Another hardware change, for those using a Windows operating system, is support for 64-bit processors. Most users won't notice much of a speedup, perhaps 10 percent in some cases; however performance is much better in some memory-intensive areas where the 4GB limit of 32-bit software is a problem.
"For most people, with a 12-megapixel SLR file or doing Web design work, the difference they'll see is pretty negligible. The inflection point from 32-bit to 64-bit really happens where you would have run out of memory and would have had to go to your virtual memory system," storing data on the hard drive rather than in memory, Nack said. "There's a tenfold performance increase opening up a large file."
A companion program that is geared specifically for photographers, Photoshop Lightroom, offers 64-bit support for both Mac and Windows; unfortunately, Adobe couldn't do the 64-bit version of Photoshop CS4 for Mac OS X as it was busy moving to a new primary programming foundation from Apple, called Cocoa.