If you’re doubting what the best computer for photo editing is, you’ve found the right place to answer your questions. Our photo retouchers use only the best desktop computers for photo editing, so I’ll share some experience on what model to buy to make even the most difficult photo manipulations in Photoshop easy and fast.
Computer for Photo Editing on Windows Platform
Computer for Photo Editing on Mac OS Platform
So what to choose? First, decide what you need a PC or the best laptop for photo editing for. If your style of life and work is active, opt for the mobile laptop. If you do not need mobility, use a PC. I recommend having a laptop of an average configuration to work outside and have a good PC at home. In case your budget is limited, take the laptop. As I mentioned above, it requires a minimum of additional accessories. Laptops are sold already completed. Unlike a PC, where you can buy a system unit and then choose a suitable monitor for it, there is little choice. If the display perfectly fits you but you do not like the characteristics of the laptop, you will not find the golden mean. As a result, you will have to examine other options.
PC Computer for Photo Editing
Laptop for Photo Editing
So, what to choose - a regular computer or a monoblock? Actually, it all depends on the buyer’s goals. If you need power and versatility, of course, it is better to choose a home computer. For those who have a high financial position and do not like when the equipment takes up a lot of space, buy a monoblock.
Monoblock for Photo Editing
If you are thinking about buying a PC, consider the cost of the additional accessories. At the minimum, you will need to purchase a mouse, speakers, a monitor, and a keyboard. If we talk about the price, a mouse, a keyboard and speakers will cost you from $50 to $1,000 depending on your requirements. To buy a monitor, you also need to pay not a small sum. The minimum is $50-100. A good PC with ips matrix and high resolution will cost $250-1000.
The most important indicators of the PC, which are worth looking at when choosing, are a video card, processor, a drive and RAM. In addition, check the cooling system and power supply. Fortunately, manufacturers use quite strong power supplies and good cooling on all modern models. Otherwise, you need a proper desk setup to avoid your computer being overheated.
Programs such as Photoshop (view more about how to download Photoshop free) and Lightroom allow you to recreate all the creative ideas in the field of photography and photo manipulations. However, not every device will cope with the loads of these programs, so most professional photographers would like to buy a more powerful computer. You can go to the official sites of these applications where all the characteristics are available to users.
I prepared the list of best computers for photo editing in 2018 that provide a smooth and at the same time quick work of Photoshop / Lightroom softwares. It is difficult to describe all modern computers for professional photographers, since this niche is characterized by great competition. But despite this, our selection is based on the actual use of certain configurations. Of course, photographers can choose simple devices, but the speed and quality of work will decrease, in this case.
I don’t recommend buying a used computer for photo editing at all. Any device contains writable memory in which malware can hide, and there is presently no satisfactory way to scan IoT things for malware. No matter it’s a all-in-all computer or a cheap computer mouse, I would rather buy a new one.
This PC is offered with an AMD Quad-Core A8-7410 processor. The processor is not powerful, but despite this, it has built-in graphics with AMD Radeon R5 (Beema / Carrizo-L) graphics core that supports the DirectX12 API. Of course, Dell Inspiron is not suitable for video games of the new generation, but it will cope with the operating system interface and photo editing applications. The integrated graphics core is equipped with 128 stream processors and a single-channel memory controller (DDR3-1866). The video card does not have its own memory. Nowadays, this is a cheap bundle that is one of the best computers for photo editing.
Lenovo IdeaCentre 720 is the first in the rating “best computer for photo editing”. The computer unit of this computer for photo editing is equipped with a modern AMD Ryzen 5th generation. The processor model requires a discrete graphics card for operation, since the integrated one is missing. In addition, this computer for photo editing has a turbo-boost mode. The Radeon R5 340 is not a new video card, but it supports a high level of work in photo editing programs. Also worth noting is a convenient metal case.
