Gallery2 and ImageMagick

I’m using Gallery2 on my site here at DreamHost (I’m assigned to edendale). I’m currently using ImageMagick as my graphics toolkit. The majority of my photos are 2048x1536 images taken with a 3.2 megapixel camera, but I recently got an 8 megapixel camer that’s taking images at 3264x2448.

The 3.2 megapixel photos are about 1.5 MB each, while the 8 megapixel photos are about 3.0-3.5 MB each.

When Gallery2 is generating thumbnails and resized images with ImageMagick, the smaller images work great. However, thumbnails and resizes for my newer 8 megapixel images are rendering either very slowly or not at all. I see that ImageMagick convert processes are, in some cases, running for upwards of a minute or two and not completing.

I’m using PHP 5.1.2 as a CGI and have tried using GD (and increasing memory_limit), but I get the similar results with both ImageMagick and GD.

What could be the bottleneck here? Why would ImageMagick not render the thumbs for my larger images? Is the DH persistent process killer possibly killing my convert processes before they complete?

What can I do to avoid this? Will running PHP 4 as an Apache module (if it’s even possible with Gallery2) help me? Can I tune my php.ini settings in such a way that the convert process will be faster? Or is the NFS mount for my home directory just unable to keep up with the process?

Has anyone else experience this problem here at DH and been able to rectify it? Any ideas?