Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Processing images and video on really old hardware

One of the things that I test, when looking at using a new piece of software, is how it works across a variety of PCs. I have both desktops and laptops running XP, Vista, and Win7 (and of course Macs). Given that there are many readers who are in government service, and use really old hardware, I want to make sure that my recommendations will be able to be useful to a majority of my readers.

With that in mind, I've noted the progress that Adobe has made in squeezing every last bit of processing power out of the latest processors and GPUs. The installation space needed to install Photoshop, or the Suite, gets bigger with each release. A lot of the feedback that I've received is that people are stuck somewhere between CS2 and CS4 due to the limitations of their PCs.

What to do?

While Adobe's target Photoshop user is the Professional or Prosumer photographer, the assumption is that their customers will cycle their hardware as new software comes along. For the most part - they're right. But, that premise doesn't hold true with government service. The 18 month hardware replacement cycle often gets stretched to five years and beyond.

While Adobe's target is wide, the folks out there building purpose-specific software are targeting a very narrow audience. As an example, AmpedFIVE's code has been highly optimized to run as fast as possible on standard architecture (the low end), through the use of efficient implementation of advanced algorithms. It runs just as well on an old XP desktop, or an old XP laptop, as it does on a new Win7 workstation.

In a time of shrinking budgets, Amped gets its customers' concerns. Not having to replace a room full of computers in order to get the latest and greatest piece of software is a huge deal in government service. It's part of the reason that AmpedFIVE is my new best friend.

No comments: