Need for Graphics Card for Photoshop

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Having a compatible graphics card or a graphics processor is important as it gives you a better performance when used with Photoshop. You even leverage the additional features it offers. In this article, we’ll discuss the graphics card requirements and how to enhance the editing performance of Photoshop.

When Do You Need a Graphics Card?

Graphics cards will surely enrich your editing experience. Graphics card or GPU is used to maintain image quality standards, to edit large RAW or TIFF formats using Photoshop. A camera RAW image could easily use quite a lot of MB in memory sometimes more than a GB when in edit mode which can use take up a lot of RAM on your computer making it perform slowly. Graphics card with additional memory allows you to refresh imaging screen quicker without consuming RAM and CPU on the computer. In simple words, without a graphics card, it would take more time to send data if you are editing a large image file.

These Photoshop features do not work without the graphics processor – 3D, Oil Paint, Scrubby Zoom, Render – Picture Frame, Flame and Tree, Flick Panning, and Smooth Brush Resizing.

Basic Display and Graphic Processor Requirements

For a decent display, you need a minimum of 1024x768 display against the recommended requirement is 1280x800. And 16-bit color a VRAM of 512 MB. To access OpenGL acceleration, the computer must support Shader Model 3.0 or higher and OpenGL v2.0. For OpenCL acceleration, the computer should support OpenCL v1.1 or higher.

Using two or more Graphics Card or Graphics processor

At present Photoshop does not use more than one GPU. Whether you use one or more, the Photoshop performance will remain the same. In fact, using multiple GPU with different drivers may cause issues with GPU’s accelerated features in Photoshop. If you are looking for a better result, you can connect two or more display screens to one graphics card. If at all, you want to use, more than one graphics card, make sure they are of the same model and make. Else, your Photoshop may experience crashes and other issues.

Note: If you have encountered a scratch disk error message while working on Photoshop and looking for a solution on how to fix Photoshop scratch disk error, you can make use of Photoshop file repair software. You can download the trial version right away, if satisfied with the results go ahead and make the purchase.

Using Performance Preferences for GPU in Photoshop

Below is the step-by-step guide to using performance preference in both Windows and Mac computers.

For Windows: Open Photoshop, select Edit and Preferences, and then Performance.

For Mac: Open Photoshop, then Preferences and then Performance.

Now, in the Performance window, select Graphics Processor in the Graphics Processor Settings.

Choose Advanced Settings and opt the below-mentioned specifications:

Drawing Mode:

Basic: This mode uses the minimum amount of VRAM or graphics card memory and allows basic GPU features.

Normal: Consumes a lot of VRAM and allows GPU based tone mapping, checkerboard blending, and color matching.

Advanced: Offers different GPU advances and Normal mode benefits which bring about improved performance.

Graphics Processor to Accelerate Computation: To increase the interactivity of Puppet Wrap and Wrap previews.

OpenCL: This option is available only on new graphics cards which supports OpenCL v1.1 or higher. OpenCL allows you to accelerate Smart Sharpen, Select Focus Area, new Blur-Gallery filters, or Image-Size by selecting Preserve Details.

Anti-alias Guides and Paths: Lets the GPU to soften the edges of painted paths and guides.


Now that you are aware of the graphics card requirements for Photoshop, make the best use of the features and specifications of Photoshop, and paint the best picture.

Need for Graphics Card for Photoshop
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Need for Graphics Card for Photoshop
Having a compatible graphics card or a graphics processor is important as it gives you a better performance when used with Photoshop. Read here to know
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Remo Software
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About the Author: John Harris

With a decade of experience in data recovery, John Harris, Senior Editor at Remo Software, is your go-to specialist. His focus includes partition management, Windows solutions, and data troubleshooting, delivering insightful content that serves both users and search engines. John's expertise shines through in illuminating blog posts, untangling data loss intricacies across diverse storage platforms.…