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Photoshop CC 2018 NVIDIA GeForce GPU Performance

Written on April 19, 2018 by Matt Bach
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Introduction

GPU acceleration has become fairly common in Adobe applications, but only a few select tasks in Photoshop are able to take advantage of the video card to improve performance. In fact, some features (like 3D, Render Flame, and Oil Paint) require that you have a compatible GPU while others (Image Size, Blur Gallery, Smart Sharpen, etc.) are simply able to utilize a GPU to improve performance.

It has only been about a year since we last looked at GPU performance in Photoshop, but a number of developments have occurred that made us what to re-do this testing. First, our old testing didn't include the GTX 1080 Ti, Titan Xp, or Titan V and we are curious if these newer cards can give us any performance gains. Second, we have just published our internally developed Photoshop CC 2018 benchmark and made it available for public download. Because of this, we wanted to have a set of scores (specifically the "GPU Score") available for anyone who wants to see how their existing PC or Mac stacks up against these GPUs.

If you would like to skip over our test setup and benchmark result/analysis sections, feel free to jump right to the Conclusion section.

Test Setup & Methodology

Listed below is the test platform we will be using in our testing:

Test Hardware
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Gaming 5
CPU: Intel Core i7 8700K 6 Core
3.7GHz (4.7GHz Turbo) 6 Core
RAM: 4x DDR4-2666 16GB
(64GB total)
Hard Drive: Samsung 960 Pro 1TB M.2 PCI-E x4 NVMe SSD
OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
Software: Photoshop CC 2018 (ver. 19.1.3)

To act as comparison points, we will be testing a number of NVIDIA GPUs ranging from the Titan V all the way down to the GTX 1050. We will also test with the integrated Intel HD 630 that is built into the Core i7 8700K:

As we mentioned in the introduction, we will be using our Puget Systems Photoshop CC 2018 Benchmark which is currently available for public download. This benchmark tests a range of general tasks (open/save, resize, content aware fill, etc.), filters, as well as panorama photomerge. Full details on the benchmark are available on the benchmark download page.

Benchmark Results

While our benchmark presents an Overall Score based on the performance of each task, we also wanted to provide the individual result for each task in case there is a specific tasks someone may be interested in. Feel free to analyze the individual results below in more detail if you wish or skip to the next section for our benchmark analysis.

  Intel HD
630 512MB
GTX
1050 
GTX
1050 Ti
GTX
1060 
GTX
1070
GTX
1070 Ti
GTX
1080
GTX
1080 Ti
Titan XP Titan V
Scores                    
Overall Score 871.2 977.5 983.3 981.6 988.9 992.7 998.1 1000.0 998.6 1000.3
General Score 91.5 96.8 97.8 97.6 99.3 99.9 101.0 100.0 101.1 101.3
Filter Score 86.1 98.5 99.1 99.2 99.8 99.9 100.5 100.0 99.7 100.5
Photomerge Score 80.4 98.1 97.8 97.4 96.4 96.6 96.1 100.0 97.6 96.6
                     
Individual Results (Seconds)                    
RAW File Open 1.1 1.04 1.04 1.05 1.03 1.03 1.03 1.023 1.04 1.04
Resize to 500MB 8.99 2.55 2.27 1.8 1.57 1.47 1.42 1.455 1.34 1.33
Rotate 0.93 0.95 0.93 0.94 0.93 0.93 0.93 0.92 0.92 0.92
Magic Wand Select 12.52 12.06 12.15 12.5 12.45 12.45 12.43 12.712 12.44 12.38
Mask Refinement 3.34 3.33 3.23 3.34 3.35 3.32 3.29 3.307 3.3 3.28
Paint Bucket 1.79 1.74 1.74 1.89 1.89 1.93 1.81 1.921 1.88 1.9
Gradient 0.38 0.38 0.38 0.38 0.38 0.38 0.38 0.359 0.38 0.38
Content Aware Fill 11.03 11.08 11.06 11.12 11.02 11.05 11.04 11.07 11.04 11.01
PSD File Save 4.38 4.38 4.4 4.42 4.35 4.37 4.38 4.48 4.39 4.38
PSD File Open 2.65 2.6 2.62 2.65 2.66 2.61 2.61 2.698 2.63 2.62
Camera Raw Filter 5.08 5 5.02 5.02 5.01 4.97 4.99 4.892 5.02 4.97
Lens Correction 15.31 15.34 15.35 15.35 15.23 15.28 15.35 15.364 15.21 15.4
Reduce Noise 18.59 18.48 18.52 18.76 18.46 18.46 18.48 18.438 18.5 18.51
Smart Sharpen 36.43 22.73 22.27 21.03 20.16 20.03 19.94 19.994 19.99 19.77
Field Blur 18.86 15 14.82 14.48 14.24 14.13 14.19 14.236 14.26 14.13
Tilt-Shift Blur 16.86 14.39 14.41 14.27 14.53 14.28 14.42 14.176 14.25 14.28
Iris Blur 19.51 16.09 16.06 15.8 15.8 15.59 15.58 15.562 15.65 15.57
Adaptive Wide Angle 17.69 16.36 16.35 16.67 16.66 16.44 16.61 16.571 16.62 16.82
Liquify 10.58 8.8 8.6 9.11 9.21 9.63 8.96 9.648 9.54 9
Make 3D Text 3.04 2.03 2.05 2.04 2.04 2.01 2.03 1.955 2.04 2.08
Render 3D Layer 44.39 42.86 42.72 43.34 44.22 44.63 44.64 42.851 43.09 43.22
Photomerge 22MP 76.3 75.61 75.69 76.32 75.48 75.38 75.4 75.36 75.34 75.36
Photomerge 45MP 107.8 107.53 107.44 108.4 107.14 107.28 107.28 107.182 107.39 107.47

