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

How does Photoshop leverage the graphics processor?

A compatible graphics processor (also called a graphics card, video card, or GPU) lets you experience better performance with Photoshop and use more of its features. Also, display problems, performance issues, errors, or crashes can occur if your computer’s graphics processor or its driver is incompatible with Photoshop.

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:

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

Features that require a GPU for acceleration

  • Lens Blur (more info)
  • Artboards
  • Camera Raw (more info)
  • Image Size – Preserve Details
  • Select Focus
  • Blur Gallery - Field Blur, Iris Blur, Tilt-Shift, Path Blur, Spin Blur (OpenCL accelerated)
  • Smart Sharpen (Noise Reduction – OpenCL accelerated)
  • Select and Mask (OpenCL accelerated)

Note:

For help with common Photoshop graphics processor issues or error messages, see Graphics processor (GPU) troubleshooting.

Unsupported graphics cards

If your graphics card is older than 4 years, GPU functionality in Photoshop may be limited or not supported.

Generally, you'll want to consider using GPUs that score 2000 or higher on PassMark's GPU Computer Benchmark Chart.

What are the minimum graphics processor and display requirements?

  • 1280 x 800 display and 1 GB or greater of video memory is recommended
  • To use OpenGL acceleration, your system must support OpenGL v2.0 and Shader Model 3.0 or later
  • To use OpenCL acceleration, your system must support OpenCL v1.1 or later

Note:

For help with common Photoshop and graphics processor issues or error messages, see Graphics processor (GPU) troubleshooting.

How do I use the Performance preferences for the graphics processor in Photoshop?

  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 (VRAM) and enables basic graphics processor features
    • Normal: Uses more graphics card memory (VRAM) and enables graphics processor-based color matching, tone mapping, and checkerboard blending
    • Advanced: Provides the benefits of Normal mode and newer graphics processor advances 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 (Windows® only): Allows Photoshop to display 30-bit data directly to screen on video cards that support it

Note:

30-bit display is not functioning correctly with current drivers. We are working to address this issue as soon as possible.

Note:

For help with common Photoshop and graphics processor issues or error messages, see Graphics processor (GPU) troubleshooting.

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

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

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

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

If you have to use more than one graphics card, make sure that they are the same make and model. Otherwise, crashes and other problems can occur in Photoshop.

Note:

For help with common Photoshop and graphics processor issues or error messages, see Graphics processor (GPU) troubleshooting.

Do features that require the graphics processor run under a virtual machine (VM)?

Running Photoshop 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.

Note:

For help with common Photoshop and graphics processor issues or error messages, see Graphics processor (GPU) troubleshooting.