Join Bryan O'Neil Hughes for an in-depth discussion in this video Optimizing a GPU and processor, part of Photoshop: Optimizing Performance.
When it comes to the CPU, or central processing unit, Photoshop can run on just about any machine that can run a modern operating system. So if we look at Photoshop CC's test specs, we see that on the Intel side, dating back to a Pentium 4, which is a really older machine, and Windows 7, or on the Mac side, a multi-core Intel processor and the last two versions of the operating system. And then if we look at those actual requirements from Windows, we see that we're just fine. A modern operating system requires quite a bit of a machine, and Photoshop really has no problem at all from a processor standpoint.
If we look over at the Mountain Lion site, we see two gigs of memory and OS 10.6 or later. Really, machines 2007 or later. What this means is that if you have a fairly modern CPU, you're going to be just fine with Photoshop, but if you're using really large files, that's when you benefit from multiple cores. Four cores will make quite a difference for a really large file. HDR, Panoramas, 3D, really high resolution files like 20 plus megapixel RAW files. But where it gets a little more interesting, and this is going to change over the last few versions of Photoshop, is when it comes to GPU.
So here you see that we recommend both Windows and Mac that you have 512 megabytes of VRAM, or video RAM, but one gigabyte is recommended. Now an older machine might not have a GPU like that. But fear not because these can be upgraded. So with something like NVIDIA or AMD, with your desktop machines, you can upgrade your GPU and you can get a much more performant card. Now when it comes to GPU, Photoshop does appreciate that extra power. So if you're thinking about getting a newer laptop machine, definitely consider the power of the GPU when configuring that.
So in summary, your CPU doesn't matter quite as much as your GPU. Photoshop will really take advantage of that GPU, and it will take advantage of multi-core CPUs, but those are really advantageous just with the really large files.
In this installment of Photoshop Insider Training, Photoshop senior product manager Bryan O'Neil Hughes steps through the process of optimizing Photoshop's performance. The course begins with hardware configuration, from processor and memory recommendations to hard drive and solid-state drive (SSD) advice. Next, learn about the Photoshop preferences that deliver the best balance of performance and flexibility. Finally, discover the best way to move and save files and how other applications and even the health of your disk drive impact Photoshop's processes.
- Optimizing a GPU and processor
- Monitoring memory usage
- Keeping an eye on the efficiency indicator
- Reducing image resolution
- Turning off presets and thumbnails
- Exporting without the clipboard
- Closing unnecessary applications
- Repairing your drive