Adobe Photoshop Workstation Requirements

Adobe Photoshop is an industry standard for image editing in the pre-press graphics world as well as for photographers, has been for many years now.

The software has been around for decades now (hard to believe I know) and unlike the more modern Affinity Photo which is a thoroughly modern application, Adobe Photoshop still has legacy code which makes it feel slower to use than the above mentioned Affinity Photo.

Slowly, Adobe is working to make Photoshop a more modern bit of code and improve compatibility with multi core CPUs and more importantly, to make it work with fast GPUs. This is one of the reasons why Affinity Photo is in my view, and for my needs, a better choice.

Which Processor to use with Adobe Photoshop?

Adobe Photoshop is one of those apps that requires a fast CPU to get the best performance out of it, Right now the Intel 9900K is the best option for Photoshop with it’s 8 cores and 16 threads. Testing shows that Photoshop is unable to take full advantage of CPUs with more than 8 cores, so moving to anything like the Intel X Series processors is not the best use of your funds.

If your Photoshop use if for smaller web based imaging or you rarely work with layered files, then perhaps the Intel 9700K might just suffice, and free up some budget for SSD storage or more RAM. But then again, as Adobe to improve Photoshop’s use of multi-core CPUs, you could be future proofing your computer by using a 9900K now?

Which Graphics Card to use for Adobe Photoshop?

Adobe Photoshop does not take full advantage of a graphics card, with only a handful of effects that take advantage of the GPU. Adobe provide a FAQ on what they can currently address the GPU for here. Curently there is little to be gained by buying an NVIDIA RTX 2080ti over something like a NVIDIA RTX 2060, very little in fact. So you could save some money now, or buy an NVIDIA RTX 2080ti in the hope that Adobe improve GPU use in the near future, your call.

How much RAM does Adobe Photoshop require?

The amount of RAM required to run Adobe Photoshop effectively is somewhat dependent on the file sizes you typically use. If you tend to use large layered files, RAM requirements shoot up very quickly. We suggest 16GB at an absolute minimum, but would highly recommend 32GB or 64GB if consistently dealing with large layered files.

You need to also keep in mind what other applications you may have open at the same time as Photoshop. If you are a desktop publisher it is likely that you have Illustrator and InDesign open as well, so you need to allow for their needs as well.

Which storage type is best for Adobe Photoshop?

Storage requirements once again depend on your workflow and the types of work you do. Standard hard drives are fine and from a cost point of view, offer the best bang for buck. SSD’s of course are much faster, and we certainly recommend SSD for your main C drive. Again, if you are working with large layered files, we strongly advise at a minimum a SATA SSD drive, or if budget permits, an M.2 SSD.

Keep in mind, even the cheapest SSD is more than four times faster than a hard drive, and if working with large files, hauling that large file off an SSD will be quicker than off an old school hard drive.

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