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Is Adobe CS5 64-Bit-Only? And Other Top Questions Answered

[UPDATE (April 2012) – The same two applications mentioned below remain 64-bit only for CS6.]

[UPDATE (April 2011) – See also the top questions answered for CS5.5!]

Last week there was an online Q&A session called “Ask a CS Pro,” where we got news on when CS5 would be released. The session with Adobe Evangelists Terry White, Greg Rewis, and Jason Levine lasted over an hour and there were a lot of other great questions address­ed. Here are some:

 Q:  Is Creative Suite 5 64-bit-only? Or will it run on 32-bit systems?
 A:  Only two CS5 applications are exclusively 64-bit, Premiere Pro and After Effects. The rest, including Photoshop, will run in either 32-bit or 64-bit environments, including Windows XP. But CS5 users running on 64-bit native should realize noticeably greater gains in performance, in some cases as much as ten times the previous speed.
 Q:  How can I tell if my system can run the 64-bit applications?
 A:  See is your PC is running a 32-bit or a 64-bit version of Windows, or if your Intel- based Mac has a 32-bit or 64-bit processor. Complete system require­ments for all CS5 products can be found on this page. See also Adobe’s helpful CS5 FAQ.
 Q:  What if I buy CS5 but don’t have a 64-bit computer yet?
 A:  If you decide to buy CS5 Production Premium or CS5 Master Collection, then compli­mentary 32-bit compatible versions of Premiere Pro CS4 and After Effects CS4 will be provided with your purchase (details and usage here).
[UPDATE (May 19th) – If you need the standalone CS4 versions of After Effects or Premiere Pro (for 32-bit systems or Windows XP), or any other CS4 product for that matter, you can find them still available for download here.]
 Q:  Will Adobe be releasing 32-bit versions of After Effects CS5 and Premiere Pro CS5?
 A:  It doesn’t appear so. Adobe felt they needed to push the performance and advancement of these products to the next level – see more about their reasoning here and here. Fortunately, the rest of CS5 will work fine on any type of system – including Photoshop, which includes both 32-bit and 64-bit versions, and the others, which are built as 32-bit.
 Q:  Will the 32-bit versions of Adobe’s programs work on my 64-bit PC?
 A:  Yes. While 64-bit native applications (when available) will run faster and make better use of system resources, Adobe’s 32-bit applications will run quite nicely on 64-bit computers.
Ask a CS Pro (replay)
 Q:  Will there be a new version of Acrobat Pro in the suites?
 A:  CS5 ships with Acrobat Pro 9. There is no new version of Acrobat in yet.
 Q:  Will Content-Aware Fill allow me to select animals like pets better than CS4?
 A:  Actually it’s the new Edge Detection features that will do that in Photoshop CS5.
 Q:  Is there new support for HTML5 and CSS3 in Dreamweaver CS5?
 A:  These standards were too emerging to incorporate into the CS5 product development cycle last year. However in the coming weeks and months you’ll see new plug-ins and extensions for Dreamweaver that add support for these.
 Q:  I haven’t heard much yet about Fireworks CS5 – what’s new there?
 A:  For Fireworks, there are some new features but a lot of enhancements with many stability and performance improvements. It’s all covered perfectly here.
 Q:  Will Illustrator CS5 finally convert from layers to pages in PDF?
 A:  You can do this with multiple artboards in CS5 which will convert to multiple pages in PDF.
 Q:  Terry, I saw your InDesign ePUB for iPad video. Will the ePUBs produced with Adobe apps still be accepted by iTunes or has that changed?
 A:  ePUBs produced by InDesign CS5 should be accepted by the iBookstore AND in iTunes directly, as I did in my video.
 Q:  What about plug-ins for After Effects – do they have to be 64-bit as well?
 A:  Yes, After Effects CS5 plug-ins also have to be native 64-bit, but Adobe has been working closely with major plug-in developers to have them ready.
 Q:  I’ve heard about the new Mercury Playback Engine in Premiere Pro CS5. What if I don’t have one of the supported graphics cards?
 A:  Mercury is a software engine written from the ground-up to leverage all RAM and all cores in your system, to maximize playback and rendering. At the moment, five NVIDIA cards are supported, with more coming. But you can still run quite brilliantly in software-only mode without GPU acceleration (for example, on a MacBook).
 Q:  What Content Management Systems (CMS) does Dreamweaver support?
 A:  Dreamweaver CS5 can work with any PHP-based CMS (e.g., WordPress, Joomla, Drupal), even homegrown, as long as Dreamweaver can connect to the server. You can style with CSS, rework JavaScript, and change HTML, all without having to leave Dreamweaver itself.

