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What is your impression of the Photoshop CS3 Beta?

  • Wow! Can't wait until it comes out!

    Votes: 62 47.7%
  • It's okay... mediocre at best.

    Votes: 15 11.5%
  • Is this progress?

    Votes: 11 8.5%
  • Haven't used Photoshop CS3 Beta

    Votes: 42 32.3%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .


Editor emeritus
Original poster
Jul 10, 2003
Falls Church, VA
Hey guys-

I'm noticing that a bunch of people have been having success having CS3 run well on their Intel-based Macs. I haven't heard to much from PowerPC users though, and I'm thinking about compiling some of these benchmarks you guys are getting into a story.

The thing is, I'd like us to run relatively equal benchmarks (everyone using the same settings). Since people seem to like the Retouch Artists test, lets run that as our benchmark and use the following settings:

RAM= 70%

Please be sure to run the test just after restarting your Mac, with no applications running in the background. Of course, include your Mac's specs in your post.

Although thread is in the PowerMac/Mac Pro forum, MacBook and MacBook Pro users are welcome to join in the benchmarking.


Editor emeritus
Original poster
Jul 10, 2003
Falls Church, VA
RAM= "1 GB" (for a 1GB machine, set to 100%; for a 2GB machine, 50%; etc...)

I may be incorrect in how this RAM setting works... It looks like according to this article, the amount of RAM photoshop uses will be different anyways based on the amount of memory the system uses. So lets just all set the level to 70%. (I will change the first post to reflect this).


macrumors newbie
Dec 16, 2006
Speed Test


I'm using a MacPro Quad Xeon yaddayadda 2.0Ghz, 4x512 (2GB) Ram as supplied by Apple and the Ati x1900xt as supplied by Apple.

I just ran the RetouchArtists Speedtest, I think they say to set memory usage at 100% but I used 70% for this post like you asked and got the same first pass times either way.

Restart machine.

First pass: 79 seconds

Quit and restart CS2: second pass: 77 seconds

Not quit CS2, close test image and re-open: third pass: 68 seconds.

Restart computer, start CS3:
First pass: 45 seconds

Quit and restart CS3: second pass: 44 seconds

Not quit CS3, close test image and re-open: third pass: 38 seconds.

I notice a nice sharpening of response and brush sensitivity with CS3, very happy.


macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2006
Beds, UK
wow... so a 2.66 would probably shave a few seconds of those on CS3, and a 3ghz would take a few more off that. *supposedly*

very good results though!


macrumors newbie
Nov 10, 2006
dual g4 867 (MDD) 2gb ram, boot disk as scratch

MBP 2.0ghz CD 1GB ram

When I lowered the ram available to photoshop on the G4 to the same amount as the MBP (~710mb), it finished in 5:33


macrumors 6502a
Sep 24, 2006
Originally Posted by simie View Post
Quad G5 2.5 Ghz
5 GB DDR 2
500 Gigabyte HDD
OSX 10.4.8

Photoshop CS2
1 History State
100% Memory

Time 36.03 seconds

Stopwatch Used

Just run the test under CS
Time 35.92 seconds
CS 3 Beta with 1 history state and cache level 6
1st run 53.35 seconds
2nd run 40.50 seconds

The second run, is always faster than the first on my Quad G5, I have done this test multiple times and get the same results. Restarting the Mac makes no difference to the test"


macrumors newbie
Aug 29, 2004
Stockholm, Sweden
Retouch Artists Benchmark test...

Hi All!

I ran the Retouch Artist test on my Mac Pro and was to say the least blown away...

My Specs:
Mac Pro Quad 3 Ghz, 3 GB RAM, 74 GB Raptor, 500 GB 7200 rpm Scratch Disk and an ATI X1900 XT 512 MB.

When I ran the test with default settings in PS CS3, it took over 4 minutes! No idea how that happened but after a restart the results were a lot different when settings changed to 100% RAM, 1 history state and 4 Cache levels. It finished the test in just under 27 secs. I tried again with default settings and got 1 min 55 secs.

I had tried with CS2 but sorry, don't have those figures to hand. Hope this helps.


macrumors newbie
Dec 16, 2006
Activity Monitor

Ya, nice results :) All 4 cores maxed out?

Activity Monitor says CPU gets up as high as 92.25% User during this, and mostly stays around 60, 70, 80% range so I guess that's a yes.

If there's a more detailed way of checking let me know.


macrumors newbie
Dec 17, 2006
macpro vs imac

I run the test on my new mac pro 2.66 and also a new 24" imac and finally my poor but lovely 15" powerbook 1.33 they are all running 10.4.8

Mac pro 2.66/2g/500wd/256m NVIDIA 7300

CS2: 1:02
CS3: 36 sec

24" imac 2.16/2g/250g/128m NVIDIA 7300

CS2: 1:55
CS3: 58 sec

15" Powerbook G4 1.33/1g/60(4200rpm)/64m ATI9700

CS2: 6:55
when connected to an external firewire800 as scratch the result was 6:12

I still have 1.8 Dual G5 untested and next week I'm buying a macbook so next week I can give u a full list of benchmarks.
I just want to tell u that the Mac pro is so fast that it runs CS2 like the 24" imac running CS3 as u can see from the results (only 4sec difference) also worth mentiong that the powerbook did run well until the Gaussian blur action which took him almost 3 minutes to finish:( but maybe its a ram issue.


