Creative Cloud, the Adobe report that embarrasses Intel: 7 applications and 744 tests, Apple M1 always tears up the Core i5

Adobe has almost completed the transition of its Creative Suite to the ARM architecture. The goal was obviously to bring the apps for creativity, developed exclusively for Intel processors, to the new Apple Silicon, but as we know from this rewrite work, Windows also benefited, since some applications arrived at the same time also on Windows ARM.

After some beta, Adobe announced yesterday the availability of Premiere Pro and Lightroom Classic, and now the seven main applications that make up the Creative Cloud are finally available in native version for Apple Silicon, they no longer require Rosetta. We are talking about Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, XD, Lightroom, Lightroom Classic e Premiere Pro.

Adobe has commissioned an outsourced benchmarking company to report on the performance achievable by the new version of the Creative Suite, and the result of the report puts Intel in a rather embarrassing position.

In fact, Pfeiffer conducted 774 individual tests on each of the individual applications comparing a 13 “MacBook Pro with 16 GB of RAM and M1 processor comparing it with the 13” version with 10th generation quadcore Intel Core i5 processor, 2.0GHz clock. and Intel Iris Plus Graphics, the same MacBook Pro that Apple sells today for € 2,229 for those who don’t want Apple Silicon.

The result of the 774 tests, averaged, shows an 83% increase in performance and speed. 

Pfeiffer explained that he took identical machines also in storage, that he conducted tests of real use (later we will see some) and that he repeated them three times, then taking the average as a value.

Starting with Photoshop, the main tests carried out involved decidedly heavy operations such as selecting subjects, filling based on content and merging multiple photos to create gigapixel photos. In all tests the M1 processor did the job in half the time. Here are the results.

Even more important are the differences in the case of Premiere, working on Sony XAVC S 4K files at 100p and performing operations such as encoding or scene detection.


The complete report is available at this address, but if we take the global table and look at some numbers we realize that the result is overwhelming: difficult to take into account, even for a “professional” suite like the Creative Cloud, an Intel processor. This is no small feat when we consider that the M1 is only the first processor announced by Apple and it is not even what should be used on workstations.


Pfeiffer writes that out of 774 tests performed there is not a single test where Intel can do better than Apple Silicon, even if it leaves a door open: an Intel processor, with an external graphics card, may be better than the M1 in some areas. According to the company that drew up the report, this gap could be closed without any problem by Apple with the new generation of SoCs.

Although the result is not too surprising, it is not clear why Adobe had to commission a similar research: the goal was probably to show how good they had been at optimizing the Creative Cloud code in ARM version, however in the eyes of all that emerges is Apple’s clear supremacy over Intel, a company that has always been a strong partner for Adobe.

It would also have been interesting to see how the ARM version behaved on Windows, now that Photoshop and other applications can run smoothly on a Snapdragon as well.

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