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Hardware Acceleration For Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop


Tell that to my wife who does it professionally. I had to build her more than what you are suggesting. I was just comparing her work case and at what level my wife stopped bitching. YMMV.

Buying a 4 core processor at this point when building new is a waste of money IMHO.

Not sure why the OP’s girlfriend would need two power supplies though. That is overkill.


I have a GTX 770 2gb. Would that be a good pair with, say, a ryzen 6 core and a bunch of ram?


Yeah that card will do fine.

Like we’ve been saying, go with a Quad core, 16 gb and use the extra scrilla on a good monitor and pro calibrator

This list will be more than enough in combination with that 770 to do everything your girlfriend needs. The Monitor/Colorimeter is the most important peripheral for Graphic design. Anything past this is and will continue ot be overkill unless she suddenly changes workflow to all 3d architectural renders, in which case you can just swap the gpu.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU AMD - Ryzen 5 1400 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor $156.69 @ OutletPC
Motherboard ASRock - AB350M Pro4 Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard $74.49 @ SuperBiiz
Memory G.Skill - Flare X 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory $126.99 @ Amazon
Storage Crucial - MX300 1.1TB 2.5" Solid State Drive $267.99 @ SuperBiiz
Case Corsair - 200R ATX Mid Tower Case $69.99 @ Newegg
Power Supply SeaSonic - S12II 520W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply $32.98 @ Newegg
Monitor Dell - UP2516D 25.0" 2560x1440 60Hz Monitor $463.59 @ Amazon
Other X-Rite ColorMunki Display (CMUNDIS) $155.00 @ Amazon
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total (before mail-in rebates) $1362.72
Mail-in rebates -$15.00
Total $1347.72


The small is the right size. Mine is the next size up and it’s weird moving my tablet arm more than my mouse arm would move.


wow, that’s come waaay down in price.

I’ve been using Yiynova and Huion parts since wacom decided to jack up their prices a while back


Although I do not agree with @tkoham about a quad core, his advice is sound. The system has to be in balance with priorities given to what is most important. That is why a budget is most important when considering parts.

As far as GTX 770, it will work. My wife has a ROG laptop she uses when we are on the go. It has a 770M and i7. It just does it because most of which I would have to say is due to thermal throttling. You would not have that issue.

It is $42 more for a 6 core without sacrificing clock speed and ya never know Adobe might one day optimize their junk code and utilize more threads. It will also balance out more apps or programs she may run in the background.


I feel like I should have went the Huion myself instead of Wacom cause they had a tiny one for $30 or a larger one for $75 than the Wacom one that is still taking it’s time being delivered.


when it comes to ryzen 5, value wise, spending $20 more for 2 more cores and 4 more threads seems like a no brainer


The reason I’m recommending a quad is that it’s a purpose built computer for one or two applications that have very easy-to-characterize performance. We know that for Graphical design, the display and input peripherals, as well as the equipment to adequately calibrate them, are the most important components. If his budget caps out around 1300, as in the build posted in his previous post, that means compromises have to be made.

I’ve owned an octocore system as well as a quad core, and at the same frequencies, background processes, GPU and exact same RAM dimms, the two have no appreciable performance differences in PS or illustrator. The only time the quad core system lags behind is when I’m forced to save to HDD on the rare occasions I forget to clear my scratch disk. I do large format vector work, and animation, and I’ve yet to see the quad core choke.

@DrewSaga I’ve owned both, the huions compare favorably to the “pro” Wacom tablets, especially in the price department. Replacement nibs and pens are also far, far cheaper.

The Yiynovas kick the pants off of the Intuos display tablets as well when price is factored in.

@Spacejamflam the 6 core part won’t convey any real world benefit for graphic design unless your wife is also doing excel programming and playing counter strike while doing her work simultaneously. If you can afford it with a nice monitor (the one I listed is easily he best value for Graphics work atm) then go for it, otherwise there’s no real need.


what do you suggest for scratch disk config? I was thinking an NVMe drive with a 50ish GB partition and a 2tb hhd for storange


I wouldn’t bother with it, just get the cheapest 500gb-1tb SSD per gb you can find and call it a day.

