Photoshop is a resource-intensive program. To get the most out of Photoshop, you’ll want a system with at least 8GB RAM. This will give you plenty for quick edits and multi-tasking. If you’re looking for a heftier system, Photoshop will use 16 GB RAM or more for extended work sessions.
Of course, the more RAM you have, the faster Photoshop will run and the more open Photoshop will be to running other programs at the same time. For serious graphics work, you’ll want as much RAM as you can get.
In this blog post, we’ll explain how much RAM Photoshop uses and provide tips to help you get the most out of your system.
Adobe Photoshop: What You Need to Know
Adobe Photoshop is often considered the gold standard for image and graphic editing. It’s also one of the highest performance pieces of software available for digital art creation today.
Photoshop has changed a lot in recent years, but its core feature set remains largely unchanged: it enables you to edit and retouch images and design graphics with effects, textures, and typography. However, it’s important to understand that, while Photoshop is a very advanced program, it is a resource hog.
Why Photoshop Uses a Lot of RAM
In order to understand how much RAM you need for Adobe Photoshop, it’s important to know how the program functions.
When you open an image in Photoshop, it is loaded into memory and a copy is saved to your computer’s hard drive as well. While this may seem like overkill, the reason behind this system is its performance.
When Photoshop is loaded, it uses a copy of your image while you manipulate and edit it in the workspace. In order to preserve that instance of the edited photo, Photoshop has to keep track of both the original and the current version you’re working on.
If Photoshop doesn’t overwrite your start file with your end file, you can lose a lot of work. Use the edit history feature to see how far back your started and track changes, or use the undo command (CTRL + Z) if you need to go back further.
This is also why it’s very important not to save over your original file with each iteration of edits – doing so will kill your edit history and undo feature.
You can also run into trouble if you have too many files open at once. Photoshop is only able to access a limited amount of RAM at any given time – if you start to push that limit, the program will begin swapping data between your computer’s RAM and its hard drive. This greatly diminishes performance and can often cause you to lose work.
Running Other Programs in the Background
We mentioned that Photoshop requires a lot of RAM, but it’s also important to note that this is only during major edits or file manipulations. If you’re just looking at a photo in Photoshop and not doing anything with it, chances are there isn’t much going on in your RAM.
If you’re doing a lot of work at once or running other programs in the background, it’s best to free up as much memory as possible by closing any unnecessary files. If you’re not working with large files that require Photoshop’s advanced capabilities, consider using image-editing software such as GIMP instead – it can be far more efficient with your computer’s resources.
So How Much RAM Does Photoshop Need?
While the amount of RAM your computer needs will be different depending on what you’re using it for, a good rule of thumb is that more is always better.
Our computers are like our bodies – they can only process so much at once and need time to rest and recover when we push them too far. If you’re doing high-end work, make sure your computer has an adequate amount of RAM to handle it.
A good starting point is 8 GB – but even more will be better in the long run. While you can technically get away with using less memory, Photoshop’s quick-swapping system and performance issues will slow you down.
The Bottom Line: More RAM Means a Better Workflow
As we’ve discussed, Photoshop’s requirements for memory can be demanding and your computer will run more smoothly with as much memory as possible. As an added bonus, the more RAM you have, the less strain you’ll put on your CPU because of swapping – which in turn means a speedier overall workflow.
So think long and hard before buying that new computer – not only will it run more efficiently, but you’ll be able to get more done in less time.
Photoshop needs a good amount of memory in order to run smoothly. It is suggested you have a minimum of 8 GB. If you are working with large images or just like to keep other programs open for easy access, consider getting more RAM.
If you’re looking at buying a new computer, be sure to shop according to your needs and budget, as well as the type of work you’ll be doing; a more expensive but efficient model will go further than a cheap one that won’t meet your requirements in the long-run.