Updated on August 14, 2022
Graphics processing units (GPUs) are used heavily by Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, and Illustrator. Graphics performance will suffer if the GPU is underpowered. To use these programmes, you’ll need a high-end computer.
However, upgrading your GPU doesn’t always necessitate purchasing a new computer. Any PC with a graphics card upgrade slot can be used for this purpose. When choosing a graphics card, there are a few things to keep in mind.
That will be addressed at a later time. To get you started, here are the top 10 best graphics cards you can buy for Photoshop, Lightroom, and Illustrator.
Best Graphics Cards for Photoshop Lightroom & Illustrator
1. ZOTAC GeForce RTX 3060 Twin Edge
NVIDIA Ampere is the basis for the ZOTAC GeForce RTX 30 Series. Just as well for Photoshop and Lightroom and Illustrator as a gaming graphics card. PCI-e 3.0, PCI Express 4.0, and 12 GB of DDR6 GDDR6 are all included in this model.
The GDDR6 memory, upgraded RT cores, and Tensor cores, and new multiprocessors make this a powerful graphics card. The second-generation RT cores provide two times the throughput of the first.
The tensor cores are third-generation and also give up to twofold across the board.. Because Ray tracing is supported by your graphics card, you get real-time cinematic rendering. Edit your photographs and movies to their most potential using this tool.
Rendering is done using NVIDIA’s DLSS AI technology on the graphics card. To increase frame speeds without sacrificing quality, it employs artificial intelligence. There are a plethora of options for customising your display’s resolution and other parameters.
The IceStorm 2.0 powerful cooling technology means you don’t have to be concerned about overheating. Active fan control, freeze fan stop, and an 11-blade fan are all included. A broad aluminium array heatsink and an upgraded heat pipe architecture are also included.
2. ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1650 OC 4GB
Zotac has designed a little graphics card. New-generation graphics based on NVIDIA’s Turing architecture and with ultra-fast memory.
The characteristics of the Zotac GeForce GTX 1650 OC graphics card are outstanding. There are 896 CUDA cores, 4 GB of GDDR6 VRAM, a Boost clock of 1620 MHz, a memory clock of 12 Gbps, and a PCI Express 3.0 interface.
HDCP, Triple Display, and OpenGL 4.6 are also supported by this graphics card. Power usage is 75 watts with a suggested power supply of 350 watts. Its low power consumption is a major selling point for this card.
With its dual-slot design and 4K support, the Zotac GeForce GTX 1650 OC is a powerful graphics card. Despite its small size, it is compatible with 99.9% of computers. There’s a good chance it will work on your computer.
The cooling system for this graphics card is a single fan. The fan has stripped blades and measures 90mm in diameter. It also has a sunflower heat disc that distributes heat evenly, resulting in a more efficient cooling process.
A new Zotac Firestorm user interface is also featured in the graphics. An easy-to-use interface makes it simple to change settings and keep tabs on the health of your devices.
3. XFX Radeon RX 580 GTS XXX Edition
XFX’s offering is the third best graphics card for Photoshop, Lightroom, and Illustrator on this list. Powered by the latest Polaris architecture, this Radeon RX 580 graphics card has 8GB of VRAM.
The Next FinFET 14 manufacturing technology, 4th Gen GCN graphics processors, new multimedia cores, and a new display engine are all included. You get advanced performance and efficiency.
True clock is 1366 MHZ, 8000 MHZ memory clock is 256-bit, and 2304 stream processors are included in the graphics card’s specifications. The XFX True Clock Technology, which is hardware-controlled, is a notable feature of the device.
This technology ensures that the graphics card is constantly running at its best speed. XFX True Clock Technology XFX Zero dB Auto Load Sensing Fans are also included.
To avoid irritating fan noise, the autoload detecting fans reduce RPM when necessary. It can slow down to 0 RPM if necessary, yet it can also pick up speed quickly.
You can edit 4K video and photos with this graphics card. A three-year guarantee is also included with this XFX graphics card. Radeon RX 580 GTS XXX Edition In the event that the card is defective, you’ll receive a refund or replacement.
