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Use of system resources (such as RAM, CPU, etc.)

Apr 30, 2012, 23:04 (This post was last modified: May 1, 2012 19:41 by Photoelectric.)
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Use of system resources (such as RAM, CPU, etc.)
I apologize if I overlooked an easy answer to my questions, but from looking around and typing my specific issues, I wasn't able to find an answer.

Overview of my computer (for reference): I have just upgraded my computer with GIMP processing in mind (nothing too heavy-duty, but I do a fair amount of photo processing periodically). I have an Intel core i7 2600K, 8GB of fast RAM (DDR3 2133 latency 10 at the moment), and a somewhat old graphics card that I plan to upgrade soon: nVidia 9800GT. GIMP is installed on a HDD, and my operating system--windows 7--runs off a SSD.

I was hoping to see significant improvement in processing speeds for tasks such as Script-Fu -> Layer Effects -> Inner Glow, but while I do see improvement in rendering times compared to my older system (quad core Phenom II, 4GB DDR3 RAM), it's still taking a while to do a thick glow aura on a 12MP image.

Now, I've been looking at my Windows system monitor trying to see if one of my components is bottlenecking processing time. Looks like my CPU is barely touched, both storage drives aren't significantly used during processing, and my RAM is not maxed out either. While I do have Windows paging file stored in it and such, by the end of processing, I still have 1.5GB of RAM free. I was considering getting 8GB more to make a total of 16, but I'm not sure I will see any difference.

So what is slowing me down? Why is it this rendering not done faster, utilizing more of my system resources, and instead takes a while? Am I missing something with RAM utilization? My graphics card is also not fully utilized during this processing - I've tested with GPU-Z.
Update: been playing with Cache size in GIMP Preferences. I have 5GB of ram "Free" after some running programs, paging file, and such. Setting GIMP cache to 3GB made Windows shut down GIMP after it used up those 3GB and the system ran out of available RAM. I thought GIMP is supposed to switch to disk space for cache after using up physical memory? *confused*
Another update: I have swapped to 64-bit GIMP to increase cache size. With 4 GB of RAM for GIMP cache, the processing did speed up, though still took 3.5 minutes (vs 7.5 min with 1GB cache). So if I understand it correctly, RAM is my bottleneck? The speed of my RAM limits the processing time? I can't see "load" on my ram, so I can only imagine that Layer Effects scripts are RAM-speed dependent, am I correct?
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