens.

In any case, your CPU and esp. GPU are practically above suspicion: they are more than sufficient for 'normal' Photoshop work. With memory usage, though, Photoshop (and Adobe in general) are quite... liberal, and it helps to have more.

(Needless to say you must be using the 64-bit version to utilise that memory, even your current one).

There is a (kind of) alternative though, and it's worth considerinig both. If it has to swap (and with a large enough job, it will eventually), you may want to invest in a fast drive for scratch files. That is, a small (128-256 GB), cheap and fast SSD. It costs much less than 8 GB RAM today, and it can make the slowdown like 10x rather than 100x, which may be at least bearable.

Due to nature of SSD, it wouldn't be wise to use it as a system drive, so the best configuration today (IMO) is to have 2 SSDs: the best, most reliable but not necessarily the fastest one as a system drive, and any cheap one for scratch/temporary files. Plus a large HDD (or NAS) for actual storage.

But of course, if you have to choose, do get RAM first.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the suggestions, I will definitely be adding another 8Gb to my system, also I have photoshop installed on a system ssd and I've set a scratch disk to my other 2tb seagate hdd. \$\endgroup\$
    – Giancarlo
    Mar 27, 2019 at 7:50

An easy first check: Reboot the system, open task manager/resource monitor to watch ram usage, then launch Photoshop, and attempt to use the tool giving you problems while watching ram usage.

Do you see a spike to 100% ram usage? - If so, more ram may resolve the issue. If you're not using 100% of the ram, then the problem lies elsewhere. [Such as a badly configured setup that isn't making effective use of the GPU. More tricky sources of slow downs like this come from things like not enough processor level cache]

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Could even be a slow hard-drive access times \$\endgroup\$
    – Ruslan
    Mar 26, 2019 at 19:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ruslan could be, my files are on WD 1tb hdd. \$\endgroup\$
    – Giancarlo
    Mar 26, 2019 at 19:52
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Photoshop has a settings which limits its memory usage to some percentage of the max (usually set at around 70%). So you may not necessarily see 100% even in case of a memory issue. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zeus
    Mar 27, 2019 at 2:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.