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Top 5 HP Desktop PCs for Photoshop

Top 5 HP Desktop PCs for Photoshop

Stephen Mash
Adobe's Photoshop™ application is a professional image editing tool used by designers for creating high-quality graphics and by photographers for touching up photos. However, getting the most out of Photoshop's extensive image manipulation functions requires a computer able to deliver the required performance.
In this article, we will look at five desktop computers available from HP that are ideal for anyone starting to use Photoshop or existing users looking to upgrade their system. The information aims to help you find the best PC for Photoshop.

Photoshop system requirements

photoshop user requirements
When choosing a desktop PC for Photoshop, you need to consider the requirements for the application. Adobe publishes a set of minimum PC requirements needed to run the application.
However, when purchasing a new desktop PC, it's advisable to meet or exceed the recommended requirements to ensure that your new computer will deliver the best user experience over its usable lifetime. Your new desktop should allow upgrades to its computational processing and storage elements to meet the demands of future versions of the Photoshop application.
To run Adobe Photoshop for PC, you'll need a multicore Intel®, ARM® or AMD® processor running at a minimum of 2 GHz and supporting the SSE4 instructions subset. SSE4 stands for Streaming SIMD Extensions 4, and the critical element is the Single Instruction, Multiple Data (SIMD).
SIMD is a parallel processing technique optimised for applications that apply a common action across a large data set. This situation is prevalent in image processing applications such as Photoshop.
For example, each image pixel contains data values for the Red, Green and Blue components. Therefore, changing image-wide parameters such as brightness requires a change to all these data points equally, which, for high-resolution images, comprise a vast dataset. The SSE4 instructions make such operations significantly quicker to complete.
The Photoshop PC application works with standard 64-bit versions of Windows 10 from version 20H2 upwards and Windows 11, available as standard with HP desktops.
The desktop should have a minimum of 8 GB of RAM though ideally, it should have at least 16 GB installed. Also, you'll need at least 4 GB of free hard-disk space following the installation of the application though you should have at least 16 GB available.
For graphical processing, the desktop will need a graphics card with a GPU that can support DirectX™ 12 and 1.5 GB of dedicated GPU memory. However, for images with 4k resolution and higher, the GPU should have at least 4 GB of memory. While not an issue when looking for a new desktop PC for your Photoshop application, the software is only tested on GPUs less than seven years old, meaning there is limited support for older devices.
To use Photoshop on a desktop, you'll need a monitor with a minimum resolution of 1280 x 800. However, the recommendation is to have a desktop that can drive at least a 1920 x 1080 display.
Activating the Photoshop product and validating any subscriptions and access to online services will require internet connectivity.

Photoshop user requirements

Photoshop is the tool of choice for professional photographers, graphic designers and digital artistic creators. Such users don't just manipulate media files but also create content or make changes quickly and efficiently to be productive. They also often work in teams using collaborative working techniques.
However, with the latest high-resolution technologies, the size of media files is growing, which means even simple changes, such as altering the contrast or brightness of a still image, involve manipulating millions of individual data points.
These demands require combining Photoshop's state-of-the-art concurrent processing techniques with a powerful computing device that supports multi-thread computations at lightning-fast speeds.
The primary user requirements for using Photoshop effectively are the latest multicore processors with super-fast memory that can quickly handle vast volumes of image data.
The user will also need the ability to view their digital creations in the best possible quality, so support for connecting the latest ultra-high-resolution monitor technology is critical.

Ranking the five best HP desktop PCs for Photoshop

HP has developed a range of workstations that deliver the performance Photoshop users require at competitive pricing. The range includes a range of physical footprints and expandability options to adapt to each user's specific needs.
We have provided this list of recommendations for the best 5 desktops for using Photoshop to help you find your perfect workstation from HP's extensive range of options. All these computers offer different combinations of performance and features.
However, each user will have their requirements to meet. The HP website offers a helpful set of filter options to help narrow down searches so you can find the model that's right for you.

Z2 Tower G9 Workstation - Best performance graphics workstation with a graphics card

z2 tower g9 workstation
If you want the best graphical processing performance to power your Photoshop application, then the Z2 Tower G9 Workstation with i9-12900K and NVIDIA® RTX™ A4000 is ideal. The incredible 12th Gen Intel powers this tower-form desktop computer Core™ i9 runs 16 cores at up to 5.2 GHz using Intel's Turbo Boost technology.
This computer has 32 GB of dynamic memory using DDR5 technology that can achieve data transfer rates of 4.8 Giga transfers per second (GT/s). Supplied static memory is an impressive 1 TB solid-state storage and excellent expansion capability with multiple internal and external drive bays.
The graphical processing capability comes from the NVIDIA® RTX™️ A4000 card with 16 GB of dedicated memory based on the latest GDDR6 technology to deliver outstanding performance. This card is NVIDIA's most powerful single-slot GPU and is for professionals who require high-performance graphics.
The computer has dual DisplayPort™ 1.4 ports to drive monitors with high resolutions and refresh rates. Offering higher data rates than HDMI 2.0 technology, it supports the visually lossless Display Stream Compression (DSC) 1.2 encoding technique. However, it will also allow the connection of HDMI or DVI displays as necessary.
This desktop comes with the latest Windows 11 Professional operating system and the usual extensive range of HP diagnostic, device management and security applications.

