Camera Raw can use a compatible graphics processor (also called a video adapter, video card, or GPU) to speed up several operations.

Note:

This document covers Camera Raw specifically. For details on Photoshop's use of the graphics processor, see:

System requirements

What features in Camera Raw use a GPU?

  • Enhance Details. GPU acceleration happens automatically on compatible systems for Enhanced Details and is not controlled by Camera Raw Preferences
  • Interactive photo editing. Camera Raw will automatically select an appropriate level of GPU acceleration: off, basic, or full.  
    • Basic acceleration optimizes how Camera Raw sends information to your GPU for display. It makes Camera Raw more responsive and enables features like animated zoom (scrubby zoom).
    • Full acceleration uses a GPU for image processing, rendering pixels using a GPU in addition to the CPU as you edit. Using Process Version 5, most adjustments are now GPU accelerated. For example, full acceleration can improve how fast you see results as you move the Texture slider. Using the GPU also helps Camera Raw keep up with the demands of 4K, 5K and larger displays. Full acceleration was added in the August 2018 (version 11.4) release. Enabling full acceleration requires basic acceleration.

To see and customize how Camera Raw uses GPU acceleration for interactive editing, select the Performance tab in Camera Raw Preferences. See Determine if Camera Raw is accessing the GPU, for more details.

Note:

Camera Raw 11.4 does not use the GPU to accelerate features that are not mentioned above. Examples of such features that do not use GPU acceleration are Save Image, Open Image, and Photo Merge.

How do Camera Raw's GPU settings interact with those in Photoshop, Bridge, and other applications?

The GPU settings in Photoshop or the Use Software Rendering setting in Bridge preferences do not affect the GPU performance settings in Camera Raw. This means that the GPU related settings in Camera Raw do not change when you switch on or off the GPU related settings in Photoshop, Bridge, or other applications. Conversely, GPU related settings in Camera Raw do not affect other associated applications.

What factors can limit the performance of Camera Raw GPU acceleration?

  • Not using a GPU, GPU driver, and operating system that meets the recommended system requirements.

  • Other programs that use significant GPU, CPU, and memory resources when you are using Camera Raw. The Activity Monitor (Mac) and Task Manager (Windows) can help you identify other programs that compete with Camera Raw for resources.

  • On laptops, performance can vary based on your computer’s power management settings like battery saving mode.

  • Although GPU acceleration primarily relies on the GPU, CPU speed also plays a role in acceleration and performance gains of this feature.

Determine if Camera Raw is accessing the GPU

When Camera Raw is able to use the graphics processor (GPU), Use Graphics Processor is enabled in Camera Raw preferences. To access Preferences in Camera Raw:

  1. On macOS: 

    • In Photoshop, choose Photoshop > Preferences > Camera Raw 
    • In Bridge, choose Adobe Bridge > Camera Raw Preferences

    On Windows:

    • In Photoshop, choose Edit > Preferences > Camera Raw
    • In Bridge, choose Edit > Camera Raw Preferences
  2. In the Preferences dialog box, select the Performance tab.

    View Camera Raw Preferences
    View Camera Raw Preferences

The Performance panel displays the name of the available GPU and its available video memory. Below the name of the GPU, the status of GPU acceleration in Camera Raw is displayed. If you cannot view this information, you need to either install a new driver for your GPU or your system does not meet the minimum requirements.

Customizing GPU acceleration

Your system can automatically support basic or full acceleration. If your system automatically supports basic acceleration, you may be able to enable full acceleration when you select Use GPU for image processing in the Custom option.

Acceleration can also be automatically turned off because your system does not support it or due to an error. If acceleration is turned off and an error message appears, then your GPU hardware, driver version, or operating system version may not meet the minimum requirements.

You can turn off GPU acceleration with the Custom option if you observe problems that Camera Raw did not automatically detect.

In Performance, the Use Graphics Processor field has the following options:

Use Graphics Processor setting options
Use Graphics Processor setting options

 

  • Auto Camera Raw automatically determines the level of GPU support to use. This is based on your system’s hardware and operating system configuration and is the default option.
  • Custom You can customize how Camera Raw uses your GPU by selecting a supported option:
    • Use GPU for display
    • Use GPU for image processing (Processing Version 5 or higher) 

See What features in Camera Raw use a GPU to know more about these levels of GPU acceleration.

  • Off Camera Raw will not use the GPU.