Pavilion is a great model for working in photo editors. This modern device continues the best computer for photo editing list. In addition, the price of this PC completely corresponds to the quality of work. This convenient and compact PC includes a 4-core Intel processor i3-8100 that is complemented by a modern 4K processor. 4G NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card provides a clear picture always.
This is the next pc that will be discussed as a computer for photo editing. It is equipped with AMD A12 processor. Probably, the presence of an integrated graphics adapter is the main difference between the AMD A-series from the AMD Athlon / AMD Ryzen line. Smooth and at the same time, fast work in multitasking mode is the main feature of this processor. This result was achieved thanks to modern AMD App Acceleration technology. Note that this type of processor is endowed with a cooling system. Despite the fact that ASUS Radeon R7 240 graphics card does not meet high requirements, it performs all tasks in photo editors.
This is a very interesting variant of the minimal configuration for working with modern programs as a computer for photo editing. Skytech Gaming ST-ARCH received a new AMD FX-6300 processor. A six-core processor based on "Piledriver" that is known as "Vishera" has a standard 3.5 GHz frequency. This figure can increase to 4.1 GHz in Turbo mode.
Despite such a strong processor in this category, Skytech Gaming also has a modern strong Nvidia Geforce GTX 1050 graphics card with 2Gb of dedicated VRAM. All these characteristics allowed us to add this PC to the list "the best computer for photo editing".
This is one of the best computers for photo editing 2018 which is presented in a minimal build for the smooth operation of modern photo editors. This model is similar to the previous device, because it has a 4-core AMD Risen processor of 5-th generation, too. But the difference lies in the bundles of video cards. So, Dell Inspiron has a new graphics card (RX 570). This detail supports the modern AMD FreeSync technology which shows a smooth picture, despite the frame rate. As a result, we can say that Dell Inspiron is best computer for photo editing for photographers.
AMD Ryzen Series is a new good processor in the "budget" line. The new architecture of the PC uses a modern execution mechanism. In addition, this pc works in a function of simultaneous multithreading (SMT). All Zen cores are designed to efficiently use microarchitecture resources to ensure comfortable operation. In addition to a good processor, Acer GX281 is endowed with a good NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card with 2Gb of dedicated VRAM. It is worth noting that this is one of the best computers for photo and video editing 2018.
This PC is the last in the list of "TOP-10 best computers for photo editing" of weak configuration (price up to $ 750). Omen 870 is available on an Intel Core i5-7400 processor that has 4 cores, which work with a native clock speed of 3.0 GHz frequency. The 3.5 GHz frequency is available in Turbo mode. 6 MB of this cache level 3. The PC also has a 2-channel memory controller (DDR4). The graphics core of the new generation (IntelHD Graphics 630) is also available.
This PC has Ultra 4KHD which is the main feature for professional photographers and editors. You will enjoy a bright and clear picture thanks to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 video card with 3Gb of dedicated VRAM.
This is an excellent device for the ratio of price=quality in the advanced segment. Like the Dell Inspiron 5680, HP Pavilion is assembled on an Intel Core i5-8400 processor that was included in the Core i5. The computer has all the necessary functions for successful photo editing (turbo mode, modern 4K, Intel Quick Sync Video and built-in graphics core). The device is equipped with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card. However, RAM has been trimmed to 8GB, so the SSD is available. In general, this is a good HP computer for photo editing.
Lenovo ideacentre Y720 is a budget variant of the advanced segment too. A weak processor and graphics card do not affect the good performance of graphics applications. Processor Intel Core i5-7400 7-th generation has 4 cores. The graphics core is built-in. The AMD Radeon RX 480 graphics card is offered with 4Gb of dedicated VRAM.
By assembling this computer, specialists paid attention to the mid-segment processor and video card in this price range. SSD is not available in this build, so the Dell Inspiron assembly is minimal for advanced configurations. The 8th generation Intel Core i5-8400 processor belongs to the Core i5 family. The Dell Inspiron 5680 offers a large list of advanced features (4k, turbo mode and also Intel Quick Sync Video). This device has a good NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card.
