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Adobe Photoshop - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Performance

Written on December 30, 2020 by Matt Bach
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TL;DR: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 8GB performance in Photoshop

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 8GB consistently ended up at the bottom of our charts - although since it ties with the Radeon 5700 XT as the least expensive GPU we tested, this is largely to be expected. Even then, however, it is very important to note that all the cards we tested performed within the margin of error for our Photoshop benchmark. So, while the RTX 3060 Ti is most likely not quite as good as a more expensive GPU, the difference isn't definitive and is going to be impossible to notice in your everyday work.

Introduction

Over the last three months, NVIDIA has been doing a rolling launch of their new GeForce RTX 30 Series video cards, culminating in the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 8GB which just recently hit the market. While gaming is almost always a major focus during these launches, professional applications like Photoshop are becoming more and more important for NVIDIA's GeForce line of cards.

However, while Photoshop does boast a number of effects that utilize the GPU, these effects tend to perform roughly the same regardless of what GPU is in your system. Because of this, we don't expect to see a significant gain in performance with these new cards in Photoshop, but it is always worth testing to find out if there are any surprises.

Photoshop GPU Performance Benchmark - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 8GB

If you want to see the full specs for the latest GPUs from NVIDIA and AMD, we recommend checking out the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series and AMD Radeon RX Graphics Cards product pages. But at a glance, here are what we consider to be the most important specs:

VRAM Cores Boost Clock Power MSRP
Radeon 5700X 8GB 2,560 1.9 GHz 225W $399
RTX 3060 Ti 8GB 4,864 1.67 GHz 200W $399
RTX 3070 8GB 5,888 1.70 GHz 220W $499
Radeon 6800 16GB 3,840 2.1 GHz 250W $579
Radeon 6800 XT 16GB 4,608 2.25 GHz 300W $649
RTX 3080 10GB 8,704 1.71 GHz 320W $699
Radeon 6900 XT 16GB 5,120 2.25 GHz 300W $999
RTX 3090 24GB 10,496 1.73 GHz 350W $1,499

While specs rarely line up with real-world performance, the biggest thing to note is that the NVIDIA RTX 3060 Ti is at the bottom end of the product stack from NVIDIA and has the same exact MSRP as the AMD Radeon 5700 XT. So, from a price-to-performance standpoint, that will be the card to beat for NVIDIA.

Note that the current supply is so poor that you will be lucky to find many of these cards for anywhere near the MSRP. However, we typically use the MSRP as a baseline for price in order to rule out fluctuations due to different brands, sales, and scarcity. The actual cost you will likely need to pay for either an AMD or NVIDIA card is likely to be quite a bit different, so keep that in mind as you read this article.

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Test Setup

Listed below is the specifications of the system we will be using for our testing:

*All the latest drivers, OS updates, BIOS, and firmware applied as of December 1st, 2020

To test each GPU, we will be using one of the fastest platforms currently available for Photoshop - most notably the AMD Ryzen 5950X. Since Photoshop utilizes the CPU so heavily, this should minimize the impact of the processor and allow each GPU to perform at their fullest potential. Even with this, however, be aware that there typically isn't much variation in performance between different video cards.

For the testing itself, we will be using our PugetBench for Photoshop benchmark. This tests a range of effects and tasks in Photoshop, some of which utilize the GPU to improve performance. If you wish to run our benchmark yourself, you can download the benchmark and compare your results to thousands of user-submitted results in our PugetBench database.

Raw Benchmark Results

While we are going to go through our analysis of the testing in the next section, we always like to provide the raw results for those that want to dig into the details. If there is a specific task you tend to perform in your workflow, examining the raw results is going to be much more applicable than our more general analysis.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 8GB Photoshop GPU Performance Benchmark

Overall Photoshop Performance Analysis

Before we get into the results, we want to set some expectations so no one is disappointed. Although Photoshop does have a number of tasks that are GPU accelerated, we rarely see much of an improvement with higher-end GPUs for these tasks. It is incredibly important to have a supported GPU, but the video card itself is rarely the bottleneck.

But in the interest of being thorough, let's take a look at the overall performance in Photoshop with each of the cards we tested.

As you can see in the chart above, there is minimal difference between any of the GPUs we tested. Between the "fastest" and "slowest" cards, we only saw a 4% difference in performance, which is just within the margin of error for real-world testing like this. We have found in previous testing that having a GPU does increase performance by ~10% over onboard graphics, but a GPU with more raw horsepower doesn't result in significantly higher performance than a more modest GPU.

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti did end up at the bottom of the chart, but since it is only a hair over 1% slower than the AMD Radeon 5700 XT, this isn't enough for either AMD or NVIDIA to really be a "better" choice at that price point for Photoshop. However, our benchmark does make a "GPU Score" based on the tests that are GPU accelerated, which should (in theory) be able to show more of a difference between each card.

GPU Score Analysis

Photoshop GPU Effects benchmark performance NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 8GB

The GPU score is calculated based on the performance for the Rotate, Smart Sharpen, Field Blur, Tilt-Shift Blur, and Iris Blur tests - all of which are able to utilize the GPU to improve performance.

Unfortunately, even if we only look at these specific tests, there is still not a significant difference between each of the video cards we tested. The GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is again at the bottom of the chart, but the difference between it and the fastest GPU is only about 4%. Compared to the Radeon 5700 XT, the 3060 Ti is only about 2% slower which isn't enough to be noticeable in addition to the fact that it is well within the margin of error for this type of testing.

How well does the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti perform in Photoshop?

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 8GB consistently ended up at the bottom of our charts - although since it ties with the Radeon 5700 XT as the least expensive GPU we tested, this is largely to be expected. Even then, however, it is very important to note that all the cards we tested performed within the margin of error for our Photoshop benchmark. So, while the RTX 3060 Ti is most likely not quite as good as a more expensive GPU, the difference isn't definitive and is going to be impossible to notice in your everyday work.

We know that this makes for a bit of a boring article, but given how much buzz there has been around GPU acceleration over the last few years, we believe that it is just as important to know when a more powerful GPU does not matter as when it does. In addition, Adobe is constantly improving its software, and re-testing GPU performance periodically is something that is very important to do in order to find out if anything has changed. In fact, in the near future, we plan on looking into new features like neural filters and sky replacement to see if they might show a greater variance between different GPUs in Photoshop.

As always, keep in mind that these results are strictly for Photoshop. If you have performance concerns for other applications in your workflow, we highly recommend checking out our Hardware Articles (you can filter by "Video Card") for the latest information on how a range of applications perform with the new NVIDIA GeForce 30 series GPUs, as well as with different CPUs and other hardware.

Photoshop Workstations

Puget Systems offers a range of poweful and reliable systems that are tailor-made for your unique workflow.

Configure a System!

Labs Consultation Service

Our Labs team is available to provide in-depth hardware recommendations based on your workflow.

Find Out More!
Tags: NVIDIA, NVIDIA vs AMD, AMD, Radeon RX 5700 XT, RTX 2080 Ti, RTX 3080, Photoshop, RTX 3090, RTX 3070, Radeon RX 6800, Radeon RX 6800 XT, RTX 3060 Ti