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10 Best Computers for Photo Editing

Ultimate Buyer's Guide

This is a complete buyer’s guide covering the best computers for photo editing.

In this all-new buyer’s guide, we will be covering:

  • Computer quality
  • Computer build
  • Important features
  • Price
  • Pros and cons
  • Lots more
 

So make sure to review all the options.

That way you can make the best decision for you!

Table of Contents

I’ve listed out each camera here so it is easy for you to see them from a high-level view.

Click/tap on each camera name to jump to that section.

Image

Product

Features

View Price

Amazon Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

BEST ALL-AROUND

  • Multiple connectivity options
  • Fast to start up
  • Allows users to do photo editing tasks without interruption

Amazon Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

BEST RATED

  • Different RAM and internal memory configurations
  • Fast processing speed
  • Small

Amazon Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

BEST BANG FOR BUCK

  • Fast processing
  • Boots up fast
  • With multiple connectivity options

Amazon Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

BEST VALUE

  • Compact design
  • Starts up fast
  • Energy efficient
  • Can perform different office tasks smoothly

Amazon Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

  • Compact and easy to organize
  • With a powerful processor
  • With a 1TB hard drive
  • No lag in photo editing thanks to the 32GB RAM

Amazon Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

  • With a large internal memory
  • Powerful i7 processor
  • Small design
  • With a total of 10 USB slots

Amazon Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

  • Sleek aesthetics
  • With different connectivity options
  • Cheapest Mac option
  • Powerful processor

Intro

A computer is a valuable asset for any photographer. It becomes a necessity nowadays especially if you are using digital cameras regardless if it’s a mirrorless or a DSLR camera. 

As for film shooters, having a good computer can help you tweak the colors especially if you tend to digitize or scan your work. 

Unfortunately, not all computers are the same. There are those computers that find photo manipulation and photo editing work too taxing for its hardware.

So what is the best desktop computer for photo editing? 

We’ve come up with a list of desktops that you might want to check. 

These computers are known for helping hobbyists and pros alike. 

This way, even those who aren’t techy and those who are trying to penny-pinch can have an option that fits their taste.

Photo by Bich Tran

What to Look for in a Computer for Photo Editing

Before you check the best desktop computer for photo editing, might as well know the specs that can make photo editing an easy task. 

To help simplify the selection process from our list of best computers for photo editing, here are some things that you should always remember. 

1. Good Monitor

When it comes to finding the right computer for photo editing, you want to have a good monitor. 

This will ensure that you get the color right whenever you are editing photos. Ideally, you want a monitor that can support 4K resolution. 

On top of that, the size of the monitor will also matter. At times, 15 inches won’t cut it anymore.  

2. Space-Saving Design

If you are dealing with limited space in your office or home office, might as well consider if the computer can be easily organized. 

Does it have a separate CPU? How large is the CPU? 

A lot of designs nowadays can keep clutter away such as having a wireless keyboard. 

3. Processor

Next, you also want a powerful processor to go with your computer. 

The best computers for photo editing will at least have an i5 processor. 

You’d want to either have a quad-core or a six-core processor if you are serious about doing photo editing.

4. RAM

A lot of people tend to struggle with 8GB RAM these days. 

If you are looking to edit photos with large pixels, you might want to stick with a computer that has at least 16GB RAM. 

One of the biggest considerations that you have to make is to stick to a computer that has an expandable RAM. 

This is a good way to follow the changing trends. 

5. Storage

Where do you store the photos? You’d want to keep it in a separate external hard drive and a cloud for backup. 

However, you also want your computer to have some room for storage. When it comes to the internal memory, you have two options. 

You want either the hard disc drive or the solid state drive. Between the two, the latter offers a faster way to retrieve and write data. However, SDDs are expensive. 

So which one is better? We’d always suggest that if you have the budget to stick with computers that have SDDs. 

These are faster to operate which ultimately helps your work especially when you are in a hurry. But when it comes to storage, you’d still want to back it up.

6. Price

Lastly, let’s also consider the price. Not everyone can afford a $2,000 computer. 

You need to check your budget to know how much you are willing to splurge on this investment. 

