Header Ads

Breaking News

Adobe Photoshop for M1 Macs Is Quick, But Not Always 1.5x Faster


Adobe claims that the latest version of Photoshop, released on Wednesday, could run 50% faster on the Apple M1-equipped MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini. The first benchmark tests—including our own—are now available, and they don’t quite match this claim, but they do suggest that Photoshop users will see significant improvements over older versions of Photoshop that don’t run natively on the M1 processor. 

On all PCs we test, we run a Photoshop benchmark, applying a series of 10 filters to a stock PCMag image. What we found in our early tests: Our own Photoshop performance test is 16% faster when running the latest version of Photoshop on the M1-equipped MacBook Pro versus running the latest version of the Creative Cloud software we ran at the M1 Macs’ launch late last year. Other benchmarks show even greater gains compared with older versions of Photoshop, which are intended for Intel processors and run in the Rosetta 2 emulation layer on Macs that use the M1 chip.


Testing Native Against Rosetta 

Adobe’s claim of 50% better performance is based on average results from many different Photoshop activities performed during the company’s internal tests. They include opening and running filters, and compute-heavy operations like Content-Aware Fill and Select Subject. Adobe notes that some of these operations “feel noticeably faster,” which will likely gratify photographers and other digital artists who use Photoshop all day long. 

Every artist uses Photoshop differently, of course, and so does every benchmark test. Our test involves timing how long it takes to apply a series of 10 filters and effects to a JPG image. While the test has evolved slightly over the years, many of the operations haven’t changed much since Photoshop CS6 was released nearly a decade ago. These include resizing the image, applying Watercolor and Stained Glass effects, and using several types of blur filters.

We were unable to roll back the Photoshop version on our test M1 Mac once we updated it (we wish we could, to break out the discrete filter results for the emulated version of the software), but here is the breakdown of how long our 10 test filters took on the new M1 version of the software:

Adding up the per-filter figures, the entire test took 2 minutes and 17 seconds (2:17) on the 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1 processor running the latest version of Photoshop.

The same test took 2 minutes and 43 seconds (2:43) when we tested the same laptop when it was released last fall, using the then-current Creative Cloud version of Photoshop in emulation. That’s a 16% improvement with the M1-optimized software.

You can also see how these results stack up against a few competing laptops in the chart below. Of course, the non-Apple systems are not using an M1-optimized version of the software.


Gains Depend on the Benchmark Composition

While our test uses many “classic” filters and effects that aren’t necessarily optimized to show off the capabilities of modern processors like the M1, we believe it’s representative of many real-world workflows.

Other tests use alternate workflows that tax a computer’s resources in different ways. One emerging benchmark is from Puget Systems, a small firm that builds PCs tailor-made to the complex workflows of digital artists. Like our test, the Puget benchmark includes image resizing and many blur effects, but it also adds the especially intense Content Aware Fill and Photo Merge tasks. Using a Mac mini running the Puget benchmark, PetaPixel demonstrated a 33% performance improvement. That’s double the improvement our test shows, though it’s not quite the 1.5x average that Adobe is claiming. 

Apple M1 chip

Still, even a 16% boost is impressive considering that improvements are limited to software tweaks alone. Photoshop running in the Rosetta 2 emulation layer on M1 Macs is already competitive with the results from many Intel Core i5- and Core i7-powered laptops running Photoshop natively. This means that laptops equipped with Apple’s silicon offer an unquestionable advantage over competing machines for creative pros who use Adobe’s products frequently. And the advantage is likely to grow as Apple releases even more efficient processors over the coming year and more app developers release M1 native versions of their apps. 

Adobe has already updated other apps and features in the Creative Suite to run natively on the M1, including Lightroom and Camera RAW. 

The company notes that there are a few parts of Photoshop that still don’t run natively on the M1, even in the latest version released this week. They include Invite to Edit Cloud Documents and Preset Syncing. If you frequently use these features, you may want to hold off updating your app to the latest version. Otherwise, the upgrade is a no-brainer for anyone running Photoshop on the latest Macs. 

Source Link

No comments