4. MSI GeForce RTX 3070 LHR 8GB
Another Nvidia Ampere-based graphics card has been released. The new SM has 2X FP32 throughput, making it twice as fast. It has RT cores from the second and third generations, respectively.
DLSS AI acceleration is used on this graphics card with 8GB VRAM. Lightroom users who edit high-quality films will appreciate how this achieves the highest possible quality and frames per second (FPS).
In addition, ray tracing is supported for cinematic-quality rendering on this platform. MSI’s dragon centre software makes it easy to adjust and monitor your system’s settings. MSI’s graphics card software is easy to use, with a user-friendly interface.
The Tri Frozr 2 cooling technology is employed by this graphics card. Fan speeds are kept to a minimum so as not to interfere with your work, thanks to the system’s careful balance of cooling and noise.
The deflectors direct air to the areas of the body that need cooling. There is an Airflow Control to improve airflow dynamics. Precision-machined core pipes also distribute heat evenly across the heatsink for maximum cooling.
When the heat is turned on, the Zero Frozr feature kicks in and keeps the fan running even when it’s set to a very low temperature. Thermal pads on the graphics card help distribute heat more effectively. With the MSI GeForce RTX 3070 LHR graphics card, overheating is virtually impossible.
5. VisionTek Radeon 5450 2GB DDR3
The VisionTek Radeon 5450 2GB DDR3 graphics card provides both value and functionality. At 5.9 inches in length and 0.6 inches in height, the VisionTek Radeon 5450 2GB DDR3 graphics card is quite small.
Using a Radeon 5450 graphics card and 2GB of RAM, you may use GPU rendering in Photoshop and Lightroom. HDMI, VGA, and DVI-I are all supported. Just 1GB of system memory is required to install the graphics card.
This graphics card has AMD Avivo HD Video & Display Technology, which is an intriguing feature to note. The 5000 series graphics processors provide enhanced image processing, which will be more appreciated by gamers.
While editing photographs and movies, you can apply hefty effects and filters without a hitch. In addition, AMD’s PowerPlay Technology is worth noting.
Power consumption is reduced when working with heavy graphics thanks to AMD PowerPlay Technology, which strikes a balance between efficiency and performance.
If you register your VisionTek Radeon 5450 2GB DDR3 graphics card within 30 days of purchase, you’ll obtain a three-year limited guarantee. The warranty is only good for one year if you don’t register.
6. ASUS GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB
This is a well-known graphics card that is also one of the most durable. It is 2x longer than most other graphics cards because to the inclusion of a twin ball-bearing design.
For added security, a thick backplate covers the card’s sensitive rear-side parts. In addition, the circuit board is better protected in this way.
An NVIDIA chipset and PCI Express 3.0 interface are built into the graphics card. Its clock speed is 7008 MHz. As a result, it is compatible with NVIDIA GPU Boost, which dynamically increases clock speed based on your specific workload.
The airflow performance is increased by twofold when using two tuned fans. Thanks to improved cooling, intensive effects and visuals can be loaded without fear of overheating.
The fans’ lifespans are likewise longer. In accordance with the International Protection Marking (IPM), they have been deemed dust-resistant (IP code). As a result of this certification, the fans are able to work in extremely harsh environments.
If you’re using your graphics card at full capacity, you won’t have to worry about it consuming a lot of power or making much noise.
Lastly, the ASUS GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4GB graphics card is one of the most economical graphics cards for Adobe applications including Photoshop, Lightroom, and Illustrator.
7. EVGA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti FTW3
Tensor and RT cores have been improved on this 8GB graphics card from the EVGA. The G6X RAM and powerful multiprocessors make it extremely speedy. The I/0 data rate is also rather high.
In addition to its 6144 CUDA cores, 256 memory bit width, and 19000 MHz memory clock, the EVGA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti FTW3 graphics card has a PCIe 4.0 bus and an 1860 MHz boost clock.
Like the majority of the other items on this list, the graphics card is built on the NVIDIA Ampere Architecture. Accelerates frame rates by using DLSS AI acceleration. Using this method, you may alter high-resolution images without sacrificing quality.
