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How many GPU cores does a MAC need to use Illustrator and Photoshop

New Here ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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I'm going to buy a MAC to use Illustrator and Photoshop
How many GPU cores are required for minimum and recommended system requirements?
Because the product specifications on APPLE's official website show that the GPU core is not the GPU memory

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Community Expert ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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Surprisingly - it's more about the CPU than the GPU - if you have a 4k display then more cores possibly better in the GPU.

 

Photoshop can operate with a low-end GPU - most onboard graphics use between 512-1024mb of Memory which is fine for a 1080 screen. 

 

It's the CPU that requires a bit of oomph and plenty of Scratch Disk space for Photoshop - so a larger Hard Drive is preferred. 

 

https://helpx.adobe.com/ie/photoshop/using/scratch-disks-preferences.html

 

If you can afford all the GPU cores then go for it.

 

But in terms of the CPU - Photoshop and Illustrator top out at about 8 cores - after that more cores are not going to help. 

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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Sorry I should emphasise that it's not really about cores but how much memory the GPU has - for the Macbook it should be enough for the display in 4k - which is more than enough for Photoshop. So it's not about Cores in the GPU really. 

My advice, get what you can afford to get now.

 

You cannot upgrade anything in the Mac - you can't upgrade RAM, Hard Drive Space or GPU. 

Max out at the top end of your budget while you can.

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New Here ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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Do you have any accurate suggestions for me to buy a MAC computer?
like system requirements
CPU: M1 Pro ↑
RAM: 16G↑
GPU: 8 cores↑
Hard disk: 512G↑

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Community Expert ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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M1 Pro is more than enough

16gb RAM - I'd actually go to 32gb for heavy photoshop work

GPU - 8 cores is fine (it's not really about GPU cores and there's no info from Mac on their memory).

And at least 1TB hard disk (photoshop files can be quite large)

 

You should also look at external storage. 

 

As it might come down to affordability

Aim for more

CPU

then RAM

then HD space

then GPU

 

In my opinion.

 

What's your budget and where are you buying from?

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Community Expert ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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Agree with that, but for M1 I would put the minimum at 32 GB RAM. 16 GB is fine for a machine with a discrete video card.

 

"Unified memory" is just a fancy marketing name for a shared memory pool for the system and GPU.

 

In normal Photoshop operation, the GPU will eat up a very large chunk of that memory, perhaps as much as half. So 16 GB in an M1 machine is more comparable to 8 GB + discrete GPU.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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Hey @D Fosse I did actually say 32gb would be my preference too 😄 

 

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Community Expert ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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Indeed you did 🙂

 

In the broader picture, RAM isn't nearly as important now as it used to be. With the new crazy fast NVMe drives, the Photoshop scratch disk isn't really a bottleneck anymore. Gen 4 PCIe has a nominal speed of 8000 MB/s. While I'm sure RAM is theoretically faster, that's more or less academic. You're not sitting around waiting, that's the main thing.

 

All in all, I think 32 GB is comfortable for most practical scenarios, in the sense that you probably won't notice much difference going to 64 or 128.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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Also they want to use Illustrator on top of it. 32gb is kinda standard these days unless you're going into animation/video editing then we're talking 64gb or higher. 

 

But definitely running Illustrator/Photoshop side by side - 32gb should be the job.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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Here are some suggestions from Adobe for GPU issues.

https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/troubleshoot-gpu-graphics-card.html

I hope this helps, perhaps it has some tips for you

 

neil barstow, colourmanagement net :: adobe forum volunteer:: co-author: 'getting colour right'

google me "neil barstow colourmanagement" for lots of free articles on colour management

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