HP Z2 Tower G9 Workstation - Best performance graphics workstation without a graphics card

hp z2 tower g9 workstation
Suppose you are looking for graphical processing performance for your Photoshop desktop application but do not want a separate graphics card. In that case, the basic HP Z2 Tower G9 Workstation will meet your needs. This option allows you to rely on Intel's UHD Graphics 750 technology or add your own graphics card using the generous provision of spare internal slots.
This tower-form desktop computer uses Intel's high-performance 12th Gen Core i9, running 24 threads across 16 cores at boosted clock speeds of up to 5.1 GHz.
This computer has 32 GB of DDR5 technology-based dynamic memory that offers 4.8 GT/s data transfer rates. This performance ensures that memory accesses do not constrain the processing of large media files. The desktop also includes a 1 TB solid-state storage device (SSD) as standard, with support for additional SSD or hard disk drives (HDD).
The desktop has extensive connectivity options, including two DisplayPort™ 1.4 ports for display monitors and standard and super-speed USB connections. This flexibility ensures that the user can fulfil their display needs, a critical factor for professional desktop Photoshop users.
This desktop has a pre-installed Windows 11 Professional operating system, so it operates out of the box. It also includes a suite of HP diagnostic, device management and security applications to ensure the computer keeps working correctly and protects your valuable Photoshop creations.

HP Z2 G9 SFF Workstation - Best dependable compact graphics workstation

hp z2 g9 sff workstation
If you are looking for the best graphical processing performance in a more compact unit for your Photoshop work, look no further than the HP Z2 G9 SFF Workstation with i7 and NVIDIA® Quadro® T600. This small form factor (SFF) desktop computer is a fraction of the size of a tower workstation. Still, it includes a full-size graphics card and a range of internal expansion ports to manage future performance enhancements and technology upgrades.
This small, well-formed compact workstation has Intel's 12th Gen i7 processor running 12 cores at up to 4.9 GHz. With its 25 MB of level 3 cache memory and 20 thread processing, this offers incredible performance for CPU–heavy programs. These features make this desktop great for a professional Photoshop user.
The graphical processing capability comes from the NVIDIA Quadro® T600 card, with 4 GB of dedicated memory that uses the latest GDDR6 high-speed technology. NVIDIA's Quadro range is designed specifically for running professional digital content creation and computer-generated imagery applications.
The workstation includes two DisplayPort™ 1.4 ports allowing connection of the latest high resolution and fast refresh rate monitors that make the Photoshop application easier to use over long periods. This capability enables users to select the best monitors to deliver crystal-clear graphics.
In total, the workstation can drive eight displays using the available integrated and discrete graphics ports. This ability should be more than enough for a typical user seeking a computer for Photoshop.
This workstation comes pre-installed with the professional version of the Windows 11 operating system. It also includes HP's suite of diagnostics, device management applications, and a comprehensive security suite to keep your digital creations safe.

HP Z2 Mini G9 Workstation - Best mini graphics workstation

hp z2 mini g9 workstation
If the workspace is too limited for even an SFF desktop, HP offers a mini workstation option with the same performance capabilities as its larger siblings. For example, the HP Z2 Mini G9 Workstation with i7 & NVIDIA® Quadro® T600 is available in a unit that measures just 21.1 x 21.8 x 6.9 cm.
For comparison, the compact SFF desktop measures 38.4 x 30.8 x 10 cm, while the tower units measure 35.6 x 16.9 x 38.5 cm. This mini workstation's volume is almost a quarter of the SFF version and less than a seventh of the full-size tower.
Despite its tiny footprint, this workstation has the same 12th Gen i7 processor and NVIDIA Quadro® T600 graphics card as its SFF equivalent offering professional Photoshop users the same incredible performance.
The only real difference is fewer expansion slots and a slightly smaller internal SSD. However, 512 GB is more than enough to install the Photoshop application and store your precious media files.
The workstation also includes the same two DisplayPort™ 1.4 ports and other integrated and discrete graphics ports to support up to eight separate monitors, including the ability to drive high-resolution monitors with fast refresh rates.

HP ENVY 27-cp0006na 4K - Best all-in-one desktop solution

hp envy 27 all in one 4k
If you know what you need and are looking for an elegant and compact solution, then an all-in-one desktop computer may fit your needs. This solution is a monitor that integrates the computer elements within its enclosure rather than in a separate device. While you lose the ability to upgrade aspects of the computer, you benefit from a small physical footprint, fewer cables, improved energy efficiency and a more elegant design.
The HP ENVY 27-cp0006na 4K All-in-One with NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 3060 solution combines the power of the 12th Gen Intel Core i9 processor within a 27-inch 4K Ultra-High Definition (UHD) monitor.
Combined with the power of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX™ 3060 graphics card, this all-in-one desktop offers Photoshop users the best processing power to fulfil their image creation and manipulation requirements, however large the source files are.
An impressive 2 TB of internal SSD storage will meet the needs of a typical Photoshop user over the lifetime of the workstation.
The workstation includes broad connection options, including Thunderbolt™ 4, USB4™ Type-C® and DisplayPort™ 1.4 ports. These options ensure you can connect multiple 4K displays to meet your image processing needs.
This all-in-one solution comes with the Windows 11 Home operating system pre-installed and various applications, including McAfee LiveSafe™.


Professional Photoshop users looking for a new desktop will need a PC to handle intensive image creation and manipulation processing. From enhancing photographs to generating high-resolution graphics for movies or gaming.
Your priority may be computational performance or graphical processing power, small size or the capacity to add additional components.
If you are looking for the best computer for Photoshop, HP has a workstation that will be perfect for your professional media requirements.

About the Author

Stephen Mash is a contributing writer for HP Tech Takes. Stephen is a UK-based freelance technology writer with a background in cybersecurity and risk management.

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