[PLUS] The Best PC for Photoshop and Lightroom 2021/2022

[PLUS] The Best PC for Photoshop and Lightroom 2021/2022

Pixels, bits and images

If we are talking about a computer for demanding image processing, Lightroom simply cannot be left out. The main innovation in this year’s article is therefore to have integrated tests with Lightroom (Classic). Precisely because Photoshop itself is no longer the application for digital image development it used to be. The program has long been a powerful application for more complex image manipulations and pixel graphics of all kinds, which is no longer just aimed at photographers, but appeals to more web designers. However, if multiple layers are not necessary and it is only a question of developing your own RAW images, Lightroom has long been the first choice for photographers. It is therefore tailored to the workflow of image development and also offers other functions than Photoshop, such as image management. Since Adobe introduced the Creative Cloud subscription version in 2017, the cloud-based version of Lightroom has existed, while the local version has since been called “Lightroom Classic” and is still available. Now, a photo database in the cloud may be practical if you work with several end devices or don’t want to use your home hardware for CPU-intensive RAW development. The more powerful and also more extensive variant remains the local Lightroom Classic. Not least because this means that the powerful hardware at home can be used to the full. For ambitious or even professional users, the Cloud Lightroom option is therefore not even an option.

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Variable hardware requirements

Actually, both Adobe applications run on every toaster. It is the range of tools within the application that is limited by weak hardware. In comparison, little has changed for the current Photoshop version (22.0, October 2020). By the way, Adobe mentions the same system requirements for Lightroom Classic (10.0) as for Photoshop. For example, a 64-bit processor that clocks at least 2 GHz is listed. RAM is 8 GiByte the minimum, but Adobe recommends 16 GiByte. For complex projects, more can sometimes be necessary. If you want to rule out the main memory as a bottleneck at any time, it is better to use 32 GiByte RAM. The same applies to Lightroom, by the way. This is recommended by the American system integrator Puget Systems, which specializes in workstations and whose benchmarks we also use (Pugetbench). You should use an SSD simply because of faster Windows and program starts. An old magnetic hard drive serves at best as an additional data grab in the system, but not as a basis for the system partition. Whether NVME or SATA SSD is less relevant. In contrast to the comparison between SSD and HDD, the difference is no longer noticeable here. The small M.2 bar of many NVME models is more practical because they are simply plugged into the mainboard and you save power and data cables compared to the 2.5-inch form factor. We didn’t test the impact of storage and RAM, but Puget Systems confirms that it’s quite small on overall application performance.

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You will find the following products in the test:

  • Tests for Photoshop and Lightroom Classic
  • 27 CPUs in the test: Including Ryzen 9 5950X, Core i9-11900K, 5900X, 5800X, 5600X and many more
  • 10 GPUs in the test: Including RTX 3070, 3080, 3090, RX 6800 XT, 6900 XT and many more
  • Recommendation: AMD PC
  • Recommendation: Intel PC

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