Paint.NET 3.5 – Optimized for Netbooks

Paint.NET Speaking of how netbooks are changing the PC industry and how we think about laptops these days, a few weeks ago one of the Paint.net developers (the main developer in fact) sat down to write up a list and a theme concerning the upcoming Paint.NET 3.5 release (it’s still a ways off).

Paint.NET is a Windows-based graphics editing program. It’s free and highly portable – a very small download. The performance can be good on lower-specification machines (not just netbooks). It’s probably one of the best stand-alone graphics programs that you can get, given the price.

Two out of the three areas of focus that are being developed for Paint.NET version 3.5 concern netbook/ultraportable users. In fact, he’s got a development machine that is an Intel Atom-based nettop just for testing performance. At the same time that they want to boost performance on high-end machines, they are not forgetting netbooks and are working to insure that Paint.NET can run “comfortably” on a netbook:

2. Scaling down. Those $300 netbooks that are taking everyone by storm only run about as fast as what I was using 7 years ago (Pentium 4 at 2.0 – 2.5ghz). Clearly, classic optimization strategies are important as well: trimming cycles, removing or deferring code execution, and optimizing repainting.

“A brand-new netbook with an Atom processor should run Paint.NET comfortably.”

3. Reducing memory usage. I guess this goes with scaling down. I made a bet a long time ago that 64-bit would slowly take care of the way I was allocating memory, which simplified development work but has had the consequence of consuming vast amounts of virtual address space . I was wrong: 32-bit will be here for a long time, especially since most of those hot-like-pancakes $300 netbooks are not 64-bit capable. This is currently my top reliability issue, as running out of memory causes Paint.NET to crash.

”It’s not all yours.”

Read: The theme of Paint.NET v3.5 is … performance
Download: Paint.net (note this is not for version 3.5, which isn’t out yet).

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