How does Lightroom leverage the graphics processor?

In Lightroom CC/Lightroom 6, you can use a compatible graphics processor (also called a graphics card, video card, or GPU) to speed up the task of adjusting images in the Develop module. Using a compatible graphics processor can also provide a significant speed improvement on high-resolution displays, such as 4K and 5K monitors.

What are the minimum system requirements?

  • 64-bit Windows and mcOS versions only
  • OpenGL 3.3 (or later) -capable video adapter for GPU-related functionality

Caution:

  • Lightroom CC/Lightroom 6 currently doesn't take advantage of more than one graphics processor. Using two video adapters does not enhance performance. To resolve issues arising because of conflicting graphics drivers, follow Step 5 and Step 6 in Solution 3: GPU and graphics driver troubleshooting steps.
  • The Develop module is the only module that currently uses GPU acceleration. Commands and processes outside the Develop module aren't affected. For example, the commands for merging multiple images to create HDR files or panoramas don't use GPU.
  • Only the 'Main' Lightroom window is accelerated. The 'Secondary' window isn't accelerated by the graphics processor.
  • Graphics processors running under virtual machines are not tested or supported.
  • When you launch Lightroom, it runs a test on the graphics card. If the test fails, the graphics card is disabled even if it meets the minimum requirements. Walk through the troubleshooting steps to try to resolve the error. Some graphics cards, despite meeting the minimum requirements, may never be compatible with Lightroom for graphics acceleration.

For additional details, see System requirements | Lightroom.

What are the suggested system requirements and the graphics cards?

Suggested system requirements

  • 1 GB of VRAM (Video RAM, or RAM on the video adapter). 2 GB of dedicated VRAM is suggested for large, high-resolution (such as 4K and 5K) monitors.
  • OpenGL 3.3. If you're not sure if your card fully supports OpenGL 3.3, contact the card manufacturer.

For additional details, see System requirements | Lightroom.

Note:

Use only one graphics card. Performance isn't enhanced with multiple cards.

Suggested graphics cards

Graphics cards released in the year 2014 or afterwards that meet the minimum system requirements (listed above) should work.

  • AMD: For AMD cards, consider using the Radeon R9 series of cards, such as the R9 270 through 290.
  • NVIDIA: For NVIDIA cards, consider using a card from the GeForce GTX 760+ line (760, 770, 780, or later) or from the GeForce GTX 900 series.
  • Intel: For Intel cards, Intel HD Graphics 4400+, 5000+, 510+, P530, P630, Iris Pro Graphics 5200, 6100+, P6300, P580 or later are required.

Note:

Ensure that you have the latest driver for your specific graphic card installed. Laptop and desktop versions of the graphics processor have slightly different names.

Don't see your card in the list?

The list of graphics processor cards above is updated as newly-released cards are tested. However, Adobe cannot test all cards in a timely manner. If your card is not listed above, but meets the following requirements, it should work with the latest version of Lightroom CC/Lightroom 6:

  • The card was released in the year 2014 or afterwards.
  • It has the minimum amount of graphics processor VRAM required for Lightroom (1 GB). 2 GB or more of VRAM is recommended, though.

Unsupported graphics cards

macOS:

  • AMD Radeon HD 6000M series
  • Intel HD 3000/4000
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9400/9400M
  • NVIDIA GeForce 320M 
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 120/GT 130
  • NVIDIA GeForce 210
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260
  • NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT
  • NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT/GS  
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT
  • NVIDIA Quadro FX 4800
  • NVIDIA GeForce NVS 3100M

How do I determine if Lightroom is accessing the graphics card?

When Lightroom is able to use the GPU, you'll find that the Use Graphics Processor check box is selected in Preferences > Performance.

macOS:

  • Lightroom > Preferences > Performance

Windows:

  • Edit > Preferences > Performance

How do I determine the make and model of my graphics card?

To determine your graphics card make and model, launch Lightroom and choose Help > System Info to view the information for your graphics processor.

Lightroom GPU troubleshooting
Graphics processor info

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

Lightroom CC/Lightroom 6 currently doesn't take advantage of more than one graphics processor. Using two graphics cards does not enhance Lightroom's performance.

Multiple graphics cards with conflicting drivers can cause problems with graphics processor accelerated features in Lightroom.

For best results, connect two (or more) monitors into one graphics card.

Caution:

If you have to use more than one graphics card, make sure that they are the same make and model. Otherwise, crashes and other conflicts can occur in Lightroom. To resolve issue arising because of conflicting graphics drivers, follow Step 5 and Step 6 in Solution 3: GPU and graphics driver troubleshooting steps.

Troubleshoot graphics processor (GPU) and graphics driver issues

Overview of issues caused by a defective, unsupported, or incompatible graphics processor or graphics driver

If you're experiencing any of the issues listed below, a defective, unsupported, or incompatible graphics processor (also called a graphics card, video card, or GPU) or graphics driver could be the issue. The solutions listed in this section can help you resolve the following issues:

  • The image area in the Develop module is all blue or all white.
  • Lightroom crashes on launch, crashes or freezes in general, or slows without explanation.
  • Moving basic develop sliders causes image brightness to flicker or shift colors unexpectedly
  • The message "Graphics processor acceleration has been disabled due to errors" appears under the Use Graphics Processor check box in Lightroom's Performance preferences.
  • Image previews and thumbnails look tiled or broken on Windows
Lightroom GPU troubleshooting
Error message

Solution 1: Disable the graphics processor to quickly narrow down the issue

You can quickly determine if the issue is related to your graphics processor or driver by following these steps:

  1. Launch Lightroom.
  2. Choose Edit > Preferences > Performance (Windows) or Lightroom > Preferences > Performance (Mac OS).
  3. Deselect Use Graphics Processor.
  4. Quit and relaunch Lightroom.

