Impressions locking up in Studio

I downloaded and installed Studio some weeks back. But I find it almost unusable for my needs. (Win 8.1, i5 with 8gig ram).

I have Impressions 2 and it works fine. (Plus a number of other Topaz plugins). But if I open Studio and then Impressions 50% of the time Studio will freeze. If I go to any of my other plugins, including Impressions 2, Studio works fine. But if I try Impressions if freezes Studio. It simply won’t load all the presets. If I open task manager Topaz is using 6gig!!! Not using Studio. Just loading the presets thumb nails.

I use Impressions all the time and find that Studio is a waste of my valuable time. I’m about to uninstall it.

I’ve tried to get a response out of Topaz but their web sites are always impossible to load. Seems Topaz has a lot of issues with Studio and are simply overloaded.

Just to add one more reason to uninstall Studio. It wont open a second time. If I use Studio and close it. Then try to open it again nothing happens. I have to shut down the computer and start again.

1 Like

I know I’m not the only one having this problem. It’s like the ‘not being able to open Studio twice’ issue. Topaz seems to be ignoring it.

Seems I’m having a conversation here with myself!!
Toady I have ‘played’ with Studio in the hope that I could resolve the issues.
I tried using Studio by invoking it in both Photoline and in PSPx8. Both 64bit versions.

First Studio fails to open, after the first time, about 50% of the time. Closing the editor will allow me to start all over.
However Impressions in Studio is still a real pain in the butt. Locking up the computer each time. In both Photoline and PSPx8. Simply loading the presets will stop Studio in its tracks while using over 6gig of ram.
Today rather than opening Impressions and locking up Studio I selected Explore/All. Well it went fine. Loaded dozens and dozens of presets until about half of them loaded. Then I got the ‘Topaz Studio has stopped working’ message. I’ve tried this several times and get the same results each time.

Now my time is being wasted. Topaz hasn’t responded. I’m nolonger interested in Topaz or it’s Studio. Topaz will get back and tell me it’s my computer. Well I often work on large, multi layered, images in various programs. (FWIW I have studied for a certificate, diploma and degree in computing so I’m no computer mug). The ONLY time I have issues with my computer is with Studio. Not the old plugins but with Studio. If I had paid for this I would be jumping mad. But I guess Studio is worth every penny I paid for it. NOTHING.

Don’t know if it’s related but I haven’t been able to use the latest build at all. The effect previews won’t even load never mind actually using them - and my machine has 16GB RAM! The last build worked fine but not this one!

RAM is not as important as your Graphics Card when using Topaz Studio. Which Graphics Card are you using?

I keep reading about the hardware requirements here on the forum. Seems that Topaz is using this as an ‘excuse’. Surly we don’t have to buy the latest hardware to run Studio. I run a lot of graphic based software. Photoline, Paintshop Pro, Krita, Many many plugins. And all sorts of video programs including Corels Video Studio. They all run fine. So why is Topaz Studio so demanding?

I have an 18 month old i5 HP laptop which works fine for everything else. Just not Studio/Impressions.

1 Like

Studio keeps locking up on me too. I just submitted a ticket, it seems the last update killed it for me.
Joe, the graphics card on my CPU (which runs lightroom and photoshop just fine) is AMD Radeon HD 8670D.
Is it not compatible? If not I will just walk away from Topaz (which is a shame).

1 Like

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 :slight_smile:

Yes Joe, that does help.
If it’s something I can fix for $100 then I can do that. :slight_smile:
I unfortunately am an image guy and not a tech guy (not totally ignorant but not very smart on it either), is a graphics card something that is fairly easy to switch out? I have switched out dvd players and power supplies in the past so I am assuming it’s similar in nature.
Is this the card you are talking about?
Just wanting to make sure I am looking at the right thing.
Thanks :slight_smile:

Yes, this is the card I’m talking about. It is also available in 4GB variants, though those variants typically require a PCI 6-pin power connection, which your standard Power Supply Unit (PSU) won’t have. The 2GB cards typically work with just the power from your PCIe slot, which is why I tend to recommend that card. More powerful cards often require a more powerful PSU, so if you are looking at something more, I’ll often recommend you take a close look at the power requirement, then match that with your PSU. If you’re not sure how those numbers line up, I’m happy to take a look for you. Also, if your budget has room, you might consider the GTX 1050 Ti, which is a few iterations newer than the GTX 750 Ti, and about ~$40-60 more. Here’s how those two compare to each other:

The AMD HD 8670D is an integrated desktop GPU, paired only with the AMD A10 APUs. This means you likely have a free PCIe slot, given you have not installed anything in it, yet. APUs are also very power efficient, so your PSU might be on the lower end (320-450watts), so keep a close eye on the power requirements vs what you have installed. You might need to lookup the exact PC model to determine what your rating is - or you could check the sticker on the side :slight_smile:

1 Like

Thanks Joe. I have a i5 - 4210U cpu.

