Photoshop CS5 64-bit benchmarks

Running Photoshop in 64-bit mode produces some big improvements when using large data sets (scenarios where you’d otherwise run out of RAM and have to hit virtual memory). Here are benchmarks from a 2 x 2.66GHz quad-core Nehalem Mac Pro with 12GB of RAM (OS X 10.6.3):

Running the Retouch Artists Speed Test:

CS4: 36.09 secs

CS5 64bit: 14.78 secs

2.4 times faster*

Running the diglloyd benchmark Actions for Photoshop:


CS4: 38.05 secs

CS5: 23.1 secs

1.7 times faster


CS4: 56.01 secs

CS5: 26.48 secs

2.1 times faster


CS4: 120.15 secs

CS5: 83.85 secs

1.4 times faster

Opening a large (3.75GB) PSB file

CS4: 80.33 secs

CS5: 52.43 secs

1.5 times faster

Obviously these are big, big wins for any Photoshop users working with large images. I do however want to be careful not to oversell the benefits of 64-bit. As I’ve said from the start, 64-bit is a really big deal when you’re using large amounts of memory. Otherwise it’s not likely to make a very noticeable difference (e.g. your Web design tasks won’t run twice as fast).

What about other Creative Suite apps? As I’ve mentioned, After Effects & Premiere Pro are both 64-bit native on both Mac & Windows (64-bit only, in fact, unlike Photoshop). I haven’t seen benchmarks yet, but given the data-intensive nature of video, the wins should be huge. Meanwhile Illustrator has raised the limits on RAM usage, from 2GB in CS4 to 3-4GB (depending on system configuration) in CS5.

* I’m using the same “times faster” nomenclature that Apple uses when talking about 64-bit performance on Snow Leopard. If you prefer to think in percentages, the operations are (from top to bottom above) 59%, 39%, 53%, 30%, 35% faster than CS4, respectively.

97 thoughts on “Photoshop CS5 64-bit benchmarks

  1. I wonder how much faster saving large (300-400MB) will be. That’s my only current Photoshop CS4 performance snag.
    [Saving performance isn’t affected by 64-bit, as that’s mostly a function of disk performance. –J.]
    I have CS5 Design Premium ordered and can’t wait to see the speed improvements firsthand.

    1. To improve save & load times I would highly recommend a SSD hard drive. I’ve noticed 30-60% increase in load and save times with existing software when I switched from a 7200rpm drive to my Intel 160gb SSD.
      Even the ultra performance and expensive 10,000rpm drives can’t compete with the cheapest SSD drives. Think of a SSD drive a super USB Flash memory stick..but only faster because it’s not limited by the USB interface.

  2. That’s great. One question if I may? Does PS CS5 work properly with OSX Expose now, unlike PS CS4??
    [You mean, has Apple improved Exposé so that it can handle tabbed windows? The answer is no. (Look at how it works with Safari, Firefox, etc.) Of course, I *love* the eternal presumption that when something doesn’t work in OS X land, it’s obviously the fault of anyone but Apple. Sorry to bitch, but it’s incredibly tedious. –J.]

  3. While it’s 59%, 39%, 53%, 30%, 35% less time to complete, that’s 140%, 70%, 110%, 40%, 50% faster (in terms of throughput per second).

  4. >(scenarios where you’d otherwise
    >run out of RAM and have to hit
    >virtual memory).
    um…dude, i don’t think you know what virtual memory is. i think you meant swap. it’s different.

  5. This is interesting, but I’m curiuos what the benchmarks are against CS3. I don’t think I’m alone when I say I skipped CS4 for hopes of a brighter tomorrow in 64 bit.

    1. I bought a later version of Photoshop CS4. It is listed on my start screen as 64 bit inn windows. Is it truly 64 bit as I believe?

  6. John’s using Photoshop-speak, so give him a break. 🙂
    Photoshop implements its own VM system that’s optimized for its usage patterns. When things fit in RAM and don’t need to hit the Photoshop scratch disks, things get much faster

  7. What are the benchmarks for 32-bit Photoshop CS5? In OS X, if you select an application and go to File->Get Info, you can force it to run in 32-bit mode. That would give an apples-to-apples comparison of the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit, whereas your test compares 32-bit CS4 to 64-bit CS5. In addition, it would give an apples-to-apples comparison of CS4 vs. CS5.

  8. Perhaps they’ll add back in File Proxies on the title bar (or in tabs). That way you can Command-Clicking them to reveal the enclosing folder. Very disappoineted in CS4 that this went away. It’s a step back in HCI.

  9. Any reason to post this comment here?
    I mean, ‘Thanks for the info John, and all the hard work. By the way, I’m going to steal from you, neener neener neener’ isn’t really necessary.
    Do what you will, but this is just plain rude.

