Accelerating Digital Photography Editing With Your GPU

Wherever you turn, people are snapping pictures. Whether they're using cell phones or the latest professional SLR cameras, everyone is capturing memories with their digital cameras.

And that's creating enormous photo libraries. Luckily, the capacity of flash memory cards, used to store digital pictures, is rapidly increasing along with our interest in photography. Your computer's resources, however, might have trouble keeping up as you try to edit or otherwise manipulate photographs. Watching images slowly paint themselves into a window requires more patience than most of us have.

But you can transform that chore into a fun exploration of your photos by installing an AMD Radeon GPU and the appropriate GPU-accelerated software, which is often free.

A 16GB SD card can store several thousand high resolution JPEG images. If you’re using a DSLR and shooting raw images (using the raw data captured by the camera’s sensor) then you’re creating hundreds of huge files. A typical raw image can be 12MB or more for a single picture. This plays to the GPU’s strengths, allowing your PC to offload these graphics-intensive tasks from the CPU, and making your PC more responsive.

For an even speedier method, try FastPictureViewer, which uses Direct3D, with an AMD Radeon GPU. It can easily and quickly handle sorting through, tagging, saving, or deleting many large files.

Once you’ve sorted and cataloged everything, you’ll want to edit the best images to make them look even better. Photo editing tools like Adobe Photoshop CS5 use the GPU to accelerate 3D rotations, crops, overlays, rapid rotation, and fast panning of images. If you’ve ever struggled to precisely rotate an image, the smoothness and speed of Photoshop’s GPU-accelerated rotation will be a real eye-opener.

You might also want to stitch several images together to create a panorama using, for example, the ArcSoft Panorama Maker 5. Graphics processors are ideal for tackling the computational task of combining images into one coherent panoramic photo.

Pictomio photo software automatically creates sophisticated slideshows with GPU-accelerated transitions and anti-aliasing of images for better presentation quality.

The bottom line: an AMD Radeon GPU can improve photo management, enable more efficient editing and create gorgeous presentations to show off your photographic talents.

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