Since the end of 2020, Apple have been transitioning from Intel processors to Apple silicon in their Mac computers. These new M1 and M2 Macs have been incredibly well received, particularly by creative individuals, with many blown away by speed and performance improvements.
When the new M1 models were first introduced, software developers were busy redesigning their software to take full advantage of these new processors. Initially you could use Apple's Rosetta feature to run Intel apps on these new Silicon models, however the majority of Apps have now been developed to run natively on the new Apple silicon processors. This is when these new models were most able to shine!
Adobe apps that run natively on Apple Silicon (M1 and M2) Macs
The Pfeiffer Report
Adobe themselves commissioned a benchmarking project by Pfeiffer Consulting in 2021. They have now taken this offline but you can see a roundup here (edit Oct 22). The aim was to measure the performance of Creative Cloud flagship apps on the M1 MacBook Pro and compare to a similarly priced Intel MacBook Pro. The two models compared were detailed as below, I noticed the report did not specify which year MacBook Pro, I suspect it would be the 2020 model.
- 13 inch M1 MacBook Pro, 16GB RAM, 2TB of SSD
- 13 inch Intel Core i5 MacBook Pro, 16GB RAM, 2TB of SSD
Pfeiffer carried out a total of 774 individual comparing real world tests using Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, XD, Premier Pro, Lightroom and Lightroom Classic.
The benchmarks showed that, on average Creative Cloud is over 80% faster using the Apple M1 system when compared to the Intel model - very impressive!
It’s worth noting, for features that rely heavily on GPU acceleration, an Intel Mac with a discreet (dedicated), powerful GPU could outperform the M1 Macs in some areas. Apple are already addressing this with the newer generation models, increasing the gap between Apple and Windows systems.
The 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro with 16GB memory significantly outperformed it’s Intel predecessor in benchmark tests and you’ll see many real users online praising these new models for their performance, thermal qualities and stability. As Apple continue to develop these processors the performance will only get better and with all the major apps now running natively, users do not need to worry about software compatibility issues (unless you’re using old versions!).
If you are considering an M1/Silicon model for use with Adobe, Adobe recommend the 16GB memory models for the majority of their apps.