A good editing computer is essential for any photographer. Post-processing is a key part of digital photography, and without a high-performing PC, you’ll quickly become frustrated by the sluggishness of various Mac and Windows editing programs.
Unfortunately, editing software really does take a pretty big toll on your PC’s memory and overall performance when in use. You need a computer with plenty of RAM and a solid processor; you also need ample storage so you can keep your image catalog at hand.
Below, we share our favorite PCs for photo editing available in 2023, including options for beginners, professionals, and everyone in between.
Best PC for Photo Editing in 2023:
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The Best PC for Photo Editing: All-In-One, Budget, and Gaming
We have divided this article into three parts.
The first part covers the so-called “all-in-one PCs.” These are ideal for those who want a complete unit ready to use straight out of the box. These PCs come with a tower, a (usually large) display unit, and a keyboard. Some, like the Apple iMac, come with a pointer device, too.
The second part covers the best budget PC units. These are great for everyday office work and are built better than your average office PC. We haven’t gone for the absolutely dirt-cheap units because they can struggle to run Photoshop.
The third part covers (gaming) PCs which, due to their processing power, are ideal for photo editing. But you will have to buy a monitor for photo editing separately, and you may want to buy a good editing keyboard, too. Finally, a graphics tablet is advisable for maximum editing convenience.
Best All-In-One PCs for Photo Editing
1. HP Pavilion 27 All-In-One
With 64 GB of RAM and a 12-core processor, the HP Pavilion 27 All-In-One allows you to seamlessly handle photo editing and other jobs.
If you want a PC that should be able to cope with software that debuts over the next few years, the HP Pavilion 27 All-In-One is a superb option. This all-in-one desktop computer has incredible specs that mean it should easily be able to handle any advancements in editing programs such as an increase in AI usage.
Powering this AIO is an Intel Core i7-12700T processor and a whopping 64 GB of DDR4 RAM. The RAM is more than any other computer on this list offers. Since most photo-editing programs recommend 16 GB of RAM, this will give you amazing performance. The processor has maximum clock speeds of 4.70 GHz, and with 12 cores and 20 threads, you should be able to do multiple tasks at the same time without a decrease in speed.
The display is high quality, too. You can see your photos in great detail and colors due to the 27” size, the 1920×1080 resolution, and the 300 nits of brightness. Connectivity shouldn’t be an issue, either, as the PC has 2x USB Type-A ports, 2x SuperSpeed USB Type-A ports, and various HDMI outputs. As a result, connecting external devices like your camera, a storage drive, or even a secondary display shouldn’t be an issue.
2. Apple iMac 24″
The Apple iMac 24″ has a superb 4.5K Retina display that will render your photos realistically with excellent colors and contrast.
The latest generation of iMacs benefit from the M1 processor, which is a huge upgrade compared to previous models. The Apple iMac 24'' has this combined chip featuring an 8-core CPU and 7-core GPU. The 8 GB of memory is also unified.
This essentially means the processor is incredibly efficient and can offer superb performance. Compared to older models, which had a split Intel processor and separate RAM, the 2021 versions just runs better and will allow you to use software like Adobe Lightroom Classic with ease.
Another major draw is the 4.5K Retina display. This makes the 24” iMac by far the best PC for photo editing from a visual perspective. It has a P3 wide color gamut support and 500 nits of brightness. You can therefore expect fantastic clarity, contrast, and detail in your photos; they should look realistic, which will make the editing process that much easier.
You can also connect external devices easily and transfer files quickly via the 2x Thunderbolt ports. Lastly, the 2021 iMac is available in a range of stylish pastel colors to brighten up your home office or editing studio.
3. Lenovo IdeaCentre 5i
The Lenovo IdeaCentre 5i has a high-quality 4K touchscreen and ample system specs so you can enjoy a quick workflow and plenty of flexibility when editing.
The Lenovo IdeaCentre 5i is a superb all-in-one desktop that offers extra control and versatility due to its touchscreen monitor, a 27” display with 2560×1440 pixels of resolution and a screen-to-body ratio of 93%.
As a result, you get maximum screen real estate, and the monitor looks quite stylish too. The touchscreen functionality can help improve your editing workflow and make things faster and easier.
So you can run top photo editing software, this AIO has an Intel Core i7 processor and 16 GB of DDR4 memory. It should easily be able to cope with programs like Lightroom and ON1 Photo RAW, but it may not be fantastic for video editing due to the onboard GPU.
This computer also has some useful features to extend its functionality. For example, you can place certain smartphones on the desktop box and they will charge wirelessly. Additionally, the computer has a webcam on the top of the monitor that can be folded away when not in use. Then there are multiple ports, including 1x USB Type-C, 1x USB 2.0, and 2x ultra-fast USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports. These can operate at transfer speeds of up to 10 GB per second and can make photo transfers lightning-fast.
