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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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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.


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