All You Need To Know About Which Graphic Card Is Best For Photoshop

which graphic card is best for photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is one of the most popular editing software right now. All the hype makes sense because this software alone offers features that no other editing software can collectively provide. However, to make the best out of Adobe Photoshop, you first need to know which graphic card is best for photoshop.

Yes, you sure can use Photoshop even with a low-budget GPU but if you want to use all the extensive features of this software including; oil paint, flick panning, scrubby zoom, and 3D then you need to pick the right graphics card for it first. In simpler words, your graphics card’s acceleration does matter when you are using Adobe Photoshop.

Now you probably already know that there are thousands of different GPUs available in the market but not all of them are worth buying. Especially for photoshop, you need some good GPUs and that’s what we’ll be helping you with today. In this guide, we are going to talk about GPUs, why they matter for Photoshop, and which graphic card is best for photoshop.

How Important Is The Graphics Processor For Photoshop?

how important is the graphics processor for photoshop

Picture Credit: TechCrunch

Before getting started with the list of some of the best GPUs you should try for Photoshop, you must understand why you need one in the first place. The answer to this question is quite simple! If you want your Adobe Photoshop software to provide you with a smooth and seamless experience and if you want to use all of its features then the graphics processor is quite vital here.

When it comes to Photoshop, some specific features necessarily require a graphics card for acceleration, and then some won’t even work without a video card.

Photoshop Features That Need A GPU For Acceleration Photoshop Features That Won’t Work Without A Video Card
Lens Blur Flick Panning
Neural Filters Birds Eye View
Camera Raw Perspective Warp
Artboards Scrubby Zoom
Select Focus Smooth Brush Resizing
Smart Sharpen Oil Paint
Image Size Render
Select And Mask 3D

Graphics Requirements Of Photoshop CC

To make the most out of your Photoshop CC software, here are the minimum graphics requirements that you need to fulfill;

OpenCL v1.1 or later

2GB of VRam or Better

GPU Should Support Shader Model 3.0 or later

1280 x 800 Display Resolution

These are the GPU requirements and when it comes to your CPU, you need one that comes with at least 8GB RAM and six-core. This will help you enjoy a very smooth editing experience.

Having More Than One Graphics Card For Photoshop

Having multiple GPUs is great but if you are expecting your Photoshop CC editing software to take advantage of more than one GPU then here’s where you are wrong. Using multiple video cards for Photoshop leads to conflicting drivers and this ultimately will cause crashes. So to be on the safer side, you must invest in a single photoshop graphics card but it should be a good one. Having multiple cards can just complicate the whole editing process for you.

Enabling Photoshop To Use The GPU

It’s not like Photoshop will automatically start using your graphics card when you install one. This is something you have to do manually but it’s quite simple so it won’t be a hassle for you. Here’s a step by step process you need to follow to enable photoshop to use your graphics card;

Step 1: Go to “Edit” then click on “Preferences” and then “Performance”

Step 2: Click and enable the option of “Use Graphics Processor” in the “Performance Panel” and then select your GPU in the settings.

Step 3: Click on “Advanced Settings” and then specify these options;

*Use OpenCL: Enable all the features including; Blur Gallery filters, 3D, oil paint, bird’s eye view, Image size.  

Is CPU or GPU More Important for Photoshop Editing? 

A GPU is of utmost importance for Photoshop. Yes, the CPU matters and plays its role but without a decent graphics card, you won’t be able to enjoy the kind of performance you want from your PC. The main purpose of a GPU is to take the load off of your PC and its CPU. Hence with a powerful card, your PC runs faster and so does Photoshop CC. This way you can edit your videos and photos in this software efficiently.

The GPU takes complete responsibility for your graphics calculations and imaging. With it, you’ll be able to use the extensive features of Photoshop like oil paint and 3D rendering, etc.

Things To Consider When Buying A GPU For Photoshop  

things to consider when buying a gpu for photoshop

Picture Credit: creative blog 

To know which graphic card is best for photoshop, there are certain factors that you need to consider first. Starting with;

Resolution

For higher resolution, you need a more powerful graphics card with better memory. For example, if you want 4k resolution then you need a video card that comes with more memory and larger and better textures.

Number Of Cores

The rendering power of your video card depends on the number of cores. For best performance, you’ll have to invest in a powerful GPU and it can cost you anywhere between $500 to $1000.

