Adobe Photoshop System Requirements for Mac
Posted on March 09 2021
System Requirements Explained
What are System Requirements?
When a developer releases software they provide a guideline for compatible hardware, generally there are two types of guidelines;
This will be the lowest specification that will allow the software to run, anything less than this and the software may prevent you from opening the application or will limit you from using certain features. If you use the application sparingly or at a basic level then this may be sufficient.
This is the level of specification that will allow you to use the software to its full potential. If you are using the software in professional applications this will be what you want to be aiming for.
When we say specification we mean the components that make up the device, the main ones that concern running software are;
● Processor (CPU)
● RAM (also called Memory)
● Graphics Card (GPU)
"So what Mac is good for Adobe Photoshop?"
Different software can have different System Requirements, let's take a look at what is recommended for Adobe Photoshop.
Adobe has provided a low requirement for processor, all of the devices we sell will meet and exceed the requirement here.
Almost all of our devices will come with 8GB RAM at a minimum and all MacBook Pro 15/16-inch come with a minimum of 16GB RAM.
Most Macs since 2012 support Metal, but you can check the Apple Support article here to confirm. GPU memory is a little tricker to cater for so we have broken it down further for you below!
The 13-inch MacBook Air and Pro both have a maximum of 1.5GB GPU memory, which is below that recommended as a minimum. Photoshop will run on these devices, however if you are a pro user you might find that there are limitations with some GPU heavy features. The 15/16-inch MacBook Pro come with a minimum of 2GB memory and models from 2018 or newer have a minimum of 4GB, so if you are looking to use Photoshop to it's full potential the bigger brother MacBook Pro will be the one to go for.
Mac mini (Late 2014) are a little past their prime for day to day usage with Photoshop but they will happily run it if you need to do some basic edits. The much improved 2018 models have more powerful Processors and Graphic Cards (although they still max out at 1.5GB) which will run Photoshop more smoothly.
iMac 21-inch (Late 2015) will run Photoshop well enough for basic edits and usage, however pro users will want to look at 4K models from 2017 or newer as these can be configured to have more powerful dedicated Graphics Cards with 4GB GPU memory.
iMac 27-inch (Late 2015) will come with 2GB GPU memory as standard but can also be configured with 4GB GPU memory. 2017 models and newer all come with 4GB GPU minimum and pro users will want to spring for one of these to get the best from Photoshop.
As developers release newer software the system requirements can become higher as newer features are added. The advice provided is relevant for the current version of Adobe Photoshop, however future versions may be different. Always check in with the developer to see if the requirements have changed. You may also want to think ahead by buying a Mac with slightly higher specification than what is currently recommended to ensure your Mac handles any future updates well.
As always if you need to chat or have any questions feel free to contact us by email or call us 0208 819 3244 for friendly, expert advice.