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Test Configuration

Adobe CS5: 64-bit, CUDA-Accelerated, And Threaded Performance
By
Test System
Motherboard
Gigabyte X58A-UD7, LGA 1366, BIOS F7
Processor
Intel Core i7-980X Extreme (Gulftown), Six-Core, 32 nm, 12 MB Shared L3 Cache
CPU Cooler
Thermalright Ultra 120 eXtreme
Memory
OCZ Gold-Series DDR3-1333, Triple-Channel, 3 x 4 GB, 1333 MT/s, CAS 9-9-9-20-1T
Graphics
Sparkle GeForce GTX 480 (SXX4801536D5-NM), 1.5 GB GDDR5, 700/3696 MHz GPU/Memory
Storage
Primary: Intel X25-M (G2) 160 GB SSD
Secondary: OCZ RevoDrive 120 GB PCIe x4
Software and Drivers
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
DirectX Version
DirectX 11
Graphics Drivers
Nvidia GeForce 258.96 WHQL (7/19/2010)
Applications
Adobe After Effects
CS4 and CS5; Custom Workload, SD project with three picture-in-picture frames, source video at 720p
Adobe Photoshop
CS5; 20K x 20K test image
Digital Anarchy
Beauty Box Photo
Adobe Premiere Pro
CS4 and CS5; Custom Workload, 1280x720p, 59.94 FPS video, Panasonic DVCPro100, HVX-200 camcorder on P2 media, Render to Work Area.
Adobe Media Encoder
Custom Workload, Encode Premiere Pro project to H.264 for Blu-ray


To isolate the impact of scaling core counts, we picked the Gigabyte board for its ability to enable anywhere from one to six active cores in the BIOS. We chose to examine results using two, four, and six cores. For each of these, we tested both with and without Hyper-Threading enabled, giving us essentially six different (logical) thread count scenarios. This would also hopefully help us see how much, if any, benefit there is to having Hyper-Threading in play with CS5. 

Figuring that most people running Creative Suite would be unlikely to purchase a Core i3, we left Turbo Boost enabled across all tests. Note that when we measured CPU ranges, it was done by waiting ten seconds after launching the test and observing utilization for at least two minutes total across multiple areas within the test run. The lowest and highest observed utilization values were discarded unless seen to repeat at least twice.

Having 12 GB was important for us, because in upgrading from CS4 (or earlier) to CS5, we’re assuming that one of the main draws is to also make that leap from 32-bit to 64-bit and leverage the increased memory addressing that comes with it. When testing CS4, we still have 12 GB of system memory in the configuration, but the applications only access the first 4 GB of it. In one sense, this muddies the waters a bit since we’re effectively changing the hardware resources utilized along with the applications, but ultimately we decided this best reflected a real life decision process. If you’re going to pay for a CS5 upgrade, odds are high that you’re going to increase your memory along with it, and 12 GB is a sweet spot for triple-channel memory kits in today’s high-end systems.

We also debated for a while over the storage devices to use here. Ultimately, we decided to use Intel’s widely respected G2 SSD to house our OS and applications, while all data and scratch disk targets were placed on the OCZ RevoDrive.

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Top Comments
  • 22 Hide
    bunnyblaster , November 1, 2010 5:02 AM
    Please increase the size of the legend. It is easy to figure out in this review since it's only two colors, however, if it is more than 2, it is hard to figure out which bar is referring to which score.

    Please consider changing the page drop-down menu to the old school drop-down menus like the other tech blogs like Anandtech and Arstech, etc.

    The interface is a little clumsy and seems to be poorly timed when I try to scroll down the drop-down menu. It often closes when I am trying to scroll to another page. Sometimes, when the page loads, it is hidden by a pop-up word ad.

    However, the article content was strong.
  • 12 Hide
    ares1214 , November 1, 2010 11:12 AM
    nebunbuddy, FERMI is far more superior than AMD/ATI


    As a space heater...
Other Comments
  • 1 Hide
    reprotected , November 1, 2010 4:17 AM
    Fermi exceeds at something finally!
  • 4 Hide
    IzzyCraft , November 1, 2010 4:55 AM
    magpcWhat if I am an ATI user?.And Iam an ATI user !!!.