  10. “Photoshop implements its own VM system” –Dan
    “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” –Inigo Montoya
    “i assure you, photoshop has *not* implemented it’s own virtual memory system. please go look up what the term ‘virtual memory’ means.” –josh

  11. Your percentages are wrong. The correct way to state the speed difference using your percentages would be, “It takes x% less time to perform x action using CS5.” The first action would be 144% faster. The second action would be 64% faster. The third, 112% faster, fourth, 43%, and fifth, 54% faster.
    /Math nerd.

  12. It sure speeds up my web design projects which tend to be 3D-heavy, heh.
    However, I wonder if the outrageous upgrade (to CS3) price for CS5 Design Premium is worth it – it’s almost double here in Europe compared to the US price. What’s up with that?? For that money I guess I’d rather fly over to US and buy it there.

  13. Whatever the value of CS5 can you explain why you think that its value is 2x larger in France than in the US. It must be so since you sell it at 2x the price here than you country. It’s even cheaper to take a flight to New York and back only to buy CS5. Needless to say, I, and many other European, feel ripped off.

  14. Bzzt, Josh, you lose.
    Photoshop does indeed have its own VM system for better performance. You apparently don’t understand what that really means. VM, swap, paging, over committal- any OS architect worth their salt will tell you they’re the same thing.

  15. Meanwhile Illustrator has raised the limits on RAM usage, from 2GB in CS4 to 3-4GB (depending on system configuration) in CS5
    I was disappoint, because Illustrator won’t be 64-bit. My CS4-files are huge and I want to use a lot of more RAM.
    Bought yesterday an iMac 27” i5 with 8 GB RAM. So with CS5 Illustrator and Photoshop will handle larger files.
    So CS5 isn’t just new features, it’s faster, too.

  16. Agree with Jean-Denis. Adobe rips off european customers. Even the European student versions have limitations that states that the software cannot be used for commercial output, that is like i cant use photoshop to create a picture then sell it. THAT is horrible.
    Anyway, i Love Photoshop and plans to purchase the Design Premium suite student version.

  17. Rosyna,
    I agree, but I also want to see a head to head comparison of Mac vs PC versions to discover whether Adobe has matched feature and speed parity of the two different OS versions.

  18. Sorry, John, but he only said “work properly.” He didn’t imply blame with that wording; you inferred it. How else could he have phrased it for you not to get, in your own words, “bitchy?”

  19. “any OS architect worth their salt will tell you they’re the same thing.”
    i’m telling you they aren’t the same thing. lots of people don’t know what they are talking about wrt virtual memory, probably because it wasn’t covered upper division humanities courses.
    let me ask you something – if you run windows, or osx on a diskless server, does it suddenly *not* have have virtual memory? um…yeah.
    the ‘virtual’ part of virtual memory refers to the address space. take a minute to ponder this earth shattering revelation.
    here, let me try to take a minute and make up for your lack of formal education in operating systems. i’m too lazy to go get out all my old operating system books, so here it is from wikipedia:
    virtual memory: “Virtual memory is a computer system technique which gives an application program the impression that it has contiguous working memory (an address space), while in fact it may be physically fragmented.” — it *may* also have a paging implementation, in addition to memory virtualization.
    paging/swapping: “In the paging memory-management scheme, the operating system retrieves data from secondary storage in same-size blocks called pages.” — swap/paging is something that requires a virtualized address space, but it *isn’t* address virtualization.
    over committal: this is a term that you just pulled out of your,um, ear.
    okay, so all you ignorant photoshop geeks – go ahead and school us on how gimp sucks and all, but please don’t try to tell us that you have any idea what you are talking about with respect to memory architectures.
    ugh. i can’t believe i took 10 minutes out of my life to write this post. i’m such a loser.

  20. I have to agree with John – the original wording assumed that the blame was with Photoshop. Yet Expose has problems with lotsa apps (including a few from Apple). Maybe Expose will work better now that Photoshop uses Cocoa APIs… we’ll see when it ships.
    [Cocoa has nothing to do with it; if it did, Exposé would handle tabs better in Safari. To the best of my knowledge, this is just something that Exposé doesn’t do well, and it’s not something Adobe can control. –J.]

