How do I get 10 bit color depth working with Adobe Photoshop CS6? All elements in the chain from the Photoshop application to the monitor must support 10 bit color to achieve true 10 bit color depth. This article illustrates the steps to set up 10 bit color depth for a Windows 10 PC.
In order to get 10 bit color depth working all elements in the chain from the application to the monitor need to support it (See Figure 1). This includes:
- Operating system,
- Video card driver,
- Video card,
- Video connection, and
Setting it up
We use the following hardware and software:
- Application: Adobe Photoshop CS6,
- Operating system: Windows 10, 64 bit,
- Video card driver: ATI FirePro V4800 Driver, Release 8.68,
- Video card: ATI FirePro V4800,
- Video connection: Display Port,
- Monitor: NEC PA271W
Setting up Adobe Photoshop CS6
Perform the following steps to set up the 10 bit color depth mode for Adobe Photoshop.
- Within Photoshop CS6 select Edit / Preferences / Performance…
- In window Preferences, section Performance, group Graphics Processor Settings: Tick Use Graphics Processor
- In window Preferences, section Performance, group Graphics Processor Settings: Click on Advanced Settings…
- In window Advanced Graphics Processor Settings: Tick 30 Bit Display
Setting up the Video Card ATI FirePro 4800
Perform the following steps to set up the 10 bit color depth mode for the video card.
- In window Catalyst Control Center, section AMD FirePro, AMD FirePro Settings: Tick Enable 10-bit pixel format support
The 10 bit color depth mode results in:
- Smoother and more accurate color (less banding) on very wide gamut monitors.
- Loss of the Windows 7 Aero transparency features.
To test if the 10 bit color depth mode is working you can load the following gradient into Photoshop. In case of 8 bit color depth you will see banding as in this picture. When the 10 bit color depth mode is working properly, the gradient is silky smooth.
Follow these steps to test 10 bit color depth mode:
- Download image 10Bit-TestRamp.tif containing a grey scale: Right mouse click on image and select safe image.
- Open the file 10Bit-TestRamp.tif in Photoshop. If the 10 bit color depth mode is set up correctly you will see a silky smooth gradation. In case of 8 bit color depth you will see banding.
- To see the difference, open the file 10Bit-TestRamp.tif in an application that does not support the 10 bit color depth mode. You will see banding.
- Ron Martinsen; Understanding 10-bit Color by NEC’s Art Marshall
- Image Science; 10 Bit Output Support
- TFT Central; NEC PA271W
- NEC; NEC 10 bit color depth demo application
- ATI; ATI FirePro V4800