Adobe Photoshop is a raster graphics editor developed and published by Adobe Systems. It has become the de facto industry standard in raster graphics editing.
Selecting the right processor for Photoshop is critical as it uses both the number of processing cores and operating frequency of the processor for overall system performance. Photoshop takes advantage of multiple processor cores, but there is a diminishing performance increase per core after 8 cores. We recommend a 8 core processor for optimal performance.
Processors have base and turbo clock speeds. An example is a CPU model with 6 processing cores with a 3.8GHz base frequency and a 4.6GHz turbo frequency. If the system tasks are utilizing all 6 cores, the CPU will function at 3.8GHz. If the system is utilizing 1 core, the CPU will function at the 4.6GHz turbo. The CPU will function between 3.8GHz and 4.6GHz depending on the number of processing cores utilized. We recommend a 4GHz+ turbo frequency.
Intel offers the Core i7/i9 processors as the consumer series and the Xeon processors as the professional series. In the past, Xeon CPUs were more powerful than their Core-series counterparts. Today, however, there is little functional difference between the two Intel product families for workstations. Core-series processors, especially with the 'K' designation (e.g. the Core i7-10700K) have the highest clock speeds, while the Xeon models maximize the number of cores. Since Photoshop will effectively take advantage of limited cores, a Core-series CPU is perfectly fine. You can opt for a Xeon if you prefer to stick with enterprise-class components developed for 24/7 operation and intensive workloads.
As technology advances, applications progressively increase graphics card acceleration. Photoshop achieves the largest boost in performance from the processor and the demand on the graphics card is relatively light, so even a mid-range graphics card will be adequate. The graphics cards recommended are all the latest technology and support 10-bit color. We recommend at least 8GB VRAM for signifcant raw performance and powering multiple 4K monitors.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080Ti 8GB (highest performance)
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070Ti 8GB
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060Ti 8GB (most popular and adequate for majority of professionals)
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 12GB
We recommend a solid-state drive (SSD) for the operating system, applications and project files. 1TB is the most common capacity for Photoshop workstations. A smaller 500GB is fine if your projects are moderately sized and the workstation is utilized for basic function work purposes. A larger 2TB is recommended if your projects are very large and you will you will use the workstation for a variety of professional applications.
If your projects are very complex, are running multiple applications as the same time, and you want to maximize performance, we recommend two SSDs:
- Primary Drive: NVMe SSD for the operating system and applications
- Secondary Drive: NVMe SSD for active projects; a dedicated drive will offer the aboluste maximum performance
For long term storage, backup, or infrequently accessed files, we recommend a 1TB to 4TB SATA SSD. If you require larger storage, you can also go with a 2TB to 18TB hard drive.
NVMe SSD performs at ~2500MB/s
SATA SSD performs at ~500MB/s
SATA Hard Drive performs at ~250MB/s
The amount of RAM needed depends on the size and number of images you will be working with.
If your images are smaller than 500GB, we recommend at least 16GB RAM, but ideally 32GB RAM.
If your images are 500GB to 1TB, 32GB RAM is most common.
If your images are larger than 1GB and you have massive amounts of images, 64GB is recommended.
It's better to have ample memory than for your system to run out of memory causing bottleneck and lag; especially, if you have multiple projects or applications opened at the same time.
Recommended Hardware References
Running additional applications on this system?
The recommended components and configurations provided on this page are specific to this software. If you plan on running other applications, please view our recommendations for them as well and choose a configuration that best suits the needs of the application requirements collectively. Feel free to contact us for further assistance.