  21. How can Adobe make both OSes the same speed? I don’t think they can control the OS that way.

  22. Having used the 64 bits version of Photoshop CS4 on Windows 7 x64, I can confirmed that being able to use more that for Gig of Ram can really speed things ups (especially when I open my 1 GB monsteur file).
    I have one question though : does CS5 use (on Vista and Win7) the new Save file dialog that was introduced with Vista (the one that is all white and have a lot of shortcut on the left).
    [Sorry, no. I’m not sure why the open/save code is complex and old in PS. I think there are a lot of custom behaviors related to selecting various options, getting various sub-dialogs, etc. Re-architecting it is always on the hit list, but it always takes a back seat to more urgent changes. –J.]
    Because right now, CS4 use the one that is available on XP, and it’s… not very confortable, to say the least. (at least to open my file I can use bridge).
    Second question, does the tabs have support for Aero Peek? (So I can over the PS icon on the task bar and see little preview of my open documents). This too, once you start using this, is incredibly confortable to use. I think it would be great if photoshop supported it.
    [I don’t believe that’s supported, but I don’t have Vista installed to check. –J.]
    If CS5 doesn’t have thoses features, well… you know what my suggestions would be for CS6! Not incredibly essential, of course, but I think they would be great things to add in a JDI day. And it probably wouldn’t be that complex to implements.
    PS : For the open file/save file dialog, could you pass my humble suggestion to the flash team too? On gmail I deactivated the advanced uploader because I find it much harder to find my files with the WinXP style open file dialog that flash use. It’s not a big thing, but I believe that God is in the details…

  23. What about comparisons on Windows systems?
    [I can check on that, though of course Windows was 64-bit in CS4 as well. Thus I’d expect Win64 CS5 numbers to be close to Win64 CS4 numbers. –J.]

    1. You are mistaken to think Adobes higher European prices have to do with VAT, tariffs, taxes, localization or anything like that. Comparing the *English* Version of Adobe Creative Suite *excluding* VAT (there are no other taxes or customs duties or anything like that on software) Adobe charges Europeans 300% – 400% of what they charge US-Americans.
      They are also trying to force upon their resellers a not for export policy, which, of course, they can not enforce towards private people. So if I go to the USA and buy the software, I can import it myself, only having to pay my home countries VAT when entering the EU (which is exactly what I do) – and the VAT I get back, because the software is a business expense.
      Here are two blog posts on that topic that I did. They are both in German, but the charts should be interesting:

  24. “Meanwhile Illustrator has raised the limits on RAM usage, from 2GB in CS4 to 3-4GB (depending on system configuration) in CS5”
    I have to ask, as I often get the “not enough RAM” message in Illustrator, why put in limit? Why not let i t address 8GB or 10GB or a million GB?
    [Because to enable that you have to go to 64-bit, and on the Mac side that’s very costly for a Carbon-based application. I believe it’ll happen eventually, but not yet. –J.]
    You could chuck in a slider bar in the prefs like Photoshop.
    What are the system configuration that determine what it will address?
    [I’m waiting to hear more info from the AI team. –J.]

  25. Bzzt, S.Byer, you got pwned.
    [Yes, that’s right: the anonymous guy sure has it figured out, whereas Scott (who spent nearly 20 years building Photoshop) and Dan (who spent a similar amount of time building After Effects) are clearly clueless. –J.]

  26. Ok, thank you for your answers! I believe you put your priorities in the right place : I’m a little sad those features are not in, but I’d pick a Content Aware Fill feature over these anytime. So I’ll buy CS5 anyway. (Err, ok, I guess my last sentence is not a very good way to convince you to put them in on the next version, is it?)
    PS : Aero peek is only available on Win7, since it require the new taskbar.

  27. john, i’m not anonymous. look me up.
    [No, sorry, I meant the anonymous “” guy. He probably didn’t have time to type a real name as his mom was calling him upstairs for dinner. –J.]
    i don’t know who dan is or byer is, but i do know that they are mistaken about their terminology.
    it’s not a big deal, but yeah, they are straight up incorrect. it’s not unusual for people to think that swap/paging is the same thing as virtual memory.

  28. My Win7 i7920 with 12GB ram does the Retouch Artists speed test in 16 secs with CS4. So about the same as CS5 on the Big Mac.

  29. I’d love to see Adobe do a “Snow Leopard” type release where all you do is tweak performance. Right or wrong, there’s a perception that your apps are getting bloated and slow, and a release that tweaks and polishes might be just what the doctor ordered.
    [Well, if you read this blog with any regularity, you’ve been hearing us talk all about “JDI” features, and you’ll see more detail on those from me over the weeks ahead. But note that Apple had to slice their upgrade price by 80% from Leopard to Snow Leopard. Why did they do that? Because they’re benevolent guys who don’t like making money? No, because they concluded (correctly, I’m sure) that customers pay in proportion to the palpable improvements (often aka features) one delivers.
    Let’s be honest: things like Quick Look and Spotlight are a heck of a lot more transformative to one’s productivity than, say, a feature-identical Cocoa-based Finder & 6 fewer GB of hard drive footprint. That’s why people are perfectly correct in being willing to pay more for them.
    We believe that we need to deliver both sizzle & steak–big, impactful improvements plus lots of very welcome polishing. That’s what customers are willing to pay for. –J.]

