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The Best Desktops for Photo Editing

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The Best Desktops for Photo Editing

Anyone who works in virtually any visual creative field knows that only certain types of computers have the processing power and graphics abilities to get the job done right. Whether you work as a salaried photo editor for National Geographic or a freelance Photoshop guru for a variety of print and online publications, every professional visual artist needs a suitable machine to bring out the best from both photos and videos in a variety of environments and mediums. You could invest in a MacBook Pro and spend over three-thousand dollars to get it upgraded with the highest specs, but unless you travel on a regular basis and need your computer for other pro-level tasks, you’d be throwing away a lot of your money. In fact, it’s possible to land a desktop computer that can provide all if not more of the processing and graphics power you need at a fraction of the price. There are also various monitors that you can pick from to ensure that the accuracy of your edits is unparalleled when it comes to both quality and style. Even if you can do most of your edits on a laptop, it’s crucial to compare the final result on a desktop using a slightly different processor and graphics card to ensure that your work translates correctly on different machines. When buying a desktop that will help you with all your creative projects, you should check it has a powerful CPU and enough RAM because you wouldn’t want your programs to freeze in the middle of an important task. Its GPU isn’t the most important, but having a decent graphics card ensures that you get the best visuals when working. You should also check if its hard drive has enough storage for you to store countless files you encounter regularly. Let’s look at some of the best desktops for photo editing you can buy in 2022.

01 Apple iMac 24-inch (2021)

There’s no denying that Apple has created all-in-one desktop computers over the years that are fantastic for creative professionals. Their most recent release was the 2021 version of the iMac. It features a 24-inch 4.5K Retina display that you will love looking at while editing your photos. It has Wide color (P3), True Tone technology, and 500 nits of brightness. All your heavy programs like Photoshop will run smoothly without any freezing because of the computer’s powerful Apple M1 chip. We suggest you get the version of the chip with an 8-core GPU instead of a 7-core GPU, so you can maximize the potential of the computer. The base model only comes with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD storage, but you can get up to 16GB RAM and 1TB storage. You can also pick if you want the Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad, or both. The Magic Keyboard that comes with the iMac has Touch ID, and Apple allows you to pick if you want one with a numeric keypad or not. Many people who own desktops usually have to purchase a webcam separately since their monitor doesn’t come with one built-in, but if you buy an iMac, you already get a 1080p FaceTime HD camera. Its quality has improved compared to its predecessors, making it ideal for those who need to hop on video calls regularly. The iMac is indeed an all-in-one device because, aside from blending its monitor and hardware, it also comes with a unique high-fidelity six-speaker system. It supports wide stereo sound, spatial audio, and Dolby Atmos, so you might not even need a set of external computer speakers anymore. The port selection on the iMac isn’t the best because even if you get two USB 3 (Type-C) and two Thunderbolt/USB 4 (Type-C) ports, you will need to purchase adapters separately for USB Type-A, VGA, DVI, or HDMI connections. The computer guarantees the best network speeds you can get because of its Wi-Fi 6 support, and you have trouble connecting external accessories because of its Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology. The iMac 24-inch is available in Silber, Blue, Green, Pink, Purple, Orange, and Yellow.

Pros

  • High-quality display
  • Stylish, modern, and space-saving design
  • Powerful Apple M1 chip
  • 1080p FaceTime HD camera
  • Excellent built-in speakers
  • Different color options

Cons

  • Not the most affordable
  • Only USB Type-C ports

Specification

  • Price $1,499.00
  • RAM 8 GB
  • Storage 256GB
  • Processor Apple M1 (8-core w/ 7-core GPU)
  • Graphics (8-core w/ 7-core GPU)
Apple iMac 24-inch (2021)

02 HP Pavilion 27 All-in-One PC

The HP Pavilion 27 All-in-One PC would be the perfect option for photo editors who prefer working on computers running on Windows. Its overall design seems familiar because it looks like Apple’s iMacs. It comes with a large 27-inch Full HD display and what’s unique about it is its touchscreen display. Its modern and minimalist design allows it to blend well into any type of workspace. The overall performance you will get from the computer is satisfying because it’s equipped with a 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10700T processor with a maximum speed of 4.5 GHz. Its integrated Intel UHD Graphics 630 might not be the best for gaming, but it’s enough for those who will mostly be editing images. The computer comes with 16GB RAM, so you won’t have issues when you’re multitasking, and you can even upgrade it to as much as 32GB RAM. Storage won’t be an issue when you go for the HP Pavilion 27 because you get one 512GB SSD and a 1TB HDD. For those who are avid Zoom users, you will benefit from the computer’s pop-up 5MP webcam with a quad array digital microphone. The computer’s port selection behind the monitor is impressive because you get four USB Type-A ports, one USB Type-C port, a 3-in-1 media card reader, two HDMI ports, and a headphone/mic combo jack. The computer has slim bezels on three sides, and the extra space on the bottom isn’t just random because it houses the theater-worthy speakers that HP co-developed with Bang & Olufsen. The HP Pavilion 27 All-in-One PC comes with a free wireless keyboard and mouse, but they aren’t the best. Nonetheless, you can use the computer immediately after receiving and unboxing it.

