Adobe passes on 64-bit code in Photoshop CS3

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
Photoshop co-designer Scott Byer said Thursday that his team fully intends to launch a 64-bit version of its popular image editor, but that doing so for the upcoming version included with Creative Suite 3.0 (CS3) would be impractical.



Responding to questions from users about a lack of 64-bit support in the latest Photoshop CS3 beta, Byer in his official blog pointed out that many of the perceived benefits of 64-bit computing simply won't manifest themselves with current generations of hardware and software.



Byer said most Photoshop users are still running operating systems that only support 32-bit memory addressing for each program -- including Mac OS X Tiger, which can only assign 3GB per application. This, he says, eliminates the primary advantage of 64-bit technology: memory addressing beyond the 4GB barrier inherent to 32-bit software.



"Let's check all the 64-bit hype at the door," he wrote. "[64-bit apps] can address a much larger amount of memory. That's pretty much it. 64-bit applications don't magically get faster access to memory, or any of the other key things that would help most applications perform better."



In fact, Byer added that most of today's computers would actually incur a performance penalty as the code -- which is literally twice the size when accomplishing the same task -- would bog down the memory subsystem, reducing the amount of information that could pass through at any given time. Contemporary AMD and Intel processors only occasionally stand to gain from 64-bit code and often see their advantage negated by file caching.



The Adobe developer particularly rules out Mac development of a 64-bit edition of Photoshop CS3, blaming Tiger's fundamental 32-bit restrictions despite its selective 64-bit elements. "Many of the libraries an application would need to be fully 64-bit aren't available. So, on the Macintosh side," he wrote, "the answer [to the likelihood of a 64-bit version of Photoshop CS3] is zero."



While Byer says that he would love to update his company's star program and take advantage of more than 4GB of memory, he admits that the time spent on 64-bit technology would be better used for polishing the Universal Binary for Mac users and adding features that would be more immediately appreciated by artists looking to upgrade from earlier versions. However, he promises that a 64-bit edition is all but inevitable when more computers start using the greater memory space.



"It's a when, not an if," he wrote.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 71
    Another edict from the Adobe Attitude Division I see. Wonder what the extra caffeinated coder drinks are spiked with over there?
  • Reply 2 of 71
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fuyutsuki View Post


    Another edict from the Adobe Attitude Division I see. Wonder what the extra caffeinated coder drinks are spiked with over there?



    I didn't read much 'attitude' into his comments ... unless there's a new definition for pragmatic that I haven't heard about yet.
  • Reply 3 of 71
    boogabooga Posts: 1,082member
    Thank goodness someone is talking reality with regards to 64-bit. It's silly hearing about how 64-bit is some sort of panacea. Everything the Adobe rep said is exactly spot-on. Kudos!



    On the other hand, Leopard WILL be a 64-bit OS, and Photoshop users are likely to be some of the first to demand more than 3-4GB from a user-facing app, so hopefully we won't have to wait until CS4.
  • Reply 4 of 71
    hattighattig Posts: 860member
    Hmmm, 64 bit code is a little larger than 32 bit code (for AMD64 vs x86) as there is a prefix byte for 64-bit instructions. On the other hand the extra registers in AMD64 often counteract this increase as you need less loads and stores. Typically a 64-bit application will be a small bit larger, but certainly not twice the size. Of course you also have compiler maturity to account for - it could be that generate 64-bit code is less size-efficient.



    And as for 64-bit pointers, yes, they'll increase the code size a little bit (IIRC AMD64 is 48-bit pointers anyway). 64-bit integers? Only if you need them, you can still use 32-bit integers.



    Now the arguments regarding 32-bit operating systems are actually true, and also for image work 64-bit integers aren't useful, SIMD instructions are and AMD64 only adds extra registers for these, and 64-bit addressing is useful when you have >2GB images - and a decent application specific mechanism for managing files of this size is probably just as good a mechanism to use right now.
  • Reply 5 of 71
    CS3 is not out until Spring when Leopard comes out - why should we deliver you maximum performance to match your hardware when we could save a few bucks and sell you 75% of the performance match and in 2 years, sell you an upgrade to 100% - of course, then I'm sure Apple will be on 16-cores but their version of CS will only be able to access 8 cores so never mind that 100% match thing.



    Basically, its what do we care what YOU want - you're just the user, we're Abobe.



    You will take what we offer and like it.



    They thought the 4-minute launch and 2-minute to see a transition Adobe Premiere was good enough for the Mac video market - rewrite the code - pawshaw, next thing, you'll want to call it imovie and give it away for free when we charge $499 for the priviliedge ...



