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Adobe Systems CEO Shantanu Narayen  (Source: Stephen Shankland/CNET News)
New Photoshop CS4 to ship in October and use the power of the GPU

GPU makers have been busy convincing consumers that the GPU is able to do more than just visually enhance video games. NVIDIA announced its CUDA architecture that allows all sorts of applications to run on the GPU rather than the CPU. Performance for things like video rendering and computation are much faster when using the GPU.

The problem for NVIDIA with the push for people to try these other applications has been that the applications that would run on the GPU were not the programs most people wanted to use. The lack of a name brand application has changed now with Adobe announcing that the latest version of Photoshop, CS4, will take advantage of the power offered by the GPU for the first time.

Adobe will use the GPU to allow more fluidity in zooming in and out on an image, rotating the canvas, and displaying and manipulating 3D objects. CS4 will also use the GPU to handle color correction.

John Nack, product manager for Photoshop told CNET News, "It's not lost on us that when you look at the rate of GPU power advancement, there's an enormous wealth of cycles we can take advantage of now. The rate of price drop and performance gain has been off the charts."

Not all features and functions of Photoshop CS4 can take advantage of the power offered by the GPU according to Adobe. A feature that will take advantage of the GPU processing power called Pixel Bender didn’t make the final version of Photoshop CS4, but will likely be offered as a free download at a later date through Adobe Labs. The feature allows users to create their own special effects quickly.

Nack also said, "Typically, when folks were building a big Photoshop rig...we never had to really concern ourselves with things like which video driver they were using. We had a very light integration. Anything was fine. Now that we're doing actual processing on the GPU, we have to be a good deal more stringent."

Adobe Photoshop CS4 will be available in October for $699 for Photoshop CS4, $999 for the extended version and $199 for those upgrading Photoshop from previous versions.



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Woo Hoo!!
By flurazepam on 9/23/2008 1:33:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's not lost on us that when you look at the rate of GPU power advancement, there's an enormous wealth of cycles we can take advantage of now. The rate of price drop and performance gain has been off the charts.


Says it all! Now with the 64 bit goodness and you're good to go.




RE: Woo Hoo!!
By nosfe on 9/23/2008 1:36:52 PM , Rating: 3
it'll have 64bit support, on windows at least, but it'll be only about 8% faster than the 32bit version, more with larger files, less with smaller files; so if you're in web design then its a moot point, if you're a pro photographer then its a nice feature


RE: Woo Hoo!!
By Spivonious on 9/23/2008 2:54:08 PM , Rating: 2
So they can make CS4 64-bit, but not Flash? What gives??


RE: Woo Hoo!!
By nosfe on 9/23/2008 2:58:31 PM , Rating: 2
last i checked all of the CS4 was 64bit capable, on windows


RE: Woo Hoo!!
By joex444 on 9/23/2008 3:20:32 PM , Rating: 2
there's no flash player plugin in 64 bit. this is why 64 bit versions of windows use 32 bit internet explorer. you can make an argument for firefox, chrome, opera, what have you -- ultimate fact is >75% of users use IE. it would make more sense to use a 64 bit version of IE but 64 bit windows users cannot do that if the pages they load have flash as there is no plugin. it's been more than a couple years adobe has had to write a 64 bit flash plugin, it can't be that hard.


RE: Woo Hoo!!
By Spivonious on 9/23/2008 3:39:50 PM , Rating: 2
The really annoying thing is that there's no 64-bit version of Silverlight. It's like Microsoft's teams just go off and do their own thing and don't communicate with each other.


RE: Woo Hoo!!
By ebakke on 9/23/2008 5:44:10 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
It's like Microsoft's teams just go off and do their own thing and don't communicate with each other.

That's likely exactly what happens.


RE: Woo Hoo!!
By Tsuwamono on 9/23/2008 9:24:45 PM , Rating: 4
Microsoft Employee 1: "Did you hear we are coming out with Windows 7 soon?"

Microsoft Employee 2: "Where did you hear that?"

Microsoft Employee 1: "DailyTech"

Microsoft Employee 2: "Ya but watch them screw it up like they did Vista"


RE: Woo Hoo!!
By xsilver on 9/24/2008 10:37:46 AM , Rating: 1
continued:
Employee 1: "Wasnt that your department?"
Employee 2: "I thought it was yours?"
Employee 1: "I'm working on SP4 for winxp"
Employee 2: "Dont look at me - Im trying to write jokes for jerry seinfeld" :)


RE: Woo Hoo!!
By gamerk2 on 9/24/2008 8:46:53 AM , Rating: 2
Why do we need 64-bit versions? Programs should be written to work regardless of the maximum amount of address space, period.

