Is a gaming PC good for photo editing?

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If you have tried editing large photos on a standard PC, then you know that a great deal of storage capacity is needed. The performance of the PC must also be tuned to the needs of Adobe Lightroom CC and Adobe Photoshop CC. So, is a gaming PC good for photo editing? Find out.

What you Need in your PC for Photo Editing

Gaming PCs are among the best for photo editing because they are equipped with a fast HDD, high-end GPU's for rendering high-resolution 3D graphics and large memory capacity, and these are the features needed in photo editing. There are a number of recommended computers for photo editing, but if you’re looking for a gaming rig that can do it all, you’re in the right place. Here, we give you a rundown of the most critical core components that dictate the usability and the performance of an image editing PC.


This is the most crucial component of a PC whose primary objective is to edit and create 2D work in photo editing. It acts as the brain of your system. This is because even the latest software versions, including Lightroom and Photoshop, depend heavily on the performance of single-threaded CPU.

The graphic card, memory, CPU, and storage are a package that determines the overall strength of the system. In the case of any weak link between these components, the performance is likely to be compromised. For photo editing, an Intel Core-i CPU may be your ultimate choice.

You do not want to run photoshop or Lightroom with Intel Celeron or Intel Pentium CPUs. Core-i3, i5 and i7 are also ideal for the same purpose. However, if you have a good budget, Core-i5 and i7 would stand a better chance in your project than the i3.

In a Puget's benchmarks review, high-end CPU's are not the best for photo editing. Lightroom and Photoshop, as highlighted, give the best performance when combined with Intel i9 9900K or Ryzen 9 3900x. The two processors have been found to deliver reasonable core counts, high-end processing architectures and high clock speeds.

In reference to i9 990K or Ryzen 9 3900X, Harry J. Kazianis, a PC expert, advises users to ensure that the solid-state hard drive (SSD) is included in the unit.

"SSD makes a significant difference in the boot-up, the overall speed, as well as the work productivity," Harry says.


A good GPU should be built to support the monitor resolution you wish to use. If you plan to invest in high-resolution displays, for instance, you will need more than just an entry-level graphics processing component. Lightroom Classic and Photoshop require a dedicated and fast graphics card. However, although photoshop has, for a long time, supported the acceleration of graphics hardware, the previous versions of Lightroom have been seen to underperform whenever the GPU is turned on.

Lightroom Classic is the latest version and is benefiting from GPU. When editing, turn it on and see what happens. Should Lightroom feel that your graphics card lacks the strength to accelerate the hardware, it will disable it automatically.

It is advisable that you look for a dedicated graphics card with not more than 2 GB VRAM. If your monitors have a high-resolutionof 4k UHD or 2K QHD, you could look for NVIDIA's RTX series graphics cards. The latest versions of RTX cards are designed for professional video and photo editing software because they have special drivers (Studio Drivers), which boost performance. According to Adobe Support, you can boost the acceleration of your GPU by keeping your video adapter driver updated.

Memory (RAM)

RAM determines the number of tasks your PC can handle simultaneously. Opening photoshop alone requires about 1 GB of RAM. The moment you begin scrolling through your images, it starts to use about 4 GB of RAM. Combine this with the operating system, 2GB, and you will need to use at least 16 GB RAM. If the memory is less than this, your PC will begin to slow down or fail.

If you are using a Windows laptop, begin by getting SSD before RAM. This will help in protecting the battery life. Note that the more RAM a computer has, the more the amount of power will be needed to run the system.


The Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and the Solid State Drive (SSD) determine the speed the PC takes to access stored data. Because the SSD has no moving parts, it accesses data very fast. HDD has to warm up before the files are accessed.

HDDs mostly spin at 5400 to 7200 rpm to source the data from the drive. SSDs are the newer hard drive versions, operating through a controller that is inbuilt. Although they are more expensive than the older version, HDD, they are faster and less noisy. Basically, a 500GB SSD is enough for photoshop and Lightroom.

According to Devesh Tiwari, a computer engineer at Northeastern University, the size of demand, workload, storage architecture and latency and bandwidth, among other technology issues should be considered before settling.

"Basic storage factors including reliability, availability and elasticity need to be assessed. Users must also realise that the future of SSD technology will keep evolving. Nothing remains constant," Tiwari says.


A great photo editing PC should allow you to complete your project in good time and not slow you down. Most importantly, be sure to check the compatibility between your programs and the hardware you intend to buy. Did you enjoy going through this guide? Well, if so, feel free to comment and share the article.

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