When it comes to photo editing, there are those out there who think an Instagram filter and adjusting the lighting are enough, and there are those who spend hours and hours adjusting their images to perfect the perfect shot. Both are right, but one thing is clear: you need a damn good computer to do this.
But finding the best computer for photo editing can be challenging, especially if this is your livelihood or part of your studies. You know that it can be hard to find a computer that will be fast enough, have enough storage, and high-quality graphics, without breaking the bank. You start to lose hope, wondering if there will ever be a way out.
And then, we appear, like magic, PC Guide come swooping in to save the day. We did the hard work for you and have the best computers for photo editing on the market that will make you want to edit all day long. What are you waiting for? Check them out now!
And after that check out our Best Monitor for Photo Editing article too
Here at PC Guide, we take computers very seriously. We know that they can be your livelihood, and therefore, only the best will do. After all, how could you trust us if we recommended terrible products that could barely load a game of Solitaire?
It’s why we put our wall into finding the best computers on the market and bringing them to you today. We have ridiculously high expectations and ensure that these products meet or exceed these expectations.
To find the best computers for photo editing, we looked at their CPU, RAM, memory, graphics cards, and overclocking potential to bring you the best today. We also considered their size, price, available ports, and cooling powers to ensure that the computers we brought you will enhance your photo editing skills without sounding like a plane is taking off.
Sounds like a dream, right? Well, sit back, relax and get ready to meet your new computer!
Best Computer for Photo Editing in 2021
Fast CPU - run multiple programs with ease
Excellent graphics card - perfect for editing and streaming
Great storage - plenty of space for your files and apps
Range of ports - ideal for fast charging and connecting other devices
Less RAM than other models
Kicking off today’s list is our winner, Apple’s 2020 iMac. Their lasted iMac model combines stunning imagery and speedy performance that makes photo editing a breeze.
The computer features a tenth-generation Intel Core i5 processor that can reach speeds of 3.1GHz! You won’t encounter any problems with speed or performance thanks to this CPU. There is also up to 32GB of RAM, meaning slow transfer speeds or flicking between tabs is a thing of the past; here, the computer will be faster than you!
It’s the perfect computer for photo editors, too, thanks to the AMD Radeon Pro 5300 graphics processor included. You can expect graphics to load and change quickly, allowing you to always be in charge when editing photos.
What’s more, these images will look stunning on the 27-inch retina display. The 5K monitor will provide you with clear and crisp images that are bright and accurate. The true tone technology is a fantastic addition for editors and one we are sure you will love!
There’s also 256GB of SSD storage with the option to expand or utilize iCloud storage for even more space. Gone are the days when ‘low storage’ flashes on your screen!
You get two USB-C ports, too, allowing you to connect other devices with ease. You will need to purchase a mouse and keyboard separately, but these can be used wirelessly for clutter-free desk space.
Customers praised the iMac performance, enjoying the fast performance and its ability to run multiple programs with ease. They also enjoyed the graphics and editing apps they had access to and how well they were displayed on the monitor. They enjoyed the larger screen, providing them with ample space for their creations.
Some customers did note that the computer offered less RAM than others, and they found themselves paying more to upgrade the RAM for a faster operation. Few customers reported this as a problem, but it’s one worth mentioning.
After stunning graphics, fast speeds, and space for all your editing needs? It’s the latest iMac model for you!
Computer, monitor, mouse, and keyboard - provides you with everything you need
Fast performance - perfect for working in fast-paced environments
Range of ports - offers excellent connectivity
Lots of editing features - an ideal workstation for photo editing
Sitting at the top of our price point today is the Lenovo Yoga A940. It’s a pricey option, but one we think you will love! The computer features a monitor too, offering you all you need in one place.
The computer comes with an Intel Core i7-8700k CPU that features a turbo boost, allowing you to hit speeds of 4.7GHz! That is one powerful processor that is sure to handle anything you throw at it. Combined with the whopping 32GB of RAM, you are sure to experience a smooth and flawless performance like no other.
There is also 10GB of graphics RAM that will allow your photo editing apps to load quickly, run smoothly, and transfer data with ease. You won’t need to worry about laggy systems slowing you down; you can work at your normal pace.
Now onto the monitor, you get a 27-inch ultra HD 4K screen that is sure to provide you with crisp and clear images to edit. There is also a touchscreen that tilts and comes with a pen, content creation dial, and heaps of other innovative features that will enhance your photo editing game, whether it is a hobby, school, or work!