Speed

Speed holds quite significant when it comes to graphics cards. You need to opt for the one that’s faster so that it can boost your editing tasks too. Even if it means spending a little extra, you should always go for a GPU that comes with great speed because, in the end, it’ll be worth it!

Graphics Cards That Are Not Supported by Photoshop

Photoshop supports almost all graphics cards but recently it has released a list of some of the cards that it doesn’t support.

  • NVIDIA GeForce 7000, 8000, 9000, 100, 200, 300 series
  • AMD/ATI 100, 200, 3000, and 4000 series
  • Older Intel HD cards (for instance, those of 2000, 3000, or 4000 series)

If you are using any one of these card series then you won’t be able to have access to Photoshop features like oil painting, 3D and scrubby zoom, etc. Not just this some of the common features of Photoshop will be compromised and your software is most likely to crash often when you are performing certain actions. So when looking for the best GPU for photoshop, make sure to avoid the ones mentioned above.

Top Best Graphics Cards For Photoshop

Now that you know why a graphics card is important for editing, it’s time to learn which graphic card is best for photoshop. If you want to save yourself from the overwhelming process of finding the one perfect card for photoshop then stick with us a little longer. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best video cards for photoshop that will work wonders for you.

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1660 Ti

gigabyte geforce gtx 1660 ti

If you are on a budget but don’t want to compromise on the performance then try the GTX 1660-Ti video card as it’s the best option for Photoshop. It comes with several appealing features including 1920×1080 frame rates and the fact it comes with a GPU 12nm Turning architecture.

On top of everything else, this video card comes with the best thermal solution of 120W which means that you won’t have to worry about your card heating up even if you are using the most GPU-intensive photoshop features while editing your photos or videos. Also, the boost frequency is pretty good so you should give this one a try.

As far as the memory and bandwidth are concerned, well, you might be a little disappointed here but because it’s the cheapest video card for photoshop in the market, it makes sense that this card comes with a few flaws.

Pros

  • Best thermal solution
  • Affordable
  • Comes with a great boost frequency

Cons

  • You can find faster cards than this one

Newest AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT

newest amd radeon rx 6700 xt

Our next best pick for you is the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT that comes with all the features that’ll help your photoshop software perform better. It’s one decent card that might not fall in the best “high-end performing” cards but well, it does deliver some specs that can come in handy for you. For example, it’s great for 1440p performance and comes with ray tracing for photoshop specifically.

One of the main reasons why we are mentioning this card to you is that it’s quite lightweight and comes with no lag. Lagging is no less than a nightmare when you are working on Photoshop but with this video card, you won’t have to worry about any such thing.

For better performance, you can use the Smart Access Memory with BIOS and when it comes to its temperature, again you don’t have to worry about it because this GPU stays cool even if you are using heavy editing software like Photoshop CC.

Pros

  • Best and outstanding 1440p performance
  • The cooling unit makes little to no noise
  • It’s lightweight so you won’t experience any lag 

Cons

  • Divisive design

ASUS PH-GT1030 OC GeForce GT 1030 2GB

asus ph gt1030 oc geforce gt 1030 2gb

If you are looking for the best GPU for photoshop then give the Asus PH GT1030 a try and we assure you that you won’t be disappointed with its performance. It’s specifically for those who are on a tight budget and can’t afford to buy a high-end GPU. The GT1030 comes with almost half the specs that you get with other graphics cards but well, it meets all of Photoshop’s graphic processor’s requirements so why not?

It’s a compact GPU with a very reasonable design so it can easily fit even a small PC case. As far as its base clock speed is concerned, it’s 1252 MHz but you can overclock it for better performance. With 2GB of GDDR5 memory, this card can handle any GPU-intensive tasks that you want to perform in Photoshop.

With this card, you won’t have to worry about any overheating issues because it features a dual ball-bearing fan that provides the best airflow and cooling with a 2 x longer lifespan.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Meet all of photoshop’s requirements
  • Comes with a great memory

Cons

  • Lacks some important specs that you can get with other graphics cards.

GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3080 Ti

gigabyte geforce rtx 3080 ti

If you want the best video card for photoshop then there’s absolutely no doubt in the fact that the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti is what you need. However, the reason why most people don’t opt for it is the hefty price tag with which it comes. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that it’s one of the most expensive GPU cards for photoshop in the market but if you have the budget for it then you should go for it as it comes with all the features that you need for a seamless and smooth photoshop editing experience.

