Best Budget Computers for Photo Editing in 2024

Updated on March 1, 2024

Photo editing requires a powerful yet budget-friendly computer to handle high-quality software. The two main factors to consider are processing power for high-resolution images and display quality for true color and detail accuracy. Keep in mind that choosing a budget computer may require certain compromises. This guide will help you understand the key features to consider when choosing a budget photo editing computer and provide recommendations for the best options available for both professionals and hobbyists.

Best Computers for Photo Editing on a Budget

As photo editing requires a lot of processing power and memory, finding a computer that can handle the task without breaking the bank can be challenging. That’s why we’ve done the research and compiled a list of the best computers for photo editing on a budget. Our top picks provide excellent performance and features at an affordable price, allowing you to create stunning images without compromising on quality. Check out our list below to find the perfect computer for your photo editing needs.

Acer Aspire 3 A315-24P-R7VH Slim Laptop

Acer Aspire 3 A315-24P-R7VH Slim Laptop | 15.6" Full HD IPS Display | AMD Ryzen 3 7320U Quad-Core Processor | AMD Radeon Graphics | 8GB LPDDR5 | 128GB NVMe SSD | Wi-Fi 6 | Windows 11 Home in S Mo...

If you're looking for a budget-friendly laptop that can handle photo editing, the Acer Aspire 3 A315-24P-R7VH is worth considering. With its AMD Ryzen 3 7320U Processor and Radeon Graphics, this laptop can handle complex tasks with ease. The 15.6" Full HD IPS display with narrow bezels provides sharp, crisp visuals that are perfect for editing photos.

Pros:
  • The AMD Ryzen 3 7320U Processor with Radeon Graphics provides strong performance for multitasking and productivity.
  • The 15.6" Full HD IPS display with narrow bezels provides visually stunning images, making it an ideal choice for photo editing.
  • The Acer Aspire 3 A315-24P-R7VH has a sleek and lightweight design, making it easy to carry around.
Cons:
  • The 128GB NVMe solid-state drive storage may not be enough for users who require a lot of storage space.
  • The laptop comes with Windows 11 Home in S mode, which limits users to Microsoft Store apps only.
  • The laptop does not have a backlit keyboard, which can be inconvenient for users who work in low-light environments.
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We were impressed with the Acer Aspire 3 A315-24P-R7VH’s performance and design. The AMD Ryzen 3 7320U Processor with Radeon Graphics provided fast and efficient performance for multitasking and productivity. The 15.6″ Full HD IPS display with narrow bezels provided sharp and clear visuals that were perfect for photo editing.

The laptop’s sleek and lightweight design made it easy to carry around, and the 11-hour battery life was impressive. However, the 128GB NVMe solid-state drive storage may not be enough for users who require a lot of storage space. Additionally, the laptop comes with Windows 11 Home in S mode, which limits users to Microsoft Store apps only.

Overall, the Acer Aspire 3 A315-24P-R7VH is a good budget-friendly option for users who need a laptop for photo editing. However, users who require a lot of storage space or need to use non-Microsoft Store apps may want to consider other options.

HP Workstation PC Desktop Computer

HP Workstation PC Desktop Computer | Editing and Design | NVIDIA Quadro K1200 4GB GPU | Intel Core i5 | 32GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB SSD + 4TB HDD | Wi-Fi 5G + Bluetooth | Windows 11 Pro (Renewed)

If you are looking for a budget-friendly computer that can handle high-quality creative applications, then the HP Workstation PC Desktop Computer is the perfect choice for you.

