Great NVIDIA Cards for Photoshop?

Discussion in 'NVIDIA Graphics Cards' started by Crystallization, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. Crystallization

    Crystallization New Member

    I'm building a new PC (check current crappy specs here) and I'm looking for a graphics card that will allow me to work easily with Photoshop. I should mention that the image sizes that I plan to work with are huge! between 500,000,000px and 1,300,000,000px per layer and at least 30 layers. I'm trying to keep everything within a certain budget and I've already decided on a CPU (Intel Core i7 2600K OC'ed to 5.1GHz) and RAM (16GB of G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 2133 PC3 17000) but now there's the matter of the GPU.

    So I've been eying the EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti but I need someone to tell me if this will play nice with Photoshop and the ridiculous image sizes that I have planned. Or is it overkill?
  2. Jac

    Jac Well-Known Member

    The GTX560 will be fine for your needs. Photoshop doesn't place a massive load on your GFX card and Photoshop has built in support for hardware GFX acceleration. Memory and CPU are probably more important for working with large images.
  3. mkk

    mkk Well-Known Member

    For exceptionally large images/documents like that it's safest to run in non-accelerated mode, as Photoshop starts to act up when on-board memory runs out. Get the fastest CPU you can afford and fill up the RAM slots. Overclocking is a good idea since a lot of parts of Photoshop are still single threaded.
  4. IvanV

    IvanV HH Assassin Guild Member

    Also, you should really look into an SSD, or maybe a couple of them for RAID. Thirty layers with up to 1,300,000,000px each is thirty times 5GB (when decompressed for processing by Photoshop), so the loading times when activating an individual layer won't be insignificant and you'll really want as much performance from your drives as possible.
    MGaz likes this.
  5. blibbax

    blibbax nahm8

    I'd agree with most of what's posted above. The GTX560 is probably overkill if you won't be gaming, but not massively overkill given the rest of the system. I'm not sure how important frame buffer size is for this kind of thing - anyone know?

    Other than that, isn't 2133MHZ RAM a bit of a waste of money? Or are you getting it cheap? A lot of very high end professional workstations do fine with much slower memory - it doesn't have a huge impact on performance, especially if you keep the latencies tight.
  6. Sihastru

    Sihastru Never been clicked

    RAM quantity is the most important thing when working with Ps. Recently I used the "Photomerge" option to create a few seamless panoramic images, each one out of 30+ 8MP individual photos, and my 24GB system wasn't really enough. It ate all that RAM up and still cached out a lot of stuff on the SSD.

    Most of the Ps algorithms are not yet very well optimized for multi-threading so the CPU won't be an issue, the fact that you'll do a massive OC will matter more then having extra cores.

    I don't know if it's an option for you, but if you have time, I would wait on Sandy Bridge E processors on LGA2011 and get a motherboard with 8 DIMMs. For that insane resolution perhaps 32GB of cheap 1066/1333/1600 DDR3 will fare better then 16GB of high speed DDR3. The thing is Ps will work with huge chunks of data, and memory speed isn't going to make much of a difference.

    You could buy high density DDR3 for the LGA1155 Sandy Bridge, but 4x8GB costs a lot of money today. You can get 128GB "normal" density (4GB DIMMs) for the price of 32GB "high" density (8GB DIMMs). That's just painful.

    As for the videocard, yes Ps CS5/CS5.5 has some acceleration support, but it's not complete in any way and will crash repeatedly during longer sessions. I ended up disabling the acceleration because it was seriously interfering with my work. It could be because I use a dual GPU card that's not on their list, but I think you'll be very lucky if you get it to work without any problems. You should consider getting a card that's on their supported list (and there's very few of them). You might be better off with a lower end Quadro card.

    There are other components of CS5/CS5.5 that will benefit from GPU acceleration a lot, like Premiere Pro or the Media Encoder but in Photoshop you have to do very specific things to get any benefit from a GPU.
  7. jdm11b

    jdm11b New Member

    I've been a motion graphics animator for almost 10 years. Photoshop needs cpu power, not graphics cards. Unless you are making large movie posters with many layers, you don't even need more than 2GB of RAM.
  8. blibbax

    blibbax nahm8

    Just shows how you can fall behind the times. Photoshop uses CUDA in quite a few situations now.
  9. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

    gpu performance and power makes a big difference..

    and ram most definitely will effect things..

    i've posted in another thread previously. Ram effects things considerably...

    dealing with such massive files cpu power and RAM will effect things QUITE A BIT... the video card's own available physical memory will also effect it..
  10. Tipstaff

    Tipstaff Well-Known Member

    However, while Photoshop CS5/5.5 supports CUDA (although I can't remember if it's out of the box), CS6 does not. Adobe ditched CUDA support in favour of OpenCL (it still supports OpenGL too). There are, however, some plugins that do require CUDA to work, so even if you need a specific plugin that requires it, you'll still need to buy an Nvidia CUDA supported card.

    CUDA is still supported (and recommended) for Premiere Pro though. Even though they've switched to OpenCL for that too, CUDA support is still there.
  11. advaneil

    advaneil New Member


    Well, i think GTX560 card is best option for your Photoshop...
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2012
  12. blibbax

    blibbax nahm8

    Firstly, this thread has been dead a little while now. Secondly, I feel like you should justify your opinion there. Why such a powerful card? What makes it more suitable for photoshop than a 550Ti? A 580? A 680? A Quadro?
  13. mkk

    mkk Well-Known Member

    I tried Photoshop CS6 on my i5-3570K and its integrated HD4000 graphics a little while ago. It did really well. In fact as far as the interface (zooming, flicking) performance goes it did better than my HD5850 graphics card, the latter doesn't go above idle clocks in mere interface work while the i5's graphics clock up, which is the likely reason. The few GPU accelerated OpenCL filters also worked after Intel fixed some bug in the driver, but I didn't compare performance there. I also didn't hard test the factor that was the graphics memory limit in previous Photoshop versions, seeing as the HD4000 graphics could only be assigned up to 256MB in BIOS. If that's the hard limit however I ought to have tripped it even in my brief testing so there might be improvements to CS6 on that, or perhaps the Intel driver can demand more memory if it needs to.

    Anyway in both cases it was necessary to set the OpenGL Drawing Mode setting to Basic for smooth operation. Not sure what cards do well with the Normal/Advanced, and Adobe aren't saying.
  14. blibbax

    blibbax nahm8

    I checked your specs when reading this, and briefly became very confused. The 3870K is an AMD model iirc, but I think it's a typo :p

    Thanks for the info, though. Shame you don't have an Nvidia >8800 around to compare and contrast.

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