This PC is also on the best computers for photo editing list since it runs on an Intel Core i7-8700 processor which has 6 cores and supports Turbo Boost and Intel Hyper-Thread modes. This allows you to perform several tasks simultaneously. Dell XPS 8930 has a built-in graphics core. L3 cache memory has 12MB of memory. The new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti graphics card with 4Gb of dedicated VRAM provides fast and comfortable operation in Photoshop and other photo editing applications.
Despite all the above aspects, the developers did not spend time on the drive. Therefore, the PC is equipped with only a HDD.
This is one of the best computers and monitors for photo editing, since the configuration is equipped with a modern processor, a graphics card and even a SSD drive. The computer has an Intel Core i7-6700 processor of the 6th generation. Ultra HD 4K, Intel Quick Sync Video and built-in graphics core are also supported.
AMD Radeon R7 450 graphics card with 2Gb of dedicated VRAM provides a comfortable and smooth operation in Photoshop.
The Dell Inspiron i3670 is a model with a modern processor and a weak video camera. The Intel Core i7-8700 processor of the 8th generation has 6 cores that work in 12 threads. The PC develops a 3.2 GHz-4.6 GHz wobbly frequency. Nvidia GeForce GT 1030 graphics card with 2Gb of dedicated VRAM.
The computer features modern functions from the budget version. The eight cores of AMD Ryzen 7 1700 processors develop 3.0 GHz. We can also highlight Neural Net Prediction, Smart Prefetch, Extended Frequency Range and other functions for photo editing.
The computer opens the "TOP-10 devices for optimal and productive work of Lightroom / Photoshop". HP ENVY 795 is offered with a powerful Intel Core i7-8700 processor that has 6 cores. They operate in 12 streams with a nominal 3.2 GHz clock speed (4.6 GHz available only in Turbo Boost mode). 12 MB is the cache size of the 3rd level. The bundle of this computer also includes a 2-channel memory controller (DDR4). In addition, the device supports a function called "Intel Hyper-Threading". This allows you to work with multiple tasks at the same time. All photographers will like Ultra HD 4K.
AMD Radeon RX 550 Aero graphics card is not new, but it provides good performance thanks to 4Gb of dedicated VRAM. As a result, this is a good computer for photo editing.
In spite of the weaker processor, HP Pavilion has an SSD-drive. The PC offers an Intel Core i5-7400 processor of the 7th generation with 4 cores that give a 3.0 GHz clock speed. This figure increases to 3.5 GHz in turbo mode. L3 cache memory has 6 MB of memory.
HP Pavilion also offers a 2-channel memory controller (DDR4). The integrated graphics core allowed to add HP Pavilion to the category "best computers for photo editing 2018". The possibility of video conferencing and fast conversion is available thanks to 4K video and a new Intel Quick Sync Video function. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 is available with 3Gb of dedicated VRAM. In a word, HP Pavilion is the best computer for photo and video editing.
The next "budget" option in the "professional" segment will be HP ENVY. This is an excellent example of how a properly equipped computer costs adequate money. The PC is provided with an Intel Core i7-8700 CPU, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 video card with 6GB of VRAM and a one SSD. It's the best computer for photo editing from HP for its price.
The first from our list of best computers for photo editing is HP Gaming OMEN. CPU is the Intel Core i7-8700 (six-core; 3.2GHz up to 4.6GHz in Turbo Mode; 12MB cache). Video card is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB VRAM), based on the Pascal architecture, which in turn provides 3x increase in performance. This PC supports all kinds of functions such as Intel Hyper-Threading, Ultra HD 4K or Intel Quick Sync Video.
Dell Inspiron 5675 is a unique assembly because at its price combines all the maximum and necessary components. It is built on the 8-core AMD Ryzen 7 1700 CPU with a clock rate of 3.0 GHz and support of all the essential functions. The AMD Radeon RX 570 video card has 4GB of VRAM.