There is also an integrated speaker system and a range of ports that allow for fantastic connectivity to other devices. There is even a keyboard and mouse included to ensure you have the best setup for your creative content.
Customers enjoyed the computer’s performance and found it worked well when running demanding software such as editing programs. It’s the ideal workstation for those after a multi-modal computer.
While it’s an expensive option, this computer’s diverse and fast performance makes it an excellent choice.
Reasonably priced - suitable for a range of budgets
New chipset - runs faster and smoother than previous versions
SSD memory - never worry about running out of storage
High-performance GPU - designed with photo apps in mind
Less RAM than others on the market
For those looking for value for money, Apple has the computer for you! Their 2020 Mac Mini offers all the performance capacity and speeds you need for easy photo editing!
The computer is designed with Apple’s M1 chip that provides you with one of their biggest advances in the processor world! The 8-core CPU delivers up to 3 times faster performance than before, allowing you to get your work done quicker! You can expect multiple programs to run easily and tabs to load problem-free!
The GPU also features 8-cores and offers up to six times faster graphics on games and graphic-intensive apps. Exactly what you want when photo editing all day! You won’t need to worry about slow or unresponsive graphic apps; finally, they will keep up with your editing speed! Be sure to team the computer with a worthy monitor that will bring your colors to life!
Apple’s mini mac comes packed with 256GB of SSD memory and the option to upgrade to more for a fee. You’ll never need to worry about running out of storage space again! While it has less storage than others on today’s list, you can make full use of Apple’s iCloud storage to free up space for those demanding editing apps.
An impressive 8GB of RAM included, too that will make data transferring and switching between tabs a breeze! It is some of the lowest RAM included today, which some customers view as a downside, but for the price, you will be pushed to find higher RAM capacity.
Customers enjoyed the range of apps available and how they connected with apps already on phones and tablets. They praised the value for money and the range of USB ports available, offering them access to connect their other devices. Customers enjoyed how their photo editing apps ran and found them fast and responsive, just what you need!
While there is less RAM than some users would like, the price point, fast CPU, and GPUs make Apple’s mini mac a fantastic choice!
Compact size - suitable for a range of configurations
Powerful processor - runs multiple programs with ease
Excellent graphics card - offers fantastic visuals for editing
Fully interchangeable components - tailor the computer to your needs
Changing the parts can be a little tricky
At a slightly lower price point than others today, Intel’s NUC 9 Extreme Kit is a fantastic option for those seeking a new computer for photo editing. It’s designed with virtual reality gaming in mind, so you know the graphics will be perfect for editing photos!
Packed with a 9th generation intel i7-9750H processor, you can expect a fast performance that holds up under pressure. You shouldn’t encounter any issues running multiple programs with this computer.
The graphics card is where this computer steps up its game. The Intel HD Graphics 350Mhz card can see speeds of 1.15GHz, offering fast response times and crisp and clear graphics. Team it with a 4K monitor to unlock Intel’s full potential and see quick refresh rates and bright colors like never before.
There’s a range of ports available too for all your connectivity needs. What’s great about this computer is it can support up to three 4K displays, perfect for those in need of a multiple screen display for work or play. Work on multiple screens editing your work, and know that you have a computer powerful enough to support it.
Intel’s computer supports SSD memory too, so storage will never be an issue. You can choose the storage amount that suits your needs too, tailoring your computer to you. You can change out the Compute Element whenever you want so that you always remain up to date with the best hardware and software for your photo editing.
The computer is incredibly compact, too, making it the ideal computer for those with limited space. If your office is a makeshift desk in your broom cupboard, there will be room to spare with this computer.
Customers praised the power in this small computer and enjoyed the fast performance and smooth operation. They noted that the RAM and CPU allowed for high-end performance without the hefty price tag!
Some customers did note that they found it difficult to reconfigure the computer, especially those with larger hands. It can take some practice to maneuver the smaller pieces, so be sure to allow plenty of time!
For those after high-quality graphics without spending a fortune, give the Intel NUC 9 Extreme Kit a whirl today!
Three-year warranty - offers peace of mind and protection
I7 processor - for a fast performance
Fast RAM - perfect for transferring high data files
Upgrade options - the computer can grow with you
Little loud under heavy-duty use
Today, completing our list is Lenovo’s M720 computer that offers fantastic speeds and performance no photo editor should be without! The computer comes with a range of storage, processor, and RAM options so you can find the one that best fits your needs.
What’s more, you can upgrade the memory and hard drive too, tailoring the computer to your needs. If you need more space or speeds for your editing, you can adjust the computer accordingly. Perfect for those whose editing businesses are growing.
