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Photoshop CC Sharpening Now 3X Slower But ONLY on the 2013 Mac Pro (unmaking the power of the Ring)

Refer to the chart below; results were with OS X 10.9.1 and Photoshop CC v14.2.0.

With OS X 10.9.2 and Photoshop CC v14.2.1, the Sharpen filter now runs 3X to 4X SLOWER on the 2013 Mac Pro. This reverses the mid-January speedup.

Sharpening was touted as greatly improved in 14.2.0, and MPG duly confirmed and reported on that (see Two GPUs to Rule Them All, and in the Software Bind Them—Photoshop CC Now Sharpens 4X Faster). That improvement has been “un-made”, in ring parlance.

MPG does not hold Adobe culpable here, rather it is Apple that is responsible in two ways: poorly-tested graphics drivers, and a failure to provide a key software partner with adequate machines to test with.

Let’s take the 8-core 3.3 GHz case:

10.9.1 / CC 14.2.0: 2.6 seconds using D500 GPU
10.9.2 / CC 14.2.1: 7.15 seconds using D700 GPUs

That’s right: faster GPUs are running ~3X slower. (the 12-core with D700 GPUs clocked in at 2.4 seconds when tested on 10.9.1 as the chart shows, so it’s not some weird D700 vs D500 vs D300 thing).

Even more dismal results are seen with the 4-core (3.5 seconds to 12.4 seconds and that’s with GPUs used!).

MPG re-ran and rebooted and re-ran with the same shocking results each time.

  • The MacBook Pro tests at the ~same speed as before! (5.9 seconds now vs 6.0.
  • Other filters test the same or even a little better.
  • Turning OpenGL off, the time increases form 7.15 seconds to 11.6 seconds, so clearly the GPU support is not just disabled entirely.

My guess is that the crash bugs in Photoshop (still not fixed, some filters still crash if OpenCL is enabled) have been dealt with by disabling or detuning something.

An inquiry is in to Adobe. It’s unclear if Photoshop CC is directly responsible, because the filter crashes I observe(d) is/are a graphics driver bug according to information received.

The late 2013 MacBook Pro performs the same (5.9 seconds now, vs 6.0 ~= the same), this sure seems like more half-baked Apple Core Rot. And along with severe dual display problems, the MPG advice for professionals is to tread cautiously on the “upgrade” front.

Click for larger chart.

Photoshop CC filter speed
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