Benchmark Analysis

NVIDIA GeForce Titan Photoshop Benchmark

Download our Photoshop CC 2018 Benchmark!

Our Photoshop Benchmark includes a large number of tasks that don't utilize the GPU, but there are five tasks in our benchmark that does show a benefit to having a more powerful GPU. These results are used to calculate the "GPU Score" portion of our benchmark, but for this analysis we wanted to take a look at each task individually.

Surprisingly, image resizing was the task that showed the biggest difference. For this, the Intel HD 630 graphics was terrible, taking more than 5 times longer to complete than it would with a GTX 1080 Ti. In fact, this is the one task that saw a benefit with the even more powerful Titan cards which were about 9% faster than the GTX 1080 Ti. So if you really, really hate waiting on image resize, you can see some excellent performance increases by investing in a more powerful GPU.

For Smart Sharpen and the various Blurs, however, there is a pretty hard performance ceiling. Having even a low-end GTX 1050 is well worth the cost over using just integrated graphics, but once you get to a GTX 1060 or GTX 1070 you are within a few percent of the best performance possible.

Conclusion

Choosing the right GPU for Photoshop isn't nearly as important as choosing the right CPU or having enough RAM, but in some cases it can have a significant impact on performance. Adobe actually maintains a list of features that can utilize the GPU and if any of those are things you use regularly, a GTX 1060 or possibly a GTX 1070 video card is a terrific option. While a few of these features (like image resize) may benefit from an even more powerful GPU, this appears to be somewhat of a rarity.

Overall for Photoshop, we recommend using either a GTX 1060/1070 video card even if you have the budget for a more powerful card. For most users, you will be better off in the long run spending that extra money on more RAM, storage, or a higher-end CPU rather than a more powerful video card.

Photoshop 2018 Benchmark GPU Score

Photoshop Workstations

Tags: Photoshop, GeForce, Titan, 1050, 1060, 1070, 1080
Jakub Badełek

Matt, many thanks for another test and especially for throwing in lower-end GPUs! not everyone can afford 1080ti ;) I hope to see them in Adobe Premiere tests as well in the future.

Posted on 2018-04-20 07:04:36
Sid

I'm still rocking a GTX 680 :) Any thoughts on whether I would see much of an improvement moving to something like a 1050?

Posted on 2018-04-20 11:41:03

Hard to know for sure. You could run our benchmark and compare the scores, but even the GPU portion is influenced by the CPU so it won't be perfect.

Typically, each generation of GPU is as fast as one level up of the previous generation. So your 680 should be similar to a 770 which is similar to a 960 which is similar to a 1050. So if I had to guess, I would think they will be very similar - probably not worth the "upgrade" in terms of Photoshop performance.

Posted on 2018-04-20 17:55:10
John

Are you going to add Quadro P4000 and P5000 into this mix?

Posted on 2018-04-20 17:37:43

That's on of my goals for next week actually. We won't have GeForce right next to Quadro (they are for different use cases), but they will both be using the same benchmark if you wanted to see how much performance difference you would see to get things like 10 bit display support that is not available on the GeForce/Titan cards.

Posted on 2018-04-20 17:50:17
John

Yes understand, I'm contemplating between Quadro P5000 vs GTX1070Ti. Already have a 10-bit monitor so I'm really leaning towards P5000/P4000. And thanks for the tests.