Having seperate versions for every program leads to a decrease in product quality, and an increase in development time. 32-bit is still the most widley used, so make the programs 32-bit, but able to run on 64+-bit machines.


RE: Woo Hoo!!
By Spivonious on 9/24/2008 9:41:04 AM , Rating: 2
Because 32-bit plug-ins don't work in 64-bit browsers.

I forget where I read it, but something like 20% of users are now running 64-bit OSes. That's a huge chunk to ignore.


RE: Woo Hoo!!
By deadrats on 9/24/2008 8:43:38 PM , Rating: 2
because the cpu's are 64 bit (or more accurately hybrid 32/64/128 bit, SSE is 128 bit, on x86-64 architectures); furthermore, the transition from 32 bit to 64 bit cpu's brought us 16 additional registers (8 general purpose and 8 SIMD) on 64 bit cpu's as compared to 32 bit x86 cpu's.

what you should be asking is why are we still stuck with 32 bit OSes and 32 bit applications when the x86 architecture has moved to a 64 bit capable world.

if you have any doubts as to the benefit of 64 bit applications, download and install (on a spare hdd) a 32 bit and a 64 bit linux distro, say the latest fedora, where all the included apps are also compiled in 64 bit and then you will see why we should be demanding 64bit apps on 64bit OSes exclusively.


RE: Woo Hoo!!
By omnicronx on 9/24/2008 10:09:40 AM , Rating: 2
Flash is a closed source app, If Adobe chooses not to develop for 64 bit, (just like they held off on windows mobile support) then there is nothing Microsoft or anyone else can do about it. I am sure MS would like to have a 64 bit version of IE, but thanks to adobe, it does not seem like this is coming anytime soon. Maybe MS's silverlight will kick them into action.


RE: Woo Hoo!!
By killerb255 on 9/24/2008 5:54:18 PM , Rating: 2
Uh...there is a 64-bit version of IE. It's built into XP x64 (IE6 SP1 or 2), Server 2003 x64 (same), and Vista x64 (IE7).

In fact, they all come with 32-bit AND 64-bit versions of IE. It's just that the 32-bit version is the default browser.

Keeping that in mind, do we really need an x64 browser when the x86 browser works fine in WOW6432 mode? Does a browser really need more than 4 GB of RAM?

If Windows 7 abandons WOW6432 (HIGHLY unlikely), then I can see a need for a 64-bit browser.


RE: Woo Hoo!!
By Hieyeck on 9/23/2008 1:37:22 PM , Rating: 3
More like: What took them so long... seriously.


RE: Woo Hoo!!
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/23/2008 2:18:44 PM , Rating: 3
It's Adobe, they aren't exactly known for their speed at overhauling old products. I'd still like to take Flash and nuke it into oblivion. I have more problems with Flash on systems than I do with Java.


RE: Woo Hoo!!
By nosfe on 9/23/2008 2:41:06 PM , Rating: 2
yeah, same in photoshop with filters that were introduced in PS2.0 and were never touched since so no preview for those filters or anything


RE: Woo Hoo!!
By Oregonian2 on 9/23/2008 3:40:09 PM , Rating: 3
Some of the major parts of their package including flash and dreamweaver have only been Adobe products for a couple years. Packages were undoubtedly shoe-horned together for the first run and just getting their code bases in place probably was fun enough as it was. They're probably getting things integrated (both the products and the people doing it) in a fashion that's more than org-charts. My WAG anyway.


RE: Woo Hoo!!
By B3an on 9/23/2008 7:51:46 PM , Rating: 2
Never had trouble with Flash. It's by far the greatest plugin of any sort available for a web browser. The amount of things it can do and the levels of creativity achievable are superior to anything.


RE: Woo Hoo!!
By Locutus465 on 9/23/2008 4:37:26 PM , Rating: 2
Any word on whether this will be nvidia only or compatible with AMD as well?


Meh
By jay401 on 9/23/2008 1:38:12 PM , Rating: 3
Cool feature and all, but honestly pumping out a new version every year just makes me -more- likely to wait before upgrading again.
Our company has CS3 and i haven't even bothered to upgrade from CS2 because honestly I don't NEED to and it's a hassle to upgrade and learn new features for software you are comfortable with and that does everything you need it to just fine.

Maybe in a year or two, when CS6 is out, I'll upgrade again. =P

But I'm that way with my Operating System as well. WinXP does just fine for me and it's still supported with security patches so I have absolutely no reason to upgrade. Should be able to hold out for Windows 7 at this rate.