3D rendering and 8K video editing can be done with the graphics card’s capability. To reduce overheating, it contains a number of novel features. A 180-degree heatpipe and ventilation chambers surrounding the heatsink ensure adequate airflow.
It also has three fans, which improves cooling performance without producing too much noise. The fans automatically shut off when the temperature drops below 55 degrees, making no noise.
8. MSI GeForce GTX 1660
The GeForce GTX 1660 from MSI comes in second place on this ranking. The recommended power supply for this graphics card is 450 watts, and it consumes 120 watts of power. More power efficient than most MSI GeForce GTX 1660s. 1.4 times more efficient.
6GB of GDDR VRAM is included, as well as an 1830 MHz Boost Clock, and a 192-bit memory interface. For optimal speed, it makes advantage of NVIDIA Architecture and the NVIDIA Turing shaders.
The Dragon Center’s RGB lighting support is a special feature of the graphics card. It is possible to select from a wide range of lighting effects and colours while editing your photographs and videos.
MSI’s Twin Frozr 7 Thermal Design is present on this graphics card as well. A regular fan blade sends air to the heat sink while the dispersion blade speeds up the airflow.
Even at maximum performance, the heatsink is well-optimized for efficient heat dissipation. To make things even more convenient, as the load drops, the Zero Frozr technology shuts down the fan on its own.
9. MAXSUN AMD Radeon RX 550
In terms of capacity, the MAXSUN AMD Radeon RX 560 is a 4GB card. High frame rates are guaranteed thanks to Microsoft’s DirectX 12 (DX12) technology. Almost any situation can be accommodated by the card’s dimensions.
These ports are available on this graphics card: DVI, HDMI, and DP. Aside from that, it features a 50W TDP, 512 stream processors, and a memory speed of 6000MHz. It also includes a PCI Express X16 3.0 bus.
Video and picture editing in 4K are no problem with the AMD Radeon RX 550 of the MAXSUN. Additionally, if you have Windows 7, 8, or any other recent version, this graphics card will be a great fit.
This is due to the Vulkan API’s inclusion. The Vulkan API allows for close-to-metal control, which results in greater overall performance for the end-user. Vulkan is the best graphics card API out there.
Radeon software from AMD can be used to tweak graphic settings. Using the ALT+R shortcut, you can edit directly in Photoshop or Lightroom.
AMD Radeon Chill ensures that this graphics card runs cool and is virtually free of overheating issues. Depending on how much labour you put in, this power-saving feature adjusts the frame rate. When you’re not working hard, it automatically reduces the frame rate to conserve battery life.
10. PowerColor Hellhound Spectral White AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT
The PowerColor Hellhound Spectral White AMD graphics card comes in at number 10 on the list. When compared to other graphics cards, the white design of this one stands out.
It has 12GB of GDDR6 video memory, a 2560 stream processor, a game clock of 2424 MHz, a boost frequency of 2581 MHz, and a memory clock of 16 Gbps, making it a powerful graphics card. High-quality polymer capacitors and two 8-pin PCI-E connectors help you get the most out of your system.
The graphics card’s heat dissipation is enhanced with a nickel-plated copper base, cooler heat pipes, and a triple fan design. As the cooling fan contains two ball bearings for four times the lifetime, this is a long lasting card.
When the fan is running, a white LED light illuminates the card. With a simple switch, you may turn off the LED lights. When the temperature drops below 60 degrees, the silent fan kicks in. Power usage and fan noise are reduced as a result.
How To Select The Best Graphics Card
You can’t just walk into a store and buy any graphics you want. You need to be sure that it will meet your needs and, most importantly, that it will work with your computer.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Check if you can upgrade your graphics card
There are a lot of laptops out there with graphics cards that are permanently attached to the motherboard and can’t be taken out. In Mac laptops, this is the most common problem.
In order to observe the graphics card’s connection to the motherboard, you should look at your system’s manual or open the case. Then see if an update to your graphics card is an option.
Graphics cards come in a variety of shapes and sizes as well. You should check the space in your case to see whether the graphics cards you intend to buy will fit.
