Find answers to commonly asked questions about Photoshop and graphics processor (GPU) card usage.

How does Photoshop leverage the graphics processor?

Photoshop leverages the graphics processor in your system to provide a seamlessly smooth Photoshop experience and increased performance with many features. 

Which features leverage the graphics processor?

Features that require a GPU for acceleration

  • Artboards
  • Blur Gallery - OpenCL accelerated
  • Camera Raw (more info)
  • Image Size – Preserve Details
  • Lens Blur (more info)
  • Neural Filters
  • Select Focus
  • Select and Mask - OpenCL accelerated
  • Smart Sharpen - OpenCL accelerated

Features that won't work without a GPU

If your graphics processor is unsupported or its driver is defective, the following Photoshop features won't work:

  • 3D
  • Birds Eye View
  • Flick Panning
  • Oil Paint
  • Perspective Warp (more info)
  • Render – Flame, Picture Frame, and Tree
  • Scrubby Zoom
  • Smooth Brush Resizing

If you encounter any issues working with the above features, see Graphics processor (GPU) troubleshooting.

What are the minimum graphics processor requirements?

  • On Windows, a GPU with DirectX 12 support and 2 GB of GPU memory
  • On macOS, a GPU with Metal Support and 2 GB of GPU memory

If your using an older graphics card or driver, GPU functionality in Photoshop may be limited or not supported.

Generally, consider using GPUs with an Average Ops/Sec of 2000 or higher on PassMark's GPU Computer Benchmark Chart.

How do I enable Photoshop to use the graphics processor?

  1. Choose Edit > Preferences > Performance (Windows) or Photoshop > Preferences > Performance (macOS).

  2. In the Performance panel, make sure that Use Graphics Processor is selected in the Graphics Processor Settings section.

  3. Click Advanced Settings and specify the following options:

    Drawing Mode:

    • Basic: Uses the least amount of graphics card memory or VRAM and enables basic graphics processor features
    • Normal: Uses more graphics card memory or VRAM and enables graphics processor-based color matching, tone mapping, and checkerboard blending
    • Advanced: Provides the benefits of Normal mode and newer graphics processor features that can result in improved performance

    Use Graphics Processor to Accelerate Computation: Enable to improve the interactivity of Warp and Puppet Warp previews

    Use OpenCL: Enable to accelerate the new Blur Gallery filters, Smart Sharpen, Select Focus Area, or Image Size with Preserve Details selected (Note: OpenCL is available only on newer graphics cards that support OpenCL v1.1 or later.)

    Anti-alias Guides and Paths: Allows the graphics processor to smooth the edges of drawn guides and paths

    30-bit Display: Allows Photoshop to display 30 bit data directly on monitors with 30 bit support

    Use native operating system GPU acceleration: Enables Photoshop to use macOS Metal and Windows DirectX 12

Does Photoshop take advantage of more than one graphics processor or graphics card?

Photoshop does not take advantage of multiple graphics cards. Conflicting drivers may also cause crashes or other problems.

Can I use Photoshop's graphics processor features on a virtual machine?

Running Photoshop under virtual machines, or VMs, is not tested extensively nor officially supported because of known issues with features that rely on the graphics processor in VM environments.