One of the nicest features of the latest round of OS X image editors like Pixelmator and Acorn is their use of GPU acceleration. They use your Mac’s graphics processor to radically speed up various image tools like filters and transformations, etc. Now it appears that the big boys are finally getting ready to play.

TG Daily is reporting that Adobe recently previewed the next version of Photoshop (CS Next / CS4) with GPU acceleration. And as expected it made for an enormous improvement in speed. They they observed “the presenter playing with a 2 GB, 442 megapixel image like it was a 5 megapixel image on an 8-core [Intel] Skulltrail system.”

There was no specific mention of the Mac version (the demo seems to have been done on a Windows machine) and also no discussion of if and how the 32-bit limitation of CS4 on the Mac might affect this GPU assisted performance boost. Nonetheless, the addition of GPU acceleration is a big deal, and perhaps will push Apple into getting more high performance graphics cards into its systems.

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