Adobe Photoshop is a feature-rich photo/image editing and creation application. This guide will help you configure a perfectly optimised Workstation for Adobe Photoshop in 2022.
Photoshop is not very demanding, but ensuring your hardware is up to the task is critical to your workflow.
Adobe Photoshop is also often used alongside other applications such as After Effects and Premier Pro. Our recommendation guides for other software can also help you ideally configure your Workstation for them too.
What Is The Best CPU For Adobe Photoshop In 2022?
The processor (CPU) is one of the most important components for good performance in Adobe Photoshop. When considering your options, you should select a very high clock speed processor.
Adobe Photoshop is a lightly threaded application, meaning it cannot take advantage of a processor with many cores and threads. Therefore a processor with a low amount of fast cores and threads will give you the best performance.
Currently, systems based on Intel’s 12th Generation Core processors are the best option for Adobe Photoshop in 2022. Therefore, we recommend our fully customisable WS IC Intel® Core™ Workstation range to Photoshop users.
Alternatively, if you would like a few more cores and threads, see our WS AR AMD Ryzen™ Workstation range. More cores and threads could benefit other applications or enable you to run more applications simultaneously.
How Much Memory (RAM) Does A Workstation For Adobe Photoshop Need?
Adobe Photoshop can use up lots of system memory (RAM). Having enough RAM for all your active projects ensures you don’t encounter errors or experience reduced performance.
We recommend a minimum of 16GB of system memory in a Workstation for Adobe Photoshop in 2022. 32GB or 64GB may be necessary if you work simultaneously with other applications or if your projects are very large.
You can use the “Document Size” view on the info panel within Photoshop when using your current Workstation to identify precisely how much RAM your new system will need. We recommend 16GB of system RAM for every 500MB active document size.
Choosing the Right GPU
Adobe is continuing to add more GPU accelerated features to Photoshop, but as of 2022, the list is still relatively small. The GPU accelerated features are reasonably light on graphics cards as well.
We, therefore, recommend a low to mid-range NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics card for Photoshop in 2022. Testing has shown that high-end cards provide negligible or no Photoshop performance benefits over mid-range cards.
Other applications can benefit significantly from more powerful graphics cards. If you use other applications in your workflow, ensure your GPU selection is suitable for those programs.
We recommend NVIDIA cards over AMD currently. AMD does make some great graphics card products, but as of 2022. NVIDIA has an edge in performance and, from our experience, is slightly more reliable.
Some customers ask whether professional NVIDIA RTX (formerly Quadro) is worth it for Photoshop. Professional cards used to be more popular for Photoshop because of the 10-bit colour support.
10-Bit colour is now available in the NVIDIA GeForce range, and other features such as increased VRAM in the professional cards do not benefit Photoshop users.
Therefore unless maximising reliability is your primary goal NVIDIA GeForce RTX makes the most sense for Adobe Photoshop users in 2022.
Recommended Storage Drives
There are currently three storage drive types available to Workstation users, NVMe SSD, SATA SSD and HDD.
A traditional HDD is the slowest, the cheapest and offers the largest storage capacities.
SATA SSD is much faster than HDD but has less overall storage capacity.
NVMe SSD is the highest performance storage technology available today, offering phenomenal speeds. This performance does make it the most costly option.
We recommend a two-drive configuration in a Workstation for Adobe Photoshop. A SATA SSD or NVMe SSD, if your budget allows, to act as your primary drive.
This primary drive is where you should install your operating system and applications and store your active project files.
The second drive should be a traditional HDD.
Although slower, a HDD is fantastic for long-term storage thanks to the low price and large capacities.
Optionally for more advanced Photoshop users, you may wish to include an additional SSD to act as a cache/scratch disk.
Doing so can help improve performance, especially if your system runs out of memory.