Tom’s Hardware tests OpenCL acceleration in photo editing apps
June 11, 2012 by Tony DeYoung
Tom’s Hardware tests OpenCL acceleration in Adobe PhotoShop CS6, Musemage, GIMP and a pre-release version of Corel’s AfterShot Pro, tweaked by Corel to bring early OpenCL support, across five system configurations and looks for patterns in the results. How much does open standards-based GPU acceleration (OpenGL and/or OpenCL) really help in these image-oriented tasks? Is there a difference in how much APUs and GPUs leverage accelerated features? Does acceleration scale evenly with graphics horsepower?
Some quick takeaways:
In the GIMP tests, the benefits of OpenCL-based GPU acceleration are very strong. Without acceleration, filters are nearly unusable on any system. Workflow comes to a complete stop as the system creeps through adding the blur one block at a time. With OpenCL turned on, there is very very even, expected performance scaling moving from mobile to desktop APU and APU into discrete.
In AfterShot Pro Corel doubles the performance for RAW to JPG conversion when using OepnCL GPU acceleration compared to running only through the CPU in software.
In Musemage, the application clearly leverages the GPU for scaling, and circumvents bus-imposed bottlenecks. OpenCL for HDR processing shows a 66X speed increase.
In Adobe Photoshop, with GPU-based OpenGL enabled, there is a performance increase by roughly 200% to 500%. There is also a 200% or more performance scaling using OpenCL in Liquify and Blur filters.