GPU vs CPU upgrade, GPU preview / CPU bottleneck?

Community Beginner ,
Sep 04, 2022 Sep 04, 2022

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I'm currently using Adobe Illustrator CC, latest version, on a PC with a Nvidia Gforce GTX 1660 GPU and a AMD Ryzen 5 3600 6-core CPU. 

 

I normally use GPU preview, but I use extremely large files with lots of objects, layers, embedded images and appearance effects. Because of this I often run into large amounts of lag. 

 

I have already maximised my workflow efficiency such as using linked images where possible, and saving all high-intensity effects and rendering to the last stages of each project. I have now hit a wall where workflow efficiency is no longer helping and I am considering upgrading my CPU or GPU.

 

I'm considering getting a high-end GPU such as the RTX 3090, or perhaps a higher-end CPU, but my question is which will be a more effective upgrade in the first instance. Does GPU preview bypass a CPU bottleneck for rendering effects like blur and zooming? Or am I better off spreading my money out and getting a mid-range GPU and CPU upgrade together? 

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Community Expert ,
Sep 04, 2022 Sep 04, 2022

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Hi @user2712901 Well, I imagine you'll find lots of opinions on this topic. I'm always of the mind that you start by buying the best brain you can (the CPU) and as much installed RAM as you afford. This is to get the speed you need. I have an Intel 11th Gen card (i7-11800H @ 2.30GHz 2.30 GHz). With chip shortages earlier this year, I was not able to get the i9, which is what I wanted. But my system, with 64GB of RAM, is running Illustrator flawlessly. My primary apps are Photoshop and InDesign, so you are likely putting Illustrator through a lot more paces that I normally do.

 

You want a dedicated graphics card (GPU) that is geared for graphics, not gaming. (People do report problems when running Adobe products using gaming drivers instead of studio drivers.) I have a mid-range card (NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060) that keeps up fine, but the 3090 will have a kick for sure with 24GB of memory. You may not really need that much horsepower if you aren't also gaming. I did a lot of research into this when I upgraded in April, but everything changes so quickly! Hope this is helpful.

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Adobe Employee ,
Sep 05, 2022 Sep 05, 2022

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Hello user2712901,

 

Thanks for reaching out. As pointed out by Jain, a well-balanced system would be best suited for your work in Illustrator. You may also want to check Task Manager running in Always on Top while working in Illustrator to check if a particular resource (CPU/Memory/GPU/Hard Drive) is overwhelmed. That should be a good start to working on your upgrades.


 

Kindly update this thread if you need further assistance. We'd be happy to help.

 

Thanks,

Anubhav

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 06, 2022 Sep 06, 2022

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Hi there,

I am well aware of the wounds of not having proper answers to these kind of questions. (Get to buy +++$ of components and don't see to much of an upgraded experience.

So i will sum up very simple: 

1. Get a capable CPU (though you'll barely go with CPU preview because it's not always the fastest and doesn't look the nicest) -> Capable enough to manage 64 GB Of RAM

2. Get 64 GB of RAM

3. Get at least a 3070 TI (even so, such GPU will barely go in loads over 50%, you just have to anticipate managing those spikes in the BUS between RAM memory and VRAM, because i think there's some sort of memory content transfer management in there, since you work with compex files.

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