This card features; 10,240 CUDA cores and 12GB of GDDR6X RAM which is more than enough for photoshop CC. On top of it, there’s the 19,000Mhz memory that makes this card worthy of every single penny. Furthermore, it comes with NVIDIA ampere streaming multiprocessors so now you probably do understand why it is so expensive.

Pros

  • Operated with GeForce RTX 3080 Ti
  • Great memory
  • Offers the best performance

Cons

  • It’s expensive

Nvidia Quadro RTX 4000

nvidia quadro rtx 4000

The Nvidia Quadro RTX 4000 is specifically designed for professional photoshop use and with it, you can have access to all the features of the software including; oil paint, 3D and scrubby zoom, etc. If you’ve used the GeForce RTX 2070, you’ll probably find RTX 4000 similar in terms of functionality. However, the fact that you can enjoy quick and immersive applications due to the 2304 CUDA cores is something you can’t just overlook.

Furthermore, it’s a high-end graphics card best suitable for Photoshop as it fulfills all of the software requirements. The only problem is that this card is a little more expensive than the other high-end graphics cards. But considering the features and excellent performance that it offers, you won’t find the price to be that big of a deal.

For ray-traced rendering, you can even use 36 RT cores for the card especially if you are working on video editing or designing. In a nutshell, for the best value for your money, you should give the Quadro RTX 4000 a try.

Pros

  • Durable and high end performing model
  • It’s better than GeForce
  • Best single slot cooling unit

Cons

  • A bit pricey

These are some of the best video cards for photoshop that you must consider buying if you don’t want to be overwhelmed with the “which graphic card is best for photoshop” question.

How Much VRAM (video card memory) Does Photoshop Need? 

What most people don’t know is that a high-end GPU card doesn’t always mean that it comes with sufficient VRAM. In other words, when looking for which graphic card is best for photoshop, you should focus on the VRAM separately. Now unless you are working on 4k displays, you don’t need a VRAM of more than 4GB. On the other hand, most of the video cards for photoshop come with an 8GB VRAM so this won’t be an issue for you and you’ll easily be able to find the card with the right VRAM for Photoshop CC.

NVIDIA Or AMD – What’s Better For Photoshop?

If you don’t find any clear benefit to using AMD then we’d suggest that you opt for NVIDIA instead. NVIDIA is currently offering better performance, especially for photoshop so you should go for it. Also, it’s more reliable than AMD which is exactly what people want.

Do You Need A Quadro Card For Photoshop?

Having a Quadro card for photoshop is great but it’s not necessary. It all depends on your usage. For instance, if you are looking for the best graphic card for photoshop with the best VRAM then yes Quadro will work wonders for you. Also, these cards are more reliable so if you have the budget for them then you should consider buying them.

How Much RAM Is Required For Photoshop?

The answer again depends on your usage and what you are doing in Photoshop. On average, for a 500MB document, you need a RAM of around 16GB. If the document size is somewhere between 500MB-1GB then you’d need 32GB and if it’s larger than 64GB+.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do I Need The Best GPU For Photoshop?

For starters, a graphic card can boost Photoshop’s performance by leaps and bounds. If you want to access all the extensive photoshop features then you need to buy the best gpu for photoshop.

Do I Need Several GPUs for Photoshop?

No, you do not need several GPUs for photoshop. All you need is a single robust video card that can fulfill all of photoshop’s requirements. Having multiple GPUs can cause software crashes.

Can Photoshop Work Without A GPU?

Yes, it sure can but again, if you want to make the most out of Photoshop then you need a GPU. A video card can help you edit your videos and photos on Photoshop in a much easier and efficient way because you’ll have access to all of its extensive features.

Does Adobe Use GPU Or CPU?

A CPU comes with 4 to 6 cores whereas a GPU comes with thousands of cores that are specifically built for processing. Some portions of Adobe will only run on GPU instead of a CPU.

Is i3 Good For Photoshop?

Yes, i3 will just work fine for photoshop because the software mainly likes the clock speed instead of the number of cores.

Conclusion

By now you have all the answers to which graphic card is best for photoshop and why you need one in the first place. Often people make the mistake of not doing proper research before buying a graphics card and this is when they end up wasting their money. So if you don’t want to be like one of those people then take your time, do proper research and then finalize the card you want for Photoshop CC.