Best Laptop for Editing Photos and Videos – Processor vs RAM vs SSD

Today I’m going to tackle one of the most common but difficult questions I get from my students – “Kush, which is the best laptop/PC for editing?

First of all, why is this a difficult question to answer?

  • Because there are just too many permutations and combinations when it comes to the specs and brands
  • Because it will completely depend on what you mean by “editing

If someone on YouTube specifically tells you about some particular laptop, then DON’T BELIEVE THEM! YouTube videos like those are usually sponsored videos.

At Creative Pad Media, I don’t endorse any particular brand and neither do I engage in any sponsorship scenarios. So you will always get REAL unbiased advice from me when it comes to purchasing photography related products.

So what is the REAL advice?

The answer is that the brand isn’t that important.

You’ve got to focus on the three big specs – RAM, Processor and SSD.

To understand these three things, you can imagine a chef who is cooking food. A processor means how intelligent and skillful the chef is. SSD means how nicely everything is organised in the kitchen. RAM means how close all the cooking items (vegetables, knives, water, salt, etc) are to the chef.

RAM is the NUMBER ONE spec you have to pay attention to.

Why?

Because having less RAM is equivalent to the chef having to open and close the fridge and cupboard every time something has to be accessed. So having less RAM will mean the chef just gets tired (lags).

I don’t want to get into the technical stuff but RAM will help you run resource intensive applications like Photoshop, Lightroom and Premiere Pro easily.

If you are only into photo editing, even 8 GB RAM can be enough (though you still may face lagging issues at time).

But if you plan to get into video editing, then upgrading to 16 GB RAM is almost a must.

For me, the BIGGEST change came in the performance when I upgraded my RAM from 8 GB to 16 GB back in 2015.

It instantly made my photo and video editing very smooth.

So 8 GB is OK but 16 GB is recommended. Currently I have 32 GB and that’s even better but it did not make as much a difference as going from 8 to 16 did.

The best part is that upgrading your RAM is fairly inexpensive. It only cost me 4k back then.

Whereas upgrading the processor (almost impossible) or SSD is not cheap at all.

But Kush, won’t having a better processor and a larger SSD also make things faster too?

Yes it will. That’s why it is important. BUT NOT AS IMPORTANT AS RAM.

A better processor will execute operations more efficiently and having more SSD will make the loading times of different apps better. But if the RAM is poor, all that won’t be of any use because your computer will not be able to quickly access the data needed to run the programs as it won’t have enough space for temporary storage.

Personally speaking, the Dell Gaming Laptops have given me the best experience and I will always stick to them.

Currently I have 35 online courses which have over 1.5 TB of audio and video content and ALL OF IT was edited and processed using a Dell gaming laptop without any issues.

I hope this tip helps you

About the Author

portrait photographer for portfolio shoot in pune

Hi there, I'm Kush Sharma, the founder of Creative Pad Media, an organization dedicated to simplifying photography and videography education.

We have over 40 online courses that cover various genres in photography & videography, catering to both beginners as well as professionals. These courses are available via Udemy.com. Our courses have been downloaded in over 170 countries.

I hope to see you inside a course very soon!