Adobe Photoshop is one of the biggest software applications out there, and luckily that wide appeal has ensured the application isn’t exactly the most demanding pieces of software that it used to be. Almost all new graphics cards will be able to run Adobe Photoshop without an issue, and you can even run it without a display adaptor, though there are a few GPU-exclusive features that will require a graphics card to be utilized properly.

Features that require a GPU and won;’r work without one include Perspective Warp, 3D, Oil Paint, Render - (Flame, Picture Frame, and Tree), Scrubby Zoom, Birds Eye View, Flick Panning, and Smooth Brush Resizing.

Several other features can be made to run faster thanks to the use of a GPU for acceleration, these include Lens Blur, Artboards, Camera Raw, Image Size - Preserve Details, Select Focus, Blur Gallery - (Field Blur, Iris Blur, Tilt-Shift, Path Blur, and Spin Blur (OpenCL accelerated)), Smart Sharpen (Noise Reduction - OpenCL accelerated), and Select and Mask (OpenCL accelerated).

Features that require a GPU Features that require a GPU for acceleration
Perspective Warp Lens Blur
3D Artboards
Oil Paint Camera Raw
Render - Falme, Picture Frame, and Tree Image Size - Preserve Details
Scrubby Zoom Select Focus
Birds Eye View Blur Gallery - Field Blur, Iris Blur, Tilt-Shift, Path Blur, Spin Blur (OpenCL accelerated)
Flick Panning Smart Sharpen (Noise Reduction – OpenCL accelerated)
Smooth Brush Resizing Select and Mask (OpenCL accelerated)

Apart from these GPU-accelerated features, a graphics processor is not required to run Photoshop. Though instead processor speed, CPU cores, RAM and storage speeds are all used to help make Photoshop run faster. 

In order to run Adobe Photoshop at its best performance you will need a 6-8+ core CPU running at 1.6GHz or faster, Windows 10 Operating System, a decent M.2 SSD storage, and 8GB of RAM (though as some of you pointed out before, 16GB is more preferable).

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Adobe Photoshop official system requirements 2020

Adobe Photoshop Windows system requirements

  • 1.6GHz or faster processor with SSE2 support
  • Microsoft Windows 10 (recommended versions 1809, 1903) or Windows 8.1 (Windows 7 not supported); 64-bit versions only (32-bit not supported)
  • 4GB of RAM (8GB recommended)
  • 5.2GB of available hard-disk space to install applications; additional 2.4GB to download all optional content (cannot install on a volume that uses a case-sensitive file system or on removable flash storage devices)
  • 1280x800 display resolution (at 100% scale factor)
  • Microsoft DirectX 9 or 10 compatible display driver
  • DVD-ROM drive (for installation from DVD)
  • Internet connection required for product activation and content download*

Adobe Photoshop MacOS system requirements

  • 64-bit multicore Intel processor
  • macOS v10.13 through v10.15
  • 4GB of RAM (8GB recommended)
  • 6.5GB of available hard-disk space to install applications; additional 2.5GB to download all optional content (cannot install on a volume that uses a case-sensitive file system or on removable flash storage devices)
  • 1280x800 display resolution (at 100% scale factor)
  • DVD-ROM drive (for installation from DVD)
  • Internet connection required for product activation and content download*

Adobe Photoshop minimum graphics and display requirements

  • 1024 x 768 display (1280 x 800 recommended) with 16-bit color and 512 MB of VRAM (2 GB or greater of VRAM 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

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What is the best graphics card for Photoshop in 2020?

In terms of which is the best graphics card for Photoshop in 2020, you’re looking at a GTX 1660 Ti 6GB or RTX 2060 6GB for Nvidia or an RX Vega 64 8GB for AMD. The higher the resolution of your display though, the more video memory will be required from your graphics card.

The minimum spec graphics cards tested by Adobe for Photoshop includes the Nvidia GeForce 400 series and up, as well as the AMD Radeon 5000 series and up.

Listed below are the officially tested GPU’s by Adobe that are compatible with Photoshop in 2020. It’s not a complete list unfortunately as it lacks a lot of modern Nvidia and AMD GPUs which will be able to run Photoshop without a problem.

Official Adobe-supported Photoshop Graphics Cards

  • nVidia GeForce: 400, 500, 600, 700 series
  • nVidia GeForce GTX 965M & 980M
  • nVidia GeForce GTX 1050, 1080, 1660
  • nVidia Quadro: 2000, 4000 (Windows® and Mac OS), CX, 5000, 6000, K600, K2000, K4000, K5000 (Windows® and Mac OS), M4000, M5000, P2000, P4000, P5000, T1000
  • nVidia GRID K1, K2
  • AMD/ATI Radeon: 5000, 6000, 7000, R7, R9 series, 7950 Mac OS
  • AMD/ATI FirePro: 3800, 4800, 5800, 7800, 8800, 9800, 3900, 4900, 5900, 7900, W8100, W9100, D300, D500, D700
  • AMD/ATI FireGL: W5000, W7000, W8000
  • AMD RX 480
  • Intel® HD Graphics: P530, P630, 5000, 515, 520
  • Intel® Iris Pro Graphics: P5200, P6300, P580
  • Intel HD Graphics 515 and 520

Adobe Photoshop Unsupported Graphics Card Series

  • AMD/ATI 100, 200, 3000, and 4000 series
  • nVidia GeForce 7000, 8000, 9000, 100, 200, 300 series
  • Older Intel® HD Graphics (for example 2000, 3000, 4000 series) cards

Our Favorite Comments
"I run PS DAILY. What you need to look at is not necessarily the core count - Adobe is actually really crap at multithreading, since most of their code is very old, with new features just tacked-on. What you really need to pay attention is the IPC and clock speed! I used to have a 20c/40t..."