Adobe: Creative Cloud app performance surges more than 80% on M1 MacBook Pro vs. Intel-based systems

Adobe released more native Creative Cloud apps to run on Apple's M1 processor as well as benchmarks for its core applications.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Adobe said that its Creative Cloud applications are running more than 80% faster on Macs with Apple's M1's processor compared to identical systems powered by Intel.

The benchmarks from Adobe, which land among the release of several Creative Cloud apps for M1, were conducted by Pfeiffer Consulting in a study commissioned by Adobe. Adobe also shipped M1 native versions of Illustrator, InDesign and Lightroom Classic. Premiere Pro for M1 Macs is currently in public beta. 

Apple launched its M1 processor for its hardware in November and has a consistent cadence of launches featuring the company's own silicon. Apple has pitched M1 as a processor that improves performance across the Mac and now iPad.

Pfeiffer Consulting found that the M1 MacBook Pro tops Intel-based Macs across seven Creative Cloud apps including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, XD, Premier Pro, Lightroom and Lightroom Classic. Pfeiffer Consulting took 774 individual benchmark measures.

The systems compared were Apple's 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro with 16GB RAM and 2TB SSD. The Intel system had the same specs and ran on Intel Core i5. Apple is currently selling its M1 MacBook Pro systems for about $500 less than the Intel versions. The base Intel MacBook Pro starts with Intel Core i5, but there's an option for an i7 version for $200 more.

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Key findings from the Adobe/Pfeiffer report:

  • Adobe Sensei features optimized for Apple M1 machine learning architecture showed 4x to 6x performance gains.
  • Photoshop and Lightroom Classic showed the most gains in performance by running on M1.
  • Photoshop gains increase with the complexity of assets.
  • Importing footage in four different video formats showed performance gains ranging from 67% to 187% running on M1 vs. Intel Macs.

In addition to the M1 native releases, Adobe also added new features in its June Creative Cloud updates. Features include:

  • New collaborative editing capabilities and Premium Presents in Lightroom as well as custom crop aspect ratios.
  • New retouching features in Photoshop Express.
  • Custom brushes in Photoshop on iPad.
  • Rotate view in Illustrator on desktop.
  • New styling tools in Adobe XD.
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