Lenovo’s computer also features an impressive three-year warranty, so should anything go wrong, you are covered! The peace of mind this offers means you can edit worry-free, perfect for students or those with an editing business.
Into the technical bits, we know you are dying to hear. The computer features a Hexa Core i7-8700T processor that can be overclocked to see speeds of 4.0GHz! You can expect speeds from 2.4GHz to 4.0GHz, allowing you to open large files and edit with ease.
You aren’t likely to suffer from slow responses while you edit too. Multitasking isn’t a problem for the computer either; open multiple tabs, programs, and flip between them with ease. Lenovo’s computer is made with hard work in mind.
Using Windows 10 professional, there’s an Intel HD 630 graphics card that will ensure your graphics run smoothly and are crisp and clear. Remember to pair it with a monitor that will support these graphics and provide you with the clear and crisp images you need.
There’s a whopping 1TB of SSD storage available in the hard drive and an impressive 32GB of RAM that ensures your computer will run quickly and smoothly. You won’t need to worry about running out of storage with the DDR4 compatible memory.
There’s a range of USB ports available and a microphone jack allowing you to create the workstation of your dreams! The computer is lightweight, too, weighing just 2.91lbs; it’s ideal for compact workspaces.
Customers praised the powerful nature of the computer and found that it allowed them to carry out their work with ease. They enjoyed the small size, allowing them to use it in virtually any desk space.
Some customers did note that the computer was a little loud when running multiple heavy-duty programs, especially the fans working to keep the system cool. While options are available to reduce the noise, it is a factor worth mentioning.
If you are after a compact but mighty computer that can support all your editing programs and files, it’s the Lenovo ThinkCentre M720 for you!
Things To Consider
Need some more help making your purchase today? Let’s take a look through all the areas you need to consider when making your purchase today.
When it comes to photo editing, you will want a dedicated graphics card rather than an integrated graphics card into your CPU. A separate graphics card will be more powerful and deliver a higher quality of graphics.
When looking at graphics cards, you want the latest model possible for your budget. AMD Radeon is well known for its graphics cards and a brand to keep your eye out. Alternatively, most graphics cards these days will work well, providing they have separate RAM and are fast enough.
You can purchase your own graphics card and install it if you aren’t finding it up to scratch, although these can be quite expensive. Today, all the computers come with some of the best graphics cards on the market so you should not be disappointed!
The processor is a vital part of your computer. It’s best to opt for a multi-core processor that is designed with multi-tasking in mind! These higher core CPUs will be capable of running multiple programs simultaneously and switch between them with ease.
They are also better suited to heavy-duty programs or apps such as Photoshop and won’t be slowed down while you work. Ideally, you don’t want a lower than an i5 processor as they will struggle to achieve these fast speeds.
It’s also worth looking at the overclocking possibilities on your new computer. Anything that allows you to access faster speeds and better performance is surely worth exploring, yes? Be mindful that overclocking usually requires opening your computer up and working on the CPU yourself. If you are unsure about this, there is a wealth of tutorials online that can assist you.
RAM is responsible for storing data temporarily and is vital for opening programs and switching between them. When it comes to photo editing, more RAM is best. The higher the RAM, the faster and smoother your computer will perform, allowing you to work without being slowed down.
Most photo editors opt for 16GB or 32GB of RAM, although 8GB is often sufficient. Generally, higher RAM costs more, so those on a lower budget might be forced into the 8GB category. However, you can always upgrade the RAM yourself later down the line if you need more power.
The display is a vital part of your new computer. While some computers will come with a monitor, many often come without. In these cases, you will need to ensure that the monitor you choose can best support your computer’s graphics capabilities. After all, what’s the point in spending a lot of money on excellent graphics cards if you will be using a poor quality monitor?
Ideally, you want at least an HD monitor, although 4K or 5K would be best. These will offer a clear and crisp image that will make your editing work much easier. You will also want to pay attention to the refresh rate to ensure that your images load and change quickly as you work. Ideally, 60MHz or higher will be suitable for your work.
Ensure that your computer can support and can deliver these results and has a powerful enough CPU to achieve this to avoid disappointment while you work.
And just like that, we have reached the end of our guide today! As you can see, some fantastic computers on the market are perfect for photo editing. Whether you are after a large and clear screen, a speedy processor, or a compact computer, there is a computer for everyone!
Why not invest today and enjoy a computer that will finally meet your photo editing needs?