Adobe CS5 on Mac to be Intel-only, Cocoa, 64-bit native

Following Apple's lead of dropping the ageing PowerPC architecture for Snow Leopard, Adobe have outlined its plans for a PPC-free future in a recent blog entry. The next iteration of its Creative Suite, popular among designers and the like, will not only be going Intel-only, but will also be rewritten in Cocoa for 64-bit native support, a requirement for Adobe after Apple previously revealed they had scrapped plans for a 64-bit Carbon.

John Nack is keen to point out that "the very youngest PPC-based Macs will be roughly four years old" by the time the software is released, giving us a timeframe of either late this year or early next year. With certain PowerPCs still competitively performing up against today's tech, is this all far too soon? Maybe, but Adobe's (and most likely Apple's) rationale is that "if you haven't upgraded your workstation in four years, you're probably not in a rush to upgrade your software, either". While support for PowerPC would be nice for those without the funds to upgrade their hardware, costs and benefits have to be factored into development, and it appears Adobe have decided the market simply isn't big enough to warrant continued development for the platform.

Adobe also hints towards more information regarding its other apps, such as Flash Player and Adobe Reader, in the near future. Hopefully the next iteration of Flash Player will be more optimised for the Mac platform, as the current content player has a reputation for high CPU usage among Mac users.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Zune HD Specification sheet revealed

Next Story

Facebook testing "Lite" version - similar to Twitter and FF

57 Comments

View more comments

Owenw said,
64-BIT ADOBE FLASH PLEASE

Why??? Flash uses so little memory it wouldn't make a difference. Flash's performance issues have nothing to do with its 32-bit architecture.

sphbecker said,
Why??? Flash uses so little memory it wouldn't make a difference. Flash's performance issues have nothing to do with its 32-bit architecture.


64 bit browsers with 100s of tabs open with flash support (and don't say no one opens 100s of tabs, i know ppl doing that)

Aokromes said,
64 bit browsers with 100s of tabs open with flash support (and don't say no one opens 100s of tabs, i know ppl doing that)

100s? nah. Maybe closer to 15 at once.

Regardless of those tabs having Flash inside them or not, if you've got 100 tabs open it's time to get rid of at least 80 of those tabs you forgot to close or don't need anymore...

Adobe Creative suite has a lifecycle of around 18 months.

CS4 was out mid October 2008, so CS5 should be here problably around February/March 2010.

I really hope it's a big rewrite of the whole Creative Suite. I hate CS4, it's a buggy POS. I even told my boss that we should not upgrade to it, ever (currently on CS3). So if Adobe wants our money they need to do several things:

  • Ditch the non-native fake windows. They are the reason for many of the bugs and they don't add anything to the software.
  • Have the user interfaces uniform across apps. It's ridiculous that the keyboard shortcuts for the same things are different across their programs and even things like font menus are totally different in say Illustrator and Photoshop.
  • Especially for OSX they should make it possible to simply drag the apps you want to your Applications folder, none of this crappy installer business. Not to mention the apps should not be a folder that has the app icon and then you need to open that to find the actual app. That's not how things are done in OSX. Respect the UI guidelines.

They really need to get their act together. Hopefully they'll also finally get Flash Player working well on OSX. The CPU time it takes now is ridiculous at times.

Well, considering Adobe releases new versions of Photoshop about as frequent as Microsoft releases security patches I'm sure people still using PPC will be fine with whatever current version they have.

Really? My Core 2 Duo clocked at 2.16GHz can barely handle YouTube videos, didn't know Quad Cores did the same!

I think Flash will consume the same certain amount of % of CPU no matter what CPU you have. This is flawed programming.

PsykX said,
Really? My Core 2 Duo clocked at 2.16GHz can barely handle YouTube videos, didn't know Quad Cores did the same!

I think Flash will consume the same certain amount of % of CPU no matter what CPU you have. This is flawed programming.

With that CPU you can barely handle Youtube videos? Now that has nothing to do with Flash not being 64bit. Perhaps you should do a defrag.

Xam_Remny said,

With that CPU you can barely handle Youtube videos? Now that has nothing to do with Flash not being 64bit. Perhaps you should do a defrag.

Yes, streaming video over the internet requires fast hard drive access. It is obviously not inefficient coding by Adobe, but rather your hard drive that is causing your videos to stutter. This is all sarcasm by the way.

Holy crap information and even crappier corrections...

1) Win95 was a 32bit OS, but DID NOT DROP support for Win16 or 16bit applications. Even Win7 32bit has a full 16bit subsystem, just like the original NT 3.1 back in 1992 did. (NT has ALWAYS been 32bit and 64bit going back to the Alpha versions in the mid 90s.)

2) Yes 64bit DOES matter, and it is NOT just about 64bit address space.

