Adobe Photoshop System Requirements

Are you into visual designs? Do you enjoy experimenting with different colours and shapes? If so, then Adobe Photoshop is the ultimate tool for you.

Adobe Photoshop System Requirements

Adobe Photoshop System Requirements

Photoshop is a popular image editing software that can be used to create fantastic graphic designs or even just basic edits of your photos. But before you download and start using it, make sure that your hardware has the minimum system requirements to run Photoshop properly.

This blog will provide you with the hardware specifications as well as the recommended specifications for running Adobe Photoshop. 

Adobe Photoshop Minimum System Requirements

Whether you’re a professional photographer or just someone who likes to edit your photos for fun, Adobe Photoshop is a very advanced and useful software.

The minimum requirements when it comes to running the application are the following:

 For Windows

  • 1.5GHz Intel processor or equivalent
  • 2GB RAM (4 GB recommended)
  • 250MB of available hard-disk space for installation
  • 1024×768 display (1280×800 recommended) with 16-bit color and
  • 12 MB VRAM (1 GB recommended)
  • Adobe Reader 7 and above.

For macOS

  • 2.4 GHz Intel processor or equivalent
  • 4 GB RAM (8 GB recommended)
  • 250MB of available hard-disk space for installation
  • 1280×800 resolution display (1680 x 1050 recommended) with 16-bit color
  • 512 MB VRAM (1 GB recommended)

Adobe Photoshop Recommended System Requirements

According to Adobe, to enjoy the best result out of the software, these are the system specifications that you should have:

For Windows

  • Intel quad-core processor or higher
  • 8GB RAM (16 GB recommended)
  • 1GB VRAM for a single monitor;
  • 2GB for a double monitor setup
  • Adobe Reader version 9 and above.

 For macOS

  • NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT or higher (GeForce 9600 GT or RADEON HD 2900 series)
  • 8GB RAM (16 GB recommended)
  • 2GB VRAM for a single monitor;
  • Adobe Reader version 9 and above.

If you don’t have the specs needed to run Photoshop properly, then you need to upgrade your computer’s hardware.


Definitely, there are reasons why Adobe Photoshop kept its minimum system requirement quite low, and in the case of Photoshop CC, it has been increased by 100MB.

Take note that this program expands its performance demand from your laptop or computer’s hardware once the task gets more complicated.  Some factors that may trigger to increase the performance demand are  the following:

  • Tasks with multiple layers or channels
  • Tasks with more than 20 brushes
  • Tasks with more than 30 effects
  • Tasks that have complex operations such as Masks, Gradients, Reflections, and Lens

Hence, running it on a laptop that has a lower specification than the required minimum system requirement may result in various problems and errors.


Adobe suggests that you use at least 2GHz or a faster CPU. If you can afford something better, it will be worth it. Photoshop uses the CPU for most of its tasks; that’s why you need to get 3GHz or even higher for the best results.

More importantly, you need to get at least 3 or 4 cores for the CPU if you want to have more room for hardware-accelerated features. It’s even better if you have 6 or 8 cores.

WARNING: Adobe Photoshop cannot use efficiently higher core counts because they have to be shared by Photoshop and the operating system.


Have at least 8GB of RAM, but more than that is recommended for using a lot of plugins. If Photoshop becomes a memory hog, then it’ll start swapping the image from the memory to the hard drive.

If you have 4GB RAM, then you can add 2 more RAM for Photoshop. Also, don’t forget to install plenty of Ram if you intend to use the GPU power for rendering.

Graphics Processor Card

If you’re planning to edit or render videos, then you’ll need a powerful card. Photoshop CS5 and CC can work with up to 2 graphics cards, but that doesn’t mean it’s possible to use all of them at the same time.

Full-featured Adobe Premiere Pro CC won’t support more than 2 video cards, but it does support dual DVI and DisplayPort outputs for high-end solutions.

We highly suggest going for the fastest graphics card you can afford like GeForce GTX 10 or more powerful.

For rendering, use Kepler and Maxwell cards if you are planning to use the GPU power. Also, for editing videos in high-resolution, we recommend using a GTX 970 or a more powerful card.

Virtual Memory (RAM Swap)

The recommended amount of RAM swap is a minimum of 1GB, but it’s better to get more than that. If you are planning to use the GPU power, then it’ll be better to have a 2GB of RAM swap. The OpenGL 2.0-capable system DVD-ROM drive for installation is highly recommended for a smooth transfer.

Hard Drive

Make sure that your hard drive has 250MB of available space for installation. At least 250GB of storage is recommended for a multi-layer Photoshop file. We highly recommend getting a solid-state drive for faster transfer and better speed.

Hard Disk

When it comes to hard disk space, the minimum requirement that you need is at least 4GB and additional space is needed for installation. If the operating system is installed on the PC, then you need at least 8GB of free space.

If you’re planning to use the GPU power or a large amount of images, a solid-state drive is recommended. SSD, or Solid State Drive, is rapidly gaining popularity due to its fast transfer rate and low price. Since the hard disk will see more frequent access than other parts of the computer, it’s good to have lots of additional space on it.

