Photoshop CC 2015.5: Video card recommendations for current and future versions

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If you don't want to read my rant here, please scroll to the bottom (fast forward) to get to the question at hand regarding the new video cards coming out. IF you really DO care to read WHY I need to know about the cards' continued support by Adobe, then PLEASE DO READ ON...


This one is for Tom Hogarty, or other PRODUCT MGR (but, preferably Tom)...

I think you remember me, Tom. It's Hank here. We had a long discussion back in 2005(?) about this same issue of graphics card support (Dell Inspiron at the time), PS CS5, and Camera RAW with my Sigma camera. The word "Sigma" should spark your memory.

It has only gotten worse since the subscription model came out vis a vis the older laptop, leaving me no choice but to accept the new versions rather than keeping the old. My case, as explained here:

I am about to embark upon getting a new Windows laptop ALL BECAUSE Adobe, once again decides that the software's new features no longer allows for support of the older graphics adapters, leaving laptops in particular "bricked," as the term is commonly used, for the digital photography world. I had this problem when I went from PS CS4 to PS CS5 back in the day; and, now I have it again. The difference between back then and today is that I made the mistake of "upgrading" (purchasing) the software while I did not realize that the graphics adapter would not handle the new features--BACK THEN. I should have rolled back to the earlier version so I didn't have to spend money on yet another machine--BACK THEN. FASTFORWARD TO *TODAY*: With the new CC subscription model, I have no choice but to do my updates, only to realize that we got a whole new version or, at least, a boatload of NEW "features, tools, and 'toys'" that wind up causing Photoshop to uncheck "Use Graphics Controller" and issue a warning that it has been unchecked and that "not all the enhancements will not be available" or something like that.

So... SINCE I have been unemployed for the past four years, and I am trying to kick-start a photography career at my late(r) age, I need to buy that new machine. But, I want to darn well know [stronger language was desired, trying to keep it PG] that my $1800-$2200 *GAMING* laptop will last me AT LEAST 6 years! I had a long chat conversation with [India] support on Sunday night. And, he advised me to list here the new NVIDIA cards (apparently some were not yet tested) to (1) get YOUR opinion or fact-finding as to which card will last how long (best estimate) before they are deprecated; and (2), when you will be testing the newer, newer cards support told me weren't tested yet (and I don't want to here it's tested OK when there's only two or three years left in "support")... I AM TIRED OF BUYING NEW LAPTOPS AND HAVING TO BUY THE BEST OF THE BEST *GAMING* LAPTOPS WHEN I DON'T PLAY GAMES!!

The rest of the world can buy laptops off the shelves like I buy cereal because the requirements of most software appears to be not as demanding (i.e.: Office, other lighter duty creative apps, etc.) I GET THAT. This is a different league entirely working with the REAL PS, LR, ON1, etc. But, I'll be darned [again, stronger language] if I am going to spend MORE THAN 2200 bucks on a *LAPTOP* to be able to work on images when not at home on a desktop machine, where I can switch out a video card, unlike the laptop's fused-onto-motherboard graphics adapter. ON1 only requires 1GB for the new "RAW" app that will be out in the fall. Adobe has to sit pretty, on their throne, and [strongly] recommend 2GB. Disclosing minimums only gets 'em off the hook if it slows up so badly, or most of every feature gets turned off, making it like PS Elements.

So, here are the cards of the three machines I was looking at. One is on a Dell Precision 7000 series with a choice of two adapters, the other two are Alienware configurations, one out of a box store, the other customizable with choice of two cards:

Alienware from Costco: 3GB NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 970M Graphics

Alienware from Dell Direct (customize, 2 choices): 6GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1060 Graphics, *OR* 8GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1070 Graphics

Dell Precision 7510 (7000 Series), 15.6" screen: Nvidia® Quadro® M1000M w/2GB GDDR5, *OR* Nvidia® Quadro® M2000M w/4GB GDDR5 [Included in Price]

Please tell me. Time is of the essence in my decision. I am "frozen out" of continuing to further my photography. And, I need to make a decision before the second week of OCTOBER 2016.


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HHCUBED

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  • anxious, frustated AND undecided

Posted 2 years ago

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Niala

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If Adobe was to publish a regularly updated list of "machines" rated following their own Benchmarks (freely distributed test-program that populates public available database ) related specifically to LR (and others for each other app of theirs) - that could even incite, spur up and convene the making and marketing for best performance hardware objectively. (Where are the bottlenecks is also interesting.)
But Adobe seems to me to prefer to hide behind and entertain eternal doubts.
(Edited)
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HHCUBED

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Amen!!!! And then, the annual cost of actually using the software is not $120 (at 9.99/mo. photographer plan), but close to $1000, figuring the laptop at $2200+ with the above gaming configuration, depreciated over a three-year period. Might as well have bought a brand new, first-time license (not upgrade price) version of Photoshop CS EVERY YEAR!
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John Maguire

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I have a friend that buys video card for reviewing them. He states that Adobe changed their software when it didn't need to. According to him adobes code is backward engineering not forward. He has six video cards that are on "Adobes list," and all of them have problems with it
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Most issues with supported cards are with using outdated drivers, a mix of cards with different drivers, or unsupported accelerators.

There is one known issue with the current NVIDIA drivers which is documented here: https://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom/kb/rollback-driver-nvidia-issue.html
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Doug Stead

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With absolutely NO disrespect to the talented LR coders, who are tasked with fixing a profit driven FUBAR of poor planning and incompetence by the most senior management and Board of Directors.

​I have pretty much the same issues with the addition of spending about 1/2 my time off the grid where the only communication link is via satellite.  Since they forked my desktop version together with a cloud wet dream, the pain has been constant and without the courtesy of a reach-a-round.

I have been a "perpetual" user since v2.  Perpetual now having the meaning of constant pain as in, "end of life" without medication, together with a surprisingly constant string of bull shitting of a new cure. Just take the next new unproven experimental testing release, you stupid bunch lab rats,  who actually pay for this privilege. 

In the words of my father, "Play the cards you are dealt!" followed by "Never look up a dead horse's ass!" 

I have been playing with OnOne.  While not perfect, they have yet to blow smoke up the ass of this new customers.​ 

One PROFOUNDLY PISSED OFF, Adobe rate paying lab rat.
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HHCUBED

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I am happy you are trying out ON1... Just wait until ON1 RAW is out. I have been a user, almost an "evangelist" for them for almost as long as I had the Photoshop Product (version 6 or 7 before it became CS)... They are a small outfit that has a BIG heart for making the photographer a success. While it is not "LR" yet in all features, the new RAW that is scheduled for release "any week now" is proving to be awesome in it's own right, as a fully functioning RAW editor! And, it even supports ALL of Sigma SD cameras (mine is still the SD14, I don't dare "upgrade" as LR will not support the new X3F RAW files), which I cannot say for Adobe since PS CS6 and LR 4.4...

I am also, actually, a "member" of the new ON1 PLUS community. I invite you to check it out. It is where we ALL gave feedback with suggestions, critiques, wishes, etc., based on video demos by product senior mgmt and dedicated instructor/coaches who WORK for ON1, announcements and progress reports by email and within the password-driven membership site.

I invite you to try out the "FREE" versions of ON1 10. While not a 100% of filters, etc., the free versions give you unlimited time to try without watermarks. I don't remember if they give 30-day trials on full versions before they "time out" unless you put your purchased license # in the software. I think they do allow for that.

And, they let you BUY it! Unless you want to be a paid ON1PLUS member, which means the upgrades are included. To that extent, it is a subscription. But, at least you get a community and ON1 staff that are concerned with creative success, not level 1 support reps from India via chat over the weekends, phone 9-5, M-F, telling us that the hardware is the problem.

I get it that the usefulness and capabilities of the hardware configurations go by faster than we use toilet paper these days. But, for heaven's sake, does it have to be every 3 years???!!!! The IRS life of a computer is 5 years (sorry, I'm a left-to-the-wayside corporate accountant)... Based on the REAL expectations of these software developers, PCs won't make 2 years...

Please do give ON1 a real serious try... I think you'll like it.


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Doug Stead

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I am an OnOne client having purchased the last 3 version.  Each an improvement, without many problems with changes to look and feel , nor fouling up things that work previously.  Refreshing!    I am looking forward to my upgrade to RAW support. 

Frankly I can make do with Picasa to handle the filing of my 20K of images.  I found this free program's face recognition surprisingly useful.   Although no longer supported by Google, it is still my opinion it is significantly better in speed and accuracy compared to what LR comparable feature. 

Canadians being basically non litigious by nature, I seriously wonder why our USA neighbours haven't gone after Adobe in a Class Action.  I cetrainly feel I have been ripped off  and contractually screwed with numourous failures, in taking money from a once loyal LR Perpetual user? 

Just a thought, as I understand you can go after a company for pouring hot coffee on your own nuts..... 
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Simon Chen, Principal Computer Scientist

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Official Response
@HHCUDED Given the list of cards that you are looking at, the engineer recommends that you consider the newer generation Nvidia Pascal-based cards (10 series), e.g. GeForce® GTX 1060 Graphics to be a little bit future proof. Hope this helps.
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HHCUBED

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Thank you. I WAS thinking that... Although, our "great" iIndia tech support stated that the newer cards were not yet tested. That's what I'm waiting for...with baited breath...
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John Maguire

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Apparently the tech that told you about the GeForce® GTX 1060  hasn't tested it. My tech buddy has one and the latest version of PS CC. A few issues such as select and mask plus a few with filters.


What also bother me is every other program I use from adobe doesn't seem to have a video card issue. Only Photoshops latest!!
(Edited)
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HHCUBED

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See my reply to  Simon Chen... The tech DID say there should be no problems, but that the necessary changes to CC would be made once the card(s) was/were tested by them.

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Tom Hogarty, Lightroom Product Manager

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I'm glad you've been on this journey with us since 2005 and I hope you can continue.  Simon is the authority on this topic for Lightroom so I would heed his advice.  But your comments point to a broader issue because the GPU implementation in Lightroom and ACR is not the same as the GPU implementation in Photoshop.  So recommendations should really be inclusive of those two products.  I'll check with the teams to see if we can publish guidelines for both products.

Regards,
Tom Hogarty
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HHCUBED

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Hi Tom!


Thank you so much for responding to my OP.

I had typed in here a large reply to you related to your reply to my post. And, while I do not doubt Simon's authority on this subject, I needed to address the issue of having to buy hardware every two-three years when the lifetime of computers should be AT LEAST 6-8 years (the USA IRS depreciation life is 5...sorry, I am/was an accountant). My Dell Studio XPS's graphic card was "deprecated" in 2013 when the CC model was implemented. I had not embraced the model until it was more affordable from $30/month (for the whole suite , which was way overkill for my purposes) to 10 a month with the "Photographer's CC"

Alas, with my reply post to you, which I had worked on the wee hours of this morning (12:30am EDT), I realized I had not logged in. Not wanting to rethink and retype EVERYTHING I had done for almost the hour-and-a-half that It took me to compose and make grammatically correct, I tried feverishly to select all text and copy to a blank Word document, so I that I could sign in and paste into a new "reply" window. I lost it all. I was fighting between the scrolling of the browser window and the top blue title bar of this web page, which wouldn't let me "mouse advance" to the beginning or the end of my text, whichever end I started from. I tried again, using the arrow keys, and I would use ctrl-C, then ctrl-V. Well, in that wee hour of  01:50, I selected, then hit ctrl-V! NO-O-O-O!!!!

I lost it all.

Bottom line Is that I am unemployed. I cannot afford to switch out hardware, particularly laptops, every two to three years. (BTW, I was with Adobe since 1999 or 2000, with Adobe--*NOT* CS--v. 5.5, I think. So, earlier than Adobe 6 or 7 as in my OP.) Adobe has to scale back on the "powerful features" to be able to include the "older" machines out there.

