Times change and Adobe Photoshop isn’t the demanding software it once was. Just about all new graphics cards will work with Photoshop without a hitch, and it’s even possible to run Adobe Photoshop without a display adaptor. However, there are a number of GPU-exclusive features in the Adobe Photoshop software.
Photoshop requires a graphics card for 3D, Oil Paint; Render – Flame, Picture Frame, Tree; Scrubby Zoom; Birds Eye Views; Flick Panning and Smooth Brush Resizing.
Features that can be made to run faster in Photoshop using a GPU for acceleration are Artboards, Camera Raw, Image Size – Preserve Details, Select Focus, Blur Gallery, Smart Sharpen, Perspective Warp and Select & Mask.
Outside if these GPU-accelerated features, a graphics card isn’t required for Photoshop at all. Processor speed, CPU cores, RAM and storage speeds will instead all help to run Photoshop faster. Your top priorities should be a decent 6+ Core CPU, at least 8GB memory and M.2 SSD storage for the fastest possible Photoshop performance.
The minimum spec graphics cards for Photoshop are the Nvidia GeForce 400 series and up, and the AMD Radeon 5000 series graphics and up.
As for which graphics card is better for Photoshop, in order to achieve the fastest performance in Photoshop, you will need a GeForce GTX 1060 6GB or Radeon RX 480 8GB or upwards. The higher resolution your display, the more video memory you will require.
The list below is Adobe’s officially tested GPUs that are compatible with Photoshop. This list is by no means complete, however, lacking a lot of modern Nvidia and AMD graphics cards that will run Adobe Photoshop without issue.
Official Adobe-supported Photoshop Graphics Cards
- nVidia GeForce: 400, 500, 600, 700 series
- nVidia GeForce GTX 965M & 980M
- nVidia Quadro: 2000, 4000 (Windows® and Mac OS), CX, 5000, 6000, K600, K2000, K4000, K5000 (Windows® and Mac OS), M4000, M5000, P2000, P4000, P5000
- nVidia GRID K1, K2
- AMD/ATI Radeon: 5000, 6000, 7000, R7, R9 series, 7950 Mac OS
- AMD/ATI FirePro: 3800, 4800, 5800, 7800, 8800, 9800, 3900, 4900, 5900, 7900, W8100, W9100, D300, D500, D700
- AMD/ATI FireGL: W5000, W7000, W8000
- AMD RX 480
- nVidia GeForce 1080 GTX
- Intel® HD Graphics: P530, P630, 5000
- Intel® Iris Pro Graphics: P5200, P6300, P580
Adobe Photoshop Unsupported Graphics Card Series
- AMD/ATI 100, 200, 3000, and 4000 series
- nVidia GeForce 7000, 8000, 9000, 100, 200, 300 series
- Older Intel HD Graphics (for example 2000, 3000, 4000 series) cards