Buying A Workstation PC

Imagine your PC as an artist’s canvas. As a hobbyist or enthusiast content creator, your workstation represents both your brushes and your paints. The more capable your workstation, the more paints and brushes you have at your disposal, allowing your skills and imagination to flourish, free of limitations and restrictions. As a creative professional, a PC is more than just your tool. It’s your livelihood. If you earn a living from the work performed on your PC, look at the purchase of Photoshop and Lightroom workstations as an investment.

The ideal workstation is powerful, reliable, and most importantly, well-optimized. At MAINGEAR, we recognize that our creative users all have specific needs. A sculptor wouldn’t use tools designed for a painter, and that’s why it’s important that your PC is tailor made for the software you use every day. Regardless of your price point, whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional, we’ve got the perfect system for you, and as always, MAINGEAR PCs ship 100% bloatware-free, with unrivaled craftsmanship and support.

Optimizing Your PC for Photoshop & Lightroom

Processor

All things considered; both Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom are lightly threaded applications, in that they heavily favor core frequency over core count. That means the number of cores on your processor won’t impact performance nearly as much as the speed of those cores. More demanding tasks like exporting large amounts of images or generating high-resolution thumbnails will tax your CPU for longer stretches of time, which is one scenario where a higher core count CPU could, and likely would, improve performance. While marginal, it’s something to consider if you’re a Lightroom user who does this regularly. The important takeaway here is that the CPU is, and should be, your number one focus when optimizing a PC for Photoshop and Lightroom.

Memory

Perhaps the second most important component to consider is memory (RAM)The exact amount of RAM you’ll need will vary based on the projects you’re working on. Simply put, basic photo edits and corrections will utilize less memory than complex layer-heavy creations16GB to 32GB of RAM is suitable for most users. It’s worth noting that there are some exceptions. Some of Photoshop’s new AI-driven features are very RAM intensive and will use as much memory as you can throw at it. You should also consider a system with a higher amount of RAM if you frequently work with high resolution images, very large file sizes, PSDs with hundreds of layers, or if you plan to do any advanced compositing such as focus stacking and complex photo stitching. 

Graphics

A common misconception is that the graphics card you choose is critical to the performance you can expect in programs like Photoshop and Lightroom. This isn’t the case. While there are a few select effects that utilize GPU acceleration, the CPU is going to do an overwhelming majority of the lifting in Photoshop and Lightroom. Price to performance, mid-tier gaming graphics cards like the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 tend to make the best overall valuewith the RTX cards even offering support for a 10-bit HDR workflow in Adobe software, a feature previously limited to NVIDIA’s pricier Quadro lineup. 

Storage

While having a high-end GPU isn’t hugely beneficial, having fast storage is. We strongly recommend using NVMe SSDs for the best performance–ideally one for the operating system and software, and a second for media. The importance of a backup solution is also critical, be it a local drive, external drive, or network/cloud storage. The MAINGEAR support team is a great resource when it comes to discussing backup options and implementations. 

Photoshop and Lightroom Workstations

We’ve pre-configured the best options together to create a PC that can run Photoshop & Lightroom needs as a photographer, editor, compositor, and archivist. Below you’ll find price aggressive desktop and laptop solutions, all backed by our world class warranty.

ENTHUSIAST

Desktop Workstation
$1399Boosted for $1599
  • Built for freelancers editing in Lightroom and occasionally in Photoshop


• Intel Core i5-9400F Processor
• NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
• 16GB DDR4 Memory
• 512GB M.2 NVME SSD
• 1TB HDD
• Windows 10 Pro


Boost to
• 32GB DDR4 Memory
• 1TB M.2 NVME SSD
• 2TB HDD

PROFESSIONAL

Desktop Workstation
$2499Boosted for $2999
  • Built for handling complex multi-layer files, compositing and large batch editing


• AMD Ryzen 7 3800X Processor
• NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Super
• 32GB DDR4 Memory
• 1TB M.2 NVME SSD
• 1TB M.2 NVME SSD
• Windows 10 Pro


Boost to
• 64GB DDR4 Memory
• 2TB M.2 NVME SSD
• 2TB M.2 NVME SSD

system-element-

PORTABLE

Laptop
$1999ELEMENT - Stage 3
  • Built for the photographer who needs a powerful editing solution on location


• Intel Core i7-9750H
• NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
• 32GB DDR4 Memory
• 2TB M.2 NVME SSD
• Windows 10
• 15.6″ IPS 1080p 144Hz Display
• Optical Mechanical Keyboard
• Magnesium Alloy Chassis
• Thunderbolt 3
• Matte Black Finish
• Up to 10 Hrs Battery

Custom Configure Your Workstation

Everyone has an IT Rep at 1-888-MAINGEAR

We all have questions sometimes. Many professionals have access to a dedicated IT team, but as a hobbyist or freelancer, you’re oftentimes stuck searching the web for the answers you need, wasting time and creating confusion. Take solace in knowing that our award-winning support team is standing by to assist. Our dedicated and knowledgeable technicians are wellversed in not only your PCbut the programs you use every day. Our technicians live and breathe these things, and we have Photoshop and Lightroom experts available to help. We believe in honesty and transparency, so if there’s ever an issue outside of our scope that we can’t personally resolvewe’ll gladly take the time to point you in the right direction and work together towards a resolution.

Give us a call at 1-888-MAINGEAR

Mac or PC? Making the Switch?

We could spend all day discussing the competitive differences between PC and Mac, but one thing remains undeniably true: you can stretch your budget further with a PC. For example, if you had around $2000 to spend and were debating between a PC and an iMac, you’re simply going to end up with more on the PC side. You’d likely end up with 2-3x the storage, a faster and higher core count CPU, more graphics memory, and 2-3x the RAM. All for the same price. Why pay more for less?

There are a multitude of reasons why one may switch from Mac to PC, and while it’s much easier to seamlessly transition these days, we realize you may have questions or reservations. Members of our support team are trained and experienced within MacOS and are standing by to assist you with making the switch easy and efficient.