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Photoshop CS5: CUDA

Adobe CS5: 64-bit, CUDA-Accelerated, And Threaded Performance
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Maddeningly, Photoshop CS5 still does not support any native CUDA-accelerated functions, leaving us in the same boat as After Effects...until we realized that some plug-ins for Photoshop actually use CUDA. Sweet! When we found Digital Anarchy’s Beauty Box Photo plug-in, it was love at first sight.

The skin smoothing tool is subtle but freaking awesome in its ability to convincingly wipe years off of portrait subjects with only a few clicks. Not surprisingly, such post-processing takes a fair bit of work, and we decided to push Photoshop to exhaustion by throwing a massive 29 000 x 14 577 portrait at it.

Based on our prior testing work with CUDA, these charts shouldn’t come as a surprise, but we never get tired of gaping at the benefits of a solid GPGPU implementation. Without CUDA, we again see a 5% to 10% performance hit from enabling Hyper-Threading, and the jump from two cores to four shows much greater gains than from four to six. Turn on CUDA, though, and nothing else matters. Our job finishes right around three minutes regardless of HT or core counts. Without CUDA, the best Photoshop can manage is 12 minutes. The difference is like night and day.

Without CUDA, CPU utilization remains high, gaining only a little breathing room as core counts increase. Despite impairing performance somewhat, Hyper-Threading does help lower the floor on utilization and bring down average CPU load.

With CUDA, our benchmarking times may not change, but CPU utilization plummets. This would indicate that the GPU could now be the bottleneck and the load that’s left for the CPU is now being shared among more cores, dropping the average utilization. This is important to note if you need to run other apps alongside a batched Photoshop work load, for instance.

Note that there is CUDA support for encode acceleration under Photoshop CS4, but it requires purchasing the Elemental plug-in and will only work if you’re running a compatible Quadro card. Unlike the text file hack we detailed earlier, there is no simple work-around to get past the Quadro requirement for CS4.

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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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