As if you didn’t already know, Adobe today announced the latest iteration of it’s Creative Suite, CS4. There aren’t any real surprises and most of the updates fall squarely in incremental territory. I am excited about the intelligent image scaling and GPU acceleration in Photoshop. I was a beta tester for Photoshop so I’ve had a chance to see these features in action. I didn’t notice any huge performance gains with the GPU acceleration, but then again my workflow doesn’t really include a lot of the tasks the new feature is supposed to speed up. I also got a chance to get a 64-bit version of PS running on my Windows XP 64 install to test out the performance now that Photoshop can actually "see" all 8GB of memory in my system. Again, the performance gains weren’t really noticeable which was somewhat disappointing. I think the cause of this was file size though. I think once you’re dealing with files that occupy more space in memory than you have physically installed in your system, the scratch disks are the key. In other words, I don’t think Photoshop seeing and extra 6GB of memory is really all that important when the file you’re working with is taking up far more and still writing to scratch disks.
I’ll admit though, I just haven’t had the time to really put it through it’s paces and get any real figures, these were just my initial impressions from the limited experience I’ve had with the software. I guess I just always looked forward to the day Photoshop became 64-bit with GPU acceleration as the day I could effortlessly tear through an 18×26" poster @ 300dpi without so much as a screen refresh delay; sadly, I don’t think we’re there quite yet. All that aside, I’m always excited to have an update to my favorite software. All of the previous updates have added great features / functionality and this version is no different. Link