Question Which hardware is more important for Photoshop and video editors?

bwallx

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Aug 16, 2014
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I use Photoshop, Lightroom and several video editors a lot and currently have a modest home assembled PC with Geforce GTX 750 Ti and 16Gb of RAM and Intel i7-4790 CPU. The bootdrive is SSD.

I am looking to improve software performance so which hardware will have the most impact please?

If this belongs in hardware not software can it be moved please?
 
Aug 23, 2019
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If I were you I would get an AMD CPU, with as many cores as possible. This will help you a lot in photoshop, but not in gaming, which should be ok for you, if you don't play that many video games anyways.
 
Primarily photo and video editing software are CPU intensive. Classically an Intel CPU would have been your best bet, but AMD has closed the gap on single core performance so much that it doesn't really make a difference. What will make a difference is core count, and AMD will give you more cores for the money.

So, CPU definitely would make for the biggest upgrade. Depending on what codec you use for video encoding your GPU may or may not want an upgrade. If you are using software rendering and encoding then the CPU would be the only thing being used, if you were using NVidia's hardware encoding, then an RTX 2060 would be a great upgrade as it includes NVidia's latest hardware encoder technology, which is actually pretty good.

Depending on the size of videos you edit a RAM upgrade might also help out a lot. This isn't so much an issue with pictures as they require a lot less memory for manipulation.

A storage upgrade only makes sense if you do a lot of reading and writing to the drive and you end up waiting a long time for those operations to finish. Normally that isn't a problem for video or pictures as they load to RAM, get edited, then get written to the drive when you save, unless you are trying to edit huge files and you don't have enough RAM to load them completely into memory.
 

bwallx

Honorable
Aug 16, 2014
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10,635
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Primarily photo and video editing software are CPU intensive. Classically an Intel CPU would have been your best bet, but AMD has closed the gap on single core performance so much that it doesn't really make a difference. What will make a difference is core count, and AMD will give you more cores for the money.

So, CPU definitely would make for the biggest upgrade. Depending on what codec you use for video encoding your GPU may or may not want an upgrade. If you are using software rendering and encoding then the CPU would be the only thing being used, if you were using NVidia's hardware encoding, then an RTX 2060 would be a great upgrade as it includes NVidia's latest hardware encoder technology, which is actually pretty good.

Depending on the size of videos you edit a RAM upgrade might also help out a lot. This isn't so much an issue with pictures as they require a lot less memory for manipulation.

A storage upgrade only makes sense if you do a lot of reading and writing to the drive and you end up waiting a long time for those operations to finish. Normally that isn't a problem for video or pictures as they load to RAM, get edited, then get written to the drive when you save, unless you are trying to edit huge files and you don't have enough RAM to load them completely into memory.
Thank you. Makes good sense. Looks like a new AMD then. Plus mobo. But to upgrade the Intel i7 would also need a new mobo I think so horses for courses. I'm not familiar with the AMD range. Any suggestions without breaking the bank please?
 
Thank you. Makes good sense. Looks like a new AMD then. Plus mobo. But to upgrade the Intel i7 would also need a new mobo I think so horses for courses. I'm not familiar with the AMD range. Any suggestions without breaking the bank please?
A good midrange CPU ($200-ish) is the Ryzen 5 3600. It has 6 cores/12 threads and is reasonably fast. If you need more power and have in the ballpark of $100 more budget, the Ryzen 3700 or 3700X are 8 core/16 thread and single core performance on the 3700X is notably better. After the 3700X is the 3800X which is just a little higher clock speed and the 3900X which is faster and even more cores (12 cores/24 threads to be exact), but the price for performance is in the 3600 to 3700X range... and the 3700X is already an absolute beast of a CPU.

All that would be fine and dandy buuuuuuut there is also the Ryzen 2000 series still on the market. They are a little slower in single core performance but the 2700X is currently $200 and is 8 cores/16 threads, which is an AMAZING deal if all you really want is a lot of cores and you don't necessarily need the single core speed. That said, it doesn't fall behind the 3700X by that much (only about 14%) so as far as a value it is pretty much the best deal on the market for a budget workstation.
 

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