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Adobe Says Apple M1 Macs Will Be 50% Faster In Photoshop


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Last week, Adobe has officially released Apple’s latest M1 chip-powered Macs. In a blog post by Pam Clark, Adobe’s Senior Director of Product Management, the multinational computer software company presented the “first version of Photoshop to run natively on Macs with the new M1 chip” as well as “two important new Photoshop on iPad features — Cloud Documents Version History and Cloud Documents offline access.

Going through several different architectures, from Motorola CPUs and PowerPC chips to Intel x86 processors, the M1 chip is the first Advanced Risc Machine ARM-based system on a chip (SoC) designed by Apple. With it having the fastest single-core performance of any Mac, the new chip is said to offer 3.5 times the CPU and 5 times the graphics performance, as well as up to 9 times faster processing for machine learning, with apple boasting in a press release that “M1 is faster than the chips in 98 percent of PC laptops sold in the past year.”

“These great performance improvements are just the beginning”

And Adobe has been one of Apple’s long-term partners, with Photoshop having served Mac customers for over 30 years. It was first available back in 1990 exclusively on Macintosh, with a software debut priced at $895 in a time when basic photo retouching cost $300 an hour.

And so far, none of its versions have disappointed. Coming with “significant performance gains” for users running Apple silicon, Photoshop’s newest version brings with it “a wide range of features running an average of 1.5X the speed” of when it contained an Intel chip. And Photoshop Product Manager Mark Dahm’s interview with Computerworld, confirms that the new M1 version comes with such a performance boost:

“We compared an M1 MacBook to a previous-generation MacBook similarly configured, and found that under native mode, Photoshop was running 50% faster than the older hardware,” Dahm said. “These great performance improvements are just the beginning, and we will continue to work together with Apple to further optimize performance over time.”

Dahm also had high hopes for the future of Apple silicon chips and the way this will enable Adobe and Photoshop to bring “magic to life on the new Apple silicon platform.”

“We were eager to tap into the more specialized aspects of the M1 chip to see how they could re-energize some of the seemingly magical features that have since become staples of the Photoshop experience over the years; features like Content-Aware Fill, the healing brush, specialized filters, and even relative newcomers, like the machine-learning-based Auto Select Subject and Sky Replacement tools, Dahm added.”

The Rosetta Conundrum

It does have a downside, though. Some features, including invite to edit, synced presets, opening or placing U3D formatted files, are currently not available in native mode. If users wish to use them, then they must open Photoshop using Rosetta, an application compatibility layer designed to bridge the transition between Intel and Apple processors by “translating” instructions written for Intel processors into commands that can be deciphered by Apple’s chips. However, Adobe has assured that it is “hard at work” and promises “to reduce these feature differences in future updates.”

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Adobe Says Apple M1 Macs Will Be 50% Faster In Photoshop

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