February 07, 2014

You wanted Photoshop faster, more efficient? You got it.

What if all we did was make apps faster?” I asked a few weeks back. I’m pleased to say that the latest update to Photoshop CC makes the app faster in two notable ways:

  • Sharpen images 5 to 20 times faster.
  • Make PSDs far lighter weight.

In the first case, an absolutely fundamental capability of the app—sharpening images—has been accelerated thanks to OpenCL. 

For example, using a test image on a machine featuring an NVIDIA GTX480, processing time went from 11.297 seconds to 0.693 seconds. Using the same image with an ATI Radeon HD7950, processing time fell from 12.529s to 0.419s*.

In the second case, linked Smart Objects can make your PSDs much lighter weight—and therefore faster to open, save, and manipulate. I just did a quick test, creating a 10-layer PSD that I then inserted into two other PSDs—one linked, one embedded. The parent containing linked SOs is 4.7MB, whereas the one with embedded SOs is 9MB (2x the size). Personally I’d make link-vs.-embed decisions more according to workflow & collaboration preferences, but it’s nice to know there are size & performance savings to be had, too.

* The PS performance guys note, “Performance times will vary on machines based on both CPU and GPU performance. For OCL-enabled GPUs with +512MB of VRAM, the results are always faster than CPU. Summary: Discrete GPU configurations show average performance gains of 5X to 20X faster. Newer-generation integrated graphics (Intel 5000 series and higher, AMD’s Trinity APU series) with OCL support show gains of at least 2X.”

Posted by John Nack at 7:59 AM on February 07, 2014
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