Photo editing software these days is placing extraordinary demands upon your computer and it’s resources. Motherboards, CPUs Memory. But increasingly, Photo software companies are moving a lot of that load to your video card and it’s own memory and processors. Since the introduction of Photoshop CS4, Adobe has shifted a lot of the work of editing photos over to the GPU (Graphic Processor Unit) rather than only the CPU. So much so that Adobe set about standards that Graphics boards needed to meet for their software to run at it’s optimum
A lot of Plug-in makers like Nik software, Topaz labs or onOne rely heavily on Video cards and Open GL
So if you find that your system crashes a lot, the redraw rates are slow when you use brushes or try to add a filter effect. You may want to look at upgrading the Graphics board on your computer. Ones with 512MB of Video ram are getting to be the minimum these days. IGB VR is preferred.
But even if you don’t want to go that route, one of the best things you can do to help performance of any of your photo editing software is to UPDATE THE VIDEO CARDS DRIVERS. It’s a lot easier than it used to be to do so with most of them coming in an executable program instead of having to search where to install or update your systems drivers
To find the latest driver for your video card:
For ATI Cards: http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/Pages/index.aspx
For NVidea: http://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx