GPU Performance

Learn all about the GPU Performance feature, updated for Illustrator CC 2015.

What is the GPU Performance feature?

The Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), found on video cards and as part of display systems, is a specialized processor that can rapidly execute commands for manipulating and displaying images. GPU-accelerated computing offers faster performance across a broad range of design, animation, and video applications.

This means you get a big performance boost: Illustrator runs faster and more smoothly than ever before.

GPU Performance was introduced in the 2014 release of Illustrator CC for computers running Windows with select, compatible, NVIDIA graphics processors. For the 2015 release of Illustrator CC, GPU Performance is available for both Mac OS and Windows, and it works with various GPUs.

System requirements

See System requirements | Illustrator to find out requirements for enabling and using the GPU Performance feature.

GPU Performance enhancements for Illustrator CC 2015

GPU performance enhancements let Illustrator pan, zoom, and scroll up to 10 times faster with 10 times higher zoom magnification (64,000%, up from 6,400%).

Here's how it works:

Select the zoom tool (Z), and do one of the following:

  • To zoom in: Press and hold down the mouse button (long press), then drag the pointer to the right.
  • To zoom out: Press Alt and hold down the mouse button (long press), then drag the pointer to the left.

Watch a video on the performance enhancements in Illustrator CC 2015.

Enable GPU Performance

After making sure your computer meets the system requirements for GPU Performance, follow these instructions to enable the feature in Illustrator.

Enable or disable GPU Preview

  1. In the application bar, click the GPU Performance icon  to display the GPU Performance settings in the Preferences panel.

  2. Select (to enable) or clear (to disable) the GPU Performance check box and click OK.

Toggle between preview modes

When the GPU Performance feature is enabled, you can switch (Ctrl + E) between the GPU Preview mode and the CPU Preview mode.

  • To switch to GPU Preview, choose View > GPU Preview.
  • To switch to CPU Preview, choose View > Preview on CPU.

GPU Performance settings

You can change GPU Performance feature settings in the Preferences panel.

Preferences panel

GPU Performance settings in the Preferences panel

Besides enabling or disabling GPU Performance, here are other GPU Performance settings you can modify in the Preferences panel:

  • Animated Zoom. Select this check box to make zoom actions smooth and animated.
  • Show System Info. Click this button to open the System Info panel, which displays information about the software and hardware environment for Illustrator.
  • (NVIDIA only) Enhance Thin Lines. Select this check box if, at low zoom levels, thinner strokes in your artwork appear faint or invisible.

Troubleshooting tips

Having difficulty enabling the GPU Performance feature, or is Illustrator behaving unexpectedly after you enable the feature? Ensure that your computer meets the system requirements for using GPU Performance (for instance, if your computer uses an AMD GPU card, you must have Windows 8 or later to use GPU features in Illustrator CC 2015).

For more detailed troubleshooting, see GPU Performance features troubleshooting.

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