What other questions do you have about CS5? Just ask in the comments below and we’ll see if we can get them answered quickly for you.

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91 thoughts on “Is Adobe CS5 64-Bit-Only? And Other Top Questions Answered”

    • Yes there are, good question. As mentioned above, Photoshop CS5 will run in either environment but is significantly faster in 64-bit. As for benchmarks, five tests were run recently comparing Photoshop CS5 64-bit to Photoshop CS4 32-bit. The CS5 speeds were 1.4 to 2.4 times faster than the same operations in CS4.

  1. Where can i download cs4 or cs3 trials for adobe after effects and premiere pro? I have a 32 bit os and i cannot download from adobe’s website because there is a cs5 version on it – and it says after effects and premiere cs5 are for 64 bit os only. I really need help, I need to download the cs4 or cs3 trials.

    Reply
    • We have contacted Adobe about this as it is an excellent inquiry. As outlined above, the CS4 versions of Premiere Pro and After Effects are provided when you buy CS5, for use if needed in 32-bit environments. But if you’re still on 32-bit and just want to try out Premiere or After Effects, then your options are less clear as Adobe is no longer showing the CS4 trials as available. However there is some good news as some other sites like Softpedia do still offer the trial versions of Premiere Pro CS4 and After Effects CS4 for download. So hopefully Adobe will expand how they manage this situation for customers but right now it’s easier to get the older versions from other trusted sources.

    • You’re right Anthony, thank you – it does appear those links flipped over to CS5 sometime in the past few days since we last tested them… The official word from Adobe is that CS4 trials and downloads are no longer offered, but Premiere Pro CS4 and After Effects CS4 are included in the CS5 suite editions as outlined in the Q&A above. CS5 will continue to be the best choice for most needs, but we’re still working to try to get CS4 be more widely available for these types of special situations, and will post any updates here.

  2. @J. Chu, you said “CS5 Extended” so presuming that means Photoshop Extended… Within CS5 don’t have to upgrade from 32-bit to 64-bit for Photoshop – both versions come in the same box or download, and you can choose which one you want to install and run (or both).

    Reply
  3. I cant seem to find any trial version of Dreamweaver CS5 64 bit versions? Are these available anywhere or Dreamweaver CS5 is available in 32 bit only?

    For those who might have used the 64 bit version is there any significant perfomance gains?

    Reply
  4. Hi @Beaton, there isn’t a 64-bit version of Dreamweaver CS5, it’s available in 32-bit only as you guessed…

    There are three products with 64-bit considerations in Creative Suite 5: After Effects CS5 and Premiere Pro CS5 are 64-bit only (but you can still download the 32-bit CS4 versions if you need them), and Photoshop CS5 comes in both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors. For Photoshop CS5’s 64-bit version, the performance is markedly better than the 32-bit version, according to recent benchmarks.

    All the remaining CS5 apps are 32-bit, but will run and work fine in 64-bit environments.

    Reply
    • According to Adobe there isn’t a 32-bit version of After Effects CS5… The full reasons why are given here.

      But if you purchase a suite edition, either CS5 Production Premium or CS5 Master Collection, you’ll receive both After Effects CS5 and After Effects CS4 – two versions to cover all possible installation scenarios (and also both Premiere Pro CS5 and Premiere Pro CS4).

      Production Premium itself is a pretty nice deal in this case as it includes seven major CS5 applications but costs less than two of them. Plus you get two CS4 apps included now as well… See our new post about this here.