  30. Re Illustrator 64bit
    [Because to enable that you have to go to 64-bit, and on the Mac side that’s very costly for a Carbon-based application. I believe it’ll happen eventually, but not yet. –J.]
    Mr Nack, if I might say so, this is an annoying response.
    Adobe makes Illustrator expensive to buy (especially here in the UK), but baulks at spending its own money when it perceives it as being expensive to write.
    [No no, that’s not it. The thing is that we prefer to spend our resources on–cue dramatic music–*things that will benefit customers*. On its own, Cocoa isn’t one of those things. It doesn’t make your app faster, more stable, more Mac-like, or anything else. Yes, I know that a dude who doesn’t write software will come in here and try to contradict me, but you can believe me (who just went through all of this with Photoshop) or him.
    Anyway, a Cocoa conversion is one of those things that offers very, very few direct benefits unto itself. The reason to do it is either A) you want to be a 64-bit app, which is relevant only if customers want to address mass quantities of RAM, or B) because you think that Apple will eventually make the Mac OS incompatible with Carbon-based apps. In the case of A), some percentage of AI users are creating colossal files, but it’s a smaller percentage than, say, Photoshop or AE/Premiere users. In the case of B), to the best of my knowledge Apple has offered no guidance at all. –J.]
    As for going to Cocoa ‘eventually’, is the Adobe management expecting their cost base to fall in the near future?
    (Illustrator customer since v1)

  31. “Mr Nack, if I might say so, this is an annoying response.
    Adobe makes Illustrator expensive to buy (especially here in the UK), but baulks at spending its own money when it perceives it as being expensive to write. ”
    Without turning this thread into a rant, I have to back this.
    Yes Apple suddenly changed their minds on Carbon64, but come on, “Get to Cocoa” has been Apples message for years now.
    Being a heavy Illustrator user (not from version 1 but still a long time), I have noticed that it really has become a dog.
    You can’t compare it to InDesign or Photoshop. And their is NOTHING “unexpected” when it quits!
    I really have high hopes for CS5, I dream that Illustrator is finally fixed. Please Mr Nack, be my Santa!
    [I’m sorry to hear about the instability you’ve seen, Paul. I don’t know how CS5 compares. Note, however, that converting to Cocoa does nothing to improve stability, or to improve the app in any other perceptible way. It’s much better to say “I want Illustrator (or other app) to be faster, more stable, etc.,” leaving the implementation to the people who know the code base. –J.]

  32. Ooops! My bad. I meant “Spaces” not Expose. Will CS5 work with Spaces properly, i.e. remember what Space it has been assigned to. So when I call it to the front with no document open it remembers the Space it was assigned to? Luckily I’m wearing fire retardant pants!

  33. Spaces is also an Apple thing, that should be invisible to applications. If it is not working, Apple has to fix it.

  34. >> Yes Apple suddenly changed their minds on Carbon64, but come on, “Get to Cocoa” has been Apples message for years now.
    Up until the “you must use Cocoa for 64 bit” announcement at WWDC, the message from Apple was “Cocoa and Carbon will continue to live on side by side”. Apple told developers that Carbon would be supported on 64 bit, and would continue to be supported in the future. Guess what? They lied. They do that a lot lately.
    And the message from developers, for years, has been “Cocoa is incomplete. Cocoa has too many bugs, fix the bugs first. Cocoa doesn’t offer any advantages, why should we spend our time and money on it?” But Apple has forgotten how to listen to developers and customers.

  35. Upgrade, upgrade, upgrade…
    For better or for worst?
    As someone said before, I also would like to see comparing tests CS3 vs CS5.
    When Apple upgraded my PB Pro to 10.6 my After Effects CS3 would no longer launch!
    After being advised me to update to 10.6.3 – what a disaster, now 7 apps do not launch either. (some Apple’s but mostly Adobe’s)

  36. [Sorry, no. I’m not sure why the open/save code is complex and old in PS. I think there are a lot of custom behaviors related to selecting various options, getting various sub-dialogs, etc. Re-architecting it is always on the hit list, but it always takes a back seat to more urgent changes. –J.]
    [I don’t believe that’s supported, but I don’t have Vista installed to check. –J.]
    As a windows user, it’s a little depressing to hear that the Photoshop PM doesn’t even have a current version of Windows installed. I’d think if you’d been using Vista/7 daily for the past 3+ years, you’d put stuff like the “new” (ok, 3 year old) open/save boxes higher on the hit list. Or you’d have caught that drag n’ drop to Photoshop doesn’t respect your window preferences. And, btw, Aero Peek is a nice feature too.
    You know, the Windows guys make up 50% of your install base, and give you a lot less grief. Maybe you should get current with that side of the fence. 🙂

  37. Hey, if an OS update breaks stuff, it’s nobody’s fault except the person that installed the update. (and it’s certainly not the fault of the application vendor)
    You shouldn’t upgrade your OS until you verify all your apps are qualified for it, and if they aren’t, you need to upgrade your apps too.

