Is Krita slow and laggy? The answer is NO. Krita is now actually faster than Photoshop. Read the rest of this article or watch the video to see full performance test from start to finish.


Hi guys, my name is Widhi Muttaqien. In this video I’m going to compare Krita and Photoshop head to head in term of the brush performance. The reason I created this video is because a few hours ago before I record the video, Krita version 4.2.1 was just released. And in the release note there is one improvement or fix that caught my attention, and that is “Fix possible small delays at the beginning of a stroke”. This is a great news. I mean Krita was already very performant in the last several releases. And now Krita is supposed to be even faster because the developers managed to crush even the smallest delays in the brush engine. This is just too interesting for me to not to test it myself against Photoshop.

The test environment and settings

So here is the test that I want to do. I’ll be using Krita version 4.2.1 and Adobe Photoshop CC version 20.0.4. Basically they are both the latest versions available to date when I do the testing. In both Krita and Photoshop, I will use exactly the same settings for image size which is a square 4K size, the same brush size which is 1000 pixels, the same brush features and the same layer composition. I even going to use exactly the same zoom factor for this test which is 10%.

The settings used for the test
The settings used for the test

For the computer specification. I’ll be using Windows 10 OS. Intel i7 processor. 16 GB of RAM. And Nvidia GTX 960 for the GPU. For recording the screen, I’ll be using OBS-Project software running in the background. Okay, so that is the setup for the testing environment.

Computer specification used for the test
Computer specification used for the test

For the test itself, I’ll set the foreground color to black and the background color to white. Then I’m going to do a zigzagging brush stroke quickly. Press X to swap the colors. And do another zigzagging brush stroke again. Press X again to swap the color. And so on repeating the same process several times. I will need to do this as fast as I can so that it gives enough performance demand and just push both software to their limits.

The test process
The test process

Finally, I don’t want both software fighting to get a fraction of the same system resources. Therefore I’ll do the test sequentially. First, I turn off everything except Photoshop and OBS project. Do the test. And then after that, for Krita, turn off everything also except Krita and OBS project, and do the test again. Then after all of the testings are done, we will compare the recording videos side by side.


As you can see in this side-by-side comparison. Currently at version 4.2.1 Krita is actually more responsive than Photoshop. And this is just amazing! Because Krita in the old versions of it, is known to be slow and laggy, especially when dealing with large size document and with large size brushes. This is the main reason why many people avoid using Krita. But since several releases, especially since version 4.2.1 Krita just open a whole new era that turned the condition upside down. Krita is now officially more performant than Photoshop.

Now, some of you who are technical geeks may argue that Krita is not more performant. It just “feel” more performant because it uses different brush previewing technique compared to Photoshop. Well my answer is this. First, let me explain about the brush previewing technique in Krita. Krita uses a brush speed-up mechanism that was funded back in 2015 through a Kickstarter campaign. This feature is called “Instant Preview”. Previously known as “LOD strokes” or “Level Of Detail strokes”. Essentially all graphic software performance suffered from large image and large brush size due to the amount of data they need to process. Photoshop, Gimp, Corel Painter, Paint tool SAI, Clip Studio Paint, etc. you name it, they all face the same problem. The larger the data the longer it took to process it. Right? Now, what the smart developer team at Krita did, is that they managed to make Krita to take a smaller version of the canvas. Then draw the brush feedback on that smaller canvas size almost instantly, while calculates the real brush stroke in the background progressively.

So, is this means that Krita is not more performant compared to Photoshop or to any other graphic software out there? Well, technically if you look under the hood, yes. But if you see this from the user perspective that has the “instant preview” mode always turned on. All the heavy calculation is done for you automatically in the background. All that you feel when drawing in Krita is just buttery smooth performance. And that is the only thing that matters for us as an artist. We really don’t care what is actually going on in the background because that is exactly what computer supposed do for us. Help us to do the tedious calculation so we can focus on the fun stuff, which is making art. Right?

So my point is this. From a user standpoint, regardless of what is going on under the hood, Krita is more performant than Photoshop. Okay. So, kudos to all of Krita developers for this great achievement.

Okay guys, if you use any other graphic software. I really like to see Krita brush performance compared against those software also using the same setups I use in this video. Please leave a comment below if you manage to test them out. Even better if you can record those tests and publish them also as YouTube video.

That is all from me. I hope this article can be helpful to others. Wassalamualaikum.