The whole myth regarding 64bit just offering more memory address space was first started by Intel to 'knock down' the AMD64 technology, which Intel later retracted when their EMT64 was finally released.

The myth was further perpetuated by APPLE, because OS X is NOT a 64bit OS, and the only 64bit support in OS X is memory address space, as the applications do not get the native 64bit modes of the CPU because of the 32bit OS. So of course Apple wants people to believe 64bit is only about 'address space' and completely dismisses the all the 64bit CPU optimizations, let alone the number crunching that happens when you are slamming two 64bit operations together.

Even 32bit applicaitons benefit from a 'real' 64bit OS, as the OS can dual write/read memory for the 32bit applications, and shove two 32bit writes or reads into one operation. (Like XP 64bit, Vista 64bit, or Win7 64bit can do because they are REAL 64bit OSes all the way.)

3) Adobe moving to 64bit on OS X is a big move, and is SAD because it could have happened last year like it did for Windows Adobe users. The Windows platform offers a very clean and easy way to move forward to 64bit.

OS X was supposed to allow simple migration to newer technology and this is where Apple screwed Adobe and other developers with the Carbon nightmare that Apple 'promised' would be fully moved to 64bit, and later decided they couldn't do it, and left Adobe with a dead end development product cycle.

This is where Apple's lack of innovation and delivering 'platform' technologies to developers shows their weaknesses.

4) More important than 64bit, and when OS X finally becomes a real 64bit OS, is about OS X getting a good SMP kernel model. (Go look up Funnel Locks OS X). Right now the OS X kernel hybrid was designed around fighting with the inherent flaws in the Mach/BSD implementation that created queue locks on a single processor and in the process they destroyed OS X's SMP capabilities.

Let alone drivers, but even an Application can lock the kernel and prevent a multi-core or multi-CPU system from processing on the additional cores/processors due to the queue lock mechanisms Apple added to offset the non pre-emptive queue locks of the kernel.

This stuff drives me nuts, as people truly do buy an 8 core Xeon based Mac, and then don't realize that a lot of the time, the OS and applications are only using ONE FREAKING CPU CORE as the others are locked from use by applications or the OS itself.

In the Linux and Windows world, this seems so incredibily insane that most people don't realize that this is how OS X works, especially since Linux and Windows (NT) have not had these type of locks EVER, and can easily ALWAYS be using all CPUs available to the OS. This is what runs through my miind when you see an Apple blurb about 'think different', different as in short bus different.

Additional, irony, the code Apple has in the OS X kernel to improve single CPU multi-tasking that created the horrid SMP peformance and locking STILL lacks behind the Linux and Windows NT kernel level tasking abilities on single cores as well. Ouch...

5) 64bit Flash... Ok, the responses on this topic are really stupid. THE REASON PEOPLE WANT A 64bit VERSION OF FLASH IS SO THEY CAN RUN NATIVE 64bit BROWSERS AND STILL USE AND SEE FLASH CONTENT. A Native 64bit browser cannot use Flash because Flash is 32bit - there are thunking exceptions - but virtually nobdoy does this.

It is NOT about wanting a 64bit version of Flash for performance as Flash shouldn't be a 'heavy' application needing the extra power in the first place.

6) Flash performance - Yes it SUCKS horribly, no matter how powerful your processor is. Your playback will consume the same % of CPU and play as horribly on an i7 9xx CPU as it will on a Atom 270.

Adobe's Flash is horribly coded, and interestingingly, as you have more 'core' or CPUs, it gets worse as it tries to flip threads to the additional cores and does a freaking horrible job. This is why ESPECIALLY HyperThreaded enabled CPU get hit hard, as the 'virtual' HT cores are not full cores but the Flash Developers are NOT BRIGHT enough to figure this out and will try to flip threads to the HT cores that bring the system to its knees. (And we aren't just talking a P4 w/HT or an Atom, but also the new i7 CPUs with HT.)

And though HT CPUs are hit the hardest, even Core Duos that are just true cores with no HT, also take a load from Flash's horrid programming and 'attempts' at multi-threading.

Want a fun test, throw Silverlight and Flash on the screen at the same time, watch Flash eat the CPU and still stutter and Silverlight play smoothly without maxing out your CPU. (And this is even more true with streaming Video at HD, as you can play full Silverlight HD content on a Atom 270 Netbook, and Flash will give you a stobe effect.)

7) Adobe admitted this before, and it is still true. If you want the most performance out of Adobe production applications, the Windows versions will run faster than the OS X versions (and this has nothing to do with PowerPC legacy code, and more to do with OS X being 32bit and other things like its horrid multi-CPU support.

(Back to the multi-CPU/SMP performance in OS X, notice that Snow Leopard ADVERTISES 'support' for multi-core CPUS, and if that don't get your attention do the "Kernel Funnel lock OS X" search.)

Commenting is disabled on this article.