article icon Adobe Creative Suite 5 Review

A new set of weapons in the arsenal for professionals and freelancers working in the creative sectors – the CS5 edition of Adobe’s flagship suite is here.

 

CS5 Family boxshot webready Adobe Creative Suite 5 Review
The Macintosh has long been the platform of choice for professionals and freelancers working in the creative sectors. It comes as no surprise that advertising agencies, PR firms and even print shops form a sizable proportion of Mac Pro (or high-end iMac) buyers. 
But what is power without a bit of flair? A sprinkle of Photoshop here and a dash of Flash at the side, and the humble Mac becomes one of the best tools for creative individuals money can buy.
We’ve been lucky enough to score a pre-release copy of Adobe’s Creative Suite 5 (CS5) Master Collection from the recent press function. At US$2599 for the full version, it’s definitely not for everyone, but that’s where the other editions come in. 
Here’s what you get with the Master Collection:
- Photoshop CS5 Extended
- Illustrator CS5
- InDesign CS5
- Acrobat 9 Pro
- Flash Catalyst CS5
- Flash Professional CS5
- Flash Builder 4
- Dreamweaver CS5
- Fireworks CS5
- Contribute CS5
- Adobe Premiere Pro CS5
- After Effects CS5
- Soundbooth CS5
- Adobe OnLocation CS5
- Encore CS5
- Bridge CS5
… that’s probably Adobe’s entire portfolio there. All but the most sophisticated of users would not need every single program on the list. So for the best bang for buck, check out the Design Premium, Web Premium and Production Premium editions, as each comes with a selection of programs best suited for your needs at attractive prices.
We’ll load up our copy of CS5 on a MacBook Pro running Snow Leopard. It’s a standard 2.2 GHz (T7500) mid-2007 configuration, with the following aftermarket upgrades:
- 4GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
- 320GB WD 5400rpm hard drive
- Not upgradeable, but still worth a mention: 128MB NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics.
It’s not the fastest Mac out there, but we think it’s a reasonable estimate of the average computing power that most Mac users possess at this time. 
If you have not yet jumped on the Apple bandwagon, there’s no reason to fret – Creative Suite is also available for PCs, and sports few, if any, obvious differences from the Macintosh version. 
In this review, we will test drive Photoshop CS5 and Dreamweaver CS5. Let’s get them installed.