Lightroom: Video memory rule of thumbs for selecting a graphics card?

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  • Updated 3 years ago
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In LRCC15 and PSCC15 video memory seems to be more important than ever. Often the minimum recommendation of 1-2GB seems inadequate for system performance.

Adobe says "1 GB of Video RAM (VRAM). 2 GB of dedicated VRAM is suggested for large, high-resolution monitors, such as 4K- and 5K-resolution monitors."

What are the Rules of thumb for selecting the appropriate VRAM to get good performance out of PS/LR with dual monitors?

Based on the system requirements, and a few other things I've read, here is what VRAM recommendations I'm thinking about following.

Starting with the system requirements
(2 GB of dedicated VRAM, for large, high-resolution monitors)
Add that amount again for each monitor
(2 monitors → 2GB + 2GB = 4GB)

I also take note that many system manufactures are now putting 4GB minimum VRAM in systems in the $800-1500 range.

Other professionals I know in the DCC area also say that VRAM is a boost to performance you need "more memory, especially in DCC operations. When you're working on giant files, frame buffer is where it counts."

Based on that and some other industry things, it seems the base recommendation from Adobe should be 2GB minimum (per monitor) and 4GB for performance. (the people who I've seen say they have good performance in LRCC15 indicate that they have 6GB or 8GB video card) I also not that many graphics cards are coming out with significantly more memory in 2015
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Walt Sorensen

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  • unsure

Posted 3 years ago

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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Hi Walt, here's our current FAQ for Lightroom and graphics cards:

The more VRAM, on a single card, the better. Lightroom doesn't take advantage of more than one graphics card - and things can get complicated with drivers with more than one card.

Also note from the FAQ, only the "Main" Lightroom window is accelerated. The "Secondary" window is not accelerated by the graphics processor (GPU).
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Walt Sorensen

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"The more VRAM, on a single card, the better."

Yep that is what I'm finding as a recommendation. Unfortunately the available guidelines out there for determining how much VRAM you need on a single card leave a lot to be desired. (just the standard response, more is better)

Sorry if my post seemed to indicate anything beyond a discussion for a better guideline for determining the minimum VRAM someone might need on a single graphics card.

The only multiple item intended in the post was multiple monitors, not multiple GPUs.

(the available guidelines out there for determining the stream or cuda processors you need, also leave a lot to be desired)