Best Budget PCs for Photo Editing
4. Skytech Archangel 3.0
The Skytech Archangel 3.0 is a multifaceted device that is capable of photo editing and video editing due to the high-quality NVIDIA graphics card.
Skytech has a fantastic range of gaming computers, and the Archangel 3.0 is the best editing PC that the company offers. It has a sleek and stylish design with a gorgeous silver case and plenty of interior RGB lighting.
This computer also has fantastic specs. One of the best features is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1600 graphics card – this beast has 6 GB of dedicated memory! Combine it with the 16 GB of DDR4 gaming memory and the Ryzen 5 processor, and you get one of the best photo-editing models on the market. You can expect supreme performance from programs like Lightroom and ON1 Photo RAW.
To keep this computer running smoothly so you can edit for prolonged periods, the Archangel also packs plenty of dedicated cooling fans. The graphics card has a fan, and there is a high-performance AMD Wraith Cooler for the motherboard.
5. Skytech Blaze II
This desktop computer looks incredible, and it also performs well thanks to an AMD Ryzen 5 processor and 8 GB of DDR4 gaming memory.
The SkyTech Blaze II looks epic with its RGB lighting system and offers superb performance for both photo editing and gaming. If you want a great desktop computer that’ll wow your friends, this is the right pick.
Before we look at the specs, let’s discuss the build. The PC has a transparent side panel so you can see the components in all their glory. It also has three RGB RING fans that look dazzling and provide efficient cooling for all that processing power.
To run photo editing software smoothly, this beastly rig has an AMD Ryzen 5 3600 6-core processor, which clocks in at a standard speed of 3.6 GHz. There’s also 8 GB of DDR4 3000 RAM and a powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 GPU.
Admittedly, the storage capacity could be larger, but you get an SSD, which is so much faster than traditional HDDs. And you can always add an external hard drive if space is too limited and you’re struggling to organize your images.
6. HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop
The 512 GB SSD gives the HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop superior boot times and fantastic file-handling capabilities.
If you don’t want an AIO computer but still prefer a well-known brand, the HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop could be an excellent pick. It is primarily meant for gaming purposes, but its intense specifications make it an option for photo editing, too.
The case looks great and has a compact design with a vertical front panel of ports, including 4x USB Type-A slots. It is also equipped with multiple air vents and an advanced thermal cooling system to ensure the components never overheat.
The important specs are more than enough for advanced photo editing and include 16 GB of high-bandwidth DDR4 RAM. It also has an impressive Intel Core i5-10400F processor with clock speeds of 2.9 GHz.
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU is outstanding; it ensures you can play high-resolution games, but it also lets you do tasks like video editing easily.
Lastly, don’t worry if you regularly need to transfer large RAW files from external devices. This desktop comes with a lightning-fast 512 GB SSD, which promises quick image transfers and a very smooth processing workflow.
7. Dell Inspiron 3910
The Dell Inspiron 3910 has great specs at an affordable price, which makes it a fantastic budget option for those who only edit photos occasionally.
If you do occasional photo editing and just need a computer that can cope with simpler software, the Dell Inspiron 3910 is our top pick. It is less than $750 but still has the ability to run programs like Luminar AI, Affinity Photo, and Lightroom. The only downside is the onboard Intel UHD Graphics.
The basic option comes with an Intel Core i5-12400 processor. Although it isn’t an i7, it is a solid model with excellent performance, and when you combine it with the 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, you end up with a capable desktop computer. This meets the recommended system requirements for most mid-tier editing software, so you shouldn’t experience any performance issues.
The compact tower unit of the Dell Inspiron 3910 is excellent, too. It takes up minimal room compared to some gaming towers and should easily be able to fit underneath a desk. You can benefit from both front- and rear-facing ports to easily connect your camera, card readers, and external drives.
The ports include various USB, DP, and HDMI options so you can easily use multiple monitors in your workspace. It also supports the latest Wi-Fi 6 technology for excellent connectivity.
Best (Gaming) Desktop PCs for Photo Editing
8. CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR
This gaming PC has some of the best features available and will provide a smooth editing experience even when using power-hungry programs like ON1 Photo RAW.
If you want the ultimate PC for photo editing, the CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR is a monster rig. This computer is primarily used for gaming, but it is more than capable of running resource-intensive editing software such as Photoshop.
Liquid cooling ensures that the rig is able to dissipate heat much better and offer superior performance even when running demanding applications. Do remember: This is an out-and-out gaming PC, so for photo editing, it may be overkill. But if you want to invest in a computer that can handle photo editing, video editing, and pretty much anything else, this is the one you should go for.
The Gamer Xtreme VR has 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, which can easily be upgraded. It also has a powerful Intel Core i9-9900K 3.6 GHz processor. This should be more than enough to cope with processing RAW images and managing large libraries of photos.
