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Results With Photoshop CS5

2011-03-04 updated 2011-03-09 - Send Feedback
Related: laptop, Mac Pro, MacBook, MacBook Pro, Macs, memory, Photoshop

This page analyzes Photoshop CS5 performance.

See the system configuration notes. Photoshop CS5 tests were run in 64-bit mode on the 64-bit Mac OS kernel.

As tested, the laptops here are setup as MPG Pro Laptops, though not maxed-out with dual solid state drives.

Photoshop CS5 — diglloydSpeed1

Photoshop test suite that is mostly in memory (Photoshop does a modest amount of writing to its scratch volume). This test is dominated by CPU speed; the drive is minimally involved.

The results are hugely in favor of the 2011 MacBook Pro quad-core 2.3GHz over the 2010 2.66GHz dual-core. That the 2011 Macbook Pro is this close in performance to the 3.33GHz Mac Pro is impressive!

Note also that the 2011 MacBook Pro trounces the 2.8GHz Mac Pro!

diglloydSpeed1 Benchmark seconds, lower is better

Photoshop CS5 — diglloydMedium

Photoshop test suite that exceeds available memory (15.7GB scratch).

This test is dominated by drive speed. All machines used OWC Mercury Extreme Pro SSDs, with the two laptops both using 240GB models.

Both 8GB MacBook Pros are horribly slow compared to the Mac Pro (with 24GB memory), showing that the 8GB memory limit is a serious problem for big jobs.

Going beyond 70% can hurt performance,
or as more memory is added, can sometimes help.

But with 16GB instead of 8GB, the test time is almost cut in half with CS5 set to use 75% of system memory, and cut by a whopping 72% when set to use 90% of system memory!

Test machines used my preferred SSDs, see the test configuration. Hard drive users will see greatly degraded results over those shown here.

diglloydMedium Benchmark seconds, lower is better


So long as there is enough memory for Photoshop CS5 to use, the new 2011 MacBook Pro quad-core offers outstanding performance approaching that of the Mac Pro.

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