If the problem goes away, your graphics processor or driver is likely the issue. See Solution 3: GPU and graphics driver troubleshooting steps for further troubleshooting steps.

If the problem still occurs, the graphics processor is not the cause. For additional troubleshooting, see:

Solution 2: Manually disable the graphics processor

If you can't launch Lightroom, or Lightroom crashes before you can clear the Use Graphics Processor check box, here's how to manually disable this preference:

  1. (Windows) Navigate to C:\Users\[user name]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Lightroom\Preferences\Lightroom 6 Preferences.agprefs

    (macOS) Navigate to /Users/[username]/Library/Preferences/com.adobe.Lightroom6.plist

    Note:

    (Windows) Note: Some of the folders you're looking for could be hidden. To view them, choose Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Folder Options. In the Advanced area of the View tab, make sure that Show Hidden Files and Folders is selected, and then click OK.

    (macOS) The user Library file is hidden by default on Mac OS X 10.7 and later. For temporary access to the user Library file, press Option and choose Go > Library in the Finder.

  2. Open the file Lightroom 6 Preferences.agprefs (Windows)/com.adobe.Lightroom6.plist (macOS) in a text editor.

  3. Change the line useAutoBahn = true to useAutoBahn = false

  4. Save and close the file Lightroom 6 Preferences.agprefs (Windows) / com.adobe.Lightroom6.plist (macOS).

  5. Re-launch Lightroom.

Solution 3: GPU and graphics driver troubleshooting steps

If you run into any of the issues listed above, try the following solutions in order.

  1. Confirm that you're using the latest version of Lightroom.

    Choose Help > Updates. For additional details, see the article Update Creative Cloud apps.

     

  2. Confirm that your graphics card is compatible with Lightroom. To determine your graphics card make and model, see the section How do I determine the make and model of my graphics card?.

  3. Update Lightroom. Choose Help > Updates.

  4. Update your graphics card driver.

    If you're experiencing any of the issues listed above, or Lightroom isn't accessing your graphics processor and your graphics card meets the minimum system requirements, update the graphics driver.

    macOS:

    Graphics drivers are updated via operating system updates. To make sure that you have the latest macOS updates, choose Software Update from the menu or the Updates tab in the App Store application.

    Windows:

    Download the most recent driver directly from your graphics card manufacturer's website:

    After installing the updates, relaunch Lightroom. Turn on the Use Graphics Processor option by choosing Preferences > Performance > Use Graphics Processor and retry the steps that caused the problem.

    Note:

    • Windows Update won't always give you the latest and greatest drivers. You must go directly to your card manufacturer’s website to check for driver updates.
    • Be sure to choose the correct driver. Notebook drivers sometimes have a different name than similar desktop drivers.
    • Some video adapter manufacturers have other software that requires updating in addition to the video driver. Read the update instructions carefully, and contact the video adapter manufacturer directly if you don't understand the instructions.

  5. Disable third-party graphics accelerators. Third-party GPU overclocking utilities and haxies aren't supported.

  6. Multiple graphics cards with conflicting drivers can cause problems with GPU-accelerated or enabled features in Lightroom. For best results, connect two (or more) monitors into one graphics card.

    (macOS)

    Disable Automatic graphic switching on the Energy Saver tab in the System Preferences.

    For more details, refer to Apple's documentation: https://support.apple.com/en-in/HT202043

    (Windows)

    If you must use more than one graphics card, remove or disable the less powerful cards. For example, assume that you have two different cards using two different drivers—an NVIDIA graphics card and an AMD graphics card. In this case, ensure that Lightroom has been assigned the High Performance graphics card rather than Integrated Graphics or Power Saving graphics card.

    NVIDIA:

    a. Right-click anywhere on the desktop and choose the NVIDIA control panel.

    b. Click Manage 3D settings.

    c. Click Program Settings and add Lightroom.exe. Change the preferred graphics processor to High-performance NVIDIA processor.

    AMD:

    a. Right-click anywhere on the desktop and choose the AMD Catalyst Control Center or Configure Switchable Graphics.

    b. Click Browse and choose High Performance instead of Power Saving.

    For additional instructions on how to set a specific card to be the primary graphics card on Windows, consult the graphics card manufacturer's driver documentation.

  7. (Windows) If the previous step does not resolve the issue, consider disabling the graphics cards.

    If you're using more than one graphics card in Windows, your high-end card might not be set as the primary card. To disable the lesser of the two cards, use the Device Manager on Windows. In the Device Manager, right-click the card's name and choose Disable.

    Lightroom GPU troubleshooting
    Disabling a graphics card

  8. Do not use Lightroom on a virtual machine (VM).

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

    After performing the troubleshooting steps above, you can confirm the results by enabling the Use Graphics Processor option in the Preferences > Performance panel.

  9. If none of the troubleshooting steps above solve the issue, your last option is to purchase a compatible graphics card, or completely disable the graphics processor using the following steps:

    a. Launch Lightroom.

    b. Choose Edit > Preferences > Performance (Windows) or Lightroom > Preferences > Performance (Mac OS).

    c. Deselect Use Graphics Processor.

    d. Quit and relaunch Lightroom.

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