Saturday, 31 August 2019

Photoshop NVIDIA CC 2018 GeForce Graphics Performance

GPU acceleration is becoming fairly common in Adobe applications, but only a few of the tasks specified in Photoshop are able to take advantage of a video card to improve performance. In fact, some features (such as 3D, Render, Flame, and Oil Paint) require that you have a compatible GPU while others (Image size, Blur Gallery, Smart Sharpen, etc.) are simply able to use the GPU to improve performance.

It's been about a year since we last looked at GPU performance in Photoshop, but there have been several developments that have made us test this again. First, our old test did not include the GTX 1080 Ti, Titan Xp or Titan V, and we're curious if these new cards give us any performance gains. Second, we have just released the Photoshop CC 2018 benchmark internally and make it available for public download. For this reason, we wanted to get a set of grades (especially "GPU points") for anyone who wanted to see how their PC or Mac stacked up against these units.

If you want to skip the test setting and the standard results / analysis section, feel free to go directly to the Conclusion section.

Test preparation and methodology

Listed below is the test platform we will use in testing:

As mentioned in the introduction, we will use the Puget Systems Photoshop CC 2018 Benchmark currently available for public download. This standard tests a set of general tasks (open / save, resize, fill flag content, etc.), filters in addition to the panoramic photomerge. Full details of the standard are available on the benchmark performance download page.

Benchmark results

While our standard provides general benchmarks based on the performance of each task, we also want to provide the individual result for each task in case there are specific tasks that a person may be interested in. Feel free to analyze the individual results below in more detail if you wish to do so or go to the next section to analyze our criteria.

The Benchmark program includes a large number of tasks that do not use the GPU, but there are five tasks in our benchmark that show the benefit of having a stronger GPU. These results are used to calculate the "GPU Score" part of our standard, but for this analysis, we wanted to take a look at each task separately.

Surprisingly, it was a resize photo job that showed the biggest difference. For this reason, the Intel HD 630 graphics were awesome, taking more than 5 times more than the GTX 1080 Ti. In fact, this is the only task that has seen utility with the most powerful Titan cards which were about 9% faster than GTX 1080 Ti. So if you really hate waiting to resize the image, you can see some excellent performance increases by investing in a more powerful GPU.

However, for smart Sharpen and various Blurs, there is a very hard performance roof. Getting a low-cost GTX 1050 is more cost-effective than using embedded graphics, but once you get to the GTX 1060 or GTX 1070, you're in a fraction of the best possible performance.


Choosing the appropriate GPU for Photoshop is not as important as choosing the right CPU or having enough RAM, but in some cases it can have a big impact on performance. Adobe already has a list of features that can take advantage of the GPU and if any of these things are used regularly, the GTX 1060 or perhaps the GTX 1070 video card is a great choice. While some of these features (such as image resizing) may benefit from the most powerful graphics processing unit, this seems somewhat rare.

Generally for Photoshop, we recommend using either the GTX 1060/1070 video card even if you have a more robust card budget. For most users, it would be better for you to long-term spend this extra money on more RAM or storage or an advanced CPU rather than a more powerful video card.

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