What Is A Good Computer For Photographers | Secrets Shared

Are you looking for a good photo editing computer? Did you know you can simply purchase the most expensive photo editing computer that runs Lightroom and Photoshop and will come out OK? However, there are many computer features a photographer should consider with some features being more important than others. By knowing which features to look for you will be able to make an intelligent computer purchase. This article’s objective is to help photographers choose a fast and reliable computer system on which to edit photos.

What is a good computer for photographers

What is the best computer for photo editing?

Sometimes choices can be overwhelming because there are so many choices. My recommendation for the best photo editing computer is the iBUYPOWER Element 9260 or the Dell Inspiron G5. If you look for these minimum requirements you can choose the best photo editing computer for your specific budget:

  1.  Screen resolution of 1920x1080 
  2.  Memory of 12GB 
  3. SSD 
  4. Processor or CPU Core i5 or i7

What makes a decent photograph editor additionally makes an extraordinary all-around PC for work or different purposes. Along these lines, to summarize, what I discovered, you need, in any event, the accompanying specs. A full HD screen with 1920x 1080, 12GB of RAM, however, even better is 16GB. I discovered opening a few programs can gobble up memory quickly. As I would see it, 8GB is not, at this point enough, for genuine work, but it is the bare minimum. An SSD hard drive or NVMe SSD.

Gone are the times of the mechanical drive. Mechanical hard drives are simply excessively inadequate. When loading anything large into memory, you end up locking up your PC for short periods of time as a result, you are not able to work. Who needs to pause, while in the middle of a critical function, right? What's more, I also must not forget to say is you need a proficient CPU. Not just any CPU will do. I trust you can make do with a lesser CPU like a Core i3 if, you have a quick SSD and a lot of RAM. But in my opinion, a Core i5 would be ideal. 

What are the best laptops for photographers?

There are many laptop choices for photographers. My recommendations that hit all of the above mentioned features is the Apple MacBook Pro with a 16 inch screen and the HP Pavilion Gaming 15t. The first feature you should look for is screen resolution. Your screen resolution should be at the minimum a full HD 1080p or 1920x1080. Do not get sucked into purchasing a laptop with a 720p screen. Your laptop memory should be at the minimum 12GB and you laptop should have an SSD and not a mechanical hard drive. And lastly you laptop should have a Core i5 or Core i7 processor or equivalent and nothing less. No Core i3 or cell phone processors.

Is a Laptop or Desktop a good computer for photographers?

Yes. Laptops are a great choice for photographers on the go and desktops are great for photographers who want to edit photos on a large screen. While the best photograph editing PCs offer on-the-go portability the shear capacity, power, and ability to upgrade is hard to beat, therefore even the best laptops are not going to be able to compete with a desktop in those categories. In addition, a good desktop allows you to work from home. And in this day and age you know is very important. But I completely understand there are some who have the need to edit photographs while on-the-go and compactness is an important feature

Some important considerations range from a personal computer with common sizes extending from around 21 inches creeping up to well more than 30 inches and of course, this implies you have the work area space. Who wants to have to be squinting at a PC screen while editing photos, right? Another big advantage a full-size desktop will have over a laptop is a comfortable mouse and keyboard. These features further ups the ergonomic advantages over a laptop and a touchpad. Have you ever tried to edit a photo for an extended period of time on a laptop? I have, and I can attest it is very difficult using the touchpad. I have to carry around a mouse with me and I end up using it over the built-in touchpad for editing. The screen size is a bit harder to get used to over a large desktop screen but honestly, I can deal with that. I just can't get past the touchpad. I guess I am not a touchpad person. 

A significant number of the best desktop PCs on the market today offer a degree of performance and execution that laptops can't. And as I mentioned above and will reiterate here, a major advantage of a desktop is the ability to open them up and dabble with them, right? They can be overhauled down the line with even more remarkable features and upgrades. Which in my opinion makes them unquestionably more future-proof than laptops or AIOs (All In Ones). On average a laptop has a lifespan of 3 to 5 years. Most desktops last twice as long. AIOs are also comparable to laptops with a slightly better lifespan due to they are stationary. But they suffer one big fatal flaw and that is the inability to remove heat. And heat is one of the worst enemies of electronics. If you do spring for an AIO my advice is to make sure it's placed in a well-ventilated area away from any heat sources. In fact, If it were mine I would go as far as to put an external fan on it! The simple fact is when manufacturers cramp all those electronic parts into a very tight space there is just no room for heat to escape. The electronics actually slowly bake themselves over time. Laptops suffer the same fate. For example, did you know the ThinkBook 15 laptop (a great choice for photo editing) is only 18.9 mm thick? But wait, that is actually big! Yes, that's right, big as compared to the Apple iMac which is a stunning 5-mm-thin design. I borrowed my friends iMac one day and I got caught out in the rain. The darn thing was so thin I just turned it sideways and it did not get wet. All jokes aside, it is very thin with little ways for heat to escape.

In case you're not very excited about updating a desktop PC yourself, a significant number of the best workstations for photographers can be altered when you buy them. For example, iBUYPOWER desktops (iBUYPOWER Element 9260) can be purchased with many different options and features. Plus, by taking them to a computer shop later down the road when you need more capacity and power they can be upgraded. So this allows you to choose the degree of executions and value that best suits your needs at the present with the option of upgrading in the future. A very nice concept I think you will agree, right?

