Graphic design, video editing, and animation require much computing power than simple word processing and office-centered applications. While many of us just need to send off a few e-mails and write up a presentation or two, design professionals need a computer that can handle heavy graphics without bogging down, losing information, or crashing. Even if you are on a budget, you can purchase the right computer for design by saving up for the Black Friday best deals that you can find. What computer specs do you need for graphic design?
A “graphic designer” can do a variety of tasks, from designing logos to creating multimedia for a website or app. We parsed out specs based on common tasks and programs that you will need to run to accomplish those tasks. You will see some crossover, but all-in-all, these computer specs will be the minimum of what you need to engage in professional high-end work.
If you use Adobe Photoshop and edit photos:
You will need a computer that can manage very, very large image files and a CPU that can edit them without too much lag.
- CPU: Intel or AMD processor (64-bit Support)
- 4 GHz or more processor
- 16 GB or more of RAM
A budget-friendly option for Adobe Photoshop is the HP Pavilion Flagship Laptop, but there are many computers out there that will meet these requirements.
For illustrators using Adobe Illustrator:
For graphic designers that use Adobe Illustrator on a regular basis, expect the same demand on your computer as with Adobe Photoshop computer software. Although it may use a little less CPU, you will benefit from having a faster computer with more RAM, especially for very large projects.
- CPU: Multicore Intel Processor (32/64-Bit Support)
- CPU: AMD Athlon 64 Processor
- 4 GB RAM for 32 bit
- 16 GB RAM for 64 bit
For illustrators on a budget, the Dell Inspiron FHD laptop provides a good CPU and decent processing power for an affordable price.
If you work in animation, use Blender, video, or use Adobe After Effects:
Animation requires a much better graphics card and fast processing speeds. Remember that the computer will be processing hundreds, even thousands of images, for your project. 3D imagery eats up even more power. These specs are recommended minimums. You would do well to go with the most powerful computer that you can afford.
- CPU: Multicore Intel Processor (64-bit support)
- CPU: 64-bit eight core
- 16 GB memory (minimum)
- 4 GB GPU VRAM
- Duel OpenGL 3.2 compatible graphics cards
The ASUS VivoBook Pro and many Apple productions like the iMac are ideal for animation and video. Some animators simply build their own computer to handle the work. Dell’s Alienware used to be e favorite, or you can make your own Hackintosh (a PC that you build that can run MAC OS). But be sure you understand how to put together a high-end computer yourself.
Some other things to consider, especially if you do video editing and multimedia:
- 4K monitors
- Audio equipment and internal mic
- Webcam quality
- Ergonomic mouse
- Dual Monitors
- Color-accurate display
- Multiple processor cores
- Vertical hinge
- External storage (or storage on the cloud)
- Good Reliable Battery Life
- Large screen size
- Type of inputs
Look at how you plan to use your computer. Then decide on what option works best for you. If you are on a budget, try to purchase the most powerful and fastest computer that you can on a budget that meets your minimum needs for professional graphic design.