Make Illustrator multi threaded on CPU
Illustrator performance is awful, its slow and lumbering at all but the most basic operations. It is bound to only a single cpu thread which is ridiculous now in an age of multi core and multi thread CPU's and it has been this way for many years. It cannot handle background tasks and is completely out of parity in function and performance with other Adobe software such as photoshop and inDesign.
This issue is still ongoing. Sadly.
Speaking as someone running Illustrator on a 32 Core, 128 GB system, the fact that Illustrator is so limited in today's world is simply SAD, SAD, SAD.
Get with it, please.
I really, really wish Adobe would put new features on hold for a while until they fix what's already in there. In day-to-day use I'm never craving new features because I'm too busy getting aggravated by its sluggishness.
I've found that hitting TAB to hide the various windows and toolbars increases performance dramatically. But that should not be necessary. A list of teeny symbol thumbnails and 'Action' buttons shouldn't drag a modern CPU to its knees. (that makes me wonder if the thumbnails are full-detail objects simply scaled down in size, thanks to vector magic.)
For anyone wanting to try the TAB trick, search the keyboard shortcut menu for "tab" and it will bring up two functions. I swapped the two shortcuts for ease of use. By default, TAB will also disable the top toolbox that contains text and alignment options - which also shifts the work area. The other option was SHIFT+TAB, which leaves the top toolbox but toggles all sub-windows. It's annoying having to resort to toggling parts of the UI on-and-off but it helps.
Bradley Smith commented
i feel like adobe is not caring about there clients any more. i have spoken with dev team members and i felt blown off and not cared about. i am still struggling moving away from Adobe but am hoping for a turn around. but when there are request that are 15+ years old. ya they no longer care.
Stuart Chesters commented
I was initially under the impression that the Mac SoC version of Illustrator had been designed to take advantage of the architecture and therefore would make a better effort to use multiple cores.
I was excited to try but, my M1 Mac Mini from last year with 8GB memory was a big let down. It starts up faster but made no noticeable improvement for me (Dell XPS 17 9700 with 64GB and GTX 1650Ti for comparison) and if anything seemed a little slower panning and zooming large files.
Since the M1 never seems to take advantage of multi cores in Illustrator (my daily workhorse) or even make full use of the cores or GPU when creating video in Premier Pro it gets no love from me. In fact all my daily tasks take longer on a MAC mini. What was all the fuss about?
Maybe the new Mac Studio will be better but I'm guessing that'll only be because of the faster single core performance. I so wanted to find a Mac that was better than my now fairly average laptop, but for the stuff I use it for there's no significant gain. Illustrator being the main culprit along with PowerPoint for creating slide show video . Both of these have a subscription model and both seem incapable of taking advantage of multi core processing while taking advantage of my regular subscription stream. Software development today leaves a lot to be desired!
Afaik, the only reason why M1 now works better for you in some cases, is just the fact that Adobe apps on Intel Macs were running on an emulator in the first place! So thanks Apple, they don't need that bottleneck anymore. Doesn't make the software any better...
Don't get fooled by any cherry-picked testing. Bad architecture stays bad no matter how nice they paint the walls. I really doubt there is any positive change in responsiveness while moving through a complex Ai file on an M1.
O! I understand now! Mac is for designers! I am only working in the large format print house and all the artwork should be supplied ready for print.
Shame that it usually this do not work like this and almost always artwork needs tweeks and amendmets before printing.
It a pure joy (NOT !) to work with files with 100 of clipping mask shadows and efects.
Adobe please ease fix experience for PC even if this means raising recommend PC specyfication or adding optional acceleration for higher grade PC
Hans Boon commented
I notice the same with a MacBook Air M1 compared with intel version.
illustrator batch processing with datasets runs faster on M1. But 4000 dataset batch processing still takes some time compared with DataMerge in Indesign. Depending on complexity and quantity you need to choose between batch processing in Illustrator or DataMerge Indesign. I'm glad on M1 it runs faster then intel ;)
Mark Nicoll commented
Just to echo the previous comments about M1 Macs, as a long-time PC user and heavy-duty Illustrator user, I've always been on the look out for the best hardware to run Illustrator. I always believed that this meant getting the fastest single-core performing Intel chip, which naturally meant PC because Macs are so expensive.
Last year I wrote my own Illustrator benchmark script. It runs a series of timed operations of various sorts, from transforming complex vectors, rendering effects, zooming in and out, file saving and so on, and then gives a score. I ran it on a lot of high-end PCs. And then I ran it on an M1 Macbook Pro. To say it blew the PCs out of the water is an understatement. I was utterly shocked; the difference was in the range of 400-500% (according to my Illustrator benchmark script)!