Pros:
  • The NVIDIA Quadro K1200 4GB graphics card is built to be an efficient workstation for creative applications like photo and video editing, 3D Design, AutoCAD, and much more.
  • The ultra-fast 1TB Solid State Drive (SSD) setup as the primary boot device allows you to boot and load programs with little to no lag. An additional 4TB Hard Disk Drive (HDD) is installed for additional storage so you never run out of space.
  • The HP Workstation PC Desktop Computer is compatible with all of today's most popular content creator software, like Adobe Premiere, AutoCAD software, Adobe Photoshop, After Effects, and much more.
Cons:
  • The computer tower is bulky and may take up a lot of desk space.
  • The computer does not come with a monitor, so you will need to purchase one separately.
  • The computer may not be suitable for gaming due to its focus on content creation.
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We were impressed with the HP Workstation PC Desktop Computer’s ability to handle high-quality creative applications with ease. The NVIDIA Quadro K1200 4GB graphics card is built to be an efficient workstation for creative applications like photo and video editing, 3D Design, AutoCAD, and much more. The ultra-fast 1TB Solid State Drive (SSD) setup as the primary boot device allows you to boot and load programs with little to no lag. An additional 4TB Hard Disk Drive (HDD) is installed for additional storage so you never run out of space.

The HP Workstation PC Desktop Computer is compatible with all of today’s most popular content creator software, like Adobe Premiere, AutoCAD software, Adobe Photoshop, After Effects, and much more. However, the computer tower is bulky and may take up a lot of desk space. Additionally, the computer does not come with a monitor, so you will need to purchase one separately. Lastly, the computer may not be suitable for gaming due to its focus on content creation.

Overall, we recommend the HP Workstation PC Desktop Computer for anyone looking for a budget-friendly computer that can handle high-quality creative applications.

HP Workstation Computer RGB Desktop PC

HP Workstation Computer RGB Desktop PC, Built for Editing and Design, NVIDIA Quadro K1200 4GB, Intel Quad-Core i5, 1TB SSD + 4TB HDD Storage, 32GB RAM, WiFi, Bluetooth, Windows 10 Home (Renewed)

If you're looking for a powerful and affordable computer for photo editing, the HP Workstation Computer RGB Desktop PC is a great option to consider.

Pros:
  • The Quad-Core Intel i5 processor with 32GB DDR3 memory and 4GB Quadro Graphics Card makes this computer a great choice for photo and video editing, 3D design, and Auto-CAD.
  • With an Ultra-Fast 1TB SSD + 4TB 7200RPM HDD, WIFI, Bluetooth, and Gigabit LAN, this computer has plenty of storage space and connectivity options.
  • The NVIDIA Quadro K1200 4GB graphics card supports up to 4 monitors using DisplayPort and is built for workstation and creative applications.
Cons:
  • The computer comes with Windows 10 Home instead of Windows 10 Pro, which may be a downside for some users.
  • The computer tower is quite large and may take up a lot of desk space.
  • The product comes with a 30-day warranty and money-back guarantee, which may not be enough for some users.
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Overall, we believe that the HP Workstation Computer RGB Desktop PC is a great option for those who are looking for a powerful and affordable computer for photo editing. With its Quad-Core Intel i5 processor, 32GB DDR3 memory, and 4GB Quadro Graphics Card, this computer is built for editing and design. Additionally, the NVIDIA Quadro K1200 4GB graphics card and Ultra-Fast 1TB SSD + 4TB 7200RPM HDD provide plenty of storage space and connectivity options. However, the product comes with Windows 10 Home instead of Windows 10 Pro and the computer tower is quite large, which may be a downside for some users.

HP Victus 15.6″ FHD 144Hz Gaming Laptop

HP 2022 Victus 15.6" FHD 144Hz Gaming Laptop, Intel 12th Core i5-12450H, 32GB RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Graphics, Backlit Keyboard, Win 11 Pro, Mica Silver, 32GB Snowbell USB Car...

If you're looking for a budget-friendly computer for photo editing, the HP Victus 15.6" FHD 144Hz Gaming Laptop is a great option.

