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Photoshop CC 2018 CPU Performance: AMD Ryzen 2 vs Intel 8th Gen

Written on April 19, 2018 by Matt Bach


AMD has just released their second generation Ryzen CPUs and while most hardware review sites focus on gaming or general system performance, today we will be looking at how they perform in Adobe Photoshop CC 2018. Not only will we be comparing them to the previous generation Ryzen CPUs, but we will also see how they hold up to similarly priced Intel 8th Gen CPUs.

In this article we will be using our internally developed Photoshop CC 2018 benchmark, which for the first time we are making available for public download. So if you are curious about how your existing PC or Mac stacks up against these CPUs, you can download and run the benchmark yourself to find out.

If you would like to skip over our test setup and benchmark result/analysis sections, feel free to jump right to the Conclusion section.

Test Setup & Methodology

Listed below are the test platforms and CPUs we will be using in our testing:

As we mentioned in the introduction, we will be using our Puget Systems Photoshop CC 2018 Benchmark which is currently available for public download. This benchmark tests a range of general tasks (open/save, resize, content aware fill, etc.), filters, as well as panorama photomerge. Full details on the benchmark are available on the benchmark download page.

Benchmark Results

While our benchmark presents an Overall Score based on the performance of each task, we also wanted to provide the individual result for each task in case there is a specific tasks someone may be interested in. Feel free to analyze the individual results below in more detail if you wish or skip to the next section for our benchmark analysis.

  Ryzen 7
Ryzen 5
Ryzen 7
Ryzen 7
Core i3
Core i5
Core i7
Core i7
Overall Score 826.3 893.6 874.0 941.8 848.4 932.0 991.1 1000
General Score 82 87.5 84.5 91.2 84.4 93.1 99.9 100
Filter Score 81 88.9 87.9 95.4 83.5 92.9 99.5 100
Photomerge Score 83.1 94 92.1 97.7 88.4 94.1 96.8 100
Individual Results (Seconds)                
RAW File Open 1.21 1.11 1.19 1.13 1.09 1.01 1.04 1.02
Resize to 500MB 1.43 1.39 1.37 1.36 1.38 1.37 1.33 1.46
Rotate 1.05 1.09 1.09 0.97 1.15 0.92 0.92 0.92
Magic Wand Select 17.91 16.05 17.32 15.76 16.93 15.27 13.01 12.71
Mask Refinement 5.12 4.65 5.09 4.59 3.94 3.78 3.36 3.31
Paint Bucket 2.75 2.35 2.54 2.45 2.49 2.34 1.82 1.92
Gradient 0.33 0.33 0.33 0.29 0.51 0.4 0.38 0.36
Content Aware Fill 15.27 13.91 14.41 13.34 13.45 12.09 11.29 11.07
PSD File Save 5.41 4.99 5.14 4.75 5.17 4.7 4.52 4.48
PSD File Open 3.54 3.22 3.3 3.09 3.04 2.88 2.76 2.70
Camera Raw Filter 5.99 5.68 5.78 5.39 7.06 5.6 4.95 4.89
Lens Correction 19.68 16.82 17.62 16.36 17.01 16.27 15.67 15.36
Reduce Noise 20.12 17.82 18.18 16.76 24.25 20.93 18.8 18.44
Smart Sharpen 24.06 23.17 21.87 19.94 30 22.48 20.25 19.99
Field Blur 17.91 16.48 17.43 16.1 15.51 14.58 14.2 14.24
Tilt-Shift Blur 18.07 16.42 17.33 15.9 16.49 14.94 14.1 14.18
Iris Blur 19.71 17.85 18.87 17.1 19.13 16.86 15.5 15.56
Adaptive Wide Angle 20.16 17.46 17.8 16.42 17.86 17.32 16.53 16.57
Liquify 10.28 12.43 11 10.24 9.88 9.97 9.62 9.65
Photomerge 22MP Images 100.4 85.37 87.4 82.42 87.48 83.62 80.65 78.79
Photomerge 45MP Images 122.13 111.92 113.98 107.43 123.56 114.09 111.79 107.18

Benchmark Analysis

Ryzen 2 2700X 2700 2600X Photoshop Benchmark

Download our Photoshop CC 2018 Benchmark!

Looking at the Overall Score, the first thing to notice is that the new 2nd generation Ryzen CPUs are much faster than the original Ryzen CPUs. Even the Ryzen 5 2600X is almost 8% faster than the Ryzen 7 1800X even though it's MSRP price is less than half. Speaking of the 2600X, it is also interesting to see that it is faster than the more expensive 2700 - likely due to the fact that Photoshop typically runs best with a higher CPU frequency rather than a higher core count.

Compared to the Intel 8th Gen CPUs, however, we still have to give a slight edge to Intel. At the top end, the Ryzen 7 2700X is about 4% slower than the Intel Core i7 8700 even though it is slightly more expensive. The Ryzen 5 2600X is much closer to Intel in terms of price/performance coming in at slightly slower and cheaper than the Intel Core i5 8600K. We didn't test the Intel Core i5 8600 in this article, but if we had to guess we would say that it is likely almost identical to the Ryzen 5 2600X in terms of price and performance.


AMD has made great improvements with the new 2nd generation Ryzen CPUs that really closes the gap between AMD and Intel for Photoshop users. In the $200-250 price range you can easily justify either brand so it is likely going to come down to which platform offers you the features you need and any sales you may be able to find. However, at the higher end the Intel Core i7 8700 edges out over the Ryzen 7 2700X (especially in general tasks) while also retailing for a slightly lower cost. And if you are looking for the best possible performance, the Intel Core i7 8700K is still the overall king and our current go-to recommendation for Photoshop.

Tags: Photoshop, Ryzen, Coffee Lake, 8th Gen, i7 8700K, i5 8600K, i3 8350K, 2700X, 2700, 2600X

Thanks for sharing the benchmark! For anyone else comparing systems, I have the previous 7th generation Core i7 7700K overclocked to 5Ghz (4.7Ghz for AVX code like Photoshop), 64GB 3200MHz RAM, 1080Ti, and 1TB 960 Pro SSD:

Overall Score 947 Score
General Score 85.9 Score
Filter Score 100.7 Score
Photomerge Score 100.3 Score
GPU Score 88.1 Score
RAW File Open 2 Seconds
Resize to 500MB 2.84 Seconds
Rotate 1.1 Seconds
Magic Wand Select 13.41 Seconds
Mask Refinement 3.45 Seconds
Paint Bucket 2.01 Seconds
Gradient 0.45 Seconds
Content Aware Fill 11 Seconds
PSD File Save 4.46 Seconds
PSD File Open 2.56 Seconds
Camera Raw Filter 5.66 Seconds
Lens Correction 14.31 Seconds
Reduce Noise 20.26 Seconds
Smart Sharpen 25.03 Seconds
Field Blur 14.06 Seconds
Tilt-Shift Blur 13.43 Seconds
Iris Blur 15.18 Seconds
Adaptive Wide Angle 15.69 Seconds
Liquify 7.62 Seconds
Photomerge 22MP Images 77.88 Seconds
Photomerge 45MP Images 107.74 Seconds

Posted on 2018-04-21 21:07:04

Hi Matt, thank you to Puget for doing these tests on photoshop. Though useful, the set of tests is mostly automated so they can be easily reproduced between different system setups. It's only half the story for photoshop performance and doesn't show the whole picture. I come from a concept/matte artist background and work in photoshop 90% of the time. My saved files can reach over 2GB in PSB format. The benchmarks I would like to see is how interactive and responsive the software is with user control. For example when you're airbrushing, is there any lag in the brushmarks? After converting a layer into a smart object, I tend to do warping and puppet warp so I can come back and tweak them. Is it smooth or it takes a moment between moving the warp handles around? What about transform operations on a layer (Ctrl-T command) do the corners move smoothly when pulling with a mouse or tablet? How about spot healing brush, finger painting and blending colors, etc
Another feature I use a lot is just panning around by pressing spacebar. I've noticed the refresh rate got worse and worse with each PS CC updates. Is that CPU or GPU dependent?

For me it's all about direct interaction. I don't want any lags in the performance. I don't really reduce noise or blur photos on a daily basis. A good benchmark test I do on systems for responsiveness is to create a 30,000 x 30,000 pixels canvas use a 3000 px airbrush with a reduce spacing of 5%. Then make brush stroke on that canvas and observe the lag. It's just to push the system to the limit. I know these tests are harder to replicate exactly between different systems but they are more indicative of photoshop performance than an image resize will ever be. What GPU/CPUs/Memory combo would reduce that lag. Maybe you could come up with a set of tests like that.

Posted on 2018-04-25 15:07:17
a d00d

Something I haven't seen you mention that is very important is that many apps are compiled for Intel-specific optimizations and perform poorly on AMD for that reason. Have you thought of a different, more open-source benchmark that could be compiled for both sets of optimizations so we can get a true oranges--oranges comparison?

Posted on 2018-04-27 09:28:54
Det Jan

Hi,what was your setting for this problem? Did you take care of the standard boost feature in the bios? Even these guys run into it: https://www.anandtech.com/s...

Posted on 2018-04-30 20:42:10
Srijan Roy Chudhury

Hello, thank you so much for application specific benchmarking. We really need it. I have a question and would really be grateful if you would help. I am planning to upgrade my rig but I am confused whether to go for R5-2600 or i7-8770. I am also thinking of installing one RAM module of 16GB for now. What is your opinion about these?
Thanks again.

Posted on 2018-05-18 15:32:31