What is the Overall Best Computer for Photo Editing

HP EliteDesk 800 G2

Among the best computers for photo editing that we’ve featured, we believe that the HP EliteDesk 800 G2 is the best for this type of task. 

It comes in a small package but it can help pro photographers meet their photo editing needs. 

It also makes use of SSD which allows users to save time whenever they are running their PC. 

However, you might want to get an external hard drive for your files. 

4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Pros

  • Multiple connectivity options
  • Fast to start up
  • Allows users to do photo editing tasks without interruption
  • Compact design

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer a lot of internal memory space

7 Best Computers for Photo Editing

Full List

1. HP EliteDesk 800 G1 SFF

The HP EliteDesk 800 G1 SFF Computer is a favorite by many photographers not only because of its ability to perform photo editing tasks, but it can also even do video editing if you are a videographer.

And unlike tower desktops that consume a lot of space on your table, the HP EliteDesk 800 G1 has been designed with space-saving considerations in mind.

It comes with an Intel Core i5-4570T processor that allows you to run the computer efficiently without any problem. 

Starting the computer is also not a problem at all since it comes with a Solid State Hybrid Drive. 

You also won’t have a problem with your electric bill after since we’ve discovered that it runs at around 14W if you are simply browsing the web and doing usual work-related tasks. 

But if you push the computer to its limit, it gets to consume 35W which is not exactly bad at all.  

The only problem with this desktop is that you will have to choose a monitor that goes with a DisplayPort. 

If not, you will have to bother finding an adapter. 

4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Starts up fast
  • Energy efficient
  • Can perform different office tasks smoothly

Cons

  • Only has a DisplayPort

2. Lenovo ThinkCentre M93p

The Lenovo ThinkCentre MP93p Business Class Desktop is considered by a lot of photographers as one of the best computers for photo editing for several reasons.

For its specs, it comes with a Quad-Core i7 4770 3.4Ghz processor coupled with a 32GB RAM and a 1TB hard drive.

Now, that gives you enough elbow room to edit large files especially if you are using a professional camera that has a high resolution.

Though it is small, it comes with the capability to handle work smoothly. 

It even supports multiple monitors and has five 3.0 USB ports to allow you to have different hardware on your desktop. 

If you use the VESA mount, you won’t even notice this PC as it can be invisible under your desk. 

However, despite having a powerful processor and a 32GB RAM to ensure that there is no lag on the photos you edit, there are some things that you might not like about this PC. 

For instance, you will need an adaptor if you want to connect this to an HDMI monitor. And also, there’s no 5GHz Wi-Fi. 

Instead, you can only connect using 2.4GHz thanks to the Centrino-N 105 Wi-Fi card. 

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Pros

  • Compact and easy to organize
  • With a powerful processor
  • With a 1TB hard drive
  • No lag in photo editing thanks to the 32GB RAM

Cons

  • You will need an adaptor to connect to HDMI
  • Can only on 2.4GHz Wi-Fi

3. Dell Optiplex 7010

Small Form Factor design by Dell, otherwise known as an “SFF”, is a game-changer for those who are used to having bulky desktops in their homes and offices.

The Dell Optiplex 7010 Small Form Factor Desktop made it in our list of best computers for photo editing because of its powerful specs despite having a small size.

For starters, you get to enjoy 10 USB ports in total. It is placed in different parts of the PC to give you the ability to use different hardware without any problem.

As for the nitty-gritty specs, this comes with an Intel Quad-Core i7-3770 processor a 16GB RAM, and a 2TB HDD.

Because of its powerful specs, affordability, and small package, a lot of small-scale businesses have relied on this desktop for their daily use.

The only downside is that you might need to have an extra fan near the PC if you are going to use it for prolonged hours.

4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

Pros

  • With a large internal memory
  • Powerful i7 processor
  • Small design
  • With a total of 10 USB slots

Cons

  • Gets hot easily

4. Apple Mac Mini Desktop

If you’re comparing the best computers for photo editing tasks, make sure that you don’t forget about Apple products.