Scratch disks only really help batch processing (video editing, animation.) The IO overhead isn’t appreciable if you get anywhere close to saturating SATA III

also, if you do want to do a scratch disk, you have to get your wife to incorporate good file transfer practices into her workflow for it to have any meaning, and you need direct IO, so a partition isn’t going to do much either, you need a whole device.

TL;DR not worth the price unless your (already adequate) system is hitting a wall, I’d reserve it as a potential future upgrade.

Also, go with an ODM PSU manufacturer like Seasonic or Superflower if she needs this machine for her livelihood.


Like I said @tkoham, you offer sound advice. And it is great we have someone in here with lots of real world experience to give that advice. Remember I just threw parts at my wife till she stopped bitching. Worth every penny overkill or not.

I also plan to render farm so in a month or too I am going to build her a super overkill machine so I can use it in addition to mine.


Fringe benefits of married computing.

There was one time in college where I tricked 45 people into giving me a free render farm by advertising a “free primer on distributed computing” and told them to bring their laptops. I brought a switch and a host PC

I told them to plug in and run a script I provided when they walked in, and by the end of the presentation I had a 2.5k mandelbulber animation and a high poly motion track render for use in a video I was editing. The reveal had them psyched and I didn’t have to try and get supercomputer time or sneak into the labs.


Hate to say it but for adobe products you want Intel right now. 7700k with 32gb of ram, gtx 1050 and two ssd drives (one for scratch) is what you want for a fast system today. Adobe might get up off their ass and optimize for more cores but until then intel is king.

Here is a pretty good read on current systems and Photoshop


We’re shooting for adequate within a certain price range, not highest absolute performance. Yes, intel parts are marginally better at the same core counts for various photoshop functions.

Those intel parts are also more than twice as expensive. It makes far more sense to spend money on a proper monitor, colorimeter and tablet or other workflow peripherals than it does to get better benchmarks on the watercolor filter.

Because render times tend not to be the bulk of the 2d production process, as opposed to 3d or video editing, Raw CPU performance takes a back seat to I/O and accuracy.

Doesn’t matter if you have a 7700k and whatever the quadro equivalent of the titan is if you’re running them on a cheap TN panel that you can’t calibrate and only does 65% of the aRGB colorspace, or have to illustrate on a 3"x4" drawing tablet that doesn’t match it’s aspect ratio and registers pressure badly.

Also, you 100% do not need 32gb of ram for photoshop or illustrator for any non-beyond-fringe application, and a scratch disk makes a lot more sense on a system that uses HDDs. (It’s a performance increase, sure, but the price of that increase isn’t worth it and should be looked at more a a down the road upgrade than a must-have feature)


While I’m sure the Huion tablets are good, I have been using Wacom tablets since forever (AutoCAD) and they are solid. The customer + tech support and drivers and other software are excellent even on the cheaper products. I have the Bamboo Fun (8.5x11 = 4 button) tablet.

I prefer using absolute (pen at top left on tablet = top left on screen) as opposed to mouse mode. With the pen only, no finger touch.


No one’s saying they’re bad; they’re certainly the industry standard equipment. What’s compelling about the alternatives is that you can get similar or the same digitizers in products that cost as little as 160% less than what the wacoms do.


A Wacom tablet for $57 ain’t too much for the real thing.
Plus drivers, Plus apps, Plus service, Plus demos, Plus discounts, Plus email newletters - Wacom will back up their products a lot.


I’m talking about their professional product lines. Their consumer stuff has actually come down a lot in price recently.

Like I said, they’re perfectly fine, but there are valid alternatives that cost less when you get into the screen digitizers and larger areas.


For sure, I got a small intuos 4 for sound design a couple years back, and it has been very accurate. I think I got it on eBay, don’t remember, but yeah they’re out there for cheap.