Home Buying Advice Finding a Laptop for Photo Editing

Finding a Laptop for Photo Editing


Are you enthusiastic about photography and spend hours at your computer using photo editing software to make your photos even fancier?

Then you don’t want to get mad at your old-laptop every time it takes hours to launch Photoshop. It’s time to choose the best laptop designed for photo editing!

With the wide range of laptops available on the market today, it’s no easy task to find the right laptop without having to seek advice from tech geeks.

Photo editing laptop

And consider me your tech geek today, who has put together all the info you need to choose the best laptop for photo editing.

Don’t fall for this myth

Let me guess, you’ve heard multiple times that a good laptop for photo editing only needs three things:

  • high resolution
  • color-accurate display
  • powerful processor

Well, wrong! It’s not that easy, because the fail-free and smooth process of editing photos also has a lot to do with your laptop’s memory, cooling and graphic card.

But not every photo editor (especially, when you’re just starting out) has thousands of dollars to spare to get the most advanced laptop for graphic design.

That’s why budget is an important consideration of this guide on how to choose the best laptop for photo editing.

Lazy ones: Shortcut for you here!

The lazy ones could just go on some e-Commerce website and order a laptop that is suited for video post-production (this type of laptops never disappoints people such as yourself, photo editors), even if you don’t know a thing about video editing.

Such a laptop would most likely serve you well for years to come. And it would take you like 5 seconds to order it.

But I highly recommend to get familiar with the basics of how a high-performance laptop for photo editing must be chosen.

NOT lazy ones, keep reading:

Well done, you’re still with me. Take a cookie and keep reading.

Processor: Intel or AMD?

For years, graphic designers have argued which processor brand is better, Intel or AMD. Up until AMD started making high-performance, budget-friendly processors…

When choosing the processor, you’ll have to go through two stages:

  • (1)choosing between Intel and AMD
  • (2)choosing between i5 and i7 (if you go with Intel)
  • (2)choosing between A10 and FX (if you go with AMD)

Sounds complicated, right? By now you’re probably thinking you’d rather be editing some photos instead of boring yourself with this info.

But remember: you have an old laptop that doesn’t cope with photo editing (or else, you wouldn’t be here)!

All you need to know is that Intel i5 processors are the newer versions of Core2Duo processors, while i7applies to Quad Core processors.

Now, to make it easier for you, AMD currently has two most advanced processor series: A10 and FX. The former is comparable to Intel’s i5, while the latter to i7.

Well, it’s not so complicated now, is it?

Intel vs AMD: Major differences

  • AMD processors are not as powerful as Intel processors but they are cheaper
  • AMD processors tend to overheat more compared to Intel processors
  • AMD processors use 10-15 more watts than Intel processors

Clearly, AMD processors lose in this battle, but if you’re on a budget, know this: AMD processors are about 30% cheaper than Intel processors. Now think if you’re willing to spend more money for the sake of a more powerful and smooth performance.

Memory: How much RAM photo editing ‘devours’?

Professional photo editors should aim for laptops with at least 8 GB of RAM. And while anything higher than 8 GB would bring even more benefits, anything less than 8 GB will likely drive you nuts, because:

  • Most of modern software programs are not compatible with less than 8 GB of RAM
  • Your laptop will annoy you with freezes and delays when handling large amounts of file data

GeForce and Radeon – NOT a good idea

You’ve probably heard about NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon graphic cards. In fact, I bet you’re currently reading this article from a computer that features one of them.

But those are gaming graphic cards that are not designed for intense usage, like that during photo editing.

Gaming graphic cards require tons of power, which results in a shorter battery life for your laptop. That’s why NVIDIA and AMD also have workstation graphic cards.

While 5-6 times more expensive than gaming cards, NVIDIA Quadro and AMD Firepro perfectly handle intense loads and multitasking. Also, those models don’t heat up much and require less power.

Now think what’s best: to buy a cheaper graphic card and ‘destroy’ it with hours of daily photo editing within a few months (and purchase a new one), or invest more money and get the graphic card that would serve you for years to come.


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