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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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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
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
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.

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