Pros

  • Modern and stylish
  • 27-inch Full HD touchscreen display
  • Excellent 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10700T processor
  • 16GB RAM
  • 512GB SSD and a 1TB HDD
  • Fantastic port selection
  • Impressive speakers

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Still on Wi-Fi 5
  • Design isn't ergonomic
  • Webcam quality could be better
  • Not the best keyboard and mouse

Specification

  • Price $1,649.99
  • RAM 16 GB
  • Storage 1TB HDD
  • Processor Intel Core i7-10700T
  • Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 630
HP Pavilion 27 All-in-One PC

03 Apple iMac 27-inch (2020)

If you’re an Apple fan who prefers larger displays, the iMac 27-inch would be the ideal choice for you. Its large 5K Retina display is perfect for editing because you will see all the tiny details you would usually need to zoom on significantly when using smaller displays. You can expect less glare from its screen because of its nano-texture glass, and you get a more natural viewing experience thanks to its True Tone technology. The display has 500 nits of brightness and can produce about one billion colors, so all your content will look vibrant and color-accurate. Availability for this iMac is limited since Apple doesn’t sell it on their website anymore, but you can still find it on Amazon. Sadly, the highest storage option we found online was 500GB SSD, even if the computer can go as high as 8TB. The model comes with 8GB RAM and is powered by a 6-core 10th-generation Intel Core i5. You can rely that it packs enough power to fuel your long hours on Photoshop, and you won’t have trouble having various apps opened simultaneously. The computer also comes with an AMD Radeon Pro 5300 GPU, which gives you decent visuals whether it be for work or play. The 2020 iMac already came with the upgraded 1080p FaceTime HD camera, which enhanced your video call experience, and you get a studio-quality three-mic array. Many of you might’ve not realized that this model has a better port selection than the latest 24-inch iMac. You get two Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C) ports, an ethernet port, four USB Type-A ports, an SDXC card slot, and a headphone jack. Customers will receive a free Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Keyboard along with the computer.

Pros

  • Excellent CPU and GPU
  • Massive 5K Retina Display
  • More ports than latest model
  • 1080p FaceTime HD camera
  • Comes with Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Keyboard

Cons

  • Could use more RAM and storage
  • Outdated design
  • Limited Thunderbolt ports
  • Limited availability

Specification

  • Price $1,934.93
  • RAM 8 GB
  • Storage 500 GB
  • Processor 10th-generation Intel Core i5
  • Graphics AMD Radeon Pro 5300
Apple iMac 27-inch (2020)

04 HP Envy All-in-One Desktop

Another excellent option from HP is the Envy All-in-One Desktop. Its latest model was released in 2022, and it seems like they created this PC with creative professionals in mind. You get a spacious 34-inch 5K WUHD monitor with three-sided slim bezels and IPS technology. It features 500 nits of brightness, and you get a 98% DCI-P3 color gamut. Photo editors use several hard-hitting programs that require a ton of processing power, and this computer will live up to all their needs since it has an Intel Core i7-11700 processor. Its GeForce RTX 3060 GPU promises decent graphics, whether you’re editing or taking a break to play your favorite game. The computer comes with 16GB RAM, which will benefit you when you load several programs at once, and its 1TB PCIe SSD storage allows you to keep all your essential files without worrying about what to delete every month. It may not have a camera built into its display, but it still comes with a detachable magnetic 720p HD webcam. You will also get a free wireless keyboard and mouse since it’s an all-in-one option. The computer has dual 2W speakers, delivering a satisfying audio performance since Bang & Olufsen helped HP develop it. Regarding its connectivity, the HP Envy has two Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type-C) ports, six SuperSpeed USB Type-A ports, one SuperSpeed USB Type-C port, an HDMI port, an RJ-45 port, a 3-in-1 memory card reader, and a headphone/microphone combo jack. Since the model is new, it’s no surprise that the computer supports the latest Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 technology already.

Pros

  • Fantastic design
  • Excellent 34-inch 5K monitor
  • Outstanding performance
  • Tons of ports
  • 3-in-1 memory card reader
  • Easily access and upgrade RAM and storage

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Could use a better GPU

Specification

  • Price $2,299
  • RAM 16 GB
  • Storage 1TB
  • Processor Intel Core i7-11700
  • Graphics GeForce RTX 3060
HP Envy All-in-One Desktop

05 Apple Mac Mini

Going for the Apple iMacs often means you have to be ready to spend a hefty amount, but there’s a way for you to get an Apple computer for a lower price. You can opt for the less expensive Mac Mini, but the catch is that you’ll have to buy your own monitor, mouse, and keyboard. It’s not really a big deal since you can find many options on the market that are affordable yet reliable. The latest version of the Mac Mini as of August 2022 is the fifth generation model, which initially hit stores in 2020. It’s undoubtedly a powerful device because it comes with Apple’s M1 chip with an 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine. The base (cheapest) variant has 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD storage, but if you have extra cash, you can get up to 16GB RAM and 2TB storage. You can also get 10 Gigabit Ethernet for an additional $100. The Mac Mini has two Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type-C)) ports, an HDMI port, two USB Type-A ports, an Ethernet port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Users can use two displays with the computer, one with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz and another with 4K resolution at 60Hz. It supports Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0, so you can expect an excellent experience when using the internet and connecting to wireless accessories. Some of you might’ve not known this, but the Mac Mini has a built-in speaker. Sadly, its quality won’t impress you.

Pros

  • Superb performance from Apple's M1 chip
  • You can get up to 2TB storage
  • Decent port selection
  • Support up to 2 displays
  • Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 support
  • Not as expensive as iMacs

Cons

  • Doesn't come with a monitor, mouse, and keyboard
  • Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0
  • Maximum RAM supported is 16GB
  • Disappointing built-in speaker

Specification

  • Price $899
  • RAM 8GB
  • Storage 512GB
  • Processor M1 8-core CPU
  • Graphics 8-core GPU
Apple Mac Mini

Nick

Aug 3, 2022

50 Articles Published

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We're not just tech junkies, but we're also tech experts. Each and every "Best of.." list on TechJunkie is curated by our content-area subject matter experts to provide a well-rounded, unbiased perspective to help and inform you, our reader. Our lists are constantly reviewed and updated, so you can be sure you're reading relevant and up to date information.

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