Macs still get on my nerves in other ways, but it's hard to argue with silicon like that. It justifies the price difference.
NO! PRINT IS DEAD that's what they must be thinking but we have x2 1.6m wide printers in the workshop that are constantly hungry for more media. Illustrator is 90% of our work flow as we need to be able to supply anything from small to huge print with the same look quality and colours. It is really frustrating when simple operation like adding shadows for a better separation can bring my 6core PC with 64GB ram and 2070 to standstill.
Adobe please improve efficiency on Illustrator.
Jason McMinn commented
If you are hyper concerned about performance and have the means to get an M1 Mac, you will be very happy with the performance. I switched from a decked out 2019 MacBook Pro to the new 16" MacBook Pro with M1 Max chip and Illustrator is screaming fast compared to before.
This is frustrating that there has been no progress on this.
Vector is such a powerful format to make in.
On 2D designs there is so much more leeway for fine tuning of effects and recolouring of designs for commercial work.
Please Adobe, invest our premium subscription money wisely to get this application more fitting for the 21st century when even the most average and sub par laptops have multiple cores and powerful processors.
In Illustrator's current state of code we are frustrated: you are giving us an airliner fitted with a hairdryer motor.
How do you expect our visions to take off to fruition with that?
Many of us are experiencing significant non Photoshopped aging watching that spinning ball go round on renders and screen redraws.
Please do the work so we can do ours.
Nikolas Karampelas commented
@GameArt if creators focus on 3d now they could just use a 3d program. Why should illustrator incorporate 3D functions when it can't do it's basic ones right?
I just smile and look back at Macromedia Freehand and then I look over to Adobe... What happened???
@GameArt I would love to see a "2D version of blender" just for vector graphics. The blender workflow is great and was thoroughly crafted to get fast results - it's basically the opposite of using Illustrator; where almost every repetitive operation hides behind an endless wall of context menus.
I also don't get the part where you can't calculate vectors in multiple threads?! Every 3D software is stuffed with vector maths. Blend2D supports it since last year - there you go, Adobe. What a lazy excuse.
I would like to use another program but still there is nothing that doesn't make me miss stuff from Ai. Affinity looks like some kids learning app, sorry Affinity. If anyone has spotted something that screams productivity AND is fast - please let us know!
Game Art commented
Illustrator now has a bigger competitor than affinity, Blender. the different area you will say, yes, different art field but it is where creators focus goes now
Adobe should add more creative tools to their apps instead of thinking about how to make more money
I'm more and more using blender instead of illustrator, because of these performance issues, I can do serious complex art and illustrator works for primitive illustrations only
I think they will eventually release a native ARM version of illustrator for Apple Mxx processors with multi-core support but the x64 version has as much multi core support as it will ever get.
Not enough to convince me to pay for a full price subscription.
Ivan Doganov commented
Until there is no "actual" competition, and they are de facto industry standard, they will not give a dime for better performance. Afiinity is good, but their Designer is far from actual replacement for Illustrator in production flow.
I don't buy the 'isn't possible with vectors' argument. That's just a cheap excuse. Enough vector based examples out there that seem to have no issues. It isn't possible *with the current engine* is what he really meant to say probably.
So I totally buy they'll have to do massive work on or a total rewrite of the engine and they don't want to do that.
Nikolas Karampelas commented
For the price they ask and the money they make I'm sure rewriting illustrator from the ground up is not a big deal and cost next to nothing for them. They just don't care.
Game Art commented
I think it will never happen.
Adobe worker did long explanation that multitasking isn't possible with vector and as I understood, the problem that they got to rewrite illustrator from scratch, with all its new features too, and they do not want to do it
I have been waiting over 25 minutes for a rendering - watching hardware utilization of only 5.7% CPU, 0% GPU and 15% memory on a Ryzen 9 5900X 12 core processor with one core engaged and an RX 6800 GPU that is totally unutilized by Adobe. I am trying to put a shaded symbol of a label onto a vectorized can - lots of opportunity to exercise core and especially GPU capabilities.
Adobe has lots of performance tips that are completely irrelevant in this situation - the computer system is not maxed out, it is literally 98% not-used, because of obsolete application code.
In 2021 there is no excuse for this level of obsolete performance from the supposed graphics leader. We have about nine months before our annual paid subscription expires and I will move our company off of Adobe if things have not changed dramatically at renewal time. This is too high a cost in time to justify.
I will take the time waiting for it to render (now up to 40 minutes) to look at Affinity as I have seen many favorable comments about it recently.