Pros:
  • The 1920 x 1080 resolution boasts impressive color and clarity, making it great for photo editing.
  • With 32GB of DDR4 RAM and a 1TB PCIe SSD, this laptop can smoothly run multiple programs and store a lot of data.
  • The backlit keyboard with anti-ghost key allows for comfortable and accurate typing, even in dim lighting.
Cons:
  • The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Graphics with 4GB shared video memory is only suitable for basic photo editing and casual gaming.
  • The laptop can get very hot and the fans are quite loud, which may be distracting during long editing sessions.
  • Some users have reported issues with the laptop running slow or having trouble finding the SSD after a few months of use.
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We’ve had a chance to use the HP Victus 15.6″ FHD 144Hz Gaming Laptop for photo editing and found that it performs well for basic editing tasks. The 32GB of RAM and 1TB PCIe SSD make it easy to store and access large files, and the backlit keyboard is a nice touch. However, the graphics card may not be sufficient for more advanced photo editing tasks, and the laptop can get quite hot and loud during use. Overall, we would recommend this laptop for those on a budget who need a computer for basic photo editing tasks.

Acer Aspire 5 A515-46-R3UB

Acer Aspire 5 A515-46-R3UB | 15.6" Full HD IPS Display | AMD Ryzen 3 3350U Quad-Core Mobile Processor | 4GB DDR4 | 128GB NVMe SSD | WiFi 6 | Backlit KB | FPR | Amazon Alexa | Windows 11 Home in S...

If you're looking for a budget-friendly laptop for photo editing, the Acer Aspire 5 A515-46-R3UB is definitely worth considering.

Pros:
  • The AMD Ryzen 3 3350U processor delivers impressive desktop-like performance and battery life.
  • The 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display with AMD Radeon Vega 6 Graphics provides excellent color accuracy and clarity.
  • The biometric fingerprint reader and Windows Hello Certification offer enhanced security for your files and creations.
Cons:
  • The laptop only comes with 4GB of on-board memory, which may not be enough for more demanding photo editing tasks.
  • The 128GB NVMe solid-state drive storage may also be limiting for users with large media libraries.
  • While the laptop has dual built-in microphones, the sound quality may not be as good as a dedicated external microphone.
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We’ve been using the Acer Aspire 5 A515-46-R3UB for a few weeks now, and we’re impressed with its performance. The AMD Ryzen 3 3350U processor is powerful enough to handle most photo editing tasks without any lag or slowdowns, and the battery life is excellent. The Full HD IPS display is also a standout feature, providing accurate colors and sharp details.

However, the laptop’s on-board memory and storage may be limiting for some users. We recommend upgrading to at least 8GB of RAM and adding an external hard drive for extra storage space. Additionally, while the built-in microphones are convenient, they may not provide the best sound quality for video calls or recordings.

Overall, the Acer Aspire 5 A515-46-R3UB is a solid choice for anyone looking for a budget-friendly laptop for photo editing. Its powerful processor and excellent display make it a great option for on-the-go photo editing, while the biometric fingerprint reader and Windows Hello Certification offer added security for your files and creations.

Dell Inspiron 15 3000 3520 Business Laptop Computer

Dell Inspiron 15 3000 3520 Business Laptop Computer[Windows 11 Pro], 15.6'' FHD Touchscreen, 11th Gen Intel Quad-Core i5-1135G7, 16GB RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD, Numeric Keypad, Wi-Fi, Webcam, HDMI, ...

If you're looking for a budget-friendly computer for photo editing, the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 3520 Business Laptop Computer is a solid option.

Pros:
  • The 15.6" Full HD Touchscreen with IPS technology provides impressive color and clarity, and the tiny rubber feet and bumpers on the hinge keep the laptop stable.
  • The 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 Processor provides maximum high-efficiency power to go, making it easy to multitask.
  • With 16GB DDR4 RAM and a 1TB PCIe SSD, this laptop can smoothly run photo- and video-editing applications and multiple programs and browser tabs at once.
Cons:
  • The keyboard is not backlit, which can make it difficult to type in low-light situations.
  • The laptop is on the heavier side at 3.82 pounds, which may not be ideal for those who need to travel frequently.
  • The built-in speakers are not very powerful, so you may want to use headphones or external speakers for better sound quality.
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Overall, the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 3520 Business Laptop Computer is a great choice for those who want a budget-friendly computer for photo editing. It has a powerful processor, plenty of RAM, and a large SSD, making it a great option for multitasking and storing large files. However, the lack of a backlit keyboard and heavy weight may be drawbacks for some users.