    If there was no MS, Adobe would win the crown for longest time between apps for no real reason - and like the new CS, instead of making it 64-bit, they spent all this time appreantly re-doing the icons ... good choice of time usage.



    It's one thing to be arrogant if you over-deliver what people expect but to always be two years late (that OSX version, yea, it's coming) just because? I think you might just be asking for Apple to release a PS killer and then ...
  • Reply 6 of 71
    Certainly a guy with as much experience as Byer has been around long enough to know that the computer graveyard is littered with products that people claimed would be good enough because people "would never use" the next level of features. (640k max on the original PC, anyone?)



    Plus, his whole spiel about the Mac is intentionally stupid since CS3 will correlate in time with Leopard. Talking about Tiger's lack of true 64bitness is a red herring.



    Time was when Photoshop was a leader because you needed the latest gear to run it correctly. Now, ironically, when it is most relevant in the era of the death of film, Adobe is making it lame.
  • Reply 7 of 71
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,839member
    I can understand not going the 64-bit route right now, but has Adobe addressed whether CS3 will be able to fully utilize Macs with Dual Quad Core chips?



    That to me is the more pressing question, given that many of us will be buying such Macs this spring with CS3.
  • Reply 8 of 71
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    The filters wouldn't benefit from 64 bit code? I suppose that's all handled by vector ops now. But I thought people were begging Adobe to have something to handle images larger than 2GB for many years.
  • Reply 9 of 71
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,545member
    64 bit is overrated. The primary function is for the extra memory addressing.



    Only the Mac Pro addresses enough memory now to accommodate 64 bit programs. That is a small market at this time.



    Leopard won't have significant sales compared to Tiger for at least a year, perhaps more.



    Pros and shops don't rush out to embrace a new OS.



    Remember he did say "when", not "if".



    Don't be in such a hurry.



    Almost no one here will benefit.
  • Reply 10 of 71
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jbelkin View Post


    CS3 is not out until Spring when Leopard comes out - why should we deliver you maximum performance to match your hardware when we could save a few bucks and sell you 75% of the performance match and in 2 years, sell you an upgrade to 100% - of course, then I'm sure Apple will be on 16-cores but their version of CS will only be able to access 8 cores so never mind that 100% match thing.



    Basically, its what do we care what YOU want - you're just the user, we're Abobe.



    You will take what we offer and like it.



    They thought the 4-minute launch and 2-minute to see a transition Adobe Premiere was good enough for the Mac video market - rewrite the code - pawshaw, next thing, you'll want to call it imovie and give it away for free when we charge $499 for the priviliedge ...



    If there was no MS, Adobe would win the crown for longest time between apps for no real reason - and like the new CS, instead of making it 64-bit, they spent all this time appreantly re-doing the icons ... good choice of time usage.



    It's one thing to be arrogant if you over-deliver what people expect but to always be two years late (that OSX version, yea, it's coming) just because? I think you might just be asking for Apple to release a PS killer and then ...



    You pretty much summed up my anger towards adobe's lack of respect to their customers. But they do things like this because their product will still be bought regardless of how much better it is than cs2. Well the new news is macman2790 passes on buying another adobe product.
  • Reply 11 of 71
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Photoshop co-designer Scott Byer said Thursday that his team fully intends to launch a 64-bit version of its popular image editor, but that doing so for the upcoming version included with Creative Suite 3.0 (CS3) would be impractical.....



    "Let's check all the 64-bit hype at the door," he wrote. "[64-bit apps] can address a much larger amount of memory. That's pretty much it. 64-bit applications don't magically get faster access to memory, or any of the other key things that would help most applications perform better."



    Accessing extra memory may not speed up some apps but with more and more Photoshop users editing RAW files, I would think that, with numerous history states and cache levels set in preferences, being able to use more than 3GB of RAM for caching (and less instances of going to the the scratch disk) would be very helpful.



    I posed this question to one of the Photoshop programmers and he reminded me that CS2 (and CS3 beta) are able to conjur up more than 3GB cache by "asking" OS X Tiger to grab unused memory for bonus cache area. I was able to demonstrate this by setting the cache preference to 100MB. When I opened and rotated a 300MB file, the total memory usage jumped to over 7GB. Photoshop CS2 was the only user app running. It could be called "silent partner" caching. Apple's Motion 2 does the same thing if you do a RAM Preview render of multiple projects.
  • Reply 12 of 71
    I think for now it's more important for Adobe to focus on CS3 and Macromedia Studio9 (I guess all called Adobe CS3 now), in terms of refining the Universal Binaries to bring the Mac creatives/ producers back into the fold, so to speak. More importantly, to get people upgrading their Macs and moving to Leopard.