    You still get gpu acceleration just not as much =p and it would be a ATI listed on their site just like nvidia it's a limited pool.
  • 22 Hide
    bunnyblaster , November 1, 2010 5:02 AM
    Please increase the size of the legend. It is easy to figure out in this review since it's only two colors, however, if it is more than 2, it is hard to figure out which bar is referring to which score.

    Please consider changing the page drop-down menu to the old school drop-down menus like the other tech blogs like Anandtech and Arstech, etc.

    The interface is a little clumsy and seems to be poorly timed when I try to scroll down the drop-down menu. It often closes when I am trying to scroll to another page. Sometimes, when the page loads, it is hidden by a pop-up word ad.

    However, the article content was strong.
  • -7 Hide
    dEAne , November 1, 2010 5:38 AM
    I have an ATI card and still I have no problem using photoshop CS4 and premiere CS4. The thing with CS5 is that if you can't wait at all, but it is not that really long.
  • 6 Hide
    adiomari , November 1, 2010 5:51 AM
    why cuda and not open-cl?!!
  • 2 Hide
    shaun_shaun , November 1, 2010 7:24 AM
    amazing performance increase !!!!!
  • -5 Hide
    Scott2010au , November 1, 2010 7:55 AM
    Surely they mean the 2GB memory limit (for Win32 processes)?

    Which is one reason why the Apple Mac version is so popular (Unix/BSD can handle more per process).
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , November 1, 2010 8:21 AM
    Why CUDA? Simply 'cause it's a mature technology.
  • 9 Hide
    amdfangirl , November 1, 2010 9:41 AM
    adiomariwhy cuda and not open-cl?!!


    CUDA preceded Open-Cl. Dev cycles are long and tedious. If you're going to implement something, it'll take time to show up. I honestly hope more developers decide to code for Open Cl.
  • -5 Hide
    nebun , November 1, 2010 11:09 AM
    reprotectedFermi exceeds at something finally!


    buddy, FERMI is far more superior than AMD/ATI
  • 12 Hide
    ares1214 , November 1, 2010 11:12 AM
    nebunbuddy, FERMI is far more superior than AMD/ATI


    As a space heater...
  • -5 Hide
    tommysch , November 1, 2010 11:25 AM
    nebunbuddy, FERMI is far more superior than AMD/ATI

    ares1214As a space heater...


    Heat = power you tree humping noob.
  • 1 Hide
    dalta centauri , November 1, 2010 11:26 AM
    ares1214As a space heater...

    Obviously, I mean nothing is as great as when they thumbs up their own comment before posting...
    We don't need fanboys of ither side on here, including you Ares. Don't make mouse have a long ranting argument with you!
  • -8 Hide
    ares1214 , November 1, 2010 11:51 AM
    dalta centauriObviously, I mean nothing is as great as when they thumbs up their own comment before posting...We don't need fanboys of ither side on here, including you Ares. Don't make mouse have a long ranting argument with you!


    Not a fanboy? Just pointing out, someone blind enough to say something is far superior to something else that, well, really isnt superior by much, or at all, should be corrected. Calm down. Your not a mod just yet ;) 
  • 5 Hide
    dalta centauri , November 1, 2010 12:16 PM
    Quote:
    Not a fanboy? Just pointing out, someone blind enough to say something is far superior to something else that, well, really isnt superior by much, or at all, should be corrected. Calm down. Your not a mod just yet ;) 

    That was an AMD fanboy reply to an Nvidia fanboy statement. The fact that I pointed this out and you want to complain that it wasn't a fanboy opinion shows how you can't take criticism. You could have easily ignored him, and thumbed him down where he would be marked as spam/hidden message. Because you know mouse will randomly come in here and explain why he thinks your statement is wrong, and you know he will based on past occurences.
    You never corrected him in the first place, but randomly said "as a space heater." [Appropriate emoticon that I can't find]
  • -3 Hide
    ares1214 , November 1, 2010 1:11 PM
    You REALLY need to calm down.
  • 3 Hide
    rpgplayer , November 1, 2010 1:15 PM
    actually if you look at it, AMD squeezes more performance out of less transistors. their main downfall is their drivers.
  • -1 Hide
    amstech , November 1, 2010 1:24 PM
    Fermi is power wasting technology that cost Nvidia the market share because no one bought it.
  • 0 Hide
    wh3resmycar , November 1, 2010 1:40 PM
    ati gave up on stream.
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