Top positive review
15 people found this helpful
Needs lots of RAM and some getting used to
on 6 February 2014
I've been using psp7 for years and I cannot think of one time when it crashed on me. Rock solid and really quick, even on Win 8.1 However, recently I needed to edit some large scans and was running into memory problems, so thought I'd give X6 64 bit a try.
Within 10 minutes, it had crashed twice when using the magic wand tool. On the third attempt, it bizarrely shifted one of the colours in the image. You constantly have to wait 10 seconds while it is ' writing to the undo file'. It takes forever to save large files, and the ui is cluttered and depressingly dark. None of the tools are any quicker than psp7. 64bit software that can't manage the same files as its 10-year old ancestor? Really? When Corel bought psp, I stopped upgrading, as it was taking on more and more of the Corel look and feel (my experience with CorelDraw was always ghastly). Sadly, I think that worry was justified.
I suppose I'm an uncommon user of PSP, as I use the vector graphics extensively alongside the raster layers. It seems none of the original PSP tools have been made any better (although they were pretty excellent in psp7), just more and more photo retouching bloat added.
I wish manufacturers would occasionally bring out a software release that actually significantly improved the existing functionality, rather than just adding bloat upon bloat. This is supposed to be 64bit software. Should I really have to wait 20 seconds for it to save an image??? Or think it is painfully slow compared to its distant ancestors, even on a 6 month old machine with Win8.1?
And the memory problem? - Well, I can load two large images (which psp7 complained about), but the performance drops to zero, so it is unusable! This isn't a physical memory limitation - I still have 3/4GB free.
If you want photo editing software, and you haven't already got a previous version of psp, this is for you. It does (as did version7), offer great value for photo retouching (as long as the file sizes aren't too big). However, if you already own a previous version and think you'll get faster speed and improvements of existing tools don't bother.
I feel I had to follow on my original review with an update, as I've been using PSP X6 for about a month now and my original review was quite harsh. It would seem most of my original problems were down to lack of RAM - If you want to edit large files (around 500MB - that's a 24bit colour A4 scan at 1200DPI), you need at least 8GB of RAM. I recently upgraded my machine to 8GB and the performance editing 500MB files has improved dramatically. What had me foxed originally is that Performance Monitor was showing 3/4 (750MB) free, but PSP apparently needs much more breathing space, as a single image now takes up around 6 or 7GB while editing.
File loading and saving is still slow, but much better with more RAM.
As for the UI - You can set the theme to light grey, which is a bit less depressing. I still think there's a lot of wasted space around the title bar and toolbars, but having used it for a while, it's not bad. It would be nice if the alternative tools on the tools palette (like the shapes tool) slid out when you hovered over them, as you tend to forget there are other tools when you don't use them a lot.
I still wish they'd bring out a "supercharged" release that concentrated on speed improvements rather than extra features, and the limitation of max 20000 pixels in the XY dimensions seems a bit arbitrary and limited when stitching photos and scans given today's high resolution scanners and cameras, although apparently Photoshop also has a limit of only 30000 pixels per side.
In all, it's a fantastic bargain given the price, but 10 years doesn't seem to have resulted in a huge improvement over PSP7.