RE: Meh
By nosfe on 9/23/08, Rating: -1
RE: Meh
By SpaceRanger on 9/23/2008 1:54:55 PM , Rating: 2
But the point is still valid. If the older version of CS is working just fine wouldn't the old saying of, "If it ain't broken don't fix it." apply? Mind you you're only spending $200 for the upgrade, but if you can save it that's just great.


RE: Meh
By nosfe on 9/23/2008 2:43:36 PM , Rating: 4
what point? don't upgrade if you don't need the features that the upgrade brings? its like saying "the circle is round" its so obvious that i'm this sarcastic about it


RE: Meh
By Proxes on 9/23/2008 2:04:05 PM , Rating: 2
I heard if CS4 comes out before a camera, like the Canon 5D Mark II, they won't upgrade CS3 to support the camera's RAW files. If that's true that really sucks.

So with the life cycle of Photoshop and DSLRs you're spending lots of money to keep up with the Jones's.


RE: Meh
By DXRick on 9/23/2008 2:20:00 PM , Rating: 2
Yup. I had to upgrade to CS2 to get ACR support for the Nikon D200. I would have to get CS3 if I get the D300 or D700.

B&H shows Nov. for the 5D MII. You will likely have to get CS4 for it.


RE: Meh
By Solandri on 9/23/2008 4:44:29 PM , Rating: 2
That was a ACR major version update. CS2 used an older version of ACR and was updated for free to add support for new cameras that initially came out while it was current.

With CS3, Adobe updated ACR from v.3 to v.4, and only added new camera support to v.4. Rather than continue to update the older product, they decided to make a standalone tool to convert from any new camera's RAW file to their DNG format, which is compatible with older versions. Not exactly ideal, but they didn't "force" users of CS2 to upgrade to CS3. Unless they do another major revision of ACR again, you should get an update which allows it to read the 5D mk.II RAW files.


RE: Meh
By nosfe on 9/23/2008 2:37:37 PM , Rating: 2
thats because photoshop itself doesn't read RAW files, photoshop reads RAW files through the Camera RAW plugin and that it updated regularly


RE: Meh
By kelmon on 9/24/2008 3:24:26 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed - I have CS3 following an upgrade from Photoshop 7. That made a big difference, particularly since CS3 runs natively on an Intel-based Mac. However, I'm not seeing anything compelling in this version to warrant an upgrade so I'll probably either wait for a new version to come out with features that I want or at the final time that I can use CS3 as a qualifying upgrade version.

I have no doubt that CS4 will be better than CS3, not least because Adobe is reported to be smoothing out some of the rough edges (not sure exactly what that means in reality) but given the cost of Photoshop it is too hard to justify the expense.


native x64 support?
By kjboughton on 9/23/2008 2:59:08 PM , Rating: 3
Hey Adobe, don't forget to not release a x64 version (we wouldn't want you to forget). Have you guys released ANYTHING compiled for native 64-bit support? We're STILL waiting for a 64-bit Flash plugin for our browsers.

Adobe has been "working on" a 64-bit Flash player for YEARS NOW: http://kb.adobe.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?ext...




RE: native x64 support?
By GaryJohnson on 9/23/2008 3:44:37 PM , Rating: 2
You must be looking at some HUGE webpages if your browser needs to be able to address more than 2GB of memory.


RE: native x64 support?
By quaiky on 9/23/2008 5:02:10 PM , Rating: 3
its not about the memory, but its annoying that you have to use 32 bit software on a 64bit system just cause one plugin doesn't get ported to 64bit.


RE: native x64 support?
By GaryJohnson on 9/23/08, Rating: 0
RE: native x64 support?
By dagamer34 on 9/23/2008 11:12:31 PM , Rating: 2
That means loading a shitload of 32-bit binaries just for one program. Not exactly what I'd call "efficient."


RE: native x64 support?
By Zurtex on 9/24/2008 11:07:06 AM , Rating: 2
Several advances in Javascript and DOM rendering make use of 64 bits, allowing a full 64 bit application just makes things easier and likely faster than segregating the application.


News?
By MPE on 9/23/2008 2:50:38 PM , Rating: 1
If this is newsworthy it is only because Adobe is actually playing catch up to all other NLEs. FCP, Edius, Avid, etc all have been utilizing GPUs (in varying degrees) for their NLEs.

Other software like Boris and Motion also utilize the GPU. Also high-end software like Avid DS, Shake, etc.

I love the CS bundle and use it but GPU powered NLEs is very old (several years old to be exact).




