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Best CPU for Photo Editing

Speed up the photo editing process with the best CPUs for the job

Updated: Jan 9, 2023 1:40 pm
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When it comes to photo editing, having the right CPU can make a world of difference. Whether you’re a professional photographer or an enthusiast looking to take your skills to the next level, choosing a suitable processor is crucial. So, what’s the best CPU for photo editing?

Before we get into it, we want to mention that photo editing can consume a lot of power from your PC. However, it’s not necessarily the most demanding of tasks. Still, we had to consider that many users might also want to edit videos, so our recommendations are on the safe side.

These are the top picks for the best CPU for photo editing.

Best CPU for Photo Editing – Intel Core i9 13900K

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Intel Core i9-13900K

Cores
24
Threads
32
Base speed
P-cores 3 GHz / E-cores 2.2 GHz
Boost speed
P-cores 5.8 GHz / E-cores 4.3 GHz
Cache
36MB
TDP
125 W / 253 W boost.

Specs:

  • Speed: 5.8GHz
  • Cores/Threads: 24/32
  • Socket: LGA1700
  • TDP: 125W

If you’re a professional photo editor looking for the best performance, then the Core i9 13900K is the processor for you. With its impressive 24 cores, 32 threads, and 5.8GHz turbo speed, this processor easily outperforms the competition in many workloads.

Admittedly, this processor is a bit much just for photo editing. However, for professionals who are serious about their workloads, it does make sense. This is especially true if you are also going to be working with programs such as Blender, After Effects, and maybe even AutoDesk Maya.

To take full advantage of this processor, you’ll also need a top-notch Z790 motherboard and fast DDR5 memory to fully unleash its potential. 

Best Budget CPU for Photo Editing – Intel Core i5 13600K

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Intel Core i5-13600K

Cores
14
Threads
20
Base speed
P-cores 3.5 GHz / E-cores 2.6 GHz
Boost speed
P-cores 5.1 GHz / E-cores 3.9 GHz
Cache
20MB
TDP
125 W / 181 W boost.

Specs:

  • Speed: 5.1GHz (Boost Clock)
  • Cores/Threads: 14/20
  • Socket: LGA1700
  • TDP: 125W

On the other hand, the Core i5 13600K is a more practical choice that still offers great performance for photo editing. With 14 cores and a boost clock of 5.1GHz, it’s capable of handling most tasks with ease. It’s also cheaper and easier to cool.

While it may not quite match the power of the 13900K, it’s still an excellent choice for photographers on a budget. This is the value king right now, and the performance punches well above its weight.

Final Word

So, if you want the absolute best CPU right now, then the 13900K is the way to go. However, if you want something that’s more practical yet still quite powerful, the Core i5 13600K might actually be the best CPU for photo editing.

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