Buying a PC for Photoshop in 2022

Community Beginner ,
Feb 21, 2022 Feb 21, 2022

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I’m buying a new PC, but the Photoshop system requirements on the Adobe site and the specs on the manufacturer site seem like apples and oranges. For instance, for a Graphics Card, the Adobe site says, 'Minimum: GPU with DirectX 12 support and 1.5 GB of GPU memory' or 'Recommended: GPU with DirectX 12 support and 4 GB of GPU memory for 4k displays and greater;' while the manufacturer offers two options: 'Intel Graphics 630' or 'NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER, 4 GB GDDR6.' Same problem with the Processor descriptions.  How do I translate the inconsistent descriptions to make a purchase?

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Adobe Community Professional , Feb 24, 2022 Feb 24, 2022
Some of those requirements can roughly be translated as "anything newer than 8-10 years". It doesn't really apply if you're getting a new machine now. For instance, I can't imagine you can even find a CPU without 64 bit support nowadays. The same probably goes for SSE 4.2, which is standard now. Any i3, i5 or i7 should work well. As for GPU, we already agreed that an integrated Intel GPU is not good enough. A NVidia GTX 1650 or upwards is a good choice. An often undercommunicated require...

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Adobe Employee ,
Feb 22, 2022 Feb 22, 2022

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Hi there,

Thanks for reaching out. We are here to help!

 

We understand the minimum & recommended specs could appear broad and unspecific. However, the idea is to give a baseline and a standard to look for before purchasing or opting for an upgrade.

 

Consider using GPUs with an average of 2000 operating per second or higher. You can check this on PassMark's benchmark: https://www.videocardbenchmark.net/directCompute.html

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER stands at - 4545.

 

Please feel free to check with independent online benchmarks, stress tests, and reviews before making any purchase decisions. Please consider the type, size, or operation you would carry out in Photoshop.

 

We hope this helps. Let us know if it does.

Thanks!

Sameer K

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 23, 2022 Feb 23, 2022

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That is helpful, thanks! Can you do a similar translation for the Processor reqs? Adobe says, 'Intel® or AMD processor with 64-bit support; 2 GHz or faster processor with SSE 4.2 or later' while manufacturer offers options like, '10th Generation Intel Core i3-10105 (6 MB cache, 4 cores, 8 threads, 3.70 GHz to 4.40 GHz Turbo).' I see the GHz, but nothing about the bit support or SSE.

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Adobe Employee ,
Feb 24, 2022 Feb 24, 2022

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Hi, thanks for the response.

 

Please feel free to check the specification of the CPU you are planning to buy. For instance, when we look for '10th Generation Intel Core i3-10105', its specification are available here, please check the 'Advanced Technologies' section : https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/products/sku/201894/intel-core-i310105-processor-6m-cache-up...

 

In order to identify CPUs with SSE support, you can check here:https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000057621/processors.html & similar results from other manufacturers are also just a search away. We understand making a informed purchase decision is important and can be confusing.

We are here to help.

Thanks!

Sameer K

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 24, 2022 Feb 24, 2022

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Some of those requirements can roughly be translated as "anything newer than 8-10 years". It doesn't really apply if you're getting a new machine now.

 

For instance, I can't imagine you can even find a CPU without 64 bit support nowadays. The same probably goes for SSE 4.2, which is standard now.

 

Any i3, i5 or i7 should work well.

 

As for GPU, we already agreed that an integrated Intel GPU is not good enough. A NVidia GTX 1650 or upwards is a good choice.

 

An often undercommunicated requirement for Photoshop is disk capacity and speed. Here, the official system requirements are somewhat unrealistic. You should always have 250-500 GB or so free space, for the Photoshop scratch disk. This is for temporary storage of working data that can't be held in RAM. The ideal type of drive is what's known as NVMe or PCIe M.2. They are much faster than the previous generation of SATA SSDs, which in turn is much faster than old-fashioned spinning disks.

