I use illustrator for very complicated gis generated maps with huge numbers of vertices and I am looking for the best processor to use with adobe illustrator. I understand that performance with vector graphics is achieved with a very fast single threaded cpu. I currently have a i9-10940 but it's not fast enough. I've been onto intel to ask them but they are no use, they have suggested an i9-10900 which does appear a little quicker on the popular benchmarking sites but I want the very fastest processor possible to work with adobe illustrator and complicated 2d documents. Please can anyone suggest something? For instance what do Adobe use on their test machines or development machines, they probably don't hang around?
p.s. I have M.2's, SSD's, Liquid Cooling, 64gb fast ram, lots of power and all the rest, I just need to know what processor to get.
Honestly, it's irrelevant. The Illustrator code is now so old that it cannot take advantage of any modern CPU. You'll see no performance difference between a mid-range CPU and a high-spec CPU. The software is outdated. It will run slow and laggy no matter what your hardware spec is.
That's a great answer thank you. I think I will go out and purchase an old 486dx2 and save myself a ton of money. You should become a moderator with answers like that.
I was actually genuinely trying to be helpful with what I was saying. Spending money on a top-spec CPU is not going to have any performance benefit to Illustrator. Trust me, I've tried it myself.
I only replied with the same level of helpfulness as your post(in frustration mainly). What you say maybe correct about illustrator using old code but that shouldn't be the end of the story. Rather than give up and say that a 'modern' processor isn't going to fix the problem I want to find a solution. One problem is that people see modern processors having 20 cores and are fabulous for gaming etc. and they think they will be great for illustrator. They are wrong because while illustrator is processing vector graphics it only uses a single core to do that processing. It may use a couple of the other cores to handle some UI features and any other background processes however only one core is used to process the vector calculations. So having an 'old' 5ghz single core processor will process a large vector document much quicker than a 'modern' 3ghz 20 core processor. For instance I have an old i7-7700k cpu which proceses a very complex document quicker than an much more modern i9-10940 cpu. So the reason illustrator is running slowly isn't because of 'old code' it is because of processor selection(among other things). This is the same for nearly all other vector editing applications. Photoshop is completely different and can make use of many cores as it deals mainly with raster images. I have purchased a number of cpu's recently in order to find a solution, I purchased another with motherboard this morning to try again (i9-10900k). I spoke to intel who don't really understand what I'm asking and just sent me a link to their newest consumer offerring. Do Formula 1 teams, rocket designers, serious designers or government gis designers simply use an off the shelf intel cpu or is there a 'special' one they all use? I'm sorry I replied with a flippant comment because I have written similar myself in the past. If you have any ideas I'm happy to listen.
The problem is that only few people have tried out a lot of different graphic cards. If any. So people can tell you if their card works for them, but they cannot tell you if there's a better choice available.
And the Illustrator engineers won't recommend anything because then they might be made accountable if it doesn't work. And there are so many reasons for a recommendation not working for some people, because this is an interaction of the card, its driver, the system and a lot of system extensions and stuff. All of them interact with each other and everything might change or fall apart in the blink of an eye. Trust me, this has happened in a lot of cases - we see them in the forums.
Hi Monika, The graphics card has very little to do with how quickly illustrator processes a vector document. The display of the document is what is done when all the processing has been done. The difference a good graphics card will make is negligible in the scheme of things. Take for instance a vector map of London with 50+ layers, many thousands of vertices and many thousands of text elements and outlines fonts. Some layers duplicated numerous times an the document is 300mb in size saved as an ai vector file. No raster graphics in it at all. Now you want to scale the map by 10%. This requires processor power, when the processor has done its work the graphics card has to display it. The GPU acceleration in AI is not stable enough. What I’m looking for is the best processor, not graphics card. Any ideas on this?
The same applies to the processor.
Not a lot of people will be able to tell ou anything, because they can't compare, because why should you buy a couple of different computers? When you run an agency it makes much more sense to have a couple of the exact same computers, because it's easier to manage.
This kind of tests is what computer magazines have been doing since their launch. But then some 15 years ago people decided they don't need computer magazines anymore, because blogs do the same thing, the magazines all died and that's where we're at.
Nobody does this kind of testing anymore.
Thanks again but I don't know how I can be phrasing my question so badly. Surely when the Adobe testing team are busy testing adobe illustrator functionality, they don’t want to be waiting around all day for things to happen. They MUST be using the fastest processor they can buy in their testing machines. My simple question is what IS that fastest processor?
P.s. What you are saying doesn’t make sense about the agency. If an agency has 20 staff working 8 hours a day on vector graphics and because they are not using the best processor they are having to wait for things to happen for only 5 seconds in every minute processing complicated graphics, that works out at 66 hours of labour per 5 day week they are losing. This is the equivalent of losing 1.5 members of staff per week just because of a slow processor. They should be using the fastest processor possible and I don’t understand why they wouldn’t have a techie specifically tasked with finding such things. I’m just hoping that techie can come along and say “Ahh.. yes.. you need the XYZ123 cpu.. that’s the one!” Thanks.
