The Mac Pro and Photoshop CS3

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Last month, in the first part of my three-part report (parts two and three ) on the new Mac Pro, I reported on Photoshop’s performance in Rosetta—both subjectively and objectively (on page three ) via a test of the Liquify filter.

I’ve used this same test on other machines—both Windows XP and Macs—so it’s become my personal benchmark. And now that I have the Universal beta of Photoshop to use, I thought I’d update my results for the Universal version. As you look at these results, please keep in mind they’re my own personal handiwork, and not that of the Macworld Labs— here are the official benchmark results.

As background for those who haven’t read the prior articles, I apply a 54MB saved Liquify mesh to the 3,000-by-2,400 pixel version of this image of a space shuttle launch. It’s an intensive filter, and takes a meaningful amount of time to render, so any errors in my hand timing don’t have a huge impact on the results.

And speaking of results, how did the Mac Pro running the CS3 beta do? Take a look…


CPUs CPU Speed RAM Time (seconds)
Mac Pro - CS3 4 2.66GHz 2.0GB 14
Dual G5 - CS3 2 2.00GHz 2.5GB 25
Mac Pro - CS2 4 2.66GHz 2.0GB 27
Dual G5 - CS2 2 2.00GHz 2.5GB 28
Mini XP - CS2 2 1.66GHz 2.0GB 36
Athlon - CS2 1 2.12GHz 512MB 39
MacBook - CS2 2 2.00GHz 2.0GB 56
Mini OS X - CS2 2 1.66GHz 2.0GB 77

Testing by Rob Griffiths, very unofficial!

As you can see, the Mac Pro running the CS3 beta was nearly twice as fast as its nearest competitor, the Dual G5, also running the CS3 beta. From this simple experiment, it seems there was some general improvement in the Liquify filter’s performance (as noted by a three-second improvement on the Dual G5). But the big performance gain is obvious from the Mac Pro’s score—it ran this test basically twice as fast as it did under Rosetta.

Macworld Labs has the official Photoshop’s performance results, but from where I sit, it’s looking like the native version of Photoshop is going to run just fine on the Intel-powered Macs.

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