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.
It is not as straightforward as it may sound :) We have been working to take advantage of threads and other hardware such as GPU/Video RAM in places where it can make a higher impact. We are prioritizing areas that are slow instead of making a generic change and destabilizing the product. Product stability is the top priority for us and we have been consistently trying to improve it. We want to move with caution and make changes without compromising on the quality. Hope this helps.
If only I could us Ipad to design and prepare for print 200 linear meters of wall print that I am keeping In one illustrator file for alignment and task automation purpose. I would do this from my living room and feel the same way as people on cool Adobe adverts. In reality I need mouse and keyboard and large scree as well as (sometimes) 64GB of ram.
TOP tips for any one working with rasters in illustrator
Check if your GPU Acceleration is on as this still keep glitching after using outline preview. If it is off > save file> switch off illustrator> switch on > continue work
I also find that if I link raster file sometimes is lagging but if I embedded it it works better.
I am not surprised why design agency keep sending us Photoshop files at full size but only 75ppi for large format print.
Jeron Kuxhausen commented
@Jayse That doesn't really shine light on the core issue. I get that XD is replacing UI/UX work in Illustrator but explain to me how XD is replacing things in industries like Screen Printing, Large Format, and various others? XD is a specialized app that Adobe has and is not what I would use to ever create something like a shirt design or a poster. The software is not dead, though it may be dying due to people moving to other software, and the fact still stands that they need to fix core performance. I love that companies like Affinity are putting pressure on Adobe and making some great software. Also adobe bought Figma so I imagine that will be absorbed into XD.
Also I have nothing against a Tablet version but if I have a powerful computer then there should be no reason that I shouldn't be able run a more powerful version of the app on it so that it takes advantage of the hardware. The issue is that multi-core computers have been around for decades so this should not still be "Under Review"
Jayse Hansen commented
Illustrator is dead. For the most part.
One day, it will be replaced by what they're slowly rebuilding from scratch on iPad. (Borrowing from the excellent XD app.)
Years ago, I watched them recreate After Effects for performance from the ground up, and that was years of hot mess. Users were furious. To avoid that, it appears that they're basically redoing the apps to be web/iPad apps, which is smart and future forward. They've been super slow with it tho, probably because of lack of competition. (just buy Figma or Freehand etc. if something competitive shows up)
But hopefully that shines some light on what they're likely doing in this domain. For speedier, more pleasant experience of Ai, try the iPad version, XD and or the competitors.
Ai used to be my daily driver for 10 hour days, now, I do the same work, but Ai is not even a shortcut in my dock. 🤷♂️ (99% replaced by XD).
Jeron Kuxhausen commented
I find it interesting that they continue to add 3D support and features but won't fix the core performance of the program. 3D is going to require more CPU and not less so seems like you're just shooting yourself in the foot.
It's painful that this hasn't been implemented yet. It's hugely critical to performance. Working on any projects with large raster images is tiresome. Seeing that this was posted in 2017 gives me very little hope.
Michael Wagner commented
I started rasterizing my 4x4-inch black and white artwork at 300ppi about 20 minutes ago. I had the rainbow wheel of death for a good 5 min before the progress bar indicating it started rasterizing showed up. Meanwhile, my total CPU usage is hovering around 12% usage the entire time and Illustrator is unresponsive. I'm running a 3.8 GHz 8-core i7 with 40GB of ram for crying out loud. Sure the artwork is complex, but 20 minutes for something so small and only one color without any custom transparency effects, and it's STILL processing. Feels like I'm using an old G5. (Edit: I eventually force-quit after 30min as it was still processing)
@AJ, I'm sure it's the accountants who are running the show now. Like so many company before, they will use the same business model. Bleed it dry until it dies then maybe hire some big shot to bring it back to life in it's final breathe. In the meant-time, release a few useless updates to make it look like they're doing something. I'm sure they understand perfectly well.
Yes, I feel all the same frustrations.
The potential to pinpoint edit colour and form in Illustrator in its current state is completely hampered by Adobe's lack of action.
Adobe's focus on 3D and other icing sprinkles functions without building on the program's fundamental usability is unbelievable after 5 years of waiting with no progress on this.
For digital artists is impossible to make certain sorts of perfectly feasible artwork in the current state of this program because we are stuck in a 1990s time slip without multi thread foundation.
Why are we still waiting on this half a decade down the road?
Adobe is a resource rich company.
Is it engineers who do not actually understand the creative potential of the program? Is it sales departments mangers who have no experience of using the program to its full potential. Or it is simply a cold disregard for end users who have asked time and time and time again for action on this?
When it works I love Illustrator but like others here I am tiring or paying for a subscription to a company that will not support or listen to its creative users. If Adobe made Illustrator more baseline solid think of the superlative artwork that could actually be rendered. think about it Adobe: you could showcase that work and make more sales. How about fixing these basic performance issues, Adobe – please?
Bradley Smith commented
Has i pointed out in a call with them back in 2018. at least have a core dedicated per project file. this way if i open more than one file it will not crash me when just doing a task has simple has copy and past. yes i have that experience still to this day. opening more than one file or having a menu brochure that has more than 600+ lines of text and Ai crashes form a copy and past. More ram helps but having Multi core support will be the best fix.
Well, it goes without saying that Mama Adobe doesn't really care much about taking care of her beloved children (they once were).
I would propose (even if it is of little interest to mommy), to devote more energy and effort to improving the obsolete architecture of her software (software that runs on codes written and implemented for at least 30 years), taking care to improve performance such as USE of the CPU, RAM, GPU and spend less time implementing small new features that often are of little use, actually are of little use.