@williams15343599I do think you're giving Adobe and their engineers too much credit here. They're not testing the software on anything other than standard generic computers, they're not using the latest state-of-the-art CPUs. A fast M.2 SSD is really the only thing which will increase performance in Illustrator, and even that is limited. I'm standing by what I said originally - Illustrator suffers from code bloat, it's OLD. In a work environment, you'll see no performance difference between a mid-range CPU with a mid-range GPU, against a top-range CPU with a top-range GPU. I've tried it myself, comparing laptop performance with an incredibly fast desktop. Performance was identical. Load times, render times, all identical.
lol.. I'm sure their engineers are given the best kit... You can see the screenshot below while trying to scale a complicated vector map design with 10,000+ polygons all with multiple vertices 1 core is being used solidly to do the processing, the others are just doing background things. If this processor were playing a game for instance, all the cores would be being used. I just need to know what the fastest cpu at single core processing is. Your 'old bloated code' analogy doesn't really work imo. If code runs fine on a 2ghz cpu at a certain speed, then you run it on a 5ghz cpu, it will run much quicker, that is a fact. The code doesn't reach a top speed of operation and then slow down and say 'i can't go any faster'.. If you run it on a quicker processor, it WILL be quicker. It's like saying a 1,000cc fiat panda CANNOT be made to go any faster. If you put an f1 engine in it, it WILL go faster.
There's nothing else I can add here. Illustrator is old and dog slow on any system. Good luck.
I figured that as it was an Adobe Forum and Adobe Employees were listening I might be in luck.
Thanks for the link, I've seen that and note the paragraph below from that page. It mentions the 'speed' of your processor, not how high the number of cores you have is...
You say Illustrator is old, yes, so is windows and macos and java and all the other great pieces of software still around after many years. Software is what drives people to upgrade their hardware. With a Mac you take what you are given and that's that. With a PC you can select the right hardware for the job. I have a job to do and I want the right hardware which is why I asked the original question. After all the comments, the only person that actually answered my question in part at least was the 'Adobe Employee'.
This is a user forum. You aren't even talking to the engineers here.
They have published this: https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/kb/optimize-illustrator-performance-windows.html
And I wouldn't expect anything more precise.
Hi, williams15343599, I know it's an old thread, but I'm in the same boat. Purchased a mkdern PC before 1 and a half year. I wasn't satisfied with the performance of Illustrator. From your postings here, which clarified mine thoughts, your answer is simple. We have to buy a CPU with the highest core speed in terms of MHz's. The number of cores is not relevant unless you use Photoshop as well (like me). I know generally Intel have higher frequencies. Now (in 2022) you can buy 5.5 GHz i9. I'm tied to AMD architecture now (Ryzen 7 5800x) but seriously thinking of changing it to Intel's one.
Sorry, it's 3800x
Have you been following AMD's Ryzen 5900x launch? It has a decent increase in single core performance, even compared to a 10900k, and it only improves with higher core models, which you'd think would be the opposite. Then again, like everyone questions, how much does that translate to Illustrator? When is there diminishing returns? How much does memory speed and timing help? Hard to know when reviews and benchmarks don't cover Illustrator and heavy documents. I plan to get the 5900x, replace my 8700k, and see how Illustrator performs differently. I don't work with large map GIS files, but once you add several layers of effects, performance drops.
I bought the 10900k processor and it's been working OK but still not great. I may need to compare with the 5900 series to see if there are any gains to be had there. Thanks for the pointer.
If I can get my hands 5900x, I’ll try to post back. Maybe we can make a test Illustrator document and run a few benchmarks, like scale 10% on some shapes there were duplicated 1000s of times and a hare results.
Have you tried other performance saving measures? These tricks are likely more related to display performance than raw calculations, but shaving a few seconds here and there during the day, when it has to draw after calculations, can add up. First, working in wireframe whenever possible, or keeping specific layers in wireframe (Might not help pure calculations like scaling). Lowering raster resolution while working (probably not relevant on a pure vector map with no effects). Double checking your monitor resolution isn’t killing performance (I had to be cautious of that with ZBrush’s viewport that is pure CPU, not sure if it's the same for Illustrator). Though, after using a 5k iMac, I really miss the razor sharp print quality visuals, especially for small text.
Speaking of Mac, have you ever tested your project files on a Mac? I wonder if that version of Illustrator has any performance difference in certain areas due to slightly different coding. Probably not, but when Mac InDesign has live zoom and PC doesn’t, you never know. Oh, maybe cross your fingers Illustrator for Mac Silicon will have more modern coding or naturally take full advantage of the CPU. There may be an announcement in the next week for the first line of machines, but probably not meant to replace the high-end intel options.
Also keep in mind the performance your are dealing with may just be what it is for your line of work, and not much you can do, even with the best hardware. For example, while a different field, animators working on Transformers, just animating the 100-1000s of parts, I was shocked they had to deal with only a few frames per second in the viewport. While they were pushing the limits, you’d think they'd have the best hardware to overcome that. The same may apply to your work. Plus, even if a new vector program comes along, modern and fast, you don’t know if it will just buckle under the immense amount of data that Illustrator can handle, even if it is slow.
Thanks for reaching out. As per Illustrator system requirements, any multicore Intel processor (with 64-bit support) or AMD Athlon 64 processor should be good enough to run the app.
Please find more details on this help article. Hope it helps.
Hi Ashutosh, Thanks for repsponding. I was rather hoping for a more specific answer. I'm sure you'll be aware that although illustrator uses multiple cores for some of it's tasks, the main job of processing vector graphics is only done using a single thread. It is this reason that I want to know what the very best processor is to get for processing huge, complicated gis documents. The list you sent me is a list of the 'minimum' requirements illustrator needs. This is not what I asked for. I don't want a list of the recommended requirements either, I want the name of a processor or two or three that are the very best, fastest(specifically for illustrator!) that its possible to get. I can easily go on a cpu benchmarking site but I want to know from someone who actually knows. I doubt the Mercedes F1 team or SpaceX use a budget processor in their vector wind-tunnel analysis software... So please can I get an answer from someone that knows? Thanks in advance.