How much RAM do you use?

I am a Mac user and am slowly gearing up to updating my computer. I finally decided to look at how much RAM I actually use during my editing. My setup is a 2013 Mac Pro with 32 GB of Ram, 4 GB Graphics card, an internall SSD drive, and OS 10.15 9 (Catalina). My current photo files are from a 30 megapixel camera. My workflow relies heavily on luminosity masks in Photoshop and I am very undisciplined about minimizing the number of layers I end up with, so I almost always have fifteen or more layers and often many more. My edit file sizes are usually between 1 and 2 GB but I not infrequently max out the file limit of 4 GB for saving a tiff file. I use Lightroom primarily to organize my 90,000 photos, to Merge photos to HDR or Panoramas, to Open as Layers in Photoshop, or to export to Helicon Focus to make focus stack blends. I also use Topaz AI Denoise as a plugin from Photoshop. I finally decided to see how much RAM my heavy lifting uses, so I spend a few days monitering this using Activity Monitor on my Mac. The most RAM intensive things I did was to merge six Raw photos into an HDR image, create a 14 image panorama in Lightroom, to focus blend 10 photos in Helicon focus, and to Open as Layers eight RAW photos. I checked all of these kinds of activity many different times. All of these tasks used between 23 and 29 Gb ofRAM, never higher. So, my 32 GB of Ram is plenty for me now, but when I get a new system I will probably want more to future proof.

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Good to know Tony. I have an 09 Mac Pro with 8 processors and I believe 26 GB of RAM. I’ve been debating what to get next, either a maxed out iMac attached to a Benro monitor or a new Mac Pro but those cost a fortune as soon as upgrades are included.

With Mac OS X and Photoshop any extra RAM is used as a very fast scratch disk by the software.

Wow I only have 16gb and get by just fine doing all the same things. Granted I would like to have more as I do have to close down some applications at times to recover some ram, but it’s not too much of a nuisance.

As I mentioned in my original post, I routinely end up with insanely large PSD or TIFF files. Could that be knocking my RAM usage up into the mid 20s? I suppose I could just check and see how much RAM I am using in the beginning of an edit when the file size is small…

It will use all you can through at it. I’ve found that if you are operating on more than 16gb it’s how much hard space you have left to be the limiting factor.

I have over 500 gb on my drive free…