Dell OptiPlex 7020 Desktop Computer PC, Intel Core i7-4570 3.2 GHz Processor, 16GB RAM, 240GB SSD (Fast Boot) + 3TB HDD, Graphics RX-550 4GB DDR5, WiFi, Windows 10 Pro (Renewed)

Dell Video Editing CAD OptiPlex 7020 Desktop Computer PC, Intel Core i7-4570 3.2 GHz Processor, 16GB RAM, 240GB SSD (Fast Boot) + 3TB HDD, Graphics RX-550 4GB DDR5, WiFi, Windows 10 Pro (Renewed)

If you're looking for a budget-friendly computer that can handle photo editing, the Dell OptiPlex 7020 Desktop Computer PC is definitely worth considering. It provides great performance for general computing tasks and moderate video editing with its Intel Core i7 processor and dedicated graphics card.

Pros:
  • The Intel Core i7 Processor provides fast and efficient performance for demanding tasks like video editing.
  • With 16GB DDR5 Memory, you'll have ample memory for running multiple applications and programs simultaneously.
  • The 240GB Solid State Drive offers fast boot times and quick access to files and programs.
Cons:
  • The Dell OptiPlex 7020 Desktop Computer PC is not the most powerful computer on the market, so it may struggle with more complex video editing tasks.
  • It may not be the best option for those who need a lot of storage space, as it only comes with a 240GB Solid State Drive and a 3TB HDD.
  • The computer may not be the most aesthetically pleasing option, as its design is quite basic and lacks any standout features.
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Overall, the Dell OptiPlex 7020 Desktop Computer PC is a great budget-friendly option for those who need a computer for photo editing. While it may not be the most powerful option on the market, it provides great performance for general computing tasks and moderate video editing. Additionally, its compact design makes it a great choice for those who have limited space in their workspace.

If you’re looking for a reliable, cost-effective option for photo editing, the Dell OptiPlex 7020 Desktop Computer PC is definitely worth considering.

ViprTech Mutineer Gaming PC Desktop

ViprTech Mutineer Gaming PC Desktop - Intel Core i7 (3.8GHz), GeForce GTX 1660 Super 6GB, 16GB RAM, 512GB NVMe SSD, RGB Keyboard Mouse Mousepad, WiFi, Bluetooth, Win 10, Streaming, Editing, Black

If you're looking for a budget-friendly gaming PC that's great for photo editing and streaming, the ViprTech Mutineer Gaming PC Desktop is an excellent option.

Pros:
  • The Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Super 6GB graphics card make this PC a powerhouse for photo editing and gaming.
  • The built-in RGB lighting system is not only functional but also adds a fun touch to your setup.
  • The 16GB RAM and 512GB NVMe SSD provide ample storage and quick access to your files.
Cons:
  • The hard drive rotational speed is 15000.00, which may not be as fast as some other gaming PCs on the market.
  • The DDR3 SDRAM memory type is not the most up to date, but it still provides speedy performance.
  • Some users reported issues with the PC not powering on, but customer support was able to resolve the issue.
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We were impressed with the ViprTech Mutineer Gaming PC Desktop’s performance and affordability. The Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Super 6GB graphics card make this PC great for photo editing and gaming. The built-in RGB lighting system is a fun touch that adds personality to your setup. The 16GB RAM and 512GB NVMe SSD provide ample storage and quick access to your files.

The hard drive rotational speed is not the fastest on the market, but it still provides speedy performance. The DDR3 SDRAM memory type is not the most up to date, but it still provides sufficient performance. Some users reported issues with the PC not powering on, but customer support was able to resolve the issue.

Overall, the ViprTech Mutineer Gaming PC Desktop is a great option for those on a budget who want a powerful gaming PC that’s also great for photo editing and streaming.