  38. Really? How come every other app I use with spaces works except PS? Doesn’t strike me as a Apple issue.

  39. Will we have to boot Mac OS X in 64-bit mode in order to take full advantage of CS5’s 64-bit capabilities? My understanding is that by default, OS X boots into 32-bit mode.

  40. You may “now your code base” but it seems Adobe has in a lot of ways lost touch with it’s USER base. I’m sorry but I’m tired of paying hundreds every couple of years for bloat, instability and “features” – I’ll second (third?) the idea of a performance-and-stability-only SL-ish release. Heck, I’ll even say at this point you OWE it to users who’ve been over-paying for buggy software for a long time. I don’t remember this kind of instability and frustration when I started using Photoshop at version 3.0 in 1994, I’ve dutifully paid for your devolving and frustratingly-crashy-of-late software and was for once looking forward to paying again, hoping you’d allow me some decent memory use in Illustrator – there’s nothing more frustrating than not being “able” to rasterize something over XX size, or out-of-memory errors in Illustrator CS4, and it seems like that won’t be changing (much?) with this “new” version. 🙁

  41. Whoops, “know the code base, even.” Mea Culpa…
    Rant/frustrations aside, thank you for sharing the benchmarks / your dialog with us (whiney) users!

  42. could you be more precise?
    there is no problem regarding VAT, but when talking to localisation…
    I could live with UK or US version, and EU prices of those versions are far away from U$ prices.
    And what about other tariffs etc.?
    Just take a look at pricing policy of some other software.
    It’s a pure 150% rip off!

  43. This is nice to see.
    There are only 2 real reasons I believe to upgrade on a mac from CS3.
    1. Cocoa
    2. 64 bit
    Can it be confirmed the whole suite is both 64bit and cocoa ?
    [The 64-bit apps (PS, AE, and Premiere Pro) are Cocoa. –J.]
    If so I would like to see some data on the improvement cocoa’ing CS has done ? This has got to be pretty good too ?
    [Sorry, but no. What were you expecting? Do you find Finder in Snow Leopard more feature-rich, Mac-like, etc. by virtue of it being a Cocoa app? I don’t. (I’d be hard pressed to notice any differences, good or bad, relative to Finder in Leopard.) We’ve already beaten this subject to death, but it won’t stop wishful thinking. –J.]
    We all know that 64 bit is really only gonna help with using more than 4gb ram which is nice but I would hope the move to cocoa might help all round performance ?
    [Cocoa on its own does nothing to help performance. Moving to 64-bit, a step Apple has made dependent upon using Cocoa, delivers performance improvements when you’re working with large files. –J.]

  44. Only Photoshop, Premiere and AfterEffects are 64-bit.
    Cocoa improving performance? It may help in some areas if Apple has optimized for Cocoa and it may be slower in other areas where the Carbon API were more optimized.
    There are other optimizations we’ve made, outside the realm of 64-bit/Cocoa changes, that also improve performance.
    So, in summary, it’s a mix of things that impact performance. There is no single silver bullet for performance boosts.
    From my experience CS5 in general runs faster on 10.6. YMMV.

  45. Use a activity monitor utility, like
    and check when your disk is effectively writing after you hit command-s in Photoshop.
    You’ll discover that your progress bar is for 70% due to “some” Photoshop internal calculations and only at the end it will write to disk (very quickly).

  46. Of course not VAT and tariff: VAT is taken into account, and there are no tariff. Localization? Let me laugh. The French version is sold in America for half the price we pay. And in the UK, the price is still doubled despite no localization.
    So come on. There is no excuse. Adobe’s contempt for its customers if appalling.

