You’re a professional or a hobbyist, you need the right computer When you’re editing high-resolution photos. Without the right equipment, you may not get as much out of your photo editing software. Or you may experience slowdowns and glitches during your photo editing sessions. Fortunately, when looking for the best computer for photo editing, there are a wide variety of powerful computers on the market that are up for the task. Many of these models have dedicated graphics cards, multi-core CPUs, and lightning-fast solid state drives.
The right specs for your photo editing computer will depend on which types of images you work with most often, and what kind of editing you’re doing. For example, still images do not require as powerful of computer specifications as videos.
When you’re shopping for the best computer for photo editing, it’s important to choose a model with the hardware that will support your needs. In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the best modern-day computers for photo editing. As well as their pros and cons, and each unique model’s best features.
Let’s dive in.
Why Buy a Computer for Photo Editing?
Before you start to evaluate your computer options, you should understand why you’re buying your rig. Computers are not made equally and some models are more well-equipped to handle certain tasks than others. For example, some computers are excellent rendering video games while others are better for photo editing.
You shouldn’t assume that a computer designed for one task will be exceptional at other tasks too. The number of CPU cores, the amount and type of RAM, and a dedicated graphics card set different models apart.
All About The Specs
Typically, a computer for business won’t offer the same specifications as a photo editing or gaming computer. A business computer is it rendering 3D models or high-resolution imagery, so it can do its job without a dedicated graphics card.
Additionally, the CPU may contain 2 or 4 cores – it’s rare to see a basic office computer with 8 or 16 cores because it simply doesn’t need that much power to serve its purpose. In terms of processing power, an Intel i3 processor or AMD equivalent is suitable for general business ‘lite’ use. An Intel i5 processor is the benchmark for multi tasking performance, an Intel i7 or Intel i9 are built for performance and often have multiple powerful cores. AMD also provide similar specs for their chips, they are always worth considering. This is true for CPUs and also for AMD Radeon graphics cards.
If you already have a gaming PC, it may work well for photo editing. Gaming PC’s and computers for photo editing need similar specifications to achieve similar tasks. Both types need to process graphics and imagery, using multiple-cores and a dedicated graphics card
Gaming computers and setups for photo editing may have solid state drives as a faster alternative to hard disks. Solid state drives are exceptional for running powerful software because they can load the information exponentially faster and minimize lag.
Photo Editing Accessories
When you’re doing photo editing, you may want more than a powerful computer to get the most out of your software. Just as graphic designers use drawing tablets with responsive pens to create are more easily than with a keyboard and mouse. Photographers and videographers can use the same types of tools to enhance their workflow.
Additionally, there are dozens of products on the market specifically designed for photo editors and videographers. There are a wide array of unique keyboards and consoles that make accessing tools within software like Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Premiere much easier than with a standard set of peripherals.
The Best Computers for Photo Editing Reviewed
Looking for a new photo editing computer and you want a place to start? Below, we look at a few of the best photo editing PCs on the market right now.
The Lenovo ThinkCentre M900 Is one of the most well-rounded photo editing computers on the market, complete with an Intel core I5 quad core processor dash 6500 CPU, 16 GB of high-speed RAM, and a 500 GB solid state drive. Best of all, it comes with configurable specifications, so you can upgrade certain parts before it ships.
When you buy this mid-range model, it comes with Lenovo’s NBD 3-year warranty. It’s preloaded with Windows 10 professional 64 bit, see you can work with today’s most powerful operating system alongside your photo editing software. There is a multi card reader which is incredibly useful for photograph transfer, supporting much more than just an sd card.
For decades, Microsoft has been synonymous with quality high-end computers and powerful software. They embrace this reputation with the Microsoft Surface Studio 2, one of the best computers available for creatives of all types.
Why do we love the Microsoft Surface Studio 2?
For photo editors, videographer’s, and graphic designers, few things are more important than the user interface of the computer they’re using. If it isn’t easy to get around, using tools, and create, this creates challenges for creatives they’d rather avoid.
With the Microsoft Surface Studio 2, you can edit and create with ease thanks to its touch screen and highly responsive stylus. This computer features a stunningly large 28-inch pixel sense display, complete with more than 13.5 million pixels of true to life color.
You can adjust the monitor easily, working at a 20-degree angle similar to a notebook or a piece of paper, or use it upright in a more traditional desktop mode.
If you’re looking for something dedicated to creating, the Microsoft Surface Studio 2 offers a little bit of everything you need to unleash your inner artist. Some of the major specs include an Intel core i7 processor, 32 GB RAM and 1TB HDD storage space. This is a great choice for professional photographers.
It’s no doubt that Apple creates some of the most powerful computing tools on the consumer market. For decades, photographers and videographers have praised Apple’s products for their ease of use, power, and value. This doesn’t stop with the Apple Mac Mini, one of the iconic brands most affordable home computers with the power to run resource-intensive software.
Much of the Mac Mini’s speed comes from its ultrafast solid-state drive, it’s 8 GBs of DDR4 RAM, and it’s 8th generation Intel Core processor (buyers can choose between a Quad-core i3 or a 6-Core i5).
Best of all, it features Mac OS Mojave, the operating system designed for an inspired by professional creatives with a native dark mode, integration with other Apple devices, and more.
If you’ve liked Apple products in the past, you’re sure to love the Apple Mac Mini for all your photo editing needs.