Now having read what you have said and other responses here in these forums it seems as though Topaz is no longer interested in the bulk of its users. I read it as though Topaz expects users to use the latest and fastest hardware so that Topaz can run at a reasonable speed. Well IMHO this is a very flawed approach, business plan, to being a successful business. Topaz in affect is saying to the mass market that they don’t want their business. So be it. But I should point out that on the surface it’s just an excuse for lazy programmers. Why is that Topaz is the only folks telling us all that it’s our computers where other companies are writing perfectly good software without requiring the user to upgrade their hardware? Photoline is a great example. One of the most powerful editors on the market. Yet their download is just 28meg. Runs off a memory stick. Even runs all of Topaz plugins, except Studio, without the need for new whiz bang hardware. If they can do why can’t Topaz?
Before you come back and tell me that’s not relevant let me tell you about my situation. I’m a freelance photographer. I have sold/licensed approximately 5 million images in the last couple of years. I have featured in 47 different countries. So I’m not a novice with a blinkered view of the image editing world. I’m also experienced in Fortran, Cobol, Assembly, DeBase, HTML, and other software languages. I have paperwork which shows my data management, systems analysis and programing training.
I promote my methods of editing to those who ask. Topaz was always on my list of preferred software. It now seems that unless I’m prepared to constantly upgrade my hardware then Topaz is no longer for me.

Sorry but I’m not spending my money on something that has no realistic future.


1 Like

This is not true. As I’ve stated, we’ve made a number of optimizations to our processing engine to improve performance for low end GPUs.

This is also not true. Our recommended NVIDIA GPU is 4 years old. We cannot list any Optimal Intel cards, because there just aren’t any. Did you do any reading on the requirements in the article? They’re just not that high.

Because we process in the GPU. I’m not sure how else to explain this to you. CPU ≠ GPU.


This statement tells me you do not understand my statement regarding GPUs. [quote=“brucet, post:12, topic:3011”]
I’m also experienced in Fortran, Cobol, Assembly, DeBase, HTML, and other software languages.

None of these languages run on your GPU. In fact, GPUs did not exist when those languages were being used in mainstream computing.

This means you have Intel HD Graphics 4400. Here’s how that compares to the GTX 750 Ti:

The recommended card is 437% faster, overall, or 5.37x the speed.

Let’s see how that compares to the Recommended Intel GPU solution (HD Graphics 540):

That’s a 147% speed difference, in favor of the recommended card, or 2.47x faster.

I think we’ll have to agree to disagree, here. I have serviced thousands of machines in the last 5 contiguous years, and I will tell you that while benchmarks and stat sheets don’t tell the entire story, they sure do highlight when hardware isn’t quite up to the task. We are confident in the increase in GPU computing power, and the positive effect it will have on the computing environment worldwide. You can already lease GPU power from services like NVIDIA’s Cloud Gaming platform:

The access to GPU power will only improve over the next year or two, and we’ve already made significant progress on one of our most demanding and interesting Adjustment types, in just this year. We feel that we are perfectly positioned to benefit from the rapid increase in processing power dedicated GPUs provide, and the whole of the market tends to agree with us, given how difficult it has become to come by GPU inventory, around the country. The writing is on the wall, and we’re going to read it to the benefit of our customers. Sure, other software works fine with a weak GPU. That’s just not us. Our products demand you allocate real graphics processing power to your editing, which we understand is quite unique. Our older product versions still use mostly CPU processing, and you can download them here if you’d like:

For what it’s worth, Topaz Labs did not start introducing major GPU requirements until Topaz Impression (2014), 7 years into development. Now, in 2017, 3 years later, we’ve only moved the requirement from OpenGL 3.2 up to OpenGL 3.3, and we highly recommend using a dedicated GPU with 1GB of VRAM. That part has always been an ideal configuration, but now we’re being more up front about it. The main reason we are, is that there a plethora of affordable options to choose from, and folks were starting to ask about what they needed, to enjoy the software, in earnest. I’m more than happy to assist in those decisions

What I am not too keen on, is accusations that we’re “not trying hard enough”, simply because you’re using an underpowered GPU, and aren’t sated by our response that your hardware is indeed the bottleneck. With all due respect, I believe the dedicated development team at Topaz Labs deserves at best a defense from such claims. I would be heartened to take any solution or suggestion you have to provide, given the apparent low level of effort you believe it would require, directly to the team to help improve our software. As always, I am completely open to suggestions that improve our products.

Joe your own statement says it all.

Simply put you are dismissing the mass market. “Expecting” users to have high end hardware. Your own words confirm what I stated above. The ‘bulk’ of the market doesn’t have this type of hardware. And how many of them understand GPU/CPU differences? You are talking down to your core market. Walk into Best Buys and ask a salesperson for a computer meeting those requirements. They won’t know nor will the poor end users.

I agree. We will have to disagree. I’ll continue to use my ‘old’ Topaz plugins. They were designed, albeit years ago, so that most folks could use them. But Studio? Nah not for me or all those with similar ‘old’ hardware. Imagine Adobe making the same move with their software!!!

Thanks for the feedback.

