Photoshop can be used while utilizing your computer’s integrated graphics card. On the other hand, you do need dedicated graphics when dealing with high-quality graphics load while using Photoshop. Many individuals need clarification on Photoshop’s various graphically demanding tools and parts and question whether they need a dedicated graphics card. This post discusses do you need a dedicated graphics card for Photoshop for these users. Let’s get our answer in this post!

Key Takeaways

  • Photoshop can run and perform lightweight graphics tasks via integrated graphics without any issues.
  • A dedicated graphics card is necessary for professional users who want to get the most out of their work. 
  • Consider all the GPU compatibility requirements in this article to find good-quality graphics. 

Do you need a dedicated graphics card for photoshop?

Yes, you need a dedicated graphics card for photoshop if you are a professional. Although the built-in GPU allows you to use essential Photoshop tools, a dedicated graphics card will significantly increase your ability to edit professionally. In general, editing photos uses a lot of storage. Integrated graphics are helpful for basic work but not for heavy-duty graphics loads. This is where a specialized graphics card can help. 

Dedicated GPUs have memory and processing capability, so storing graphics data is not a problem. Your machine will run Photoshop much more effectively as a result. You may refresh the image on the screen more quickly without using a lot of RAM or CPU when you have a graphics card with more memory and processing capacity. Without one, processing the photographs takes longer and is slower on your computer. 

In addition, Photoshop has plenty of functions that won’t execute without a dedicated GPU. These functionalities include Smooth Brush, Render-Picture Frame, Oil Paint, Scrubby Zoom, and 3D Enhancements. In short, a dedicated GPU is necessary for all of these professional features to operate. You’ll need a computer with a solid setup and a dedicated graphics card if you often want to use these tools for high-quality graphics.

Why is a dedicated graphics card needed for photoshop?

There are several reasons to have a sound-quality graphics card to make the most of Photoshop. A few of them are given as follows:

  • Utilize all functionalities: Photoshop includes many advanced capabilities requiring a dedicated GPU to use them. Those functionalities are Smooth Brush, Render-Picture Frame, Oil Paint, Scrubby Zoom, 3D Enhancements, etc.
  • Better graphics rendering: A dedicated GPU is required because this requires a lot of graphics work. Another feature that functions flawlessly with a dedicated GPU is Oil Paint. With these two features, you can immediately adjust and modify the number of pixels on the screen.
  • Improved performance: A dedicated graphics card can improve the performance of Photoshop, mainly when working with large files or using resource-intensive features such as 3D rendering.
  • Enhanced features: Some dedicated graphics cards come with features that can be useful for Photoshop users, such as the ability to output to multiple displays or support for high resolutions.
  • Future-proofing: If you plan to use Photoshop for a long time and want to ensure that your computer can handle the demands of the software as it continues to evolve, investing in a dedicated graphics card can help future-proof your setup.
  • Professional work: If you are a professional designer or photographer using Photoshop as part of your job, a dedicated graphics card’s improved performance and enhanced features may be worth the investment to improve your productivity and the quality of your work.

Check to determine if your dedicated GPU fulfills the following requirements:

  1. GPUs that were introduced after 2014. This ensures it will support many motherboards and the most recent Photoshop versions published after that year.
  2. Your graphics processing memory must be at least 512 MB. This is the very minimum required for the GPU to function. And, as previously said, Photoshop requires at least 2 GB of VRAM.

Considering everything, I’d recommend the GTX 1660 Super for Photoshop. Right now, it’s the best GPU for the money. Therefore I’d recommend getting it.

Requirements to run Photoshop

Photoshop is a load-intensive piece of software with many advanced capabilities. The minimum level is typically needed for the software to function correctly on your machine. Most computers (with Intel or AMD CPUs) can run Photoshop, even though it is a graphics-intensive program, and storage type is also unimportant. Before installing Photoshop, you need to verify a few requirements though:

Graphic card

You’ll need a graphics card with at least 2 GB of GPU memory to run Photoshop effectively. It is advised to have four gigabytes or more. On the GPU, DirectX12 functionality is also necessary. The majority of integrated graphics cards have a limited amount of memory space. This is the primary basis for why Photoshop needs a separate graphics card to function.


You need first to determine the size of your screen. At a minimum, Photoshop requires a 1280 x 800 display. It’s even better if you have a 1920 x 1080 display. But those who spend hours sitting in front of the screen or are full-time related to this profession must go for even better high-resolution displays.


The third element that must be taken into account is RAM. You will require at least 4 GB of RAM to operate Photoshop. If you have 8 GB, that is much better. You can use Photoshop on your PC without issues now that you’ve met all of these criteria. But I suggest 16GB RAM for the professionals who want to get the most out of their work, enhance efficiencies, and reduce latencies.


Photoshop has various features to make the user experience as powerful and configurable as possible. Everything from simple crop and resize tools to advanced ones like 3D modeling is available. You can still use Photoshop without a powerful graphics card, but performance will decrease and you will be unable to access many functions. Suppose you want to do heavy-duty rendering and image editing, and want to utilize all Photoshop functionalities. In such a case, you undoubtedly need a dedicated graphics card.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Activate a Dedicated GPU in Photoshop?

Here’s how to enable Photoshop to use a dedicated GPU:

  1. Visit your Desktop and perform a right-click on an empty area.
  2. From the bottom, select Nvidia Control Panel.
  3. If a pop-up window appears, select Agree to proceed.
  4. To manage 3D settings, navigate. It must be located in 3D Settings.
  5. From the menu, choose Program Settings.
  6. Click Photoshop in the dropdown menu.
  7. High-Performance, click Processor by NVIDIA.
  8. Apply the button, then dismiss the window.

You may then set Photoshop to run on a dedicated GPU by default. Anyone who utilizes Nvidia should be able to apply this technique. Similar procedures apply to AMD and other GPU manufacturers.

What are the incompatible graphics cards for photoshop?

Some graphics cards, however, are incompatible with Photoshop. For example, Photoshop does not support AMD/ATI graphics cards from the 100, 200, 3000, and 4000 series. Even older Intel HD cards from the 2000 to 4000 series perform poorly. Finally, NVIDIA GeForce 100 to 300 series graphics cards and the 7000 and 9000 series are not supported.

If you utilize one of these graphics cards, you can use only some of Photoshop’s features, such as 3D work. Photoshop tools, such as the Perspective Warp, may also be impacted. Photoshop will also not function properly. When trying to complete specific actions, you may experience delays or crashes. Before installing Photoshop, ensure your present GPU isn’t one of the unsupported GPUs I stated before. If this is the case, it’s time to upgrade.

Zohaib Hassan
Zohaib Hassan is a staunch tech enthusiast and has been writing about his interactions with computers for years. He has been serving the UpdatedPC as a content manager along with experimenting and testing numerous tech masterpieces. Indeed, he often forgets about eating his spicy snacks when has his head on the computer screen.