Posted on 2018-04-20 18:04:42
John

Any updates coming soon?

Posted on 2018-05-03 15:15:54

Hey John, unfortunately the Quadro testing had to get pushed back at least a few more weeks. What I can tell you is that based on previous testing the P5000 tends to be right in between a GTX 1070 and 1080 in terms of performance. So between it and a 1070 Ti, they should be neck in neck. A P4000, however, tends to be closer to a GTX 1060.

Posted on 2018-05-03 17:53:18
Zack

Hello! Do any of your tests reflect on brush stroke and mixer brush performance? I do digital painting with photoshop, so those two are the most important tools for me, especially the mixer brush which goes crazy slow when oversized.
I would love to know whether to focus my budget on gpu, cpu or ram.

Posted on 2018-04-26 06:02:11

Unfortunately, brushes and other things like transform and panning we haven't been able to figure out a way to benchmark in an accurate and repeatable manner. We actually get very similar requests for our Lightroom testing, but so far I haven't had much success developing a way to benchmark that kind of thing. Every few months I get a crazy idea that I think may work, but so far none of them have panned out.

However, I can tell you that the CPU is what should be doing all the heavy lifting for that kind of work and it is most likely single threaded. So what we see in our current Photoshop CPU testing ( https://www.pugetsystems.co... ) should be pretty accurate as far as performance goes since almost everything in Photoshop is single or lightly threaded. RAM you simply need enough of it (which depends entirely on project resolution and what you do) and while you still want a decent GPU, but anything more than a GTX 1060 or 1070 is likely overkill. Concentrate more on getting a high frequency Core i7 CPU like the i7 8700 or 8700K.

Posted on 2018-04-26 16:38:25
Zack

Thanks for the reply! I'll definitely be getting the 8700k.

Posted on 2018-04-26 17:36:14
dani

I have a similar setup as your test system with an i7 8700, 32 GB DDR4 and a GTX1050 Ti. However I notice a slight stuttering when panning around on my 4K display. Do you think that‘s a problem of the GPU?

The crazy thing is, on my older system i7 6700 and GTX960 everything runs smooth on the same 4K monitor.

Posted on 2018-08-10 19:47:27
John Motzi

What are your thoughts on the choice of workstation graphics cards from an image clarity & text clarity standpoint? - for example in a workstation that would be used for Photoshop image processing & InDesign page layout but not used for games nor movies. Are there cards optimized for crisp text and images or are the GTX1060 or Quadro M2000 just as good? There was a time where video cards were not as good as workstation graphics for still images & text.

Posted on 2018-06-16 22:09:44

As long as both cards support the same resolution, in most cases image clarity and text should be identical on pretty much anything from onboard graphics to consumer/gaming cards to workstation cards. The only caveats to that are the following:

1) If you want to have 10-bit color and you have both a 10-bit display and software that supports 10-bit color. In this case, workstation cards like Quadro are typically needed to get support for that. This is somewhat common for something like Photoshop or InDesign, but completely depends on whether you need the color depth or not.

2) Some applications have display features that are locked unless you have a workstation card. Most of the time this is not a technical limitation of the video card, however, but rather a decision the software developer made for whatever reason. CAD is generally where you would run into this, but really the only one that comes to mind at the moment is SOLIDWORKS which has the "Realview" viewing mode that can only be enabled (at least without registry tweaks) if you have a workstation card.

Posted on 2018-06-20 17:36:57
RS

Thanks for the work - much appreciated. I am hoping to get a laptop that allows me to do a few things in 1 machine. Key will be some Adobe PS and Lightroom photo editing (an recent hobby) to build personal travel books etc while away from my desktop. I am a newbie, but this is an area that I want to spend much more time on as I move to semi-retirement. For some of that I will be at another site and away from my desktop (i7, 16GB RAM and NVIDEA GeForce
GTX650 2 GB). Of course since this will be the only computer there it needs to do MS Office stuff and Netflix, browsing etc. Portability matters as does battery life, cost less so. I expect to add external monitor(s) likely 1080p but possibly 4K. So my question - the Surface Book 2 mostly fits the bill. The 13.5" comes with a 1050 and the 15" with the 1060. Given the form factor and weight would the 1050 be "good enough". I will need to make sure it can drive up to 2 external monitors. Any thoughts on this vs the new Dell XPS 15" 2 in 1? Also, for Adobe PS do you have a view on 1080p vs 4k monitors?

Posted on 2018-08-01 00:44:07
James P

For heavy photo editing on a laptop, is there a noticeable and worthwhile difference between GTX 1650 and RTX 2070?

Posted on 2019-08-26 04:31:14