Adobe Photoshop CS4 Performance

To measure performance under Photoshop CS4 we turn to the Retouch Artists’ Speed Test. The test does basic photo editing; there are a couple of color space conversions, many layer creations, color curve adjustment, image and canvas size adjustment, unsharp mask, and finally a gaussian blur performed on the entire image.

The whole process is timed and thanks to the use of Intel's X25-M SSD as our test bed hard drive, performance is far more predictable than back when we used to test on mechanical disks.

Time is reported in seconds and the lower numbers mean better performance. The test is multithreaded and can hit all four cores in a quad-core machine.

Adobe Photoshop CS4 - Retouch Artists Speed Test

Our Photoshop test is multithreaded, but its performance doesn't scale linearly with core count. Despite that fact, the larger L3 cache helps the 980X complete the test 16% faster than the Core i7 975.

Go back two years and the 980X is 50% faster than the Core 2 Extreme QX9770. Go back five years and then we're in the hundreds of percentage points. The Core i7 980X is the new holy grail for photographers and image editors.

SYSMark 2007 Performance Video Encoding Performance


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  • softdrinkviking - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    it's a 2-p4 mcm at at a lower node with a lot
    of improvements over the older p4 manufacturing processes.

    if i absolutely had to have netburst, that's what i would want.

    i think it's really nice that Anand includes it in the comparison, because it gives a sense of history to the article, and it shows how much faster CPUs have gotten in such a short time.

  • JonnyDough - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Yep. It might be based on P4, but you can't really considered a P4. It was based on two cedar mill cores rather than smithfield with double the cache and a 200mhz bus speed jump. Reply
  • Dadofamunky - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    And exactly the same NetBurst architecture otherwise. And I'm sorry, but seeing that POS coming up with 40% against Gulftown signifies either one of two things: Gulftown isn't that much faster; or, the SysMark software distorts the relative performance results. That isn't a realistic portrayal of 'history.' SysMark 2007 badly needs an update. It isn't a realistic tool for the 4-to-6-core world. Reply
  • danielkza - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Weird, other sites managed to squeeze up to 4.4GHz of the 980X on air, and 4.7GHz on WC. I thought initially of different stability requirements from both parts, but bit-tech ran all their benchmarks at both 4400MHz and 4720MHz. Maybe Anand's DX58 isn't holding up so well after all.">
  • DanNeely - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Anand only used a stock cooler to test. The intel coolers never have much head room in them. Luck of the draw in both mobo and CPU might be a factor but so is bit-tech's better cooling. Reply
  • chrisfam - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Tomshardware got a 4.13 Ghz overclock with 1.4v and with Enhanced SpeedStep and Turbo Boost enabled. Neoseeker got a 4.16 Ghz overclock with just 1.35v. And both of these were with the stock heat sink. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    I've been working on a follow up to go deeper into our overclocked numbers. A motherboard swap later and a little bit of work appears to be paying off...I'm over 4.1GHz already :-)

    Update soon!

    Take care,
  • chrisfam - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Updated overclock (4.13 Ghz, 1.359V) is much better. Thanks for the update. Reply
  • Rajinder Gill - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    That's right, 3.7-3.8GHz is the full load limit of Intel's stock cooler with these beasts. We ran out of time to really push, but I'm sure we'll find out what these chips can do in due course.

  • strikeback03 - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Is the new tower cooler an improvement in any way over the old one? Is it quieter, as it doesn't seem to offer more OC headroom.

    Also, how does the CPU power consumption increase by 130W at load over idle, while system consumption only goes up 90W?

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