Adobe Photoshop System Requirements & PC-Recommendations

CG Director Author Alex Glawionby Alex Glawion   /  Updated 
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Adobe Photoshop System Requirements & PC-Recommendations

Adobe Photoshop is the most popular photo editor in the world. Used by Graphics Design professionals to Fine Arts college students, it’s the industry-standard photo editing program.

When working in Photoshop is your profession, it’s crucial to have a PC that doesn’t hold you back.

Adobe Photoshop is a complex software package with many tools that add up to its performance demand from your computer. Adobe’s official Photoshop system requirements are so low that even cheap computers should have no trouble running Adobe Photoshop.

Graphics Design programs, though, can demand more than the minimum requirements from your PC, depending on the complexity of your work.

Are you building a PC for Graphics Design, trying to figure out why Photoshop is slow despite meeting the minimum requirements, or do you simply want to upgrade your PC to run Photoshop better? Here’s everything you need to know.

Official Photoshop System Requirements.

Let’s begin by going over Adobe’s official system requirements for Photoshop.

Listed below are Adobe Photoshop’s minimum and recommended system requirements for Windows and macOS computers. Photoshop’s system requirements are very similar to Illustrator’s.

Windows – Adobe Photoshop System Requirements

ComponentsMinimum RequirementsRecommended Requirements
ProcessorIntel® or AMD processor with 64-bit support; 2 GHz or faster processor with SSE 4.2 or later
Operating SystemWindows 10 (64-bit) version 1809 or later; LTSC versions are not supported
RAM8 GB16 GB or more
Hard disk~5 GB of available space~5 GB of available space (SSD)
Monitor resolution1280 x 800 display1920 x 1080 display
GPUGPU with DirectX 12 support

2 GB of GPU memory
GPU with DirectX 12 support

4 GB of GPU memory

macOS – Adobe Photoshop System Requirements

ComponentsMinimum RequirementsRecommended Requirements
ProcessorIntel processor with 64-bit support; 2 GHz or faster processor with SSE 4.2 or later
Operating SystemmacOS Mojave (version 10.14) or latermacOS Big Sur (version 11)

macOS Catalina (version 10.15)
RAM8 GB16 GB or more
Hard disk~5 GB of available space~5 GB of available space (SSD)
Monitor resolution1280 x 800 display1920 x 1080 display
GPUGPU with Metal support

2 GB of GPU memory
GPU with Metal support

4 GB of GPU memory

Our Take On the Official Photoshop System Requirements

Although the system requirements look manageable, there’s more to it.

It makes sense for Adobe to keep their minimum system requirements fairly low, so their target audience is as large as possible. However, running Adobe Photoshop on a PC that barely satisfies the minimum recommendations is no fun, and you’ll quickly wish your PC was stronger.

Programs like Adobe Photoshop increase performance demand from your computer in proportion to the complexity and simultaneous quantity of your work.

So you might be able to launch Photoshop on a minimum specs PC and work on very low complexity graphics, but that’s about it. As soon as you want to open several images or work on something a bit more complex, your PC will crawl to a halt.

Factors that increase performance demand are Image and Canvas Dimensions, Resolution, number of layers, Smart Objects, and Bit Depth, to name a few.

To get a fast and responsive interface, you’ll need the right components for your computer. Here’s an overview of component specifications that directly affect Photoshop’s performance:

  • CPU: A high-clocking CPU will handle Adobe Photoshop much better than a CPU with a low clock rate but a high number of cores.
  • RAM: To prevent bottlenecks, get at least 16 GB of RAM.
  • GPU: Get a dedicated GPU for higher performance. We recommend an NVIDIA GTX or RTX GPU.

If you can’t afford an upgrade right now, you can optimize Photoshop to run better at the cost of some features.

Although Adobe officially states you only need 5GB of available hard disk space, you’ll have to make sure to have at least twice the amount, as your Operating System and other Software that might be running requires some additional available hard disk space as well.

An important factor that is missing from Adobe’s official System Requirements list, is the practicality of an internet connection. Adobe’s Creative Cloud is distributed through the Internet and updates are installed every few months. Without a fast Internet connection, you’ll be severely limited in staying up to date.

Laptop Recommendations for Photoshop

A laptop is an excellent choice for graphic designers that value mobility. If you want to work anywhere you go, check out our guide on finding the Best Laptop for Graphics Designers, and Photo Editors.

Our PC Build Recommendation For Adobe Photoshop

If your workplace stays in one location and you’re looking for the best possible Photoshop experience, then a desktop PC purpose-built for Adobe Photoshop offers the best performance.

There are a lot of topics to cover when building a PC for Graphic Design and Photo Editing, so be sure to check our in-depth guides:

In the meantime, here are our best PC-builds for Adobe Photoshop at two price tiers:

Best Computer for Adobe Photoshop, ~750$ Build

 

Best Computer for Adobe Photoshop, ~1500$ Build

 

Check Your Specs To See If Your Computer Can Run Photoshop

If you already own a PC and would like to make sure it can run Photoshop, you’ll have to check your PC’s specifications. Our complete guide on how to check your PC’s specs will help you do just that.

How to Upgrade Your PC to Run Photoshop Faster

We’ve already gone over Photoshop’s system requirements and the best PC-builds for running Graphic Design programs. If you’re looking to upgrade your existing PC, it’s a rather simple matter.

You can refer to our guide for the details and steps of upgrading your PC:

Custom PC Builder for Photoshop

Finding the right components for your PC is an exciting experience, and we’re here to be a part of this process. We’ve created an interactive PC-Builder Tool that will help you find computer parts that both fit your budget and will give you the best performance for your money.

Conclusion: Adobe Photoshop System Requirements

Adobe wants to sell its product to a lot of individuals. Although Adobe Photoshop’s system requirements seem easily satisfied, these specs won’t hold up for more complex projects that you’ll most likely want to work on.

For serious Photoshop performance, use our Build Guides to find the perfect PC or Laptop for your needs.

Are you looking to purchase a computer or upgrade your own to run Adobe Photoshop? Let me know in the comments or our forum so we can get back to you.

Find a new friend on the CGDirector Forum! Expert Advice & PC-Build Planning with a warm and friendly Community! :)

Alex Glawion - post author

Hi, I’m Alex, a Freelance 3D Generalist, Motion Designer and Compositor.

I’ve built a multitude of Computers, Workstations and Renderfarms and love to optimize them as much as possible.

Feel free to comment and ask for suggestions on your PC-Build or 3D-related Problem, I’ll do my best to help out!

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