1 Like

The market speaks for itself, dedicated graphics cards are becoming the norm, and the maker of your CPU, Intel, agrees with that sentiment:

I am not talking down to anyone, sir. I am stating that I disagree with an assumption that we’re not trying hard enough. Also, I’m stating that I disagree with your opinion of the distribution of the market as far as GPU hardware goes. The vast majority of graphics-geared machines have dedicated graphics cards.

  • Topaz Studio: OpenGL 3.3, 1GB VRAM Source
  • Adobe Photoshop CC 2018: OpenGL 2.0, 512MB VRAM Source
  • Adobe Lightroom Classic CC 2018: OpenGL 3.3, 1GB VRAM Source
  • Adobe InDesign CC 2018: OpenGL 4.0, 1GB VRAM Source

Interestingly, they already have.

Look, I get that you’re frustrated with the performance you’re getting with Topaz Studio, and my responses haven’t exactly made you happy. That considered, I’m being honest with you, and that should at least provide some credibility to my statements. I’m only attempting to set realistic expectations, and providing you with an truthful assessment of how processing works in Topaz Studio. I can understand not wanting to use software that has such a configuration, because a dedicated graphics card is an additional consideration when purchasing a machine. The bottom line is, and always has been, dedicated graphics cards are necessity when it comes to video and graphics-heavy computing, if you expect a reasonably pleasant experience. I will not yield to an argument that tells me a 2018 Ford Focus (HD Graphics 4400) should keep up with a 2018 Lexus IS 250 (GTX 750 Ti) or even a 2018 Chevrolet Corvette (GTX 1080 Ti or NVIDIA Titan Xp). There are plenty of models between Recommended & Optimal that will outpace any integrated graphics card available at the moment or in the past. That is simple fact. Integrated < Dedicated.

Speaking to an unknowledgeable Best Buy associate is something I learned to avoid many, many years ago. I highly recommend shopping at a Microcenter for your computers, if one is available near you:

Microcenter locations

Many folks assume that because they are included in the market as a whole, that they are representative of it. They are not, most of the time. The reason for this is that overall, on average, the computing needs of the average consumer are increasing dramatically. With cameras shooting larger and larger formatted images each year, with more pixels and data to crunch, dedicated GPUs have begun to shine in their own right, as a well deserved piece of equipment for your computing rig. If you aren’t willing to spring for a dedicated GPU, then you must accept the limitations of your integrated graphics solution. My opinions on the matter will not change that, and I’m sorry that we had to disagree so publicly on the way things “ought to be”. I harbor no ill will, and have only attempted to bring an informed, active representation of the honest truth to this discussion.

Thanks Joe. I have no issues with Topaz targeting a small section of the market. The bean counters obviously agree. However I do wonder about the value of Studio being free when a large sector of the market will need to spend money on hardware just to use it. I feel Topaz is doing itself a disfavor by ignoring the ‘average’ user. (Keep in mind that that same large sector of the market are purchasing their hardware from the likes of Best Buy. Often their only choice).

Topaz have made a business choice. But like me I guess many potential users will look elsewhere. Apart from Studio I have no need to upgrade my hardware for what I do. So therefore I won’t be a Topaz customer in the future.


1 Like

We’re targeting a small section of the market only in the same way that Lightroom targets their section of the market. We’re providing a photo editor, that has the same requirements as Lightroom, but we’re limiting ourselves somehow? I am really not understanding your point in this regard, as I’ve provided a number of examples that disprove this specific assertion, on the surface, and with raw data. You can avoid the more resource-intensive processing by not using the Adjustments that are harder on your machine, and still have a decent experience.

I liken this to horsepower in a vehicle, to get the point across. Would one expect a Ford Ranger to tow as much as an F-150? How about that same Ford Ranger up against an F-450? Let’s say the answer is no. Now, we’re saying you can tow this trailer with a Ford Ranger, but we highly recommend you use an F-150, whereas something like an F-350 or better (F-450, F-550) would be optimal. In no way are we telling customers they must have high end hardware to enjoy the software. Just mid-range - which is reasonable. That’s why the mid range even exists, at all. I’d appreciate it if you could avoid conflating our system requirements and suggested hardware with “premium”, when that is clearly not the case, because you’re doing so to make a point that we’re making some conscious decision to shut out users - when that is categorically untrue. We’ve made tremendous efforts to keep our brand new code working well on weaker systems. You have just been replying with “nuh-uh”, basically.

Sorry Joe. We are going to go around in circles here.
I have an 18 month old i5 HP laptop which travels with me all around the world for up to 6 months a year. I consider it an average or above computer. Runs all my software/editing requirements. Photoline. Corel’s Video Studio and PSP. Photomatix. Krita. Nik plugins. Old Topaz Plugins. etc etc etc. Except for one. Topaz Studio. That simply tells me that something or someone is out of step.
You can have all the analogies you want. Simple fact is that Topaz Studio, running Impressions, will struggle on the average users computer. That’s not a users issue. It a choice made by Topaz.
I know you are here to defend Topaz. That’s your job. That’s ok by me. But for one last time I’ll state that the 'average’ user is being ignored by Topaz.

I think we should end this here and now. You won’t see my point and I won’t accept yours. So be it.


In any case, I’ve updated your ticket to address the other problems you pointed out in your request.