Paint.net 4.3 released with performance improvements and switch to .NET 5
A new version of the image editor Paint.net was released this week. The latest version, Paint.Net 4.3, is the first that uses the .NET 5 framework and no longer .NET Framework 4.8. The framework change has positive and negative consequences for the application.
Paint.net 4.3 is already available. Users who have installed the application and enabled automatic update checks should receive the update notification and an option to download and install the new version on the next start of the program. Paint.net 4.3 offline and portable versions are available on GitHub, and there is a Microsoft Store version, but it is updated automatically as well.
Portable zips are new and may be downloaded from GitHub. These won't update automatically, however.
Performance improved significantly according to the developer of Paint.net. Part of it comes from the switch from the .NET Framework 4.8 to .NET 5.
.NET 5 is a massive update to the .NET runtime, and brings a lot in terms of performance with its improved code generation (JIT). It also enables me to optimize code even further via the use of SIMD intrinsics (SSE* and AVX* on x86/x64, and AdvSIMD on ARM64), which I've started putting to good use. In addition, effects are faster, plugin loading is faster (especially for shapes), the Magic Wand and Paint Bucket tools are significantly faster, and overall performance is just plain better. Even installation and updating are faster because I was able to remove the "Optimizing performance" stage from setup.
The official release notes list more than a dozen areas with performance improvements, but that is not the only change. ARM64 devices are natively supported by Paint.Net 4.3, and that means that performance on devices such as the Surface Pro X has improved as a consequence.
Speaking of consequences, the migration to .NET 5 caused some plugins to no longer work with that version. The developer managed to get most of the plugins working again, but there is a chance that some plugins won't work anymore with the new version.
The developer plans to migrate to .NET 6 in the near future; the final release is expected in November, and a Paint.NET update will be released shortly thereafter according to the developer.
Check out the post on the official Paint.net forum here for additional information and links.
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