4 core vs 6 core for Photoshop/Lightroom/Illustrator?

Radiating

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 29, 2011
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Tests show that the 4 core 3770S in the iMac is faster than the 12 core in the New Mac Pro due to not being able to take advantage of the multiple cores. But What about the 4 core 1620 v2 vs the 6 core 1650 v2?

Which will run photoshop better?
 

AppleDroid

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2011
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Illinois
Tests show that the 4 core 3770S in the iMac is faster than the 12 core in the New Mac Pro due to not being able to take advantage of the multiple cores. But What about the 4 core 1620 v2 vs the 6 core 1650 v2?

Which will run photoshop better?
Sadly no one has had the base 4c to test so we have to go off of the 6c or 8c reviews out in the wild. From Anandtech, and this teaser I found today on bare feats (http://www.barefeats.com/tube03.html) unless you rely heavily on GPU processing, or need more expansion ports, the BTO i7 iMac + SSD is faster at most general tasks.

This has been my dilemma as well. It seems like the best course of action is the 4c i7 iMac + SSD + 780m or jump to the 6c nMP otherwise it's a wash.
 

PmattF

macrumors member
Dec 28, 2006
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I went in the Apple store the other day and did a quick comparison opening 11 Nikon D800 RAW images (36 megapixels) from Adobe Bridge to Photoshop CS6, and then merging them to a panorama on a MBP with a 2.3 ghz processor and the 4 core nMP.

The MBP took 47 seconds to convert the images, and 183 seconds to create the panorama. The nMP was barely faster, at 42 seconds and 176 seconds.

What I really wanted to compare was the fastest MBP with the 2.6 ghz processor, vs. the six core nMP, but they did not have either of those on the floor. And I also wanted to compare Lightroom and Photoshop CC, but they would not let me install those (Photoshop 6 was installed).

Based on these results I assume the 2.6 ghz MBP would have edged a bit ahead of the nMP, and the fastest iMac would be distinctly ahead. My conclusion is that the 4 core definitely would not be worth getting for photography work.

As you ask, what I still don't know is how much difference the extra cores in the six core model would make. Converting the images does use multiple cores, but merge to panorama is single threaded. And Lightroom (where I spend most of my time) generally is pretty good about using multiple cores.

And another issue is RAM -- the nMP I tested was the stock configuration with 12 gigs of RAM, and the MBP had 16 -- Photoshop runs out of RAM doing that panorama (even with 16 gigs) so that might have hobbled the nMP in the test, and conversely, a 32 or 64 gig nMP might be noticeably better even in single threaded Photoshop tasks if they need enough RAM (while the MBP of course tops out at 16, and can never be upgraded).

I need to buy a new machine (I am still using a first gen Mac Pro), but it will only be for photography. I still don't know if I would be better off with a top-end MBP or a six core nMP.
 

AppleDroid

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2011
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Illinois
I need to buy a new machine (I am still using a first gen Mac Pro), but it will only be for photography. I still don't know if I would be better off with a top-end MBP or a six core nMP.
I think others have pointed out the only big advantage of the nMP, or iMac, over the rMBP is CPU/GPU throttling over long periods of time. For me even a rMBP would probably work must faster than my SSD upgraded 4c 2009 MP as the only sustained multicore app I use is Lightroom and that's generating thumbnails/Exporting. The export seems to be heavily dependent on drive speeds which all three would destroy my current setup.

If I added in at least 10hrs/week of video encoding/animating into my business I could see the 4c nMP being the better buy but right now I don't see it.
 

wildmac

macrumors 65816
Jun 13, 2003
1,167
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Looking at the PS 5 and LR 3 tests from the Anandtech review, you would think the nMP is a dog for this work. But then he mentions that he ran the same test in PS 6 and got 6 seconds, which would beat the others, but... we don't have numbers for PS 6 on the iMac.

Which means the nMP might really be a dog for some of this work compared to the iMac, but we really don't have enough info...
 

PmattF

macrumors member
Dec 28, 2006
82
0
As you ask, what I still don't know is how much difference the extra cores in the six core model would make. Converting the images does use multiple cores, but merge to panorama is single threaded. And Lightroom (where I spend most of my time) generally is pretty good about using multiple cores.
The AppleInsider review is up, they do some comparisons of stock 4 core vs. stock 6 core...
http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/01/09/review-apples-redesigned-late-2013-mac-pro

As a photographer, this was the most interesting part to me...
Importing 36MB uncompressed RAW photo files into Adobe Photoshop was quick on both Pro models, likely thanks to PCIe and CPU threading. Pushing the files through Lightroom with correcting filters and other image processing enabled, the 4-core and 6-core performed nearly identically.

I am getting the impression from this review that the six core does not bring a substantial boost to Lightroom/Photoshop over the four core. And per the posts above, we already know the four core is about the same as the fastest iMacs or Macbook Pros.

The question is whether the ability to have much more RAM, or the ability to run at turbo boost speeds for longer periods would have a real impact (or whether at some point in the future the GPU's will be of actual use for photographers).

