Photoshop CS3 Beta Benchmarks

Since Adobe posted a beta of Photoshop CS3, many users have been eager to see what kind of performance enhancements the universal binary software would bring to both Intel Macs and existing PowerPC systems.

Informal MacRumors.com benchmark testing was performed by various forum members with access to both Intel-based and PowerPC based systems and the beta Photoshop software using the RetouchArtists Photoshop benchmarking test. These tests have shown significant improvement in Photoshop CS3 speeds vs. Photoshop CS2 speeds on Intel hardware. A few selected results are displayed for your convenience (full results are in this story's thread):

Model CS2 Time (s) CS3 Beta Time (s)
Mac Pro 2.66 GHz, 2GB RAM 62 36
Quad G5 2.5 GHz, 5GB RAM 36 36
Quad G5 2.5 GHz, 2GB RAM unavailable 42

Smaller time is better.

The 2.66 GHz Mac Pro showed a nearly 60% speedup by upgrading to the CS3 beta. However, PowerPC systems appear to have not felt any boost in speed, and at least one PowerPC user had speeds actually decrease when upgrading to the CS3 beta.

Similar trends have also been noticed by BareFeats, which posts a similar comparison and also includes their own benchmarks. Of note, BareFeat's 'MP6' test shows a greater disparity between the Mac Pro and Quad G5 than the Retouch Artists test.

However, in the end the Photoshop CS3 software is still BETA software, and firm conclusions about the performance of the product should be avoided until the final version is shipped in Spring 2007.

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