If to consider the PC in this price category and evaluate it according to the price/quality criteria, SkyTech Omega Gaming is the best computer for photo editing for its price. SkyTech is equipped with a 6-core Intel Core i7-8700K 8th generation CPU. This CPU supports all advanced functions and is equipped with an integrated graphics core. SkyTech also has GeForce GTX 1070 Ti video card with 8GB of VRAM.
Dell AWAUR7 is also built using a top processor and video card in its segment. CPU is the Intel Core i7-8700. Video card is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB VRAM), based on the Pascal architecture. However, in this model, there is also an SSD drive, which is an integral part for the photographers working with photo editors, since it significantly speeds up the work.
It is a PC that does not justify its cost because it has a weak CPU for this category. Aegis-049US is equipped with 4-core Intel Core i7-6700 CPU with support for various functions and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 video card with 8GB of VRAM.
MSI Vortex G25-022US is provided in several trim levels, but if you look at the minimal - the cost does not justify itself. The PC is based on a 6-core Intel Core i7-8700 CPU with a clock rate of 3.2 GHz. Also, there is a GeForce GTX 1070 video card with 8GB of VRAM. In a nutshell, MSI Vortex G25-022US is definitely not the best computer for photo editing according to its cost.
The main advantage of Mac devices from Apple is the macOS, which is more optimized and powerful than Windows or Linux. Mac Pro is equipped with a 4-core Intel Xeon E5-1620 CPU which in turn provides dynamic scalability, higher performance, and shorter work schedules. Also, Mac Pro has a Dual AMD FirePro D300 video card with 2GB of VRAM.
If you want to purchase the best computer for photo editing and reduce the costs of time to a minimum, CORSAIR ONE PRO Plus is your choice. The PC is equipped with the top-end CPU in the premium line - Intel i7-8700K and GTX 1080 Ti video card with 11GB of VRAM, which will allow you to edit hundreds of images at the same time without reducing performance. There are also two SSD.
Choosing the best all in one computer for photo editing, pay special attention to the monitor. A professional photographer needs a good monitor with high resolution, correct color rendition, and good matrix.
The Lenovo ThinkCentre M910z opens the list of minimal configuration devices for productive work with Lightroom and Photoshop.
This all-in-one PC is equipped with a good quality LED matrix with FULL HD resolution, glossy screen, and anti-reflective coating. There is 4-core Intel Quad-Core i5-6400 6th generation CPU with support for turbo boost and built-in integrated Intel HD Graphics 530 video card. ThinkCentre M910z is the most suitable for amateurs and entry-level photographers.
In this device, the display quality is at an average level, as expected from the budget model - an LED matrix with FULL HD resolution. Dell Inspiron i3455 is equipped with a 4-core AMD A8-7410 CPU with an integrated AMD Radeon R5 Graphics video card.
Due to an average screen quality and a weak configuration, Dell Inspiron i3455 is definitely not the best all in one computer for photo editing.
HP Pavilion 24” All-in-One is equipped quite well and justifies its price. This device has Full-HD touch screen with IPS matrix and AMD A9 CPU with built-in AMD Radeon R5 video card. It is the best all in one computer for photo editing at minimal configuration due to a good screen and well filling.
HP Pavilion 27” All-in-One is equipped with a large 27” display with an IPS matrix and a FullHD screen. CPU is the Intel Core i5-7400T with built-in graphics core Intel HD Graphics 630. This device is a quite budget and compensates not much powerful characteristics by a large and good display.
This device has an IPS-screen with 23.8" Brilliant UHD resolution (3840x2160). It is also equipped with a 4-core Intel Core i7-6700T CPU with built-in graphics core Intel HD Graphics 630. There is NVIDIA GTX 960M mobile video card with 4GB of VRAM. Asus Z240-C4 ZEN is one of the best all in one computers for photo editing since it assembled quite well and is suitable for professional retouching.