  47. So what is not Cocoa ? are only the 64 bit apps Cocoa because they have to be ?
    [Given that converting to Cocoa is very costly (in the sense that it comes at the expense of giving customers the features and other improvements they want), teams rightly weigh the move carefully. If your app wouldn’t benefit from mass quantities of RAM, it’s very hard to make the case to move to Cocoa–at least in terms of delivering benefits to your customers (and thus making money). The reason to move at that point is simply to avoid getting screwed if and when Apple drops support for Carbon-based apps. As I’ve noted, they’ve never announced any such plans. I’ve simply asked them for a clear roadmap so that teams can plan accordingly. –J.]
    I find your reply pretty blunt and not particularly helpful. I make the assumption that using the Native Cocoa APIs will aid performance or at least development, perhaps I’m wrong, but thanks anyway.
    [Sorry if I came off as a jerk; that wasn’t my intention. I’ve simply been over this ground so many times that I’m tired of endlessly rehashing it. Let me quote one of the things I wrote previously on the subject:
    “We start hearing all about “Cocoa Über Alles”–about how Adobe should have known that Cocoa is the One True Way™ and should have started the move years ago. Most Mac users don’t know Cocoa from Ovaltine, and nor should they: it’s just an implementation detail, not a measure of quality. I think Brent Simmons, creator of wonderful Cocoa apps like NetNewsWire, put it most elegantly: “Finder + Cocoa = Finder.” That is, rewriting one’s app in Cocoa doesn’t somehow automatically improve its speed, usability, or feature set.” –J.]

  48. @Adam – We’re using Cocoa primarily as a means to get to 64bits and avoid deprecated API from Apple. Like I said, I wouldn’t assume that going to Cocoa is a win all around. There are some things in Cocoa that are faster, and there are others that are slower. I think what John was trying to elude to is that a move to Cocoa is a wash for customers in terms of functionality and performance (except for the gain from access to lots of RAM via 64bits). Does that make sense?

  49. Thanks John for the benchmarks. I’m seriously considering upgrading from my CS3 suite to CS5, simply for the 64-bit speed improvements.
    Is it possible to have various apps from CS3 & CS5 installed on the same Mac? e.g. Dreamweaver CS3 & Photoshop CS5 64-bit?
    [Cool, glad to hear it. And yes, multiple versions can coexist just fine. –J.]

  50. Just ran the ReTouch Artists Test in CS4 on my old AMD Phenom rig without restarting or clearing background ops and came in under 30secs.
    Typical inflated speed figures.
    Once again another disappointing release from Adobe. NO x64 ILLUSTRATOR COME ON!. All core apps should have be native x64 by now.

  51. @typical – How is your number relevant? You’re not comparing the benchmark to the same hardware and you’re not comparing the CS4 number to anything else on the same hardware you’re referencing (i.e. CS5). Next time, try better and post using your real name and contact info.

  52. Hello Jeffrey,
    My point was a single CPU Phenom quad running 8gb of ram with 6gb committed to PS pulled better times than your much higher spec’d and expensive test bed.
    This leads me to believe you had some core issue or were purposefully cooking the original #’s to show a greater increase in speed than actually exists.
    Wasn’t trying to imply that if/when I decide to upgrade CS5 I won’t see a speed increase. More doubting it will actually be near what you listed in your own test.
    Should have been more clear in my original response.

  53. @Typical – Remember, there are other components to hardware and software that affect benchmarks. For one, the numbers that John has posted are for Macintosh, specifically 10.6.3. I’m quite sure the numbers would be different on 10.5.8. Hard disk speed, RAM and bus speed, GPU, etc will also play into the speed of a benchmark. Pointing to a number from your machine and comparing that to a number on another machine, with a different OS isn’t a very scientific comparison.

  54. Ummm, John posted 36 seconds for 32 bit PS CS4.
    You have an AMD box and talk about 8GB of system RAM and 6GB allocated to PS. So you must have been running 64bit PS CS4 and achieved a faster performance than the 32bit CS4 on a higher specced Mac.
    So, what you’ve done is support John’s numbers, that 64 bit can show some good speed improvements when dealing with large data sizes.
    In no way have you invalidated John’s numbers.

  55. John,
    The company you work for is out of touch with its users. We do not want more bloat and instability. We would like a cs version that is stable, lean, fast and works intrinsically with OSX.
    For the first time, our company will not be purchasing your latest suite. Realistically there is not major gain upgrading unless the above points are addressed.
    Thanks for the informative post however John.

