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Adobe Illustrator and Lightroom are now 80% faster on M1 than on Intel Macs

Now rolling out are native Apple M1 versions of Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Lightroom Classic. Adobe claims that the new optimization makes Creative Cloud, on average, 80% faster on M1 Macs as compared to Intel Macs.

Backed by a study from Pfeiffer Consulting, Adobe tested all the newly optimized apps on an M1 MacBook Pro against a similarly configured Intel Core i5 MacBook Pro with 16GB of RAM. Both laptops were connected to Apple Pro Display XDRs.

The firm claims that in their series of tests of opening and launching the apps and processing complex datasets, “there was not a single benchmark where the M1 hardware was slower than the Intel version.”

More specifically, Adobe and Pfeiffer Consulting find that with these new native apps, you can see some big gains. In the average of all tested benchmarks, Adobe Illustrator saw a 65% performance increase over the Intel Mac, InDesign a 59% increase, and Lightroom Classic a 116% increase. Tasks included dealing with sector-based illustrations and complex artboards on Illustrator and brochures with high-resolution images in InDesign. As for Lightroom Classic, the tasks included importing RAW images, full-screen image selection, and merging and enhancing images.

Adobe Photoshop was also optimized for M1 silicon in March, after a period of testing. Adobe had claimed that opening and saving files, running filters, and compute-heavy operations in Photoshop could be up to 1.5 times faster on Apple M1 Macs compared to the non-optimized version. All these apps no longer run under Apple’s Rosetta 2 emulation, which is designed for apps running on Intel-based Macs.

The only difference, per the research, came down to features that needed GPU acceleration, where an Intel Mac with a discrete GPU “can still outperform the current generation of M1 Macs in some areas.”

In addition to the optimization for M1 Macs, Adobe is also shipping some new features for the Creative Cloud suite. Lightroom and Lightroom Classic are getting new premium presets and collaborative editing capabilities. New retouching features are coming to Photoshop Express, a rotate view is coming to Illustrator on desktop, and new styling tools are coming to Adobe XD.

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Arif Bacchus
Arif Bacchus is a native New Yorker and a fan of all things technology. Arif works as a freelance writer at Digital Trends…
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