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Performance in Photoshop CS4 vs CS3

Last updated June 01, 2009 - Send Feedback

CS4 is clearly faster on large files

Photoshop CS4 is a worthwhile upgrade for anyone working with large files.

Testing with the optimal configuration on the 32GB Mac Pro system shows that Photoshop CS3 takes 17% longer to execute diglloydMedium benchmark.

This fact alone will make the upgrade price worth it to anyone working with large files. Remember, a 3.2GHz Mac Pro is only 14% faster than a 2.8GHz model, and that’s best-case and with a huge price premium.

CS3 and BiggerTiles, DisableScratchCompress plugins

The Configuration page discusses how important it is to use the BiggerTiles and DisableScratchCompress plugins with Photoshop CS4.

With Photoshop CS3 it’s even more critical. Compare these times for diglloydMedium (32GB, 4-drive striped RAID):

CS4 with/without plugins: 71 / 101 seconds = +42% longer

CS3 with/without plugins: 83 / 183 seconds = +120% longer

These results were so startling that the tests were run a second time.

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