Since I already have a great 30 inch monitor, at this point I am leaning towards a maxed out Retina MBP for myself (for Lightroom and Photoshop). Though I think a hex core nMP would be a bit higher performant, it doesn't seem like it would very much, and the advantages of cost, having the second (retina quality) screen, and mobility are starting to outweigh that in my mind.

The one thing holding me back is the RAM -- I really am not happy about being stuck at 16 gig. Generating large panoramas from 36 megapixel Nikon D800 files, I routinely get 60+ gig Photoshop swap files. That being said, hopefully the fast SSD in the MBP would help speed things up when I was using that much memory.
 

wheelhot

macrumors 68020
Nov 23, 2007
2,080
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As other reviews had stated, the performance of the nMP would only be visible once apps are optimized to make use of that dual GPU, as of right now, the performance with many apps would be similar to a full-spec iMac or rMBP 15".

Though as more people buy the nMP, it's only a matter of time till developers update their app to make use of those dual GPUs :D
 

michael_aos

macrumors 6502
Jan 26, 2004
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0
I've had my new Mac Pro for ~24hrs now.

6-core, 32GB, 512GB, D500's.

Coming from a Late 2012 Mac Mini (2.6Ghz quad-core i7, 16GB, ~1.1TB Fusion). Before that I had a Mac Pro 1,1 (2.66Ghz quad-core Xeon, 16GB, 256GB SSD, ATI Radeon HD 5770) from initial release in 2006 until Late 2012 when it was replaced by the Mini.

Just doing normal stuff, I'm not really getting the wow I thought I would.

Love being able to drive 3x displays natively -vs- the Mini with an OWC USB3<->HDMI adapter.

Love having 32GB RAM -vs- the Mini being limited to 16GB.

Love that the new Mac Pro is essentially silent, even at ~96% CPU used.

If I had it to do over again, I'd probably just get the base quad-core (256GB flash) w/D300's and buy OWC RAM. Save maybe ~$1283.60.

Actually still kind of toying with the idea...

Activity Monitor shows ~99.6% idle as I'm typing this...
--
 

mrsavage1

macrumors regular
Feb 1, 2010
215
0
I've had my new Mac Pro for ~24hrs now.

6-core, 32GB, 512GB, D500's.

Coming from a Late 2012 Mac Mini (2.6Ghz quad-core i7, 16GB, ~1.1TB Fusion). Before that I had a Mac Pro 1,1 (2.66Ghz quad-core Xeon, 16GB, 256GB SSD, ATI Radeon HD 5770) from initial release in 2006 until Late 2012 when it was replaced by the Mini.

Just doing normal stuff, I'm not really getting the wow I thought I would.

Love being able to drive 3x displays natively -vs- the Mini with an OWC USB3<->HDMI adapter.

Love having 32GB RAM -vs- the Mini being limited to 16GB.

Love that the new Mac Pro is essentially silent, even at ~96% CPU used.

If I had it to do over again, I'd probably just get the base quad-core (256GB flash) w/D300's and buy OWC RAM. Save maybe ~$1283.60.

Actually still kind of toying with the idea...

Activity Monitor shows ~99.6% idle as I'm typing this...
--
Thats my plan as well buying the base then upgrading in around 3 years
 

wildmac

macrumors 65816
Jun 13, 2003
1,167
1
Side note here.. if the latest results in the Photoshop test thread are accurate, Adobe CC might be the biggest gain in speed here. One tester with Adobe CS6 showed 9 seconds on the test, another with CC showed 1.8 seconds.. if those tests are accurate... wow.
 

d-m-a-x

macrumors 6502a
Aug 13, 2011
509
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I am a photographer and have the quad. Capture one is a definate wow. Cs6 is snappy enough, i am happy. One day i will swap the cpu's, when the price comes down and there is some documentation
 

wildmac

macrumors 65816
Jun 13, 2003
1,167
1
I am a photographer and have the quad. Capture one is a definate wow. Cs6 is snappy enough, i am happy. One day i will swap the cpu's, when the price comes down and there is some documentation
Quad/D300? Can you run that Photoshop speed test? (See the sticky at the top).
 

Killerbob

macrumors 65816
Jan 25, 2008
1,018
89
Yep, you download the test package, and run the installation for the script. Then you reboot, open PS, open the test image, and get your stopwatch. Run the test script, and it will tell you when to start and stop your stopwatch.

We have two very different results in the test script thread, one took some 8 seconds, and one took about 2...
 

wildmac

macrumors 65816
Jun 13, 2003
1,167
1
11.7 seconds

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ah looks like p shop reseted the settings, trying again

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11.6 seconds
What version of Photoshop? VR got 9 seconds with his Hex/D500, with PS6, the test in the other thread was the CC version.

And thanks a ton for testing!!!! :)
 

Killerbob

macrumors 65816
Jan 25, 2008
1,018
89
So probably PS CS6 is too old to take advantage of OpenCL, and the CC version does...
 
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