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Adobe Photoshop CC 2017 AMD Ryzen 7 1700X & 1800X Performance

Written on March 2, 2017 by Matt Bach


Whenever a new generation of CPUs is launched, the main question everyone wants answered is how fast they are. In the case of AMD's Ryzen, there are also a lot of questions surrounding how they compare to the processors available from Intel. For quite a while now Intel has held a dominant position in nearly every computing market, but there is a lot of hype around Ryzen due to the fact that you can get eight CPU cores for half the cost of an Intel processor of the same size.

In this article, we will be looking at how the new AMD Ryzen 7 1700X and 1800X perform in Photoshop compared to Intel's top 4, 6, and 8 core CPUs.

Update 3/8/2017: Added benchmark results for the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X (results in original article were placeholders)
Update 3/13/2017: Ryzen HDR merge results updated. The original "5x 18MP" HDR results were really odd. We found that in this test we had to run it many more times to get decent results as the time it took to create an HDR image varied wildly from run to run.

If you want to skip over our individual benchmark results and go straight to the conclusion, feel free to jump ahead! We also have a number of other articles looking at the performance of the AMD Ryzen 7 1700X & 1800X CPUs in other applications including:

Test Setup

To see how the new Ryzen CPUs perform in Photoshop, we used the following configurations:

These test configurations include three different platforms along with five CPU models. For Photoshop, we would typically recommend a quad core CPU with a high frequency since Photoshop is mostly single or lightly threaded, but since the 1700X and 1800X have eight cores we also included two of Intel's "High End" Core i7 CPUs with 6-8 cores.

The images we used in our testing (and their source) are:

Photoshop Actions

360MP (21500x16718)
Scaled up from the Hardware Heaven Photoshop Benchmark V3 (no longer available)

Resized to 38MP (7000x5443) for Smart Blur

Merge to HDR

5x 18MP TIFF (5184x3456)

Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i

5x 80MP TIFF (7760x10328)

Camera: Phase One IQ180
Courtesy of Mark McGilvray Photography

Settings: Default


6x 18MP TIFF (5184x3456)
Merged to 98MP (26144x3759)

Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i

6x 80MP TIFF (7760x10328)
Merged to 177MP (18552x9552)

Camera: Phase One IQ180
Courtesy of Mark McGilvray Photography

Settings: Auto Layout. Blend, vignette removal, geometric distortion correction, and content aware fill enabled.

Photoshop Action Results

  AMD Ryzen 7 1700X AMD Ryzen 7 1800X Intel Core i7 7700K Intel Core i7 6850K Intel Core i7 6900K
General Photoshop Actions          
Time to Launch Photoshop 2.1 2.1 1.4 2 1.9
Time to Open 1.17GB PSD 6.3 6.1 5.1 6.3 5.7
Time to Save 1.17GB PSD 21.2 20.1 15.8 18.1 20.4
Convert to CMYK 2.6 2.4 2.6 2.4 2.3
Convert to RGB 3.1 2.9 4 3.3 2.8
Rotate 38deg 4.5 4.3 3.6 4.1 3.9
Smart Sharpen 4.4 4.4 4.3 4.6 4.7
Field Blur 32.1 31.3 25.1 28.3 28
Iris Blur 34.6 33.6 28.4 30.8 29.9
Tilt-Shift 34.9 34.2 28 30.7 29.9
Lighting Effect 11.3 11.2 8.6 9.8 9.8
Motion Blur 6.1 5.9 4.9 6.5 6.4
Water Color 66.6 65.3 44.1 57.1 57.4
Pallette Knife 83.1 81.7 65.2 75.8 76
Stained Glass 108.9 106.7 135.6 133.6 133.3
Liquify 23.5 23.3 16.1 20.2 19.9
Reduce Noise 51.3 49.7 51 62.9 61.4
Camera Raw Filter 13.4 13.2 12.9 12.2 10.8
Generate Normal Map 13.4 13 9.8 13.9 13.3
Lens Correction 44 42.8 35 48.2 46.1
Adaptive Wide Angle 244.8 238.5 147 254 290.5
Resize to 109MB 9.2 8.9 6.7 9.6 8.8
Smart Blur 23.6 23.6 20.6 25.5 24.5
6x 18MP Images 66.6 65.2 60.7 64.6 62
6x 80MP Images 275.9 274.2 242.9 260.3 245.2
HDR Creation          
5x 18MP Images 28.2 29.8 30.5 25.4 28.6
5x 80MP Images 75.1 73.8 55.6 64.5 67.2

Normally we would spend quite a bit of time going through the results action by action, but the performance across each task is remarkably consistent. The only thing we want to note is that the results for HDR creation was a bit odd with the Ryzen CPUs. With the Intel CPUs, we had some normal variation between runs (we usually run each test about 3 times and take the fastest result), but Ryzen was all over the place for that test. We still took the minimum (since we are concerned about maximum performance), but it is worth pointing out that we ended up running the "5x 18MP" HDR creation test about 10 times because the results varied from just under 30 seconds to over 60 seconds.


Photoshop CC 2017 AMD Ryzen 7 1700x 1800x Benchmark Performance

If we normalize all our results to the AMD Ryzen 7 1700X, you get a great idea of how these new AMD CPUs compare to Intel's offerings. To make it short: Ryzen isn't all that great for Photoshop.

Most tasks in Photoshop are lightly threaded (they don't take great advantage of multiple CPU cores) so it is true that the eight cores on the 1700X and 1800X can't be used to their full advantage. However, even if we only compare the Ryzen CPUs to the six and eight core Intel CPUs they at best match Intel for general actions in Photoshop and are a decent amount slower for photomerge. Looking at creating HDR photos, the Intel's 6-8 core CPUs are around 8-17% faster than the 1700X or about 4-13% faster than the 1800X.

Really, the true test for Ryzen is how it compares to the Intel Core i7 7700K since that is currently the best CPU available for Photoshop. Unfortunately, Ryzen simply can't keep up with the i7 7700K which is both cheaper and significantly faster. In general tasks and photomerge the i7 7700K is around 23% faster than Ryzen on average. Interestingly, the 1800X does pretty well when creating HDR photos, although it was still around 13% slower than the i7 7700K for that task.

Overall, if you are looking for a Photoshop workstation we would advise you to skip Ryzen and stick with the Intel Core i7 7700K. Not only is it more affordable and on a more established platform, but it should also be significantly faster for pretty much any task you might perform in Photoshop.

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Tags: Adobe, Photoshop, CPU, Processor, Ryzen