Art and Photography

PC specs for beginner photo editing

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 12th, 2014 6:19 pm
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Feb 28, 2011
100 posts
21 upvotes
Ottawa

PC specs for beginner photo editing

Hi everyone - I'm starting to get into photo editing and would like to purchase a new computer that will handle this kind of task. I'm not looking for anything top-of-the line and I'm quite price sensitive since I'm only starting to get into this. Can anyone recommend some "must-have" features? I'm actively looking at the Hot Deals forum; if there are any deals in there worth looking at, please post! Thanks muchly.
33 replies
Member
Sep 13, 2003
496 posts
55 upvotes
What software and OS were you thinking of running?
Saga Boy - D Star Boy Crew
Sr. Member
Feb 10, 2005
775 posts
130 upvotes
Richmond Hill
I am using an old i7 930 cpu with 6Gig ram. I think it is good enough.
Deal Addict
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Nov 17, 2005
1845 posts
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I have the HP Envy 17" laptop that I bought last year in the summer, it's got an I7 processor and 12GB of ram and Windows 8. I bought it for about $1100 last year since I wanted a laptop with a cd burnable drive and all the other smaller laptops didn't even have a CD drive so I would've never been able to burn CD's or download music from a CD to my laptop otherwise, so think about if you need to burn CD's in the future.
Deal Addict
Jan 31, 2008
1213 posts
28 upvotes
scarborough
as much ram as you can afford and as many cores on the processor that you can afford. You could pretty much edit on anything but more power the faster it will be. On intel at least a i5, I tried lightroom on a i3, ssd, and 8gigs of ram that failed miserably.
Deal Addict
Nov 28, 2008
1166 posts
134 upvotes
Toronto
What MP files will you be handling? Any modern PC with an SSD would do. A good IPS LCD should be on top of your list.
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Aug 5, 2003
2230 posts
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North York
themagekiler wrote:
Dec 10th, 2014 10:26 pm
as much ram as you can afford and as many cores on the processor that you can afford. You could pretty much edit on anything but more power the faster it will be. On intel at least a i5, I tried lightroom on a i3, ssd, and 8gigs of ram that failed miserably.
really? I'm running an old Q8300 with 8 gigs and don't have any issue in lightroom and it isn't anywhere near a top of the line machine anymore. If your exporting a poster sized print it takes a couple of moments, but no where near unbearable. I'd agree with the others spend money on the screen before the box behind it.
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Dec 3, 2004
10943 posts
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Markham/Mississauga
I've been using a i5 3500K quad core, with 16GB of RAM. SSD as the cache drive, on dual IPS panels monitors running at 1920x1080, processing 21MP RAW files in Lightroom in Win7 64-bit. 2-3 years old tech and it's been perfectly fine.

Photo editing doesn't use as much resources, not anywhere near as say video.
Deal Addict
Aug 25, 2006
3533 posts
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Gotta jump in here. I post process photos (jpg and raw) on a daily basis using an old Q6600 machine with 4 Gigs of RAM (with a relatively lean Win 7 install mind you). Using Lightroom and Photoshop works well. Sometimes, disk thrashes because there are 10 browser sessions opened but for photo editing does not require high end hardware like that needed for high def video. 8 Gigs of RAM and any i5 or so will do. CPU is required for rendering (re-sizing, filter, export etc...) and RAM for the large files that modern cameras capture these days.
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Feb 16, 2006
3959 posts
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Vancouver
7 year old desktop with an E6750 and 4G RAM on Win Vista. Struggles with 24G RAW files but I just have to be patient and work on them one at a time and maybe play a game of solitaire on the laptop while waiting. So almost anything newer will do much better.

I am about to build or buy an i7 4790K with 16 G RAM and 256G SSD OS drive + multiple storage drives. Trying to get it as quiet as I can due that the white noise from the fans of my current system puts me to sleep.
Deal Addict
Jun 29, 2008
1768 posts
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North York
Depends on your budget and what you're working with. You get away with building an efficient PC for $800. I spent $2k beginning of this year on my new PC and I won't have to upgrade for another 5-10 years probably.
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Jan 31, 2008
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scarborough
cliff wrote:
Dec 10th, 2014 11:20 pm
really? I'm running an old Q8300 with 8 gigs and don't have any issue in lightroom and it isn't anywhere near a top of the line machine anymore. If your exporting a poster sized print it takes a couple of moments, but no where near unbearable. I'd agree with the others spend money on the screen before the box behind it.

your q8300 is a quad core while the i3 is a dual with hyperthreading. Even though clock speed might be slightly faster more cores the better!
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Jul 13, 2008
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themagekiler wrote:
Dec 11th, 2014 7:50 am
your q8300 is a quad core while the i3 is a dual with hyperthreading. Even though clock speed might be slightly faster more cores the better!
I think LR is quite poor with multi core usage where faster core is better.
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Jun 17, 2012
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In another world
xaltair wrote:
Dec 10th, 2014 10:21 pm
I have the HP Envy 17" laptop that I bought last year in the summer, it's got an I7 processor and 12GB of ram and Windows 8. I bought it for about $1100 last year since I wanted a laptop with a cd burnable drive and all the other smaller laptops didn't even have a CD drive so I would've never been able to burn CD's or download music from a CD to my laptop otherwise, so think about if you need to burn CD's in the future.
Many modern laptops don't come with an internal CD/DVD drive, but you can get an external one connected through a USB port.

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