    A well-thought out, decently updated Adobe CS3 full suite will be the best thing for Apple from Adobe for now. Addressing more than 3GB is cool but creatives/ producers can work around that in various ways. In any case Final Cut Pro and Motion are strong options for video peoples anyway.



    I am very much looking at this in terms of what's best for Apple. Adobe CS3 Universal roll-out from April 2007 to coincide with Leopard (to some degree) and Leopard and Parallels supporting BootCamp/ Virtualization for Vista, looking good for the April-May-June 2007 quarter.



    Looking down the line, the next upgrade, Adobe CS4, will be let's say April 2009. By then pretty much everything will be 64-bit, 8-10GB could be mid-end, 12GB - 16GB could be max supported on PC prosumer desktop, iMac, MacBookPro.



    An arithmetic progression of RAM spec'ed* doubling every year, would show:



    2001 - 64mb RAM

    2002 - 128mb RAM

    2003 - 256mb RAM

    2004 - 512mb RAM

    2005 - 1gb RAM

    2006 - 2gb RAM

    2007 - 4gb RAM

    2008 - 8gb RAM

    2009 - 16gb RAM

    2010 - 32gb RAM



    *Market forces, not necessarily "What are we gonna do with all this RAM???"



    2008 to 2009 will be the year(s) of 64-bit. Let's say you have a PC/Mac with 6GB of RAM (mind-boggling to think of, but look at the yearly progression I showed above) ... 1GB to system, 4.5GB to major application (3D, others????) and 512mb to misc applications, this scenario starts to make sense.



    2010 - 32GB RAM. Awwww YEAHHHH.
  • Reply 13 of 71
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by barefeats View Post


    Accessing extra memory may not speed up some apps but with more and more Photoshop users editing RAW files, I would think that, with numerous history states and cache levels set in preferences, being able to use more than 3GB of RAM for caching (and less instances of going to the the scratch disk) would be very helpful.



    I posed this question to one of the Photoshop programmers and he reminded me that CS2 (and CS3 beta) are able to conjur up more than 3GB cache by "asking" OS X Tiger to grab unused memory for bonus cache area. I was able to demonstrate this by setting the cache preference to 100MB. When I opened and rotated a 300MB file, the total memory usage jumped to over 7GB. Photoshop CS2 was the only user app running. It could be called "silent partner" caching. Apple's Motion 2 does the same thing if you do a RAM Preview render of multiple projects.



    I think for 2007 and 2008 this workaround works well for Adobe CS3 and Apple applications. I'm thinking start of 2009 for full 64-bit apps to really start taking off, based on my projections on average mid-high-end computer RAM market specs.
  • Reply 14 of 71
    (Remember, I'm not talking clusters or special MacPros fully kitted out to 16GB or whatever, these are special cases for 2007)... The weird thing is that the hard disks are lagging behind. The CPUs are there, 4-32 cores will start popping up from 2007 through 2009. The RAM is there, as projected, going up to 32GB... In 2007 to 2008 we need to see decent-performing 15,000RPM desktop SATA2 drives start to show up and/or RAID 0/ RAID 0+1 configs over just two hard disks really pony up in terms of speed, power consumption, vibration and noise factors.



    As a side note, if Adobe CS3 is not multi-threaded, that would be really freakin' tragic. But maybe not sooo much, because one would have different apps going at once, but given CS3 will be the latest up to about middle of 2009, you'd want the software to make the most of your 2 to 4 to [16/32 cores in 2009].



    People will use Adobe CS3 in many different ways, and there's a lot one can do with CS2 and Macromedia Studio 8 right now for 2007, even 2008.



    But we're discussing the bleeding edge here. It's sharp, but lean and mean. Apple Macs are there. I hope Adobe CS3 will be too.
  • Reply 15 of 71
    yamayama Posts: 427member
    Heh, this doesn't surprise me at all. Having worked for Adobe for a while, I know customers have been requesting 64bit support since the G5s came out. The reason they gave then for not having 64bit support was that Panther didn't support 64bit apps. Then Tiger came out with 64bit support - but only for the UNIX tools. Four years on and they're still saying no to 64bit support even though Leopard is fully 64bit. Never mind the fact that 64bit versions of Windows XP and 2003 have been around for ages.



    Now about this drivel that 64bits won't make any difference - rubbish. Adobe apps are RAM hungry beasts, and if they cannot access RAM they start hitting the hard disk(s). As Adobe will point out themselves - RAM is faster than a scratch disk. So how they can now turn around and claim that more RAM won't make a difference is baffling.



