We are doing things that are very hard on your GPU, and if you wanted to distribute CPU/GPU processing, our application is probably 5% CPU / 95% GPU. That's why. Most applications will utilize mostly CPU computations and edits, and we just don't do that. We're able to do much more with the GPU, and we're willing to take the performance hit from weaker GPUs.
We're not trying to be other applications. We're trying to become a unique, powerful editor that is responsive to the needs of our customers. Overwhelmingly, our customers that have dedicated GPUs are doing just fine with Topaz Studio. Using a dedicated GPU also provides you with adequate access to our more powerful editing types, like Impression and Smudge. These are tools that just require more power. Plenty of people don't like that, and we've made many efforts to improve performance at the low end, primarily through downsampling, because integrated GPUs just can't handle our processing very quickly. Such is the nature of technology. If your hardware isn't up to the task, you're not going to have a nice experience.
If you're using an HP Laptop with an i5, I'd sure like to know which i5 (i5-320m? or i5-5500U? or?) - as this tells me which GPU you're using.
This is an integrated (non-dedicated) graphics card, and is expected to have less than optimal performance with our software.
Let me be clear. Your GRAPHICS CARD is the deciding factor when it comes to performance in Topaz Studio, especially when you use a heavy-on-your-hardware Adjustment type, like Impression. Do you want speedy performance? Consider investing in hardware that is ready to take on those graphics-card-intensive tasks. We list recommendations for Graphics Cards quite clearly on the minimum requirements page, here:
We do everything we can to provide realistic expectations with our software, and provide you with guidance to achieve a satisfactory experience. If you aren't using hardware geared for our software, then you're not going to have a nice experience. Let's take the NVIDIA Quadro 5000, as an example. This is a workstation Graphics Card, geared for OpenCL applications, rather than OpenGL applications (like ours). When you compare the two, performance-wise, our Recommended NVIDIA graphics card, the GTX 750 Ti beats it with a +55% overall score:
Ok, that's not that different. But what is different? The price. The NVIDIA Quadro 5000 was $2,500 when it released in 2011. The NVIDIA GTX 750 Ti, released in 2014, costs about $100. You can get a Quadro 5000 for ~$150-200 today, but that's irrelevant. The point is - it doesn't matter how much money you spend or how new your hardware is. The only thing that matters most with Topaz Studio is your graphics card.
Yes, that's frustrating for some people that can use other applications without issue, using their integrated graphics solutions. We're not interested in low end solutions. We're interested in the amazing and technically difficult editing types that we've been investing in and developing for several years, but have been heretofore unable to deliver them. With the introduction of Impression/Glow/Texture Effects, we pushed our product line further in the GPU-only realm than ever before. Studio, itself, is the pinnacle of GPU-primary editing, with a heavy reliance on your graphics card. We're proud that we're able to do most of our processing in the GPU. The reason for this is the gradual increase in the processing power of GPUs, coupled with the rapidly declining price of the hardware. Now, one might say that cryptocurrency mining is eating into the latter half of our optimistic approach, but that's a topic for another day.
Unfortunately, our solution won't work for everyone. Plenty of folks will use Studio and think - too slow for my taste. That's fine. We're betting that the next machine they have will be plenty powerful, due to the saturation of dedicated GPUs in consumer machines, and that they'll enjoy their experience when they come back. While we're waiting on them to come back, we'll be introducing a slew of hard-to-ignore photo editing firsts that will make the decision to upgrade all that much easier.
I've covered this topic in substantial length in the past, but unfortunately, my posts were lost with the forum crash this past summer. I have no issue providing you with a comparison of the hardware we recommend you use, with the hardware you're actually using. I have 6+ years of experience in desktop/laptop/tablet repair, and I've swapped out more components than your average person will ever see in their lifetime. I'm happy to explain how the hardware works with our software, as long as folks are willing to listen to what I'm saying.
I hope this helps