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Best Budget GPU for Photoshop in 2021

Are you really confused about choosing the best graphics card for Adobe Photoshop? Just like other programs, Adobe also lists the minimum requirements to ensure the proper functioning of software like Photoshop, Lightroom, etc. For the past few years, Adobe has become more dependant on the GPU to run the latest versions of Photoshop. We did some research and found low budget GPUs that excel in performance when it comes to retouching your projects on Adobe Photoshop.

Although tasks like creating and editing images aren’t graphic-intensive, video cards can make things easier when it comes to add more quality to your images. Low to mid-range graphics cards are enough to support GPU accelerated effects, so you don’t need to waste your money on high-end GPUs.

Video cards from Nvidia are reliable and highly optimized for Adobe applications. Moreover, GPUs from Nvidia also excel in image rasterization and higher pixel density. On top of that, the affordable price tag makes Nvidia GPUs ideal for photo editing applications.

However, Photoshop and Lightroom don’t need you to throw more cash on the table for those expensive GPUs. So, under a $200 budget, you may find video cards that are perfect for adobe based applications. And if your work is complex, you can go for $300 to $400 graphics cards as well.

List of the Best Budget GPU for Photoshop

All in all, here are some of the top picks from our side according to your need and budget.

ASUS GeForce GTX 1060 3GB | The Best GPU for Photo Editing

the best photoshop graphics card

Key Specs

  • 1809 MHz Boost Clock
  • 3GB DDR5 Memory
  • PCI Express 3.0 Interface
  • 192-bit Memory Interface
  • 1152 Cuda Cores
  • 192 MB/s Bandwidth

The GTX 1060 is our favourite GPU when it comes to deal with high-end photo editing. This graphics card lies on a sweet spot between price and performance. Just under $400, you get a video card that comes with an 1809 MHz boost clock and advanced cooling technology.

The purple/blue RGB lining in the middle gives this mid-range graphics card a premium look. The overall design of this card is good and it doesn’t feel like if you are holding a low budget photo editing GPU. Although this is a mid-range card, it still holds a high spot in terms of performance and reliability.

With 3GB DDR5 of VRam, you can now edit photos or videos without any problem. Although the VRam is less than the standard 4GB, the ASUS GTX 1060 comes with more bandwidth and clock speed to quickly render your videos and photos.

The card has Patented Wing-Blade Fans to overcome any heat issues when dealing with graphic-intense tasks. It is a dual-slot graphics card that will require a 6-pin PCIe connector to power up. At last, this is an excellent GPU that comes at an affordable price.

Also Read About: Best Budget Graphics Cards for Photoshop CC

NVIDIA Quadro 5000 | Most Affordable GPU for Adobe Photoshop

affordable priced gpu for photoshop

Key Specs

  • Clock Speed 513 MHz
  • Bandwidth 120.0 GB/s
  • Memory Bus 320-bit
  • PCI Express 2.0 x16
  • 2.5 GB DDR5 VRAM
  • 352 Cuda Cores

The Nvidia Quadro 5000 is one of the best GPUs from the Quadro-Series. It is one of the best video cards out there in the market to deal with professional photo editing applications like Photoshop and Lightroom. For professional photographers or animation artists, this is an ideal GPU that lies just under the $200 price tag.

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With 2.5 GB DDR5 memory and a clock speed of 513 MHz, dealing with an image editing task won’t be a problem on this graphics card. Although the clock speed is not something that really amazed us at this point, more bandwidth and memory bus make this GPU a hot deal for photo editors.

This graphics card comes with Nvidia’s Fermi Architecture that makes each CUDA core act as a CPU to deliver optimal speed in professional applications. This function allows the GPU to take care of tasks that are otherwise reserved for the CPU. Moreover, architecture like this gives a free hand to photo or video editors to deal with multiple layers and effect in real-time.

Nvidia Quadro 5000 also has a 3D Stereoscopic connector to create stunning 3D images like a Pro. The card also supports the 3D Vision Pro which is an upgrade to previous version, the 3D Vision technology. Also, you can connect multiple monitors at the same time to work with intense graphic designing tasks.

As far as the performance is concerned, this GPU comes with 352 CUDA cores and bandwidth of 120GB/s. We tested out this GPU with Intel Core i7 9700K and 16 GB DDR4 ram and ran Viewperf 11. We also edited some photos in the Adobe Photoshop CC. The Quadro 5000 showed impressive results in both cases.

We also tested this GPU with Adobe Premiere Pro and composed several layers of HD content. The results were quite impressive in real-time playback. Overall, the Nvidia Quadro 5000 is an ideal graphics card for photoshop lovers. It is a bit outdated GPU, but good enough to create stunning images and HD content.

EVGA GeForce GT 740 | Most Valued GPU for Content Creators

highly recommeded photo editing graphics card

Key Specs

  • 1085 MHz Clock Speed
  • 4GB DDR5 Memory
  • Memory Bus 128-bit
  • Bandwidth 80GB/s
  • CUDA Cores 384
  • PCI Express 3.0 

The EVGA GeForce GT 740 has been getting the attention of photo and video editors due to its affordable price and decent features. This GPU delivers 13X faster photo editing as compared to the onboard graphics chips.

It comes with 4GB of DDR5 memory, 1085 MHz clock speed, and 80GB/s bandwidth to quickly edit videos and photos. Although this video card is a bit older, still it leads when it comes to retouching your projects in Adobe Photoshop.

The EVGA based graphics cards are quite impressive when it comes to high performance and cooling. This graphics card is super quiet as compared to the older GT 630. With more clock speed and VRam, this video card is worth buying if you are limited on budget and need a good quality GPU for photo editing and other light tasks.

The only improvement that it needs is the placement of HDMI ports as these are pretty close to the mounting brackets. Other than that, this GPU is cost-saver when it comes to edit your projects on Adobe-based platforms.

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ZOTAC GeForce GT 730 | Low Budget GPU for Adobe Applications

cheap graphics card for adobe photoshop

Key Specs

  • 902 MHz Clock Speed
  • 4GB DDR3 Memory
  • PCI Express 2.0 x16
  • 64-bit Memory Bus
  • CUDA Cores 384
  • Low Profile

ZOTAC Geforce GT 730 is a farewell to your old integrated graphics card. Although the specs of this graphics card are away lower than the previous GPUs on our list, it still holds the spot because of its cheap price and significant performance in photo and video editing.

The GPU comes with Blu-ray 3D playback to render high definition videos or photos. 2GB of DDR3 RAM, this graphics card delivers good performance in photo editing in a go. Moreover, this GPU has a low profile design, which means you can fit this graphics card in an HTPC or any other SFF PC case without a problem.

If you need a dead quite graphics card, you will love silence of ZOTAC GT 730. This GPU just draws 26W power under full stress, so definitely give this one a try if you want pin drop silence in your studio.

The ZOTAC GT 730 comes with a 64-bit interface and 902 MHz clock speed, which is okay if you are a photo editor and have Photoshop installed on your computer. But for more graphical intense work, this low budget card will lag behind in many scenarios.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Graphics Card for Adobe Photoshop

Well, there are a lot of factors to consider when your main concern is to pick the right photo editing GPU for your PC.

  • Clock Speed: With more clock speed, you will get more performance. It is the speed at which your GPU manages different instructions coming from various programs.
  • Memory Size: If your GPU has more memory, it will improve the rendering time, quality of the texture, and you can edit photos or videos at a higher resolution.
  • Cuda Cores: These are also known as shader cores that help in reducing the rendering quality and time of your projects. These cores play a significant role in giving life to 3D objects by enabling light and dark effects to them.
  • Bandwidth: It is the memory that a graphics card can access within a given time. A GPU with a bandwidth of 120GB/s will render faster than a GPU with 80GB/s bandwidth.
  • Bus Width: If you are dealing with a program that has a lot of workload, choose a GPU that has more memory bus width like 128-bit or 256-bit. Bus width and bandwidth are the two most important factors to check out when buying a graphics card for photo editing.

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