Results: Adobe CS6
The Photoshop results are interesting, and we’re actively looking into why the results fall the way they do.
To be specific, the CPU-oriented Photoshop test that we run is well-optimized for threading, and you can clearly see performance scaling from the Ivy Bridge-based Core i7-3770K at 1:13 to the Ivy Bridge-EP-based Xeon E5-2697 V2 at :33, using eight additional cores to cut the workload time in more than half.
Our OpenCL-accelerated workload, which should leverage Nvidia’s GeForce GTX Titan, behaves less predictably. As we add processing power on the host side, performance actually gets worse. Quad-core Haswell finishes first, followed by Ivy Bridge. Ivy Bridge-E takes third with Sandy Bridge-E behind. The eight-core and 12-core Xeon E5s are trailed only by AMD’s FX-8350.
We’re working to replace our Premiere Pro workload with something more taxing. This project renders a custom sequence to H.264, but does not reward the addition of cores as much as it does maximum core clock rate. After all, the faster Ivy Bridge-E-based Core i7-4960X outmaneuvers the Xeon E5 we’re focusing on today.
In much the same way, our After Effects demonstrates sensitivity to IPC, clock rate, and available system memory per core due to the Quick Time component invoked in our workload.
Alright, so the Adobe CS 6 testing didn’t really demonstrate Intel’s upcoming Xeon E5-2697 V2 to be a big step forward compared to some of the company’s other processors with higher clock rates and lower core counts. That might sound like an issue for design professionals interested in running Adobe’s software on the upcoming Mac Pro.
However, it’s important to remember that one workload in any given application is not going to completely encapsulate that software’s performance. We know that scrubbing the Quick Time component from our After Effects test completely changes its behavior. And as Photoshop shows us, filters heavily optimized for multi-core CPUs really fly on a 12-core CPU, while those not threaded or tuned for OpenCL don’t see any benefit.