HP computers started as office and business workstations, but over the course of the company’s lifespan, they’ve extended their product line to include gaming rigs and high-powered computers for creatives.
These models include the HP Z420 6-Core Intel Xeon E5-1650, complete with a powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 dedicated graphics card and up to 64GB of high-speed RAM. In terms of storage, there is an ample 512GB SSD complemented by a 2TB HDD.
The HP Z420 6-Core Xeon E5-1650 is fully configurable, meaning users can choose their preferred RAM size and CPU when they place their order. This workstation would be a great base for any UHD 4K gaming monitor.
We mentioned the Apple Mac Mini above, but the Apple iMac Pro takes everything that’s great about the Mac Mini and amplifies it.
This computer is an all-in-one model with a 27-inch, 5120-by-2880 5k Retina Display, and it’s perfect for photo editing and video rendering. It’s also one of the most beautiful, high-end computers on this list, featuring a breathtaking 5-millimeter thin design.
The iMac Pro is configurable during the order process, with options for up to an 18-core processor. You probably won’t need that much for photo editing, but if you’re working with exceedingly high-resolution videos, this computer is one of the most powerful you’ll find today. Other major specs include 32 GB RAM and 1TB HDD storage space.
Of the countless brands manufacturing consumer PCs today, Apple is among the most dedicated to creating hardware for artists, photographers, videographers, graphic designers, and other professional creatives. Their dedication to this audience is evident in the Apple MacBook Pro, complete with 16GB of RAM, a 512GB solid state drive, and a one-of-a-kind Touch Bar tool.
The touch bar on the Apple MacBook Pro is one of the key features that set it apart for photo editing. When you use software like Adobe PhotoShop or Adobe Premiere on the Apple MacBook Pro, you can assign certain tools to the touch bar for ease of use. Instead of clicking around your screen with your mouse to access different tools, you can do so with a quick tap using the touch bar above your keyboard.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 takes everything that’s great about the Microsoft Surface studio two and packs it into one convenient, portable design. In fact, the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 more closely resembles a tablet computer than a standard laptop, offering users the best of both worlds.
The best part about the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 computer for photo editing is its highly responsive touchscreen and exceptional stylus pen. The pen works effortlessly with the computer to offer accurate, lag-free drawing and editing, making this device the perfect choice for all types.
Users can configure their HP Pavilion Wave during the ordering process, including up to a 1 TB hard drive and a 256GB PCI solid state drive.
The computer ships with Windows 10, offering users access to today’s most versatile operating system without a separate purchase or installation.
Best of all, the HP Pavilion Wave offers unmatched multi-tasking performance and the ability to edit 4k photos and movies thanks to its powerful CPU configuration options.
If saving space in your office is your greatest concern and you want a quality photo editing rig on a budget, look no further than the Intel NUC Mini PC. Complete with 16GB of DDR4 RAM, a blazingly fast 256GB SSD, and an Intel Core i7-6770HQ quad core processor, it doesn’t sacrifice speed for size.
Additionally, the Intel NUC Mini PC is one of the only models on this list available for less than $1000. If you need to buy a reliable photo editing computer on a budget, the Intel NUC Mini PC will offer everything you need without breaking the bank.
For decades, Dell has had a reputation for creating some of the best computers on the market. Their PC’s are usually affordable for average consumers without sacrificing power or longevity. The Dell XPS 8930 takes this to the next level, offering a powerful 8th generation Intel I7 processor, 16 GBs of DDR4 RAM, in a combination of a 256 GB solid state drive and a 2TB SATA hard disk.
The computer also has an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti dedicated graphics card lending to its power. This card features 4 GB of the latest GDDR5 VRAM, making it the perfect choice for high-resolution photo and video editing.
Keyboard Extras for Editing
When you buy a computer for photo editing, you may consider added accessories to help you get the job done. Below, we’ll look at two unique tools designed specifically for use with photo and video editing software to speed up your workflow and help you express your creativity.
The Loupdeck+ is the photographer’s best friend. Designed specifically for Adobe editing programs like Lightroom, Premiere Pro, After Effects, and more, it offers specialized keys and dials that work with creative tools.
With the Loupdeck+, you can manage multiple editing tasks at once. You can use the keyboard’s factory default settings or adjust each dial and button to your liking – it’s up to you!
Few dedicated editing keyboards offer the same variety of buttons, sliders, and dials as the Loupdeck+ for the same price. If you’re a photographer, videographer, or hobbyist, the Loupdeck+ could be your new best friend for editing.
Most keyboards for designers come with some customization options, but few offer them to the same extent as the Palette Professional Kit. The Palette Professional Kit is designed with customization in mind, offering users the opportunity to build their own tactile controller from scratch.
When you buy the Palette Professional Kit, you’ll receive a choice of dials, sliders, and buttons that snap together in limitless ways. You can mix and match your options however you please, creating a powerful tool that’s designed specifically for you.
Moreover, this keyboard comes with more than 105 custom functions. When you set it up to work with your editing programs, you’ll have no limitations as you assign functions to your buttons, sliders, and dials with ease.
Buying a new computer is a big decision, especially for a photographer or videographer. You need to buy a rig that will get the job done, rendering high-resolution imagery with ease. By working with any of the computers above, you can rest assured you’re getting the power you need to do your best work without limitation.