Photoshop in MacBook Pro Retina Vs 12-Core Mac Pro

Posted on 08 Apr 2013 at 12:11pm


Photoshop in MacBook Pro Retina Vs 12-Core Mac Pro. So the question is : Can MacBook Pro Retina can run faster for photography than a 12-Core Mac Pro? Here is why…

Yes, the MacBook is less expensive, more portable and offers a quarter of the cores to process data, than the Mac Pro. So, what’s up?

Chambers runs down a number of questions about the performance similarities, such as OS X’s part in the mix. But he says that the culprit is Adobe and its continuing refusal to bring Photoshop’s multitasking capabilities to use more than 2 to 4 cores for multi-threadible tasks.

Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom do a marginal job on most everything: Photoshop typically uses 2 to 4 CPU cores (less than 2 on some common operations, up to 8 or so with certain obscure commands). Adobe Lightroom does better (3-6 cores, highly variable, serialized I/O and file handling egads), but neither gets anywhere near using 12 cores, certainly nothing close to that for any common operations.

According to Chambers, it’s “indefensible” that Adobe Photoshop CS6 runs faster on a 6-core machine than with 12 cores.

I would add two points to Chamber’s excellent analysis: First, Apple’s slowness in bringing out its next-generation workstation must share part of the blame for Adobe’s inaction. The Mac Pro for a long time has been a mostly static target while the “slower” machines in the lineup, the MacBook Pro and the iMac, keep getting faster buses and faster processors. Adobe can track the performance of the machines with 4 cores and show progress to its customers.

Secondly, there’s no serious contender to Photoshop in the professional market. Apple appears to have surrendered the category. If Apple had expanded the feature set of Aperture and made it a real competitor for professional workflows, then perhaps Adobe might get moving on increasing multi-threading for its base of Mac Pro users.But no. With its cash base, Apple can afford to produce a new Mac workstation. It also can afford to drive the market in longstanding content production workflows. Where’s the sugar?