From a practical point of view and the cost factor, we recommend getting an external drive for your Photoshop system.

Meanwhile, Adobe recommends that you use no less than 9GB for installing Photoshop CS6 and CC, but you can get away with more space if you know what to do. Also, you need to have at least 4GB if you want to use Panorama or 3D features of Photoshop CS6.

Take note that Photoshop won’t install on a volume that uses a case-sensitive system.

With a case-sensitive file system, the data on the volume may be read from the disk differently depending on how you open the file.

ACID-based operating system, such as Mac OS X and Linux, support case-sensitive file systems, but they can’t be accessed by Photoshop.

In order to avoid that Adobe Photoshop gets confused when you open a case-sensitive file with your operating system, it’s best to run a program that removes the case-sensitive characters before opening the file with Photoshop.


If you’re using Photoshop on a laptop or laptop-class computer, then you need at least 8GB of RAM. It is even more necessary if you’re using the GPU power for rendering.

The GPU or graphics card is the most important part of the whole system since it processes the images and videos, which are then displayed on your screen. 

The video card memory or VRAM is the RAM used by the GPU. The more VRAM you have, the more images and videos you can display on your monitor at once. If you are using multiple monitors, then it is recommended to get a video card with 4GB of VRAM or more.

For complex editing, you will need at least a video card with 2GB of VRAM. This is because you cannot edit 4K videos with less than 2GB of video card memory. If you’re planning to use more than two monitors, then you will also need this much VRAM.


Storage space is the most important part of the whole Photoshop system. You can hardly even imagine how many pictures you will take and you will also need lots of RAW images, so a lot of drives are definitely needed.

A separate hard disk should be used for work with a large file size (over 8GB). The modern solid state drive is gaining popularity because of its speed and low price. If you prefer working with standard photos, then we would recommend using an external drive.

Hard disks must be large enough to hold the RAW images from your camera and also other large files such as PSD and JPG.

If you have big space of a larger hard disk, then you can even add storage in RAID 0. For work on the computer, you will need at least 2-3GB of free space for the system to work properly. If your system works well, then you can reserve some space for videos, photos or other programs that are running on the computer.

Screen Size and Resolution

Adobe Photoshop can work on anything that has a screen size between 10 and 64 inches.

In the latter case, you need a resolution display of 1366 x 768 or higher. When you are working with multiple monitors, then it’s best to have 800 x 600 or higher. If you are planning to edit movies or videos, then it’s best to have at least 1080p.

A standard laptop with a display size of 15″ has a resolution of 1366 x 768 – that’s the minimum resolution for using Photoshop efficiently and effectively. Anything lower will just be a waste of system resources.

A monitor with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels or higher is the standard for most designers. Large monitors and high screen resolutions are always the standards if you’re working with videos.

Multimonitor Support

You can use Photoshop CS5 and CC on a dual monitor system, which is recommended by many experts. Photoshop’s multi-monitor support is mostly for the purpose of having a larger screen space, but it’s also recommended for getting better performance and productivity during your editing sessions.

It’s not just the number of monitors that determine the screen space that you have to work with; it’s also their size and resolution.

Internet Connection

You need a good internet connection when you are working with Photoshop because it will download and access all the content that you’ll use. A 2Mbps DSL connection is the standard, but you need a faster internet connection if you are working on large files or projects.

App Installation

To make the Photoshop machine work correctly, some applications need to be installed as well. They are not bundled with the main application but will make it work better.

Camera Raw 6.6 and Lightroom 4 or newer can be downloaded as a standalone plug-in for Photoshop CS5 or CC. Other programs such as Bridge, Camera Raw, and Lightroom are automatically installed via the Adobe Application Manager and can also be downloaded separately from there.

 Adobe Camera Raw

Camera Raw is a special Photoshop feature that helps you get the best possible photo editing results. The features of Camera Raw are similar to those of Adobe Bridge, but they’re separate from each other.

The Camera Raw feature allows you to edit, convert, and improve your photos directly in Photoshop CC. You don’t need to install the Camera Raw plug-in separately. The plug-in is available in the Camera Raw folder inside the Photoshop installation.

The system requirement for Adobe Camera Raw is to have a computer with at least 32-bit Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 operating system, or a Mac using Mac OS X 10.6 or newer version. Your computer must also have at least 512MB of RAM memory and a 2GHz processor.


Photoshop is a highly versatile and user-friendly graphics editing application, which makes it a very powerful tool to use. Whether you are just starting out as an amateur or an expert of Photoshop, it has lots of features and tools that will surely help you achieve your goals. It’s really a must-have for everyone who loves to work on professional design and graphics.

James Avery

The lead editor for the laptop team at GetSuperBook, Avery has been an integral part since the beginning. With 5 years of experience at one of the biggest IT firms, his experience, MBA in IT, and love for tech make him the ideal person to help you guys make better buying decisions.

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