Decent new PC for old photographer... Under $1000? Possible?

Started 10 months ago | Discussions thread
gipper51 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,064
Re: Decent new PC for old photographer... Under $1000? Possible?

The computers you list will likely all do the job just fine. A few thoughts...

  • i7 vs. Xeon...go i7. Xeon offers nothing for photo editing and typically costs more for similar performance. i7-8700 is a very fast CPU for photo work.
  • The newest i5 processors are very fast for photo work as well. These are now 6 core CPUs.
  • AMD is making great CPUs again and are a good bargain!
  • 16GB of RAM is the minimum you'll want to get you through a good 5+ years on this system. Most newer desktops will expand to 32 or 64GB if needed later.
  • A dedicated video card is useful but not required for Photoshop. A GTX 1070 is a bit overkill but will last for the long haul. It probably won't make a huge difference at 1080p resolution, but at 4K it certainly makes image preview and panning a lot faster and smoother.
  • Above all, make sure your system has a SSD for the C: drive. At least a 500GB preferably. Install your programs and edit photos from this drive for best performance. Some budget systems still ship with only a traditional hard drive, which will make even the fastest PC feel like a dog.
  • Add a 2TB or larger traditional hard drive (cheap these day) for your bulk image storage.

I see in your profile you live in Chicago. I'd recommend heading over to your local Microcenter and check out their house brand of Powerspec desktops. They build them in house, use great components, and if you ever have issues you can walk the PC back into their store and get it fixed. Their prices are VERY competitive with the Dell/Lenovo/HP lines and I think Powerspec uses better components. Plus they don't install a bunch of bloatware like the big vendors.

Check them out online, they have a few models that probably fit your needs. I'd vote for one of these two models, and spend another $100 while you're there to add the hard drive. You'll still be under budget.

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