What is a graphic designer without the right hardware? Right, not much.
If you just wanted to get a glimpse of what kind of tools graphic designers need, you’re right here. When you’re already an established designer with heaps of experience, you probably know what a computer needs to be a tool, not an obstacle. As time changes, programs change and so do hardware requirements. Short: You’re right here, too.
Let’s dive straight into it. When you’re just starting to lace your boots or if you’re ready to level up your game in graphic design, here are the honest facts about what your computer has to deliver to create breathtaking designs.
There is more than one thing you need to consider when it comes to cho
1. CPU - Processor Power
What is your computer without high-end performance? That’s what the CPU tells you. High processing units will make your life much easier than you can actually imagine.
2. OS - Operating System
Are you looking for a wider range in compatibility and faster results? Go for Windows. Mac offer you optimum and high-end performance with a great love for detail - that’s why most designers go for MacOS. 3D programs like Rhino or Blender will prefer Windows, everything else will thrive on Mac.
3. Memory and Storage
You know the feeling of deep annoyance when you’re about to open up a new file but get a notification to clean up your storage first? Worst anti-workflow scenario ever. Sure, be tidy with your files, but heaps of storage and in-built memory will get you super far.
4. Graphic Card
You can’t create a high-end finish product when your computer simply doesn’t show the detail. If you want to save money, don’t do it here. You need to see what you’re going to deliver, in high resolution.
The same applies here. Make sure the display is adjustable and offers you choices of how to display your products, so you can test them in any direction. Also, look at the size. The bigger, the better, but if you’re working remotely and travel a lot, a small screen might be more suitable for you.
We certainly don’t want to be greedy when it comes to our No. 1 tool as graphic designers, but we can’t empty our pockets completely. But be aware: In this area, high prices actually do mean better quality. Better invest once for real and be rewarded with a great tools working with you for years. Tip: There are always payment plans!
So, let’s get clear on this and answer your burning question: Which computer is the best for graphic designers?
1. 27-inch iMac
You’re no digital nomad and don’t need to constantly move your gear? This Mac is, without a single doubt, the absolute best computer for any graphic designer. Besides its own awesome design, the 27-inch iMac shows up with unmatchable power to any other computer that size.
CPU: 3.8 GHz 8-core i7
Memory + Storage: 8GB ddr4 + 256GB SSD or 512GB SSD
Graphic Card AMD Radeon Pro 5700XT
Display: 27-inch 5 K Retina Display
2. Microsoft Surface Studio 2
For designers that still love the good old paper and pen, the Microsoft Surface Studio 2 is the biggest player among graphic design computers. With its touch surface and the matching pen, any designer gets the ultimate results in a realistic design experience.
CPU: 1.3ghz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
Memory + Storage: 16GB RAM + 1TB SSD
Graphic Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060
Display: 28 “4500x3000 Pixel Sense Display
3. MacBook Pro 16 inch (2021)
For those who move a lot, this MacBook does almost as much as it’s big iMac brothers. Small and handy, it hides incredible power behind its stylish surfaces.
CPU: Apple M2
Memory + Storage: 8GB RAM + 256 GB
Graphic Card: M2 integrated graphics
Display: 3-inch Retina with True Tone
Feel like these suggestions are not enough? You can check out our guide for 2022 below and see which devices protected their place in our list!
Best Computers for Graphic Design in 2022
1. 27-inch iMac
Apple products do not disappoint customers and are especially famous among designers. The all-vibrant desktop and model designs of Apple, the 27-inch iMac, make it the best computer for graphic designers. The 27-inch iMac package is considered the best in its design and accuracy for designers. The power of the 27-inch iMac is unmatchable to any other computer with its wireless and minimalist look.
- 27-inch 5 K Retina Display
- 5120x2880 Pixel Resolution to Support 1 Billion Colors
- 600 Nits Brightness
- Truetone Technology
- Anti-Reflective Coating
- Nano-Texture Glass Option
- Memory: 8GB ddr4
- Storage: 256GB SSD or 512GB SSD
- Configurable to 1TB or 2tbfor a 4-Port Model
- Price Varies Depending on Storage Capacity
- Integrated with a 1080p HD Camera with an M1 Image Signal Processor.
- Integrated with a Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse 2 with soft-glide technology and a sophisticated surface design that is compact and travel-friendly.
When it comes to the finest graphic design desktops in 2022, you cannot go wrong with a 27” Apple iMac.
- Processor: 3.8 GHz 8-core i7
- Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 5700XT
- Amazing graphic design PC build
- Sophisticated look
- Stunning graphical components
- High-performance operating system
- Faster storage with integrated components
- No further upgrades are available
2. Microsoft Surface Studio 2
With its versatile design, Microsoft’s Surface Studio 2 is an all-in-one system that makes it the best desktop for graphic design. Its touchscreen is integrated with a surface pen support option, offering users a seamless design experience. Microsoft Surface Studio 2 graphic design computer has a flexible monitor stand allowing tilting and rotations for comfortable use. The price, of course, is high with its touchscreen and surface pen options are worth it for almost all the features incorporated in it. The Microsoft Surface Studio 2 is sleek, agile, and has enough power to handle your graphic design software, from creative apps to 3D simulators.
- 28 “4500x3000 Pixel Sense Display
- Memory: 16GB RAM
- Storage: 1TB SSD
- Processor: 1.3ghz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
- Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060
- Large monitor with touchscreen
- Integrating surface pen for drawing
- Flexible monitor stand
- Overheating with increased workload
- Low speaker quality
3. Dell XPS 8930—Best Everyday Computer
From a layman’s perspective, Dell’s XPS laptop is one of the best laptops for graphic design. The desktop variant of the same also carries the same built-in features.
The dell XPS 8930 has powerful components with a travel-friendly compact design, making it ideal for office and work-from-home use.
Dell XPS 8930 graphic design computer is built with an octa-core processor and a GTX 1660 ti inside.
The Dell XPS 8930 desktop is a highly compatible system ideal choice for pairing with external monitors and peripherals of your choice.
- Memory: 64 GB ddr4
- 6GB Dedicated 1660ti’s 512GB SSD and 1TB Hard Drive for Extra Storage
- Processor: 3 GHz core_i7
- Graphics: Intel HD graphics
- Best integrated components
- Sophisticated look
- No dedicated graphics card
- Minimum storage space
Lenovo Yoga A940 27, HP Workstation Z2 Mini G5, Lenovo Legion Tower 5 are other systems you could use for a budget-friendly starter yet compatible option. Apple Mac Mini and Dell Inspiron 7000 are more reliable and cost-effective.
Key Takeaway: 2023’s Best Computers for Graphic Design
Graphic design is a field that requires a high level of technical skill and creativity. One of the most important things to consider when choosing a computer for graphic design is the processor. You’ll want to make sure you choose a computer with a powerful processor that can handle the demands of graphic design software. Another important factor to consider is the amount of RAM.
Choosing the right computer is essential for any graphic designer. The good news is that there are a number of great options on the market, and we’ve compiled a list of the best computers for graphic design in 2023.
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As a final statement: Your tools have to match your style, your work, and your visions. Don’t get distracted by fancy equipment, but if you want to save money, don’t save it there. Your gear is, after all, a big part of how much quality in your work you bring to the table.