    The most they can claim is that it won't make a difference for customers who don't work on large files. Even so, Adobe is pushing RAW support for each new version of Photoshop, and created a new file format (PSB) for saving files larger than 2gig. There is clear indication that people are starting to use larger files with more filters and layers all the time. Yet this guy is insisting that people don't need to use the extra memory that a 64bit app can offer. Sure, customers are often stupid and don't really understand what it is they need, but if there is a clear trend for using larger files they really can't brush this off.



    I expect the real reason they don't want to add 64bit support is that it is going to be a major rewrite of the code and it'll be a nightmare to make it work on both Windows and Mac OS X.



    As an example even though Photoshop 7 had support for 16bits per channel colour support, it wasn't until Photoshop CS 2 until all the filters and adjustments supported this colour depth (actually, there still might be some that don't work). Likewise, it wasn't until Photoshop 7 that some of the blur filters worked on files which were larger than 500MB.



    Cross-platform compatibility and grotesquely old legacy code are the main things which are stopping development of Photoshop these days.
  • Reply 16 of 71
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Right around the time when CS3 comes out Apple will be a completely 64-bit from the OS down to the hardware, so I can see why people will want the ability to address more than 3GB RAM to Adobe. On the other hand, I think that 3GB RAM is more than sufficient for most people, but most importantly, see this as a way (read:reason) for Adobe to get you to buy CS4 in a couple years.



    2007: Buy CS3 because it's a Universal Binary that will work great with your Intel Mac

    2009: Buy CS4 because it's a 64-bit app that will work great with your average 8GB RAM Mac running 10.7.x.
  • Reply 17 of 71
    They pulled the same stunt with Xcode - and spent a few product cycles backpedaling on things Apple told them to prep for years ago. Leopard's launch is imminent, and PS's advancements have been incremental for far too long now. The poster was right - they'll be the new Quark- given the CoreImage tools available in Tiger and Leopard - they coul be pwned in short time by an upstart. Case in point - we dropped PageMaker for Pages based on performance, turnaround and price with our non-profit's production needs.
  • Reply 18 of 71
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Booga View Post


    Photoshop users are likely to be some of the first to demand more than 3-4GB from a user-facing app, so hopefully we won't have to wait until CS4.



    Although there are not as many After Effects user than there are Photoshop users, I think the people that use After Effects and other Video software would much more appreciate a 64-bit version that allows them to use 3-4.
  • Reply 19 of 71
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jbelkin View Post


    CS3 is not out until Spring when Leopard comes out - why should we deliver you maximum performance to match your hardware when we could save a few bucks and sell you 75% of the performance match and in 2 years, sell you an upgrade to 100% - of course, then I'm sure Apple will be on 16-cores but their version of CS will only be able to access 8 cores so never mind that 100% match thing.



    Basically, its what do we care what YOU want - you're just the user, we're Abobe.



    ...



    It's one thing to be arrogant if you over-deliver what people expect but to always be two years late (that OSX version, yea, it's coming) just because? I think you might just be asking for Apple to release a PS killer and then ...



    JBelkin - you are so right! 64-bit has not been a rumor, it's been available, so why hasn't Adobe been working this for CS3? See above for the answer. Adobe is just like MS, milking their cash cow.
  • Reply 20 of 71
    Quote:

    Adobe DEFINITELY the NEW Quark

    CS3 is not out until Spring when Leopard comes out - why should we deliver you maximum performance to match your hardware when we could save a few bucks and sell you 75% of the performance match and in 2 years, sell you an upgrade to 100% - of course, then I'm sure Apple will be on 16-cores but their version of CS will only be able to access 8 cores so never mind that 100% match thing.



    Basically, its what do we care what YOU want - you're just the user, we're Abobe.



    You will take what we offer and like it.



    They thought the 4-minute launch and 2-minute to see a transition Adobe Premiere was good enough for the Mac video market - rewrite the code - pawshaw, next thing, you'll want to call it imovie and give it away for free when we charge $499 for the priviliedge ...



    If there was no MS, Adobe would win the crown for longest time between apps for no real reason - and like the new CS, instead of making it 64-bit, they spent all this time appreantly re-doing the icons ... good choice of time usage.



    It's one thing to be arrogant if you over-deliver what people expect but to always be two years late (that OSX version, yea, it's coming) just because? I think you might just be asking for Apple to release a PS killer and then ...



    Well said.



    Lemon Bon Bon
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