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How Fast Does Photoshop 7 Run On the Fastest G4 Power Macs?

Posted April 16th, 2002
Updated April 20th, 2002 with results from "non-stop" action files
rob ART morgan, Bare Feats Mad Scientist
Honolulu CompUSA provided the G4/933 and G4/1000MP test units


Finally, Photoshop 7 is officially released!

Is Photoshop 7 quicker than Photoshop 6? I ran both versions on a Dual G4/800. This is what I observed:


Do I really need a dual G4 Power Mac to get the most out of Photoshop 7? It depends on what functions and filters you use the most. Observing CPU Monitor and completion times, I was able to separate out 8 filters that used both CPU's to the max and 11 filters that did NOT seem to take advantage of "dualies." The two graphs below dramatize why it's hard to say whether you need dual CPU's.






In my new "Crunch" test*, Photoshop 7 was faster than Photoshop 6.01, no matter whether running OS X or OS 9. Photoshop 7 running on OS 9 was the fastest combination of the four.

As to whether you need dual G4's to get the most from Photoshop 7, I say "yes." According to Adobe engineers, "almost everything is threaded for MP to some extent."



Apple Power Mac G4/533MP, G4/800MP, G4/933, and G4/1000MP. All four were running Mac OS 10.1.3 and had 512MB of RAM.


Adobe Photoshop 7 Final Release

*The action file used is a new concoction by BareFeats.com called "Crunch." It contains a combination of MP "aware" filters and "no so" MP "aware" filters including Rotate, Gaussian Blur, Watercolor, Motion Blur, Lighting Effects, Lens Flare, Accented Edges, Unsharp Mask, Convert to CMYK, Color Halftone, Pointilize, Polar Coordinates, Radial Blur, Image Size, Crosshatch, Spherize, Clouds, Torn Edges, and NTSC Colors. The test file created by the macro is 5.71 x 3.75 inches x 700 pixels per inch or 30MB's in size.

Then I split Crunch into two other actions files, one with Multi-Processor aware filters and one with Non-MP aware filters.

To nullify the effect of the scratch disk, I had each function UNDO itself before going on to the next. I realize that isn't real world but it's the only way to take the scratch disk speed out of the equation. When running in OS 9, the preferred application size was set to at least 250MB.

Some of you may have noticed the numbers are slightly different after the April 20th update. Instead of measuring the time of each filter and adding the totals, I ran the action "MP aware" and "non_MP aware" action files non-stop (with undo after each) and recorded the total time using a stopwatch.

© 2002 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
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