As I was "licking my wound" of having lost my reply text this morning, I came to realize that it wasn't just an Adobe issue. It's a hardware manufacturer issue as well. I am sure, somehow, (an intelligent guess), that the graphic card manufacturers--particularly, the gaming card manufacturers--probably send Adobe their latest and greatest to get a "workout" with testing, experimentation, etc. If Adobe uses the card in the computers used to code and create the next version, whether aware or unaware, the software engineers are harnessing the capabilities of the NEW card, rolling out the final version to the outside not realizing the users have older machines.

Another problem is that when the LATEST graphic card is rolled out from the hardware side, as I was informed last week-and-a-half, the card hadn't been "tested" yet. The last graphic card TESTED and "approved" from NVIDIA, for instance, was the 9-something series (980, I think?). From my research, that card is at least two years old. So, if the lifetime of a graphic card MIGHT BE 4-5 years (still too short), it could take until two years of that lifetime to "test" it at Adobe. Then, we have the "rubberstamping" of the manufacture of the computers, desktops and laptops alike, which is no longer as customizable as it used to be, motivated by profit, price-point and inventory management.

Tom, is there a way to get an offline conversation with you, by email or other means? I have met you in NYC, I think twice: once at a B&H event along with Terry White a number of years ago, maybe in 2005(?), and once at a PhotoshopWorld, maybe.  Please don't reply to this question in this forum.

My email address is huyser3@gmail.com.


I am afraid this could be the "end of the line" for me. My Sigma equipment is no longer supported on the camera side, and now every laptop I get as the "latest and greatest" might only have a useful life of three years. I can't start a "business" in photography that way, trying to "re-engineer" a career.


PS: the iPhone 7 now does RAW. So, who needs a professional photographer when a cellular phone user only needs an image for a Facebook post?


Hoping to connect with you, Tom!


Hank

(Edited)
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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6-8 years? Well, technically, the computer might last that long if you only needed to do office tasks, but that's never going to be the lifetime of a graphics machine. Technology moves too fast.

Look at how far cameras have come in that time. Cameras from 2008 were 10-15MP, but now you're looking at 50MP. Hardware and software have to grow at a similar pace, and that means old hardware and drivers have to be left behind.

It's possible to carry on using a computer for 6-8 years, if the hardware lasts that long, but then you have to carry on using the software and cameras from 6-8 years ago too. Sadly it's not realistic to expect new software to be held back by old hardware.
(Edited)
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HHCUBED

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Then, allow me to stay with the older software. Under the new "subscription" model, we will NEVER *OWN* our software ever again. When the Adobe Cloud app keeps nagging me to do updates, it inevitably "upgrades" my software version. Ergo, my problem staying with the "older" version of the software. I would be happy with it until I know that I can afford it. Unfortunately, Adobe Creative Cloud no longer allows me to stay with what I have.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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The old versions are right there in the CC app too. See here: https://helpx.adobe.com/creative-cloud/help/download-install-app.html  You don't HAVE to update if you don't want to, or if your computer hardware doesn't support the newer versions.
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Robert Frost

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As Victoria said, you don't have to update, and you can turn off the Adobe CC Desktop that keeps suggesting you do update. Just exit Adobe CC Desktop and disable it in your startup programs folder. Then you can just run it when you have heard about a new update and heard that it is better!

Bob Frost

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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Hi Hank,

FWIW - Photoshop will support basic features with older cards but newer things like 3D and the new graphics accelerated Camera Raw, Blur Gallery, etc, use more sophisticated aspects of graphics processing (OpenCL, etc). 3D requires hardware GPPU acceleration to function, while both of Camera Raw and Blur Gallery run with fallback to just the CPU for processing. In general, this has been the approach our teams have taken: accelerate with the graphics card when available, but continue to run with just the CPU.