 

RAM isn't so critical. There's never "enough" anyway. Anywhere between 16 to 64 GB is fine.

 

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 06, 2022 Mar 06, 2022

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This was very clear and useful, thanks!

 

 

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New Here ,
Mar 28, 2022 Mar 28, 2022

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Hello,

 

Please help me, I am looking to buy a new computer (I use lightroom classic and Photoshop) currently own a MacAir, but of course need more power, I don't mind go back to PC as I found annoying the Mac ecosistem, not even use it, and very expensive.

 

I am looking at a Dell XPS 15":

Processor12th Generation Intel® Core™ i9-12900HK (24MB Cache, up to 5.0 GHz, 14 cores)

NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 3050 Ti, 4 GB GDDR6, 45 W

Memory32 GB, 2 x 16 GB, DDR5, 4800 MHz, dual-channel

Hard Drive1 TB, M.2, PCIe NVMe, SSD

LCD15.6", UHD+ 3840x2400, 60Hz, Touch, Anti-Reflect, 500 nit, InfinityEdge

All upgradebalem, Memory Ram, SSD. 

 

Or I can go for a MacBook pro 14" but I am nort sure if Apple M1 Max with 10-core CPU, 24-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine will be enough or I should go with the Apple M1 Max with 10-core CPU, 32-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine and 32 GB RAM. ($450 more expesive than Dell)

 

Downsize here is Mac is not upgradable so I have to be wise with the configuration, my current one has 8GB ram (2 years only) and I can't barely use it anymore, some features will be extremly slow.

 

thanks in advance for the advice!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 28, 2022 Mar 28, 2022

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Dell XPS 15 is more than enough as it stands right now and near feature, probably. GTX 3050Ti is sufficient and 4GB memory is good enough, at least for now and I believe near feature. Personally I am running GTX 1050 Ti at the moment and everything works just fine. Processor is newest generation.

 

I never used Mac so I can not compare because it seems there are some differences between Mac and Win when it comes to performance using same or similar specs.

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New Here ,
Mar 29, 2022 Mar 29, 2022

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Thank you, I am really interested in performance, seems (to me) those settings I am looking for on the Dell XPS ar pretty solid.

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Explorer ,
Mar 29, 2022 Mar 29, 2022

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On my old machine I was running 8Gb, but when I upgraded my camera to a Nikon D850 that produced 30-40Mb raw files, 8Gb was not enough so I upgraded to 16Gb. Memeory size is very dependent on file size. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 29, 2022 Mar 29, 2022

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The new M1 Mac will pretty much flatten anything with an Intel chip, especially in the mobile space. Either an M1 Pro/Max MacBook Pro or the new Mac Studio, which is faster than anything up to the PC workstation ($$$$) level.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 29, 2022 Mar 29, 2022

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@defaultbdx6imvcxa7j 

 

Whether you go with Mac or the Dell, be sure the computer meets (or exceeds) the recommended system requirements:

https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/system-requirements.html

 

Jane

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 29, 2022 Mar 29, 2022

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Any laptop still has three inherent shortcomings, whatever the fruit on the lid:

  • disk management
  • cooling
  • display

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 29, 2022 Mar 29, 2022

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Yeah, the biggest thing is whether you want portability or not. Laptops outsell desktops at least 2-1.

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Explorer ,
Mar 29, 2022 Mar 29, 2022

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Most serious photographers dont use laptops. The vast majority of users out there are not serious photogrpahers.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 29, 2022 Mar 29, 2022

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quote

Most serious photographers dont use laptops.


By @OzPhotoMan

=========

Most professional photographers use BOTH.  😁

Laptop on location.

Desktop in the studio/office.

 

Nancy O'Shea, Adobe Product User & Community Professional
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 29, 2022 Mar 29, 2022

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I'm a working professional photographer and my first portable was a PowerBook 5300cs (look it up.) Pretty much every serious photographer I know has both portable and desktop machines. It's silly to make an absolute statement like that, especially one that is so wrong.