  56. Jaddie, if you are saving as a PSD file or compressed TIFF, switch to saving as an uncompressed TIFF and your save time will reduce 20x. If not then you need to upgrade your hard disks. God knows why CS4 (CS5?) still defaults to saving as a PSD file. I think this is another example of how Adobe is out of touch with reality.
    [That’s not the most constructive way to put it. The fact that numerous other apps consume layered PSDs and not TIFFs matters. –J.]
    Disk space costs nothing today, compression costs a lot of time (I guess because memory bandwidth is the bottleneck) …. Mike

  57. John, are those Adobe Apps that support PSDs? If so then maybe Adobe should get aligned with uncompressed TIFFs as a default format! I can’t image who else would be supporting layered PSD files. Putting bluntness aside (though sometimes its necessary to get attention to an issue) don’t you agree that compressed file formats such as PSD are just a performance disaster on modern computers. Even if other apps require PSDs I still think that Photoshop should default to its best format for Photoshop users, and that is not PSD – its uncompressed TIFFs. I hope as an evangelist for Photoshop users you might push this through for a future version and put all those people out of their misery who still use PSD when they could be using uncompressed TIFFs. Mike

  58. I’m disappointed that the save dialog/open dialog is not changed from CS4 for users using Vista or 7. That’s a huge disappointment. There seems to be only a handful of people who’ve complained so I guess it’s not that bad.
    I guess everyone just uses their Mac to design.

  59. There is a lot of ignorance in that statement. There is as much of an onus on developers to properly code and support for OS technologies as there is for Apple to make sure they work properly. To say “it’s an Apple thing, they need to fix it” is inaccurate. For some reason Photoshop (CS5 too) doesn’t work with spaces, unless it’s contained within an application frame (which is what I do as a fix). It’s the only app that I see this behavior with spaces. Perhaps John as some insight as to why. Thanks for your time John.

  60. It troubles me deeply that Illustrator will remain 32 bit. Some of us use Illustrator extensively and often are greeted with the dreaded “The file is not readable” error when using many linked images. 64 bit memory access would fix this issue, but it seems we Illustrator users aren’t getting the cool features or needed upgrades.
    [On OS X you’ll be able to allocate roughly double the memory you could in CS4 and earlier. –J.]

  61. I’m shocked at how slow CS5 is compared to CS4, and that the drop in performance is even worse than from CS3 to CS4. I’m running a 1 year old high-end MacBook Pro here and I just realised how fast CS3 used to be. Adobe should care about other things than just new features, the same way Apple cared enough about this to make an entire operating system dedicated to performance optimisations.
    Why is panning in CS5 twice as slow as in CS4? Is there something that changed in the panning algorithm? Because I can’t see a difference at all, except for the slide-show like nature of it.
    Liquefy is so slow that I have to wait 30 seconds after releasing the brush for the distortion to START appearing. This makes this feature unusable. And if I have to choose between content-aware fill or liquefy, I choose liquefy, and I think many people will too. Why? Because you can’t replace liquefy by anything else, while content-aware fill can be replaced by a bit of cloning if you know what you’re doing, and yes it saves time but the loss of liquefy isn’t worth it.
    Why make such a compromise?

  62. If you are seeing CS5 run that slow, something is very wrong with your system or the install. And I’m amazed that you would assume that this was some sort of known problem.
    Other users are seeing CS5 32 bit run about the same speed as CS4, or 64 bit running a bit faster (without going to large documents where 64 bit just rocks).
    Please post your question on the Adobe user forums, and give more details about what you have been seeing. Between the Adobe staff and other users there, we can probably figure out what is slowing your system down so badly.

  63. Well so far on every computer (Mac or PC) that I’ve used any version of Photoshop (CS1, CS2, CS3, CS4 and now CS5), the later versions were ALWAYS slower than the earlier versions. Now I haven’t run CS5 on any other computer, but I don’t think the problem is with mine. And obviously it’s a fresh install. I thought this was normal, but I’ll post on the forums then.

  64. Another poor upgrade, lots of crappy little gimmicks to keep the mum and dad users happy.Unstable lots of crashes.Bought two copies for testing in production after all the hype….Content aware, please what a joke..hahaha, mums and dads wil love it, my customers and I wont use it.
    [Can you be more specific about the problems you’re seeing? –J.]

  65. I and another have been using CS4 for a long time since it first arrive .Very stable both of us found that CS5 crashes, the spiral ball locking up.As for Content aware there was a lot of hype, I was doubtful, and its not great, low end users may be impressed but my clients would dump me if I gave them what it produces.Fixing wispy hair is a decent advantage, for the price of two upgrades from CS3 I expect more for my buck.You guys have become very complacent, having the market share. A little like Quark was.You need fresh ideas push the boundaries, get rid of your cobwebs.Redefine selection is now worse, as it doesnt remember the last settings I use massive feathers.I have write an action to get round it.
    I have gone back to CS4 its more stable, you guys need to get on the production line and understand a few of the pressures we are under.

  66. Well said James.
    Sleepy old Adobe
    [Sleepy–that’s it. Not “busting ass to pay down yet another giant unfunded mandate imposed from without” Adobe. –J.]

