Do this first: Update your GPU card device drivers.

See this KB article on updating device drivers: Illustrator GPU Performance | Driver Updates. Most GPU card issues are resolved when device drivers are updated to the latest versions.

Issue: Errors or unexpected behavior when GPU Performance features are turned on

Some users are facing issues when GPU Performance features in Adobe Illustrator. Some issues are:

  • Rendered artwork appears jagged / black / white
  • Illustrator crashes
  • Documents appear in black and white color
  • You receive an error message that GPU Performance Features are not available in the document you are currently working on.

Solutions

Solution 1: Update GPU card software drivers

The GPU Performance features in Illustrator CC 2015 work best with the most recent, updated GPU card drivers. Refer to the KB article on updating device drivers: Illustrator GPU Performance | Driver Updates.

Solution 2: Start with a clean preferences file

  1. Close Illustrator, if it is running.
  2. Depending on which OS you use, navigate to the path:
    Mac OS: /Users/<user>/Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator
    Windows: %appdata%\Adobe
  3. Rename the preferences folder:
    Mac OS: Rename the folder 19.0.0 to 19.0.0_old
    Windows: Rename the folder Adobe Illustrator 19 Settings to Adobe Illustrator 19 Settings_old
  4. Restart Illustrator and check if GPU Performance features are working as expected.

Solution 3: Ensure that your on-board GPU card is the default for all display activities

Cause: With laptops that have an on-board graphics card (integrated GPU) and an additional (add-on GPU), users are reporting that Adobe Illustrator does not pick the available add-on GPU. Illustrator defaults to the integrated GPU. When launched, Adobe Illustrator uses the same hardware that drives the laptop’s display. If your add-on GPU is not rendering the laptop’s display, Illustrator will use the integrated GPU.
 
Possible solutions: When you have an add-on GPU, to use GPU Performance features in Illustrator, ensure that the add-on GPU powers all the display-related functionality on your laptop.
  • Using your BIOS settings, ensure that the add-on GPU is used by default. Disable the on-board GPU, if possible.
  • In your Operating System settings, ensure that the add-on GPU is used as the default to drive all display functionality. For example, for NVIDIA GPUs, you can use the NVIDIA Control Panel to set a global option that ensures the default GPU used for all display functionality uses the NVIDIA hardware.
  • Use hardware device manager software to disable the on-board GPU. This causes the computer to default to the add-on GPU.

Important consideration: Using the add-on GPU device causes power consumption to rise and significantly reduce battery life while operating on battery power. This will reduce the period of time available for the laptop to function before needing to find a power source.

Solution 4: For times when GPU Performance Features stop working in a document

Possible causes: Illustrator may encounter an object or artwork in the document that causes the GPU to stop working for the document.  
 
Possible solutions: 
  • Click View > GPU Preview
  • Save the document and then close and reopen it.

Does the error persist? Send us the sample file and the information requested in the Send Adobe troubleshooting information section.

Send Adobe troubleshooting information

Do send an email to Adobe (sharewithai@adobe.com) to troubleshoot further.

If your screen appears in black and white, and resetting preferences does not help, send us the following information:

  • The GPU Sniffer file [Replace en_US with your locale information] from your computer:
    Mac OS: ~/Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator 19 Settings/Locale/en_US/AISniffer
    Windows: %AppData%\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator 19 Settings\Locale\en_US\x_64\AISniffer
  • AI Preferences folder
  • OS Version
  • Number of monitors connected and display resolution of each
  • Are you able to create new document successfully?

If Adobe Illustrator crashes, send us the following information:

  • The crash log.
  • The GPU Sniffer file [Replace en_US with your locale information] from your computer:
    Mac OS: ~/Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator 19 Settings/Locale/en_US/AISniffer
    Windows: %AppData%\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator 19 Settings\Locale\en_US\x_64\AISniffer
  • OS Version
  • Number of monitors connected and display resolution of each

Workaround

Switch to CPU Preview mode (Cmd/Ctrl +E)

Press Cmd/Ctrl + E to switch to working in CPU mode so that you can continue using Illustrator. However, do send the Illustrator team the information requested for further troubleshooting.

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