Summary: Photoshop on SUN

Date: Mon Apr 08 1996 - 02:50:25 CDT

My question

>Can any comment realy Photoshop performance on MAC & Ultra
>Compare performance, user interface ...
>Problems to run on Ultra
>Are you thinking SUN is good enought for large images, or you preffered MAC

Seems not too meny SUN systems administrators work on Photoshop on SUN ;-)
(More mee too then responses)
Some of them thinking that SUN is faster, some, that MAC price/performance
is better
I reed MACWeek Rewievs tests too
Seems, that performance depends what you do.
Looks like You can use SUN if you need wery powerfool system to work with
images such as A0 maps ...
Other possibilities is - put Photoshop on system such as SS1000 & use SS4/5
as Xterminals. (Reed sucess stories, usualy systems work in this way)
Or you can use SUN as MAC server & sometimes work with photoshop too

P.S.MAC administrators those work with SUN servers say that is easy, & looks more like MAC than PC/Win.
I can't say the same about PC users.
I'ts a bit curios, but MAC administrators like work with scripts too
Thanks to

Cameron Humphries <> (Ted Boggs) (Dirk Boenning)
John Justin Hough <>
John Cheshire <>
hurt <>
"Lynne Pickett" <> (Tom Mornini)

Original responses

Sorry about the delay in replying - I've been in New Zealand.

I'm not a Photoshop user so you should bear that in mind when reading my

I have seen Photoshop 3.0 running on a PowerMac 9500 ( 604 chip, 48MB RAM)
and it did not even come close to Photoshop on an Ultra 170 Creator. The
opinions of a couple of guys that have used it on the Mac reckoned that it
was around 2 times quicker on the Ultra.

Overall the Ultra was really quick. As I said the ones we had for the demo
were pre-release models although I don't think any major changes were made
prior to release.

Hope this is useful to you

Half of the operations are faster on 150MHz 604-based PowerMac Clone, half
on Ultra-1 170MHz. Interface is slightly more elegant on Mac (My Opinion).
Adobe supposedly has a plug-in to take advantage of multi-processing on
Ultra-2. Mac costs alot less, even with twice the memory. The performance
difference is minimal at best.

Good Luck,

Ted Boggs

The Ultra is an incredibly fast platform. I haven't seen Photoshop under
2.5 yet, but the Ultra will blow away the current power macs for very
large amounts of processing. The Mac has the nicer interface, but if you
require a _lot_ of power, go for the Ultra. That is, if that's all you're
going to use it for. Of course, you could always go for MAE on the Ultra

        Peter B.

Peter Bestel Email:
Technical Consultant Snail: GPO Box 4518, Sydney 2001, Australia
Uniq Professional Services Phone: +61 2 557 3708 Fax: +61 2 557 3708

For a good comparison take a look at the MacWEEK Reviews Volume 10
Number 8 from the 26th of february 1996.
It's a compare beetween the single CPU Ultra, a double Pentium 200 MHz
and a four (!) CPU PowerPC from DayStar Digital Inc.
I think, that just the fact of the number of CPU's show what's going on.
In every discipline, where the Photoshop guys have adopt their code to the
Ultra Vislib, the Ultra beats the other stuff miles ahead.
For example the arbitrary rotate of an RGB image:
Daystar Power PC (4x150MHz) needs 82.3 secs
Integraph TD-400 (2x200MHz) needs 30.0 secs
Sun Ultra 1 Creator 3D (1x176Mhz) needs 15.5 secs.

What a big BUH for the PowerPC ;-)

CU, Dirk.

Ps.: Ok. You're right, I'm a Sun fan. In a lot off other disciplines the other
machines take the victory and so the result of the survey was:
"No clear Winner emerged". But remember, that was written by Mac guys ;-)


  I think that a multicpu'd SS20 with zx framebuffer will beat any Mac or
  PowerPC/Frame buffer you can come up with; so I suspect that when Adobe
  specifically supports an Ultra with Creater-whatever graphics it will
  be a lot faster yet.



Well I can not comment regarding Photoshop on Ultra, but I know that version
3.0 of Photoshop for Solaris 2 can take advantage of multiple processors.

I therefore believe that something such as a quad 125Mhz ROSS hyperSPARC
Sun SPARCstation 20 is an excellent machine for Photoshop if you really
need some horsepower for large images.

Photoshop 3.0 uses psrinfo to check how many processors are on line,
and it will adjust itself to run on as many processors as are

This is the kind of checking that Photoshop does to see if the machine has
multiple processors;

       Launch different binaries depending on type of Sparc processor.
       Determine number of processors.
         nprocessors=`/usr/sbin/psrinfo fgrep -c 'on-line'`
 Process command line parameters.
         if [ "$nprocessors" -gt 1 ] ; then
       If any more than one processor, turn on MPCharged plug-in

At least, that is as much as I understand about Photoshop, check with
Adobe to get more details about MP support.

So, the high floating point performance of hyperSPARC coupled with the
fact that you can run an SS10 or SS20 with quad 125Mhz without
sacrificing SBus slots, and additionally you have the choice of 256K
or 512K second level virtually addressed cache per cpu, means that
multiprocessing hyperSPARC is something that you should at least
look at closely before running large Photoshop images on any other

To contact ROSS, you can check out

Let me know if you need any more information that I might be able to

John Cheshire
Technical Director
Stellar Performance Lt
If you can afford the Ultra I'd go with it if you can get some good
graphics boards, but for budgets you might be inclied to go with a good MAC,
and Photoshop was really designed for the MAC, and it will probably run
faster on the MAC OS than on Solaris. My experience with Photoshop on an ss2
and an older MAC, and it ran somewhat fater on the ss2, but the ss2 had
about 5 times as much RAM, and it was only a MAC (504?). I'm not bothered by
either interface, thogh if your not familiar with UNIX there might be a
learning curve.

                Chris Hurt
Adobe Photoshop's recommended Ram for Unix is 96. I'd say that alone would
change my mind.

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| ** Let the voice of wisdom be your own ** |      
MacWeek magazine just did a shootout between Macs, Ultra and NT systems.

I can mail you a copy if you like...

price/performance the Mac kicked but...

-- Tom Mornini -- InfoMania -- PostScript Electronic Prepress


Best Regards 96.04.08

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