  67. Any photographer with a little common sense already knew before CS5 came out, that content aware fill was overhyped. OF COURSE it doesn’t perform magic like on the carefully selected images in the demo’s. However, it IS a useful tool. You just need to know when and where to use it. ( I do wish that we could select the area to sample from though )
    For the rest, CS5 is just as stable as CS4. I suggest you clean up your computer, check your ram and reinstall cs5.
    Are you sure about the “refine” function? I think it works really great, selecting flyaway hairs really quick, while normally doing the selection takes ages. Ok, as with everything in retouching, it needs some manual love and care, but man, it really saves time.

  68. Thanks Richard all done and checked by the IT guys,Its probably because we are a Total retouching design company and I mean real retouching not dabbling like most photographers who need to fix things because they cant shoot.I think if you read my post you will see I like refine,for wispy hair.Most high end retouchers I have spoken to at seminars are a little let down.This is what I am saying Adobe cater for the mums and dads, photograhers, and junior school kids.The purist retouch people want a little more,we are just different and have higher levels of quality and understanding of graphic repro.Give me a specific of what you used content aware for.

  69. I’m glad you also see that refine is a good addition.
    High level professional retouching involves adjustments at pixel level, like lightening or darkening a pixel to remove a spot. (talking about beauty retouching here, by the way)
    and as clone, stamp, patch, etc, at any other than pixel level zoom, all are based on average readings, there’s no way in the world that you can magically fix a skin without altering the original pixels.
    If you wish to keep the original texture, there’s no other way than doing it manually, pixel by pixel.
    I use content aware with a very small brush when fixing hair. I admit it’s often a hit and miss story, but when your brush is rather small compared to the surrounding area, you can get a perfectly aligned result. (this is at a level where you see the individual hair strands)
    Just on a note, the first weapons of choice are still the clone stamp tool and painting on a 50% gray fill layer, but content aware fill is a neat extra tool for the box which comes in handy once in a while.

  70. I’ve enjoyed playing with my CS5 Design Premium Trial version…
    Programs might be brilliant, price is a complete rip-off.
    Surely they’d be better off charging less and having more people buying than cracking the program! I’ve noticed many sites already offering free S/N’s and I’m tempted.
    Any company which can charge more than AU$2000 less for educational than professional versions is overpricing their product!

  71. “It’s much better to say “I want Illustrator (or other app) to be faster, more stable, etc.,” leaving the implementation to the people who know the code base. –J.”
    Umm, shouldn’t Adobe be doing this anyway? Because, to me, it doesn’t seem like they are. Do their customers actually have to tell them that they want Adobe software to run faster, be more responsive and more stable? If so, Adobe is indeed in trouble as a company.
    [Of course we should be (and are) doing that work regardless of feedback. My point is that you should focus on goals & outcomes, and let us worry about the specific implementation details. –J.]

  72. I would like to see numbers on how much of Adobe’s user base actually uses all these 3d additions that have been added to bloat up Photoshop over the past few years. My guess is that it’s far less than the percentage of people that use it for web design, yet there are features still missing that would greatly improve usability in that area:
    1. Proper text handling as in other Adobe apps (text wrapping, styles, etc)
    2. Proper graphic styles (that are actually linked to objects and will update those objects when the style is updated)
    3. 9-slice scaling (why is this in Illustrator but not Photoshop?)
    4. Better color management, or rather no color management. Check out this post, which has plagued Photoshop web designers for years now:

  73. I realized you may not respond to this question, as it is months later than the last post, but here goes anyway. . .
    Will RAW processing be any faster in 64 bit vs CS4? Or is this more a function of the Bridge? I’m processing NEF files from a D3. . .
    [I don’t think that 64-bit processing will have much impact here. If you’re batch-converting images, however, you should see a big improvement due to greater multithreading of Camera Raw. –J.]

  74. 24G Ram, Stripped Raid with 850MB/s, 16 cores, and opening/saving big photoshop psd files still takes years. Is it posible for Adobe not to care about companies like mine? we invested a lot in performance computers, and still a lot, but really a lot of time is wasted on open and save.
    2 BASIC COMMANDS, Adobe!!!
    [The implementation is not basic, but you’re right that things should be improved. In the meantime, use uncompressed TIFF files for now for the best file I/O performance. –J.]

    1. as if it would be the same with layered tiff 🙂
      no it`s not!
      i haven`t seen more than a second on saving a flatterned tiff uncompressed and that`s pretty kewl.
      and it`s also stupid: an uncompressed tiff is saved instantly, and has 125M, compressed took almost 15 seconds but has 160M!
      can you explain?

  75. I said basic, as they use only one core! you should build more plugins like DisableScratchCompress but powerful, so many of us to take advantage of our machines.

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