We also like that it has the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super 8 GB. The 16 GB of DDR4 and 1 TB PCI-E NVMe SSD round out its impressive feature set.
9. iBUYPOWER SlateMR 291i
The iBUYPOWER SlateMR 291i is a beastly computer with top-quality system specs so you can run advanced photo-editing software with ease.
For high-end photo editing and gaming, the iBUYPOWER SlateMR 291i is a fantastic choice. It’s a top post-processing PC, and it also looks amazing if you like RGB lighting. The front of the case is transparent, so you can see the three RGB cooling fans, and it also has a glass side panel so you can see all the components.
It performs well, too! This gaming PC has a 12th-gen Intel Core i7-12700F processor, which has clock speeds of up to 3.6 GHz.
There is also 16 GB of DDR4 memory, so you can expect real-time editing with no delays when you change photo parameters or do tasks like importing and exporting. It should not lag visually, either, as it has an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti GPU. This has 8 GB of dedicated memory, so it won’t consume system resources when in use.
You can upload large photo collections quickly due to the 1 TB NVMe SSD. Everything about this device is built for high-end processes, which makes it an amazing choice for photographers and gamers. You actually get an included keyboard and mouse, and it comes with Windows Home 11 with a full license.
10. OMEN 25L GT12-0050
The OMEN 25L GT12-0050 is a true powerhouse with its 16 GB of DDR4 RAM and AMD Ryzen 7 processor.
The OMEN 25L GT12-0050 is a quality product with a host of excellent specifications. First, the case looks fantastic; it has a glass-sided panel so you can see the inner workings of your PC.
It also has everything you need for photo editing. This includes an AMD Ryzen 7 3700X processor, an AMD Radeon RX 5700 graphics card, and 16 GB of DDR4 RAM. The processor can work at speeds of up to 4.4 GHz, and the graphics card has 8 GB of dedicated memory. Photo editing and video editing should prove no issue at all.
For storage, it has a 512 GB SSD, which some may find limiting, though you also get a 1 TB HDD, and you can always purchase an external SSD for a relatively cheap price.
11. Dell XPS Desktop
The Dell XPS Desktop has a 512 GB SSD and a 1 TB HDD so you can easily store thousands of RAW photos.
Our last pick is the Dell XPS Desktop, another superb model that has great storage drive options if you edit photos in a professional capacity and deal with thousands of images on a regular basis. This is because it has a 512 GB SSD and a 1 TB HDD.
You could use the SSD for software installation as this will give quicker loading times and better performance, and you could use the 1 TB HDD as a backup storage drive for your work. The computer has a stylish gaming case, too, which is relatively compact and has a cool silvery panel on the front.
You should have no problem running Windows editing software like Lightroom Classic and Capture One Pro. The PC has an Intel Core i7-12700 12th-gen processor and a whopping 32 GB of memory. For video editing and other graphics work, there is an Intel UHD Graphics 770 GPU.
The connectivity is fantastic, and you can connect your camera, smartphone, and external devices using the array of fast USB ports.
Key Things to Consider When Choosing the Best PCs for Photo Editing
- Available storage space
- Amount of RAM
- Type of processor
- Type of graphics card
As a photographer, having access to your files and also having enough storage space to install and run your programs is key. You’ll ideally want a PC with 1 TB of storage.
The best PCs have ample RAM; this allows you to handle performance-heavy programs with ease. Look for a PC with 8 GB of RAM at a minimum.
Processors and graphics cards vary from PC to PC, but you ideally want high-performers on both ends. The latest Intel i5 or above is a great choice; pair it with a powerful NVIDIA or Radeon graphics card.
Price is the final factor and comes down to your budget. If you have a tight budget, expect to make cuts in some of the above areas to find a PC in your price range.
Pick a PC for Your Photo Editing!
Regardless of how much you edit, what software you use, and the size of your photo collection, there should be a suitable photo editing computer on this list.
Photo Editing PC FAQ
Does Photoshop benefit from a better graphics processor?
Yes, it does. There are some tools in Photoshop that won’t even work with particular GPUs. In addition, when working with Camera RAW or using one of the Blur Gallery tools, a fast GPU will get you a much smoother experience than a slower or outdated GPU.
AMD Ryzen vs Intel Core: Which one should I choose?
AMD-powered PCs have come along in leaps and bounds, and today’s Ryzen 9 powered systems are ahead of Intel Core i9 processors in terms of raw power. The 12 cores and multi-threading capabilities allow the Ryzen 9 to handle 24 processes compared to 16 processes on an 8-core i9.
What is an ideal amount of RAM for a photo-editing computer?
You want at least 8 GB as this is the recommended amount for most editing programs. However, 16 GB or even 24 GB will offer superior performance.
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