System Builder Marathon, Q4 2012: System Value Compared

Benchmark Results: Adobe Creative Suite

We know that After Effects is threaded to some degree. However, it also appears to depend on memory capacity and storage performance for optimal balance.

In our comparison, The $2,000 machine's four cores, 16 GB of RAM, and large SSD combine to serve up great results. Although it should do well in a well-threaded test, the $1,000 system's FX-8350 just cannot hang in comparison. Maybe it's the CPU. Maybe it's the 8 GB of memory. Or perhaps it's the small 60 GB SSD. Fortunately for Don, the $500 box is limited to a dual-core Pentium and a conventional disk drive, holding it back quite a bit.

The $1,000 and $2,000 machines are nearly tied in x86-based image editing. Meanwhile, the $500 and $1,000 builds are roughly matched when using OpenCL-based processing, a testament to its GCN-powered Radeon HD 7850 graphics card.

Lacking any sort of GPU acceleration (at least in the workload we're testing), Adobe Premier Pro performance scales similarly to Photoshop’s basic x86-based tests. The $500 PC actually falls farther behind, but only managing-editor Chris Angelini would know which disabled-feature is responsible for that deficit (Ed.: I'd call that a combination of processing cores and storage, more than likely).

Although we don't typically count it in our content creation tests, Acrobat X is part of Adobe's CS 6 Master Collection, so we're including it on this page.

Acrobat is single-threaded, though. The $500 machine fares pretty well given its Sandy Bridge architecture, even if the Pentium CPU only has two cores and doesn't push very high clock rates.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.