Determine your GPU make and model

The make and model of your GPU or video adapter is displayed in the Camera Raw Preferences dialog box. To access this:

(macOS)

  • In Photoshop, choose Photoshop > Preferences > Camera Raw 
  • In Bridge, choose Adobe Bridge > Camera Raw Preferences

(Windows)

  • In Photoshop, choose Edit > Preferences > Camera Raw 
  • In Bridge, choose Edit > Camera Raw Preferences

If you do not see the make and model in the Camera Raw Preferences dialog box, navigate to the following in your operating system:

(macOS) Click the Apple logo in the upper-left corner and select About This Mac.

(Windows) In Control Panel, select Device Manager > Display adapters.

Update your graphics driver

If Camera Raw isn't accessing your GPU, when it meets the minimum system requirements, then update the graphics driver.

macOS

Graphics drivers are updated via operating system updates. Make sure that you have the latest OS updates by checking System Preferences or App Store Updates.

Windows

Download the most recent driver directly from your GPU manufacturer's site:

Note:

Important: Performing Windows Update does not update your graphics driver. Go directly to your card manufacturer's website to check for driver updates.

Does Camera Raw take advantage of more than one graphics processor (GPU) or video adapter?

  • Camera Raw currently doesn't take advantage of more than one graphics processor (GPU) at a given time. Using two GPUs does not enhance Camera Raw's performance.
  • Multiple GPUs with conflicting drivers can cause problems with graphics processor (GPU) accelerated features in Camera Raw.
  • Connect two (or more) monitors into one GPU for best results.
  • If you have to use more than one GPU, make sure that they are the same make and model. Otherwise, crash and other issues can occur.
  • To disable a GPU, use the Device Manager on Windows. Right-click the card's name in the Device Manager and choose Disable.
Adobe Camera Raw Context menu to disable the video adapter
  • If your computer has both an integrated and discrete GPU (found commonly in laptops), graphics settings and power management features of your operating system can determine which GPU is available to Camera Raw. For details, consult the documentation of your operating system's manufacturer. 
  • For instructions on how to set a specific card to be the primary GPU on Windows, consult the card manufacturer's driver documentation.
  • If one of your GPUs is an external GPU, it can or cannot be the device that is available to Camera Raw. If you use Windows 10, consult your computer manufacturer's documentation and documentation from the manufacturer of your external GPU enclosure. If you use macOS, see this Apple documentation: Use an external graphics processor with your Mac.

Troubleshooting

Potential problems you can encounter

  • The image area in the Camera Raw dialog is all blue or all white
  • Moving basic develop sliders causes image brightness to flicker or shift colors unexpectedly
  • Crash on calling Camera Raw, crashing and freezing in general, or unexplained slowdowns
  • Graphics processor acceleration has been disabled due to an error is displayed under Use Graphics Processor in Camera Raw Preference's Performance panel
  • Image previews and thumbnails look tiled or broken on Windows
Adobe Camera Raw Error message below the Use Graphics Processor option

Solutions

Do one of the following:
  1. Update Photoshop & Camera Raw
  2. Update your graphics driver
  3. Use the Custom setting in Performance preferences to disable Use GPU for image processing, if it is available.
  4. If problems persist, use the custom settings in Performance preferences to disable Use GPU for display, if it is available.
  5. Disable third-party graphics accelerators. Third-party GPU overclocking utilities and haxies are not supported (examples include Riva Tuner and MSI Afterburner).
  6. Disable Automatic graphics switching under the Energy Saver tab in the System Preferences (macOS).
  7. Replace your GPU with a newer, compatible GPU.
  8. Disable Use Graphics Processor in Camera Raw Preferences:
  • (macOS) In Photoshop, choose Photoshop > Preferences > Camera Raw. In Bridge, choose Adobe Bridge > Camera Raw Preferences 
  • (Windows) Choose Edit > Preferences > Camera Raw in Photoshop. In Bridge, choose Edit > Camera Raw Preferences

   9.  (If you're using Camera Raw version 11.3 or earlier) Force Camera Raw to use Windows DirectX or macOS Metal. To do this, go to Preferences > Camera Raw and verify that the GPU is currently set to OpenGL. Close Photoshop and locate the Camera Raw GPU Config.txt file:

  • Windows: \Users\[user name]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\CameraRaw\GPU\Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw\Camera Raw GPU Config.txt
  • macOS: /Users/[user name]/Library/Application Support/Adobe/CameraRaw/GPU/Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw/Camera Raw GPU Config.txt

The user Library folder is hidden by default in macOS X 10.7 and later releases. Use the following directions here. Manually delete the Camera Raw GPU Config.txt file and relaunch Photoshop.

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