      Note that the lack of 32-bit support is more of a Windows factor and does not affect the majority of Mac computers that use Intel processors (see the full system requirements).

    • Yes, the features and functionality of all Adobe CS5 student and teacher editions are exactly the same as the regular commercial versions… The same goes for other Adobe products like Lightroom, Elements, Acrobat, etc.

      The only differences are the product licensing terms and the deeply discounted prices, up to 80% off. Note that no coupon or voucher code is required for the cost savings, just confirming eligibility.

      Thanks for your question Larry, it’s one we’ve seen before so good to get it up here.

  5. This may seem like a silly question, but I don’t know much about computers and how to tell if certain programs will work on my pc. I need to download Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop (all CS5 versions) on either my PC or my sister’s Mac. My school has these CS5 programs on Mac desktops. Would I be able open up documents that I saved in my PC (laptop) CS5 versions on the Mac desktops that also have CS5 without any problems? The reason why I’m asking this is because I’ll eventually have to print projects at school from the Mac desktops. I’m wondering if I should download these programs on my pc or my sister’s mac (laptop). As far as I can tell, I’m pretty sure my sister’s mac and my pc have the system requirements needed for these programs. Hopefully you can help me in my decision.

    Reply
    • Hi Jamie, thanks for your question, which is not silly at all – in fact it’s a good one…

      And the answer is yes, the Adobe CS5 data and project files are totally crossplatform. So if you can get the necessary files from one computer to the other, you should be able to open them.

  6. I recently upgraded my Windows to WIN7 and CS5. I am attached to the Nik Software apps and most do not work in 64-bit. So I am using CS5 32-bit to get by. The systems designer who built my computer is telling me I have to pick either 32-bit or 64-bit; that using Silver Efex Pro and CS5 in 32-bit mode with a 64-bit environment will create instability.

    Wondering what you think re: my ability to continue using both.

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Hi Rita, thanks for your question. If you have a 64-bit operating system, you should be able to run as many 32-bit applications as you like without difficulty… For years, there were very few 64-bit applications out there, and most 64-bit operating systems ran only 32-bit software because that’s all there was. So that is very well tried and tested, and you can definitely run most of CS5 and any plug-ins in 32-bit mode on a 64-bit Windows platform.

      The only thing that might be uncertain is if you were to try to run 64-bit versions of CS5 applications with 32-bit plugins, don’t think that would work but maybe it’s evident. Fortunately most plug-in makers are gradually updating their products to 64-bit. For example, Nik Software says, “We are currently working on [64-bit versions of] the remaining plug-ins and will make those available free of charge to registered customers as they become available. Registered customers will be notified of the availability of 64-bit versions by email, including instructions on how to access the updated versions.”

  7. I am not following the way they justify no 32-bit version of P Pro or AE. I get why they want to go to 64, but some of us can’t afford to just go get another OS on top of the CS5 suite. You save up for the CS5 and find out your OS doesn’t work with it so what do you do? Was it really that hard to do with CS4 that when you rushed out CS5 it just was to overwhelming to put out a 32 bit compatibility. I’m not talking plugins here, I’m talking OS. You just eliminated a whole lot of amateurs who were loyal to Adobe but can’t “just upgrade the whole system” to meet TWO of the programs offered by Adobe. And why would I upgrade to CS5 and keep CS4, it’s better to just stick with CS4 across the board.

    Reply
    • Greetings and appreciate your thoughts. There are others who have expressed similar sentiment, and it was no doubt a very difficult decision for Adobe. If your system is not 64-bit-ready, then you can’t run the two new video products in CS5. But, it could take more time and money to upgrade your hardware after upgrading your software. Adobe tried to soften the blow by providing the (32-bit) CS4 versions of AE and PP free when you buy the CS5 suites, but if you already have CS4 then that doesn’t further help.

      Ultimately, Adobe felt they needed to push upwards to advance the state-of-the-art, as detailed in the page below. Eventually, of course, everyone will have 64-bit systems and the question will fade… But it might be not until CS6 is released that we see that.