ASUS V272UA has an ultra-wide-angle IPS matrix with FULL HD resolution. The screen here is thin with LED backlighting. Due to the wide viewing angles, the picture does not produce any distortion of color reproduction when the angle changes. The all-in-one PC has a 4-core Intel Core i5-8250U CPU and the Intel UHD Graphics 620 graphics core.
MSI PRO 24x is a medium-assembled device with a good 23” LED screen with Full HD resolution and anti-reflective coating. The CPU is the 7th generation Intel Core i5-7200U with a graphics core as a video card. MSI PRO 24x is not the best device for photo editing, but a good one.
Dell i7775-A698SLV-PUS Inspiron is a balanced mid-range computer from AMD with quality that quite consistent with its price. The device has a high-quality 27” display with IPS matrix and 4K resolution. It is assembled on the 8-core AMD RYZEN 7 CPU and AMD Radeon RX580 video card with 8GB of VRAM. Suitable for optimal and fast work with photo editors.
Apple iMac posses one of the best computer monitors for photo editing - a superb 21” 4K retina display with wide viewing angles and an ultra-thin LED-backlit screen for high brightness and contrast of the image. Due to the wide angles of the matrix, the picture on the screen does not produce any distortion of color reproduction when the angle changes. Apple iMac is equipped with an Intel Core i5 CPU with an integrated graphics core and a Radeon Pro 560 video card with 4GB of VRAM.
Dell Precision 5720 AIO 27 is the perfect combination of price and quality. The PC is equipped with a 27” display with IPS matrix and 4K resolution. The basis is 4-core Intel Xeon Processor E3 with integrated Intel HD Graphics P630 graphics core. The video card is AMD Radeon Pro WX 7100 with 8GB of VRAM. It's one of the best computers for photo editing, which will suit for quickly solving all problems in photo editors.
Dell i7777-7569SLV is one of the best all in one computers for photo editing for professionals, which has a 27” IPS display with anti-reflective coating and wide viewing angles. However, the screen's drawback is its resolution - 1920 x 1080. The device is equipped with 6-core Intel Core i7-8700T CPU and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 video card with 4GB of VRAM.
HP Envy 27QD, as well as Dell's one, is a powerful device for photo editing for professionals, which has a 27” IPS display with anti-reflective coating and wide viewing angles. However, HP has a larger screen resolution - 2560 x 1440. This all-in-one PC is built based on 6-core Intel Core i7-8700T CPU and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 video card with 4GB of VRAM.
The iMac 27" is the best Mac computer for photo editing. This device posses a new graphics processor Radeon Pro 500, so the image on the screen is just amazing. The iMac 27" is equipped with a 27" Retina 5K display. It runs on the Intel Core i7 CPU with support for various functions.
Microsoft Surface Studio All-in-One is equipped with 28" wide-screen display with IPS matrix and anti-reflective coating. This all-in-one PC has a 6-core Intel Core i7 CPU with a clock rate of 2.6 GHz and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M video card for 4GB of VRAM.
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How to choose the best computer for photo editing 2018? First of all, I recommend buying a simple battery backup for your computer. A cheap $50-100 UPS will protect your equipment when the power goes out and your system comes to a halting crash. Your computer has to process images of any resolution and transfer them to cloud storages or external storages. The second important point is simultaneous interaction with several resource-intensive programs (a browser with several open tabs, several graphics editors, a photo editing software). Other parameters go beyond the system block - for example, a professional photographer must have a modern monitor with high resolution, support for sRGB and Adobe RGB, the correct contrast and brightness.
The best computer for photo editing should be equipped with simple and inexpensive CPU; it's desirable from Intel. The I3 model is not the most powerful, but for standard cases, it will be enough, at least, for Photoshop and work with photos. RAM with 8GB is a pretty enough amount. Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 with 2GB can easily cope with any photo editors or programs like Photoshop, but with a resolution of not more than Full HD. For 4K resolution, it should be the version with 4GB or GTX 1050. Don't forget about SSD with at least 240GB and HDD with 500GB for storing data.
Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.