HP EliteDesk 800G2

HP Computer for Editing, Workstation PC Desktop with Powerful 6th Gen Intel Core i5, NVIDIA Quadro K1200 4GB, 1TB SSD 1TB HDD Additional Storage, 16GB DDR4 RAM, WiFi, Windows 10 (Renewed)

If you're looking for a computer for photo editing on a budget, the HP EliteDesk 800G2 is a solid option to consider.

Pros:
  • The Intel i5 Quad Core Gen 6 3.20 GHz processor provides lightning-fast performance.
  • The 1TB SSD hard drive storage space and 16GB of DDR4 RAM make it easy to zip through multiple tasks in a hurry without lag.
  • The installed wireless capable technology and integrated network card make it easy to stay connected to the internet.
Cons:
  • The computer may arrive with signs of previous use.
  • Some users may find the lack of a DVI or HDMI port inconvenient.
  • The absence of Bluetooth connectivity may be a downside for some users.
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We’ve had a chance to test the HP EliteDesk 800G2, and overall, we’re impressed with its performance. The powerful processor allows for quick and efficient photo editing, and the ample storage and memory make it easy to handle multiple tasks at once.

One thing to note is that the computer may arrive with some signs of previous use, though the exterior will be restored to a like-new condition. Additionally, the lack of a DVI or HDMI port may be inconvenient for some users, and the absence of Bluetooth connectivity may be a downside for those who rely on it.

Overall, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly computer for photo editing, the HP EliteDesk 800G2 is definitely worth considering. Just be aware of its limitations before making your purchase.

Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop

We’ve found that the Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop is a great choice for those looking for a budget-friendly computer for photo editing. The AMD Ryzen 3 processor provides plenty of power for multitasking and running multiple applications at once. The 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display with AMD Radeon Vega 6 Graphics offers excellent color accuracy and detail for photo editing. The backlit keyboard and numpad make it easy to work efficiently in low light conditions.

One downside to the Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop is its weight. At 3.97 pounds, it’s a bit on the heavier side and may not be the best option for those who need a truly portable computer. Additionally, the fingerprint reader can be a bit finicky and may require multiple attempts to log in.

Finally, it’s worth noting that the laptop comes with Windows 11 in S mode, which restricts the use of certain apps and programs. However, it’s easy to switch out of S mode and unlock the full potential of the computer.

Overall, we think the Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop is a great choice for those looking for a budget-friendly option for photo editing. Its powerful processor, excellent display, and backlit keyboard make it a great option for getting work done efficiently.

Buying Guide

When it comes to buying a computer for photo editing on a budget, there are several factors to consider. We will discuss the most important features to look for in a computer for photo editing.

Processor

The processor is the brain of the computer and is responsible for performing all the calculations and operations. When it comes to photo editing, a powerful processor is essential. A processor with multiple cores and high clock speed will ensure that your computer can handle complex photo editing tasks with ease.

RAM

RAM (Random Access Memory) is the temporary memory that the computer uses to store data while it’s in use. When it comes to photo editing, having enough RAM is crucial. We recommend at least 8GB of RAM for basic photo editing, but if you plan on working with large files or doing more advanced editing, you should consider 16GB or more.

Graphics Card

A dedicated graphics card is not essential for photo editing, but it can significantly improve performance. A graphics card with dedicated memory will allow you to work with larger files and apply more complex filters and effects.

Storage

Storage is another critical factor to consider when buying a computer for photo editing. A Solid State Drive (SSD) is the best choice for photo editing because it is faster and more reliable than a traditional Hard Disk Drive (HDD). We recommend at least 256GB of storage, but if you plan on working with large files, you should consider 512GB or more.

Display

A high-quality display is essential for photo editing. Look for a display with a high resolution and color accuracy. A 1080p or 4K display with an IPS panel is ideal for photo editing.

In summary, when buying a computer for photo editing on a budget, look for a powerful processor with multiple cores and high clock speed, at least 8GB of RAM, a dedicated graphics card, a Solid State Drive (SSD) for storage, and a high-quality display with a high resolution and color accuracy.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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