Example they insert a whole part dedicated to 3D, but then this 3D consumes enormously CPU / GPU / RAM resources but the architecture still thinks in single core so to work easily with 3D is a disaster because everything is very very very SLOW and the 'user probably that "amazing" function will never use it because it is slow and wastes precious time, then illustrator stops and you waste more time!
Sincerely, I am a former Freehand User, with many BUGS that had that software you worked easily without lag (with much much slower machines, we are talking about 2003/2005 (almost 20 years ago)) and yet I did everything with that software, now Illustrator I use it for small things, brands or vector icons, for the rest I try to do everything with InDesign, at least it is more stable and faster. Illustrator is so heavy, even with a few boards, it is also imprecise in snapping to paths, it worked best freehand with its snap on nodes or it automatically adjusted to the curve of the path.
I tried Affinity Design, and I have to say it's about snaps, multicore speed, CRAZY zoom 1.000000000%
IT IS REALLY SCARED, if those of affinity would improve a few things present in Illustrartor, believe me for the proposed cost and the fluidity and speed of that software, they will pass en masse to Affinity.
But maybe that's what Adobe expects since it doesn't do anything to improve its software. Only new SIPERFLUE features.
How do you think about it?
Nikolas Karampelas commented
I have switched over to affinity, I had the programs day one but had to spent some time to get used to them and there are some missing things here and there. As a freelancer it doesn't make any difference since I hand out PDF files anyway.
But version 2 is said to be around the corner for Designer and I hope they will add more of what is missing.
For example there is no text warp and no image trace.
Also I want to dispel a small misinformation here, the programs are not 100% multitreaded BUT, they are clearly way faster as they are written from scratch and take advantage of modern hardware in ways illustrator can't because of the old bits of code in there.
That being said most of the time I see more cores to engage in something and they have also added GPU computation to help with rasters. When I see most of the work is on exports tho, many times I see my CPU getting that sweet 100% on all 6 cores/ 12 threads, although it is fast enough to see it for seconds and mostly if you have rasters in the design.
Again, no matter what the program is way faster than illustrator and it shows mostly on older hardware.
InstyButte Typesetting2 commented
Yeah, Affinity Designer is looking mighty good right about now. I've been waiting 10 minutes for a rather simple process to complete in Illustrator. I'm part of a small outfit, so our cancelling the Creative Cloud subscriptions will only cost Adobe about $1200 a month. Still, considering the number of votes for this feature, a lot of other people must be getting pretty fed up, too. I'm going to buy Designer for personal use tonight and see what the learning curve is. Affinity Publisher seems pretty nice, (I bought it about 2 years ago, and have played around with it a bit) so I am expecting good things. It'll be a pain not working in native ai files, but I can put up with an eps workflow.
It's painfully obvious by this point that the people who write this software don't actually have to use it on a day-to-day basis. I had an embarrassing experience this morning when a client came in and requested some layout alterations in real time. Well, InDesign and Illustrator basically froze for about 10 seconds with each change. I was waiting on the programs, not the other way around. She suggested I ask for a new computer...
I built my first multi-cpu system in early 2001. It's nice to think I was over two decades ahead of Adobe, and counting.
Sorry for spamming!
This all feels so familiar. Hello Adobe Xpress.
Bradley Smith commented
i spoke with a rep from Photoshop and bridge and was supost to get a call about illustrator. i feel adobe dev teams are not lessening to there clients anymore. my team of 56 is now only 2 using illustrator the rest use corel. or inkscape. (most is just basic color changes or turning on and off layers.) but still that is a loss of 54 users. PLEASE ILLUSTRATOR TEAM FIX THIS
Eric Bryant commented
Adobe, please address this issue or update us about what is going on with the status of this being under review for FIVE years.
Stuart Chesters commented
I'd love to hear from someone who has made the switch from Illustrator to Affinity Designer. I'm too invested in the Adobe infrastructure for other software in their suite to save myself any money by switching but I'm at the point I'm considering switching just to make my creative experience quicker and smoother and more reliable. I'm so gutted as I love illustrator and have years of experience but they clearly have no intention of taking advantage of multi-core performance.
InstyButte Typesetting2 commented
Just waiting for an "added to backlog" message from Adobe. Like with InDesign GPU acceleration for Windows over a year ago. I'm always eagerly anticipating that feature with each update, and utterly disappointed when they completely disregard it. The lack of multithreading with Illustrator (and a bunch of other Adobe programs) is even worse than the lack of GPU support for InDesign in Windows, since this affects literally everyone...
Yes, of course, Annual Subscription, more constant and faster updates to obtain (3 updates a year if I'm not mistaken), therefore increasingly heavy software with new versions.
The software becomes heavier, they always work on Single Core, programmed obsolescence is felt much more (distorted by the use of the single core), so they force us to change computers and invest in increasingly performing and expensive machines (more performance more cost). Only to discover that the software always works at the minimum of its relative power. With updated PCs, the increase in speed / performance remains evident but always minimal compared to the actual power of the machine.
PS: they say that the adobe software goes slightly faster on APPLE, who knows maybe they wink at those of the apple by diverging on their products?
The fact is that the competition in terms of Cost / Performance is a notch if with 3 notches higher!
or am I wrong?
Don't worry y'all, I gave money to their Kickstarter. When they reach the next milestone goal they said they'd bring Adobe products up to 2010 standards. Almost there!
I'm so glad they forced us switch to an annual subscription so we could get upgrades and improvements sooner! I totally see how that's working out.