On 11/15/2011 04:21 PM, jfrazie...@nc.rr.com wrote:
Ok.. so I am working on a large image and want to see if I can increase 
performance speed any.  I knew things would be slow, but was hoping I could get 
a bit better than what I currently have.  The image will be a map(as in fantasy 
world map) I want to print(will scale down for web version to .jpeg), 36x24 
inches @300 DPI, so 10800x7200 resolution(ie, poster print size).

I have a fresh install of Linux Mint 11 on a laptop which is about two years old.  I 
don't remember the full PC specs off the top of my head though but is was a mid-high end 
range gaming Laptop(so probably in the top 70%-80% of "best" available laptop 
hardware specs at the time of purchase).

What I do know off the top of my head:

multiple partitions
20GB Linux swap
Mint installed to single partition 190GB out of the entire HD's 500GB(both 
/home(location of the xcf file) and /tmp are on the same partition.
6GB RAM (8GB max)
multiple USB 2 ports
1 eSATA port
Wacom bamboo tablet
video card is (I BELIEVE) a GTX 200M

built from source (git) as of umm... Friday night(or so)
Currently, I have my tile-cache size set to 5GB

I typically have 3-6 chrome browser windows open and perhaps 1-2 open directory 
folders, but other than that, there are few applications running other than 
those(occasionally Thunderbird).

Currently, the file opens up around 4.5 GB in memory, with spikes up to 10GB so 
far that I have seen.  I have about 15 layers so far, with about half of those 
using a layer mask.   Most of the layers are transparent at this point, with a 
few being full color with layer masks to define geological features(grassy 
plains, desert, etc).

I have yet to add the additional layers needed to represent mountains and 
forests(at least 4 layers each, line-work, color, highlights, and lowlights, so 
min 8 layers for that) as well as several layers for some type of desert 
texture, labels(4-5 layers), and likely a compass rose and a Cartouche of some 
type(likely 4-6 layers for shape/color as well as 2-4 text sections).  So all 
together, this will likely encompass around 35-40 layers when completed(if I 
can get that far!!!).

So, are there any suggestions you guys might make?  As slow as it is currently, 
I don't know if I will even be able to get anywhere near to the number of 
layers I expect to need.  Should I just give up on such a large image and 
reduce the scale or is there any additional tweaks I can make?  Will adding a 
eSATA or USB2 drive to hold the the /tmp help at all?  I this was a desktop, I 
could easily just slap another Harddrive(or two) in and have different 
read/writes working in parallel(ie, /tmp and swap on a separate physical 
drive), but I don't have that luxury with a Laptop... Would adding an 
additional 2GB make a noticeable(as in very noticeable) difference?

I appreciate any suggestions you guys might have.  Please let me know if there 
is any additional information(ie, L2 Cache, Processor, etc) and I can get that 
info later tonight.... though of course those are things I cannot change...


this is going to be tough!
So much layers, especially with masks and with that resolution is way beyond the specs of even a new mid-level desktop computer, as far as I can tell.

In any case I will suggest that you utilize the full RAM capacity of your motherboard. Then the machine will swap 2GB less, which will make some difference at least until you reach certain level.

I think USB2 will be horribly slow, so no point of adding such drive. And, I hope that somebody will correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think that GIMP uses /tmp that much if at all. What you really need is more RAM and a fast drive for the swap partition.

Apart from this you could split the file in several separate files, that will hold several logically grouped layers each (I presume that you don't have to work simultaneously on all of the layers). This way you can speed things drastically. In each of these files you could include one (or few layers) that represent all of the other layers (from the other files), but merged, with layer masks applied, etc. - just as a preview of the other parts of the whole image... i hope you get the idea despite my explanation. This way you will work with only say 5 - 10 layers + one or few 'preview' layers, that represent the rest 30 layers.

Good luck,
Petar Kostov

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