Conceivably, a card could last 5-8 years for the current feature set on current OSes. OSes however continue to evolve. Both Photoshop and Lightroom have been platform agnostic in their approach to use OpenGL and OpenCL directly. This may change with the advent of modern platform specific graphics acceleration API for Mac/Windows.
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HHCUBED

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Hello, Jeffery.

So, other than "3D,"( which means that--forgive me if I am not as familiar with the term vis a vis Photoshop--one can create a 3D object "printed" into a molded-like object such the statue of a gnome, as seen in demos of "3D printers"), I can still run ALL of the other Photoshop functions.

Being a bit "linear-minded," as a business professional in accounting, and having as much knowledge of Photoshop as someone in THAT business (graphics, art, photographic manipulation, etc.) would have on his/her pinky nail, seeing dialog boxes with "basic features" means I am missing something integral to working with photographs.

So, I can't run "3D". I can handle that. What are the other "features" that fall back to the CPU, undoubtedly at the slower speed of the CPU, that I can still use? You named two, I think: Camera RAW (a must-have, right?) and "Blur Gallery."

And then, as I am ever trying to learn the hows, whys, and whens of using those features (again, I am "recipe-minded"--tell me  WHY I should use it, then HOW), is there a place in the massive Adobe education site I can learn these features that are new in PS CC 2015 ff? Maybe a Julianne Kost demo, or Terry White, or even Russell Brown?

It is a little more "comforting" to know that I am not actually losing a lot of the features of a new release. But, at the same time, a list of features classified by what will work with which older card (especially when support phone people in India say, point-blank, that those cards listed in a link that's sent to me are no longer supported), and direction as to where to learn the concept of the new features. When I hear that my graphic card isn't supported, I am thinking that PS will all but stop running. At the very least, will start hanging with "not responding" errors (WIN), or feature menu categories and items would be grayed out and unavailable as such. It was already a bit unnerving to learn last year, 2015, that LR did not support video anymore since we were urged by the US Government to completely uninstall the Quicktime player for which I paid some money, causing me not to be able to run .mov movies within LR (which I enjoyed showing slideshows with movies and still shots together.) Has that been rectified yet? I heard that Adobe was working on it, but never got official word yet that we can do it again in an updated LR, other than trying to monkey with a piece of QT, which I never understood those steps to do.

Would you be able to provide such a list that MY CPU can handle, and educational source links? As I don't always get an "update email" that someone has responded to a post I make here, would you also send it to my email address so that I can bookmark the information?

Thank you for that help, and maybe I won't have to think about my laptop machine being a doorstop quite yet.

Again, email address: huyser3@gmail.com

Thank you.


Hank

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HHCUBED

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Victoria and Robert, I do not want to ignore your posts. Thank you for responding.

So, I had to sign in again (thought I was always singed in) and found the "previous versions" list. I am updating, right now, Bridge CC, LR CC (2015) and PS CC (2015). If, however, I do install Bridge CC (2015) or PS CC (2015.5), I am warned I will LOSE older versions. So, I did not do that yet until I know from Jeffery, or other "expert," that I can run 2015.5 on my older laptop with AMD Radeon card. I have not found where I could revert back to , say, PS CC (2014). I do not see all my older versions other than the PS CS 6, which was my last purchased (non-CC) version.

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HHCUBED

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A PS:

How does 2015.5 stack up against 2015? What features are new in the version, and what wont work on my "older" system(s)? I saw some email notifications of posts entered that there were issues with certain basic features that used to work, or get stuck, etc.

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HHCUBED

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Another PS:

I just now tried for the second time to update PS CS6, and get "Update failed-try again"

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John Maguire

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I don't understand why you're unable to access 3d. My card does and it's a lesser model than all you've listed. The only problem I have is with the Select and mask feature which replaced the better refine edge. Again going backwards Adobe
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John Maguire

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My friend with all the hardware access got a beta copy of affinity pro for PC. he says that of all 14 video cards he tested with PS that failed works like a charm with Affinity pro. As soon as it's released am going for it unless adobe fixes it mess.

O' and by the way adobe. He tested it on my card and it works perfectly. razor sharp masks!