The best way to measure performance is by using real programs. The problem, though, is creating a methodology using real software that provides accurate results. For Photoshop CS4, there is a methodology created by the folks at GamingHeaven that is very accurate. Their script applies a series of 15 filters to a sample image, and we wrote down the time taken for each filter to run. At the end, we have the results for each individual filter and we simply added them up to have the total time taken to run the 15 filters from the GamingHeaven batch. The results below are given in seconds, so the lower the number the better.
On Photoshop CS4 Core i5-661 was 16% faster than Phenom II X4 965 (comparing both results with the integrated video) and 8% faster than Core i5-750 (with a GeForce 9600 GT). Installing a GeForce 9600 GT didn’t make any difference in performance for both Core i5-661 and Phenom II X4 965.