      Adobe: The Advantages of a 64-bit After Effects

  8. I am interested in purchasing the CS5 Design Standard. I have 2 computers at home, both are Windows 7, but one is 64 bit and the other 32 bit. Will this CS5 work on both systems or do I have to purchase 2 separate CS5’s, one for each system?

    Reply
    • Hi Markel, that’s certainly a reasonable question. The answer is that Premiere Pro CS5 and After Effects CS5 won’t run on Windows XP in any form, and the reasons are given in this forum thread… See in particular the two posts from Todd Kopriva, who’s a manager for the products at Adobe.

  9. Hi everyone.

    I want to get adobe after effects. Im totally new to all of this and i dont know whats the difference is between cs4 and cs5 etc. The basic information ill tell you. I have a windows 7 32bit. I think i was told you need video editing sofware to use adobe after effects, am i right? if so, im thinking of buying premiere pro or sony vegas movie studio hd. Because i only have the basic windows moviemaker. But the reason why i want adobe after effects is because i was to make those really cool intros. I make many Youtube videos and i would love to be able to make the cool intros i see people have done on youtube and in the description box they would say adobe after effects. So that is what brought me here. Can anyone point me in the right direction please. Thank you in advance.

    -Graham

    Reply
  10. I am running CS5 on a 32bit COE environment and find that the programs crash all the time. I was going to change to a 64bit COE but from reading everything above it sounds like it might not make any difference. and then only way around this is going to be to change to a 64 bit standalone computer. Has anyone else had this problem?

    Reply
  11. When people send me files to edit, more and more I get .mov files. Or, once my project is edited, people are requesting .mov files.

    Would you talk about Premiere Pro and its ability to import and export .mov files? I want it to be easy and maintain quality.

    Reply
  12. I currently have a G5 iMac (pre-intel) which is still a great machine, but won’t run CS5. I am looking to get CS5 Design Standard — I don’t need the web applications. I also have MacBook Pro that is about 3 years old; model A1260. It has 2.5 Hz Intel Core2 Duo, OS X 10.5.8, 3GB RAM. I don’t know what video card is in the machine. It has a DVD drive, but I am unsure if it can read the dual-layer DVDs as listed in the system requirements.

    Do you know if the MacBook can run CS5? Could I hook up an external monitor and use the MacBook to run CS5 Design Standard in a desktop set-up?, Do you think I can use my old iMac as a monitor, or am I better off getting a new computer? Thanks in advance for your reply.

    Reply
    • Hi Monica, from the specs you’ve described on your MacBook, it should be able to run CS5, provided you have enough available disk space…

      However, you should probably find out about your graphics card and resolution (ask your vendor or Apple) and check against Adobe’s complete system requirements for CS5 to make sure.

      If your DVD drive for some reason will not read the application disks, no problem – just download the free trial instead and activate it with your purchased serial number (it’s the same software). But be sure to make a backup copy of the downloaded installation files for future use if needed.

      On your last question, there’s no reason you couldn’t use an external monitor (or two), provided your system hardware and video card support it, and you meet the minimum display resolution given in the system requirements linked above.

      Hope this helps!

  13. I wanted to install a trial version 64-bit os, but it keeps asking for the disk, do y’all wanna send me a trial CD?

    Reply
  14. I am trying to install CS5 Design Standard to a Windows XP computer that is already upgraded to the 3rd upgrade package, but the computer will not even read the installation CD for CS5.

    Is there an extra driver that I can download that will allow me to install from the CD, or would the best way be to install a trial of CS5 from the adobe website and enter the serial number for the full version afterwards?

    any help would be greatly appreciated. I believe the computer is running on a 64-bit, and there is over 40 GB of memory available on the hard drive.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hello Steve, it’s rare to find Windows XP in a 64-bit version, but that doesn’t really matter in your case because nothing in CS5 Design Standard requires it.

      If your CD drive isn’t working, that’s a little beyond the scope of what we can help you with here – but definitely you can download and install any Adobe trial software you like directly from the Internet without needing a CD or DVD drive, and just enter your purchased serial number to permanently activate it.

      Not sure which exact version you need, so see here for the following: the CS5 trials or the CS5.5 trials.

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