I have had and used Gimp on three different computers, each of which has
also had Photoshop 5.0. One of the three 9(newest) is SMP PIII at 866mhz
w/128mb ram, lots of swap space. 
The proportional speed between all three is similar with other programs
speeds.  The SMP screams compared to the others.  Yes, photoshop is
running on just 1cpu on that machine.  Otherwise:  Photoshop is several
times faster than Gimp at most tasks, painfully slow on everything
except the SMP system for most significant tasks as I work with 28mb
files much of the time.  Ram increases have only made marginal
improvements, but CPU changes have been very proportional in change.  I
could do a lot more work with some more speed, and would love to see it
come.  My presumption is that the Gimp developers probably don't have as
many man hours going into speed issues as Adobe did for Photoshop.  That
there is an open source program that competes so well on so many flanks
with Photoshop, I'm thrilled and duly impressed.  Being an ignoramus on
what's really at the heart of these programs, I can only speak as a
user, so please forgive me my ignorance of the challenges.  I just know
what would be good to see in the future.
Ken Fisher

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