Finally, the power requirements of graphics cards vary. You can find this information on the unit’s label or in the system’s manual. To see if it’s compatible, compare the capacity of the battery to that of your power supply.
Check other specifications
It’s possible to have graphics cards with a wide range of different characteristics. All aspects should be considered, even if some are more important than others. Graphics cards and computer performance specifications can be summarised as follows.
The RAM (Random Access Memory) capacity of the GPU is shown below. For 1080p output at high settings, a graphics card with at least 4GB of memory is required, with 6GB or more preferred.
In general, higher performance is associated with more available memory. However, other aspects such as the speed of the computer’s RAM have an impact as well.
The speed of a graphics card’s RAM, also known as its memory or bandwidth, can be measured. This is critical, as cards with the same memory capacity but varying speeds may perform very differently.
Make sure your power supply can connect to the graphics card before you buy it. Graphics cards come in a variety of power capacities, as previously noted.
PCIe’s 75 Watts is not enough power for most dedicated graphics cards. When the PC’s power supply is directly connected to the GPU, more power is available.
Thermal Design Power (TDP)
Thermodynamics In terms of power, we’re looking at how much energy and heat a GPU uses. A graphics card with a high thermal design power (TDP) will need more power.
In most cases, the manufacturer specifies the wattage at which a particular GPU can be used. Your system’s cooling requirements can be determined by its TDP.
In order to determine the length of a graphics card, the number of PCI-e slots it occupies in a computer’s chassis must be known. Your graphics card’s dimensions matter for many reasons, but the most crucial one is that it will fit in your case.
Check to see whether your GPU can fit on the PC’s motherboard. In today’s market, nearly all discrete GPUs make use of PCIe slots, the majority of which are 16x. GPUs are available with one, two, or even three slots.
Examine any peripherals that will be linked to the GPU, especially if they will necessitate a PCI-e slot. Make certain that your case can accommodate the components you intend to install. Inadequate space could result in poor cooling and performance.
Check the program requirements
Most software now supports more graphics cards thanks to advancements in computer hardware. Even yet, some graphics cards will not work with others.
Photoshop, Lightroom, and Illustrator all have varying GPU requirements from Adobe. If you’re looking for the greatest graphics card for a certain programme, you’ll want to consider this as well.
Photoshop, for example, requires the GPU to meet the following specifications:
It was either released in 2014 or after that time period.
It has a graphics processor with 512 MB of VRAM. here is all you need to work with Photoshop
For optimal performance, Photoshop requires at least 2 GB of VRAM. The more VRAM your graphics card has, the better it will run Photoshop.
Photoshop’s unsupported graphics card series is also listed by Adobe. Here are a few of them:
Radeon HD 4000 and Radeon HD 5500 graphics cards
More dated series of Intel HD graphics cards
nVidia GeForce 7000-series graphics cards
Consider your financial situation before deciding on a card. Fortunately, a powerful graphics card for your Adobe applications does not have to cost more than $500.
In spite of this, the most powerful graphics cards now on the market can cost upwards of $1,000. If you have the money, you can still get a graphics card that is more powerful than you need. Perhaps one day it will be useful to you.
Should You Buy A Graphics Card?
Some argue that apps like Lightroom, Photoshop, and Illustrator don’t rely heavily on the graphics processing unit (GPU). In the end, do you need to get a graphics card? Yes, that’s correct!
If you don’t have a strong graphics card, you can still use these design applications, but they won’t be as efficient as when you do. In addition, a graphics card is required to use all of the system’s functionality.
A GPU is needed for a number of complicated features. GPU acceleration is a well-known case in point. Real-time video playback can be sped up by utilising the GPU and CPU in conjunction with each other. The video editor will appreciate this function the most.
On 4K and 5K television sets, using a proper graphics card can greatly improve performance. You can get by with an older graphics card if you only utilise these programmes for the most basic of activities.
Also keep in mind that these editing programmes’ speed and responsiveness aren’t just based on their visuals. Memory, storage, write speed, and read speed are all critical considerations.
Photoshop, Lightroom, and Illustrator work will be faster and easier with the greatest graphics card.
Make careful to check the specifications and requirements before purchasing a graphics card.