The Apple Mac Mini Desktop is one of the most aesthetically appealing PCs that we’ve featured on our list.

It is a small, white, and a futuristic-looking PC. However, many are asking if it’s as good as what Apple advertises it to be?

If you are going to compare it with the other Macs, this is the cheapest Macintosh product out there.

But this doesn’t mean that it is underpowered in any way. It is one of the best computers for photo editing for a reason.

The Apple Mac Mini Desktop comes with a 4th generation Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB Ram coupled with a SATA 1TB harddrive.

Just like any other Mac product, it doesn’t go with a keyboard or mouse.

However, the biggest drawback of this PC is that you have no other choice but to buy a new one in case you want to upgrade the RAM.This unit comes with different connectivity options from an Ethernet port, an HDMI port, and even an SDXC card reader.

On top of that, you also get two thunderbolt ports plus four USB 3.0 ports. You can also connect wirelessly using the 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0.

Now, can it perform well in terms of editing photos?

Though it doesn’t have the most powerful specs on paper, for simple photo editing requirements, it gets the job done.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Pros

  • Sleek aesthetics
  • With different connectivity options
  • Cheapest Mac option
  • Powerful processor

Cons

  • Can’t expand the RAM

5. HP EliteDesk 800 65W G2

The HP EliteDesk 800 G2 Desktop is a great option for photo editing and for those who lack the space for a large tower PC. 

This desktop is around the size of a paperback. But despite the size, it offers a powerful option even for pro photographers who need to edit photographs.  

As for the specs, it comes with an Intel Quad-Core i5-6500T processor with 2.5GHz processing speed, an 8GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD. 

Since it uses SSD, it boots faster than your average PC. However, you might want to use an external drive to make sure that you are not going to clog your PC.

There are several connectivity options such as 2 USB 3.0, 1 USB type C, a port for your headphone, and a microphone, plus it all connects wirelessly via WiFi and Bluetooth. 

One of the things that we loved about using the HP EliteDesk 800 G2 Desktop is the fact that it performs quietly. 

You may still hear its fan but it won’t affect your work. 

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Pros

  • Multiple connectivity options
  • Fast to start up
  • Allows users to do photo editing tasks without interruption
  • Compact design

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer a lot of internal memory space

6. Kingdel NC860

The Kingdel NC860 Mini Desktop Computer is a small and powerful option that can help photographers do their photo editing tasks.

It runs on a powerful Intel i7-10510U 10th gen processor combined with different RAM and internal storage configurations.

It comes with different configurations starting from 8GB RAM with a 128GB SSD to a 32GB RAM and 512 GB SSD and an additional 1TB HDD.

It means that if you go for the highest possible version of the Kingdel NC860 mini Desktop Computer, you get something that runs fast and something that comes with enough room for storage.

Though the most expensive configuration comes slightly under $900, you might consider it as a great investment.

However, the only thing that you might watch out for is the fact that doesn’t have any fan.

It means that you might want to work in a cold room and even have a dedicated fan for the PC.

4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Pros

  • Different RAM and internal memory configurations
  • Fast processing speed
  • Small

Cons

  • Gets hot fast

7. Acer Aspire TC-885-UA92

Many consider the Acer Aspire TC-885-UA92 Desktop on top of their best budget laptop list.

But also, you could say that many are using this for photo editing tasks.

And this isn’t surprising at all. It comes with a reasonable price tag, a sleek design, and powerful specs that allow photographers to do their work without any issues.

So what makes it one of the best computers for photo editing?

For starters, it made use of a 9th Gen Intel Core i5-9400 processor that can even be upgraded to an Intel Core i7-10700 8-Core processor.

You also get a 12 GB RAM combined with a 512 SSD.

What this means is that it runs fast, though it might not offer enough room for storing your data.

In terms of connectivity, you get multiple USB ports along with VGA and HDMI Ports.

4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Fast processing
  • Boots up fast
  • With multiple connectivity options

Cons

  • Not enough internal memory

Concluding Remarks

Hope you enjoyed this buyer’s guide on the best computer for photo editing.

I also hope you find a computer that matches your personality and fits your photo editing needs!

 

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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