RE: News?
By GaryJohnson on 9/23/2008 3:38:39 PM , Rating: 2
I thought this article was about Photoshop, not Premiere?

And as far as I know, Premiere has been utilizing GPUs since 2004 (Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5 had "new GPU effects", so sayeth the wiki)


RE: News?
By MPE on 9/23/2008 4:54:53 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry I meant CS4 in general. Many content creation products have been using GPU acceleration.


OpenCL???
By TETRONG on 9/23/2008 4:22:28 PM , Rating: 2
Why does the article single out CUDA on Nvidia cards?
Did Adobe say that it's Nvidia only?

Is this enabled by OpenCL?

Hard to believe Adobe would enable features that only work on Nvidia cards.
Author should do more fact checking before writing.




RE: OpenCL???
By piroroadkill on 9/24/2008 3:39:01 AM , Rating: 2
Good point.

Seems like you could do something like, oh, I don't know, rendering a 2D texture and rotating it on a graphics card without vendor specific functionality.


Adobe products can slow you PC down
By Senju on 9/24/2008 4:13:07 AM , Rating: 2
Beware! Adobe can slow your PC down with a lot of unneccesary install helper applications. If you go into the Tasks and services, you will see how many Adobe jobs are added to the startup programs. And you wonder why your PC takes so long to boot up. Half the stuff you can disable!




By nomagic on 9/24/2008 7:49:44 AM , Rating: 2
That is not totally true. For platforms built specifically for Adobe Creativity Suite, it is essential that filters, plug-ins, actions are installed.

You think those services are burdens to your systems because you don't need them. However, to some who actually use those added functionalities, those "burdens" are god sent.


Thinking green?
By jonmcc33 on 9/24/2008 7:44:21 AM , Rating: 2
Considering that (and even reinforced with a recent AnandTech article) the GPU can draw much more power than an Intel CPU why would I want it helping render anything?

I would continue with better multithreaded support and performance rather then offset junk onto the GPU. No, I'm not a fan of what Microsoft did with Vista's Aero either. They should have made all that stuff software rendered.




RE: Thinking green?
By Clauzii on 9/24/2008 2:37:42 PM , Rating: 2
If the GPU can do things three times faster with, say, double the power usage compared to the CPU, I'd say 'Mission Accomplished!'


Too late...
By Jack Ripoff on 9/23/2008 3:19:56 PM , Rating: 1
Pixelmator's been doing this for one year by now, and for 1/10th the cost.




RE: Too late...
By kelmon on 9/24/2008 3:28:37 AM , Rating: 2
I like plucky upstarts as much as the next person but I think it is fair to say that Pixelmator neither "does this" or is that much of rival to Photoshop (Elements, yes, but not Photoshop itself). If we want to be accurate, Core Animation "does this", and has done so since about 2005, and Pixelmator simply uses this API.


I'm excited
By Chaotic42 on 9/23/2008 11:21:46 PM , Rating: 2
Photoshop is the only Adobe application which I can stand using. It makes up for most of Adobe's other products. We've been severely limited by memory at work and it will be nice when we finally upgrade. 64-bit will be huge for us at work.

I'm also planning on picking this up at home. Normally I would scoff at paying $700 for a single application, but this seems to have enough benefits to be worth it. Now if only it weren't Adobe...

As for them coming out with too many releases, I wish more companies would do this. You don't have to get every single version. Skip one... Skip several. The nice this is that different people have different criteria for upgrading and this gives more people an opportunity to get what they really need in a shorter amount of time. CS4 is a buying point for me. I honestly doubt that I would upgrade until CS 6 or 7. Heck, I'm using Photoshop 7 at home now.

I've been holding off on getting a new computer for this.




still waiting on CS2
By Myrandex on 9/24/2008 9:32:55 AM , Rating: 2
counter-strike 2 anyone???

Anyways, in all seriousness I like this offload to the GPU thing. I like how Aero does it, and I also like that Photoshop is looking to do it. wtg adobe. And yes x64 support won't come out until Athlon 128 X16 comes out...
Jason




A return to version 1?
By Fnoob on 9/25/2008 10:02:19 AM , Rating: 2
Back before many of you were born, the original version of Photoshop was a Mac only product. It required the installation of a graphics card to run properly, if at all. I believe Radius was the only game in town, and it cost something like $5K to upgrade your MacII to 'photorealistic' color. A fully kitted out MacII with 4Megs of RAM was ~$25K. The HUGE 21" Radius monitor was an additional $5K. I loved that commission job - those were the days. At 13 I was making nearly $2k/week, it gave my dad fits.




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