macrumors newbie
Oct 2, 2006
copied from my post on original PS retouch artist test thread:

quad g5 (quadro fx, 16Gb non-ECC, 2 raptor 74Gb on seritek 2Se2 as boot, barracuda 750Gb as scratch)
hist level =1, cache =8, RAM 100%

CS2: 40'' 1st time, 33'' 2nd time
CS3beta: 41'' 1st time, 34'' 2nd time

so CS3beta is a little slower than CS2 on my quadG5, and overall no significant difference between MacPro and G5 (expecially at the same clock speed, see previous posts). Waiting for Leopard and its 64bit (will CS3final address more of my 16Gb of RAM ?!!), this CS3beta is not really interesting for the time being at least in terms of speed as far as PPCs are concerned.


Editor emeritus
Original poster
Jul 10, 2003
Falls Church, VA

Since Adobe posted a beta of Photoshop CS3, many users have been eager to see what kind of performance enhancements the universal binary software would bring to both Intel Macs and existing PowerPC systems.

Informal benchmark testing was performed by various forum members with access to both Intel-based and PowerPC based systems and the beta Photoshop software using the RetouchArtists benchmarking test. These tests have shown significant improvement in Photoshop CS3 speeds vs. Photoshop CS2 speeds on Intel hardware. A few selected results are displayed for your convenience (full results are in this story's thread):

Model - CS2 Time (s) - CS3 Beta Time (s)

Mac Pro 2.66 GHz, 2GB RAM - 62s - 36s
Quad G5 2.5 GHz, 5GB RAM - 36s - 36s
Quad G5 2.5 GHz, 2GB RAM - unavailable - 42s

Smaller time is better.

The 2.66 GHz Mac Pro showed a nearly 60% speedup by upgrading to the CS3 beta. However, PowerPC systems appear to have not felt any boost in speed, and at least one PowerPC user had speeds actually decrease when upgrading to the CS3 beta.

Similar trends have also been noticed by BareFeats, which posts a similar comparison and also includes their own benchmarks. Of note, BareFeat's 'MP6' test shows a greater disparity between the Mac Pro and Quad G5 than the Retouch Artists test.

However, in the end the Photoshop CS3 software is still BETA software, and firm conclusions about the performance of the product should be avoided until the final version is shipped in Spring 2007.

[ Digg This Story ]


Editor emeritus
Original poster
Jul 10, 2003
Falls Church, VA
Some conclusions...

pardon me for concluding some obvious points, but it is interesting to point out a few notable things:

-This benchmark is very RAM sensitive. So, the QuadG5 that had 5 Gigs of RAM and ran at the same clip as the 2.66 GHz Mac Pro with 2 GB of RAM probably had artificially inflated numbers. If both systems had the same RAM, the Mac Pro would have most likely won out.

Westside guy

macrumors 603
Oct 15, 2003
The soggy side of the Pacific NW
I'm not sure that it's news when a native Intel app runs faster than its Rosetta predecessor. :D But if CS3 is no slower than CS2 on PPC, that's certainly okay.

However it doesn't necessarily mean a lot when some functionality is currently disabled on Intel (don't know if rendering brush size etc has any meaningful impact though).

Has anyone benchmarked Rosetta CS3 versus CS2? That might be a worthwhile additional datum.


macrumors 68040
Jan 31, 2005
La Jolla, CA
wow, the Quad G5 still performs very strong. I am surprised.
I guess I can get good money if I put it on ebay as soon as the octo-core comes out.;)
Hopefully by February, the Octo is here.


macrumors 603
Jul 27, 2001
Santa Cruz CA, Silicon Beach
Proves The Quad G5 Is Not Obsolete

Quad G5 is still a winner. Mac Pro shows no advantage over the original Quad G5 in this test. Still focused on getting 8 cores next. :) And I won't be selling my Quad G5 when I get the OctoCore. It's a keeper.


macrumors 68020
Apr 29, 2006
Woodland Hills
Does anybody have a serial code that I could use to download the beta. I really don't use photoshop all that much but have been doing a lot of DVD menu's lately and would really like to have it. However I don't have the money to buy it/its not universal yet, so if anyone would like to pass me there code so I could dl the beta.

(Please delete this post if it is against policy, and my accept my apologies)


macrumors member
Mar 6, 2006
Cape Town
CS3 Beta

My Macbook Pro (2.16 CD1) doesn't die anymore!

Photoshop CS3 beta seems much friendlier without Rosetta holding his/her hand!


macrumors 68020
Feb 27, 2006
I'm thrilled with the speed boost when using PS CS3.

However, because the brush cursors don't display properly, this beta is not something I can work with on a daily basis.

I applaud Adobe for getting this out to the public, but I wish they had fixed the cursors first.


macrumors member
Aug 5, 2003
I heard it was a 2 day trial upon re-opening the applicaiton.
It's a two day trial. The thirty day information was a mistake on Adobe's end; supposedly it has been corrected. Of course it's been out for more than twenty-four hours, so I'm sure there's a krack already out. ;)

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