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Explorer ,
Mar 29, 2022 Mar 29, 2022

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My apologies. I was referring to editing, correct me if i'm wrong, but I don't think a laptop without an exteranl monitor is any good for editing. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 22, 2022 Feb 22, 2022

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A laptop really isn't ideal for Photoshop, but if you choose carefully you may find one that works.

 

An Intel integrated GPU will not be sufficient for Photoshop. You need a dedicated GPU, and the GTX1650 should work well.

 

The problem is that many laptops have dual GPUs - Intel + dedicated NVidia/AMD card, switched according to workload and power. In that case you need to disable the Intel GPU completely.

 

Dual GPUs work for simple applications that don't really use the GPU for anything more than show an image on screen. But Photoshop uses the GPU for actual data processing, and the result returned to Photoshop for further processing. It's a two-way flow. You can't send data to one GPU and get it back from the other. So there can only be one single GPU.

 

See section 7 and 8 here: https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/troubleshoot-gpu-graphics-card.html 

 

An additional consideration is disk space and configuration. Photoshop needs a lot of free disk space for the scratch disk. Make sure the laptop in question has a big internal drive, preferably 1 TB.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 23, 2022 Feb 23, 2022

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Thank you, although I'm looking for a desktop tower.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 06, 2022 Mar 06, 2022

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quote

A laptop really isn't ideal for Photoshop, but if you choose carefully you may find one that works.

By @D Fosse

 

I personally hate using Photoshop on a laptop, but Scott Kelby and his Photoshop Guys all seem to use MBPs as their primary Photoshop systems.  They are constantly travelling and training, so need the mobility of a laptop.    However if you are young and have decent eyesight (I can barely remember those days) then perhaps look at decent gaming laptops.  They tend to have the sort of spec that works well with Photoshop.   The bottom line tends to be that clock speed is king, so a CPU with a >5GHz clock speed will outperform a far more expensive CPU with twice as many cores and a lower clock speed when it comes to Photoshop.

 

For real world system tests for Photoshop (and most serious content creation software) Pugot Systems is the place to go.  Check out the articles using the software filters, and their Products tab to see what system specs they use for particular usage.

Puget Custom Computers: PC Hardware Articles (pugetsystems.com)

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 22, 2022 Feb 22, 2022

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I would avoid an Intel GPU at all cost, as well as an integrated card.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 06, 2022 Mar 06, 2022

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Adding to Chuck's comment, we see a lot of threads here from people who buy laptops with powerful GPUs, but their laptops insist on using the built in Intel GPU with Photoshop to save battery use.  It's fixable, but a PITA.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 23, 2022 Feb 23, 2022

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Puget Systems has Photoshop-ready workstations. 

https://www.pugetsystems.com/recommended/Recommended-Systems-for-Adobe-Photoshop-139/Buy_150

 

Nancy O'Shea, Adobe Product User & Community Professional
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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Explorer ,
Mar 27, 2022 Mar 27, 2022

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Very useful discussion, as my PC died last week. Currently in for a repair assessment, but  I think I will need a new box. It is an old box, 12 years old. It is running sata drives with 16Gb of ram. It ran PS OK, but a bit slow on some operations, incredibly so with LR when retouching to the point of being unusable, so I don't use LR. Mid last year I upgraded the video card to a GTX 1650 super, according to this thread it is a good card for PS, so I will most likely put that card in the new box. I am not using PS professionaly any more so speed was not terribly important. 

 

I was looking at a new PC about a year ago and Adobe then were much more specific about specifications, quoting specific graphics cards and CPU's. The latest info from Adobe is much more generic which is very annoying.

 

So, to confirm what others have said, would the GTX 1650 be adequate?

Now to decide on a CPU. Puget recommend the I9 12900 K, but that might be out of my budget. So I will probably settle for an I7 12700K.

 

None of my current files  files are over 2gb and I don't anticipate going over 2gb imoving forward, so 32Gb RAM is probably OK, I am in Australia.

Thoughts please?

 

 

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