So all this really is about the size of a desktop PC additionally implies PC manufactures can fit in more performance parts than you'd, as a rule, find in a laptop or AIO. That implies in the event that you need to, you can get a desktop PC with a discrete designed graphics card (instead of a watered-down version of one), which is valuable in the case you're doing photo and video altering like a mad dog. But hey, that's why you are in the market for a capable photo editing computer, right? 

Desktop PCs with heaps of RAM and multi-processors are extraordinary for performing various tasks, especially video and photo editing. In the event that you like to have numerous applications open immediately, in which I do, at that point you should choose at least a 4 to 8 core processor. 

Obviously, you can build your own beast of a photo workstation. By doing so allows you to custom tailor features to your specific needs and offers greater adaptability with regards to power and cost. And this stands to reason because you will be sourcing all the parts yourself. But as I mentioned above on the off chance that you don't have the expertise or patience to build one yourself, purchasing a pre-assembled PC is an excellent approach. There are numerous PC makers, other than the one I mentioned above, that offer a wide range of customization choices such as processor power, graphic cards, and extra storage to suit your requirements.

Are AIOs good computers for photographers?

This brings us to another important consideration for photographers. What about AIOs? AIOs (All-In-One Computers) are a great choice for photographers who do not need to upgrade later and should not be placed in work areas with no ventilation. The astute reader will have already picked up on the fact that AIOs are like laptops and have no good way of expelling heat. So this begs the question should you purchase an AIO or All In One computer to do your photo editing? But before I answer that question let me set the stage by telling you about an AIO. What is an AIO exactly?

AIOs are computers that have all the components built into one. It's like having a screen with everything but the keyboard built into the screen. Essentially the hard drive, memory, and motherboard are all built into the back of the screen. This is a very simplistic way to describe an AIO but you get the picture. There are a number of advantages to having an AIO. First and foremost they are striking good looking. They have sleek designs that bode well in a modern New York apartment. Secondly, they do not take up as much space as a clunky rectangular desktop sitting on your desk or the floor next to your desk. Basically, the only thing sitting on your desk is the keyboard and mouse. But hold on before you rush out to purchase an AIO there are some things you need to know first. There are a few downsides to an AIO. The biggest downside in my opinion is the inability to upgrade. Or in some cases, you can do slight upgrades but the cost is usually twice as much as doing the same upgrade on a desktop. 

Another big downside is if you mess up and pick a screen that you do not like, it's too bad. You can not change out the monitor or screen because all the components are built into the screen. And lastly, as I previously mentioned it's not good at dissipating heat so life span is generally not as long as a desktop. However, I can't exclude them because they have their place. Some folks will much rather have a sleek design and more space on their desk so I can't argue with that. All I have to say is when considering an AIO make sure to get the best possible screen resolution as possible. I would not consider anything less than iMac quality. For example, a great choice would be an HP Envy 32 AIO. Actually, the Envy is actually quite envious because of it's integrated 4K UHD monitor: 31.5" diagonal wide-color-gamut with HDR-600, 6000:1 contrast ratio. And you get a GeForce RTX 2060 graphics with the Envy. Let the GeForce be with you!

The conclusion to what is a good computer for photographers

There is really no right or wrong answer when considering a computer for editing photos as long as you purchase enough processing power to do what you need to do. The bare minimum processing power for a good computer for photographers is a Core i5 processor, 12 GB of RAM, and SSD hard drive, and the highest screen resolution you can afford. One word of caution, although 12 GB is the minimum today the amount you need is rising fast due to new programs with added functionality is RAM hungry. The sweet spot today is 16 GB of RAM. But unfortunately, there are many really good laptops on the market today in which you can not get but 12 GB without an upgrade. So the strategy would be to purchase the laptop with 12 GB and when you start to feel the pain take it to a computer shop and upgrade to more RAM. FYI, I am using the words memory and RAM interchangeably. they mean the same thing in the content of this article. Anyway, if you are brave and have the technical savvy you can attempt to perform the upgrade on your own. Just be aware laptop memory is not as forgiving as desktop memory making the upgrade a wee bit harder. The hardest thing about upgrading a laptop's memory is finding the right memory for your specific laptop. Honestly, you have to try a few to see if it will work.

There is one category of computers I left out on purpose. These are tiny or mini-computers for photographers. I am going to be brutally honest, they are worthless for anything beyond surfing the internet. Once you start to load up some large RAW files and do some demanding processing they just can't keep up. Now I will say you can get some that are more powerful but most are just bare-bone computers. And many you have to install Windows 10 yourself. So if this appeals to you then knock yourself out by purchasing an Intel Hades Canyon NUC with an Intel Core i7, Radion RX Vega graphics card for around $1200. 

One last parting shot if I may. If you purchase a laptop please do not get suckered into purchasing a laptop with a low screen resolution. I warn you, you will be tempted because all the specifications will look great and the price will be cheaper and you will want to buy it, but don't. Go ahead and pay the extra money to get at least full HD 1920 x 1080. And just so you know, I actually prefer screens like the Apple iMac in 5120 x 2880 resolution (5K). Once you go more than 2K you will never go back to anything less. Honestly, I am writing this article on a Samsung 4K monitor and the visuals are stunning just like the iMac. If you use your computer and edit photos day after day then spending extra on a nice high-quality monitor is a no-brainer. I hope this article was of value to you and gave you some important features and facts to consider when purchasing a computer for photo editing.

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