10 Best Computer for Graphic Design

best-computer-for-graphic-design

It’s normal for you to feel overwhelmed because you are looking for the best computer for graphic design. In fact, with a large number of available options in the market, it is normal for you to make mistakes when buying a computer.

As a graphic designer, your ultimate goal is to have a smooth workflow, easy multitasking, and quick rendering without having to experience your laptop freezing on you.

Hence, choosing the best computer for graphic design all boils down to what you’ll need to use it for as well as your budget and desk configuration.

One trick to getting the best computer for your job is to get one that has higher specs than what you need now. This way you are sure that you may not need to get another one as your projects and tasks start to increase.

We’ve put together a list of the best computers for graphic design in this article for you. However, you should note that while some of these computers come with a monitor, others don’t. So you’d have to set aside a good amount for a monitor.

Having said that, here’s a list of the best computer for graphic design in 2022. But first, let’s answer the ultimate question. “How can I choose the best computer for graphic design?”

How to Choose the Best Computer for Graphic Design

There are a few important things to look out for when choosing a computer for your graphic design needs.

These factors in no particular order include;

  • Graphics card
  • Operating System (OS)
  • RAM Memory
  • Processor Power (CPU)
  • Display
  • Disk Storage
  • Price

You don’t need to be a tech expert, I’d explain what these factors mean in detail below.

#1. Graphics Card

As graphics designers, you tend to work with large, graphically intensive files which mostly require a processing unit dedicated to handling graphics.

This processing unit dedicated to this function is called Graphics Card, and its major function is to help you seamlessly zoom in and out in Photoshop, quickly go through a Premiere Pro project, render a 3D animation, or perform any kind of visual task to make sure what you see on your monitor is produced quickly.

#2. Operating System (OS)

Operating System (OS) is one of the major factors to consider when getting a computer for graphic design. You need to know if you’d be working in Windows or macOS, based on the programs you’d be using.

You may decide to start with windows and subsequently move to the macOS. It’s all up to you.

#3. RAM Memory

The next factor to consider is the RAM size of the computer. This determines how much multi-tasking you can do at a time.

Lots of system memory will not only enable you to run multiple programs at the same time but will help you in handling large, heavy files.

More so, there’s nothing like too much RAM. We suggest you get as much RAM as you can afford so that you can open up all your programs and files without having to worry about your system hanging.

#4. Processor Power (CPU)

Another major factor to consider when choosing a computer for graphic design is its processor power. In other words, how powerful it is.

All major graphic design software requires a powerful processor to run the program and all your tasks smoothly.

To help you make a better decision, you should research the CPU requirements of some graphic design software like Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere Pro, and the likes of it so that you can get a better idea of what processor you might need.

In some cases, the programs you intend to run may turn out to be less demanding on the CPU and may require more of the graphics card.

So doing proper research on the processor power will save you lots of time and money.

#5. Display

To have the best experiences, you need to have a display that can reach optimal brightness, with accurate colors, and high enough resolution to appreciate your design, and a large enough screen to fit your digital workspace on.

Many of the computers on this list are All-in-one PCs. This means the components and monitor are all one piece, so you’ll have to make sure the monitor is good enough for you as it comes together in one slim form factor.

#6. Disk Storage

Graphics design requires the handling and storing of many large files. In most cases, some designers have to get multiple external hard drives. This is because as projects come in and more things are created, you need all the space you can get.

Asides from size, there is the speed that comes with having lots of disk storage. The SSD drive is a lot faster than the mechanical hard drive but has a smaller storage capacity. While the traditional HDD is slower in read and write but has a larger storage size.

#7. Price

Finally and most importantly, you need to ensure that the computer you want to get is affordable for you.

Conversely, a computer is your workspace. So you should know that it will be a serious investment for your work that will bring back lots of returns.

That being said, determine your budget range then explore the options you can get with that amount.

Now you have an idea of what factors to look out for in a computer, take a look at the best computers for graphic designers in 2022.

READ MORE: What is Digital Printing? How Does it Work?

What are the Best Computers for Graphic Design?

Below are the best computers for graphic design this year.

#1. iMac (27-inch, 2020)

imac-best-computer-for-graphic-design

Specifications

  • CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i5 – i9
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 5300 – Radeon Pro 5700 XT
  • RAM: 8GB – 128GB 2666MHz DDR4
  • Storage: 256GB – 8TB SSD
  • Display: 27-inch (diagonal) 5120 x 2880 Retina 5K display

Why you should buy it?

  • New and improved internal
  • Has a smooth operating system
  • Large 5K retina display

Why you should not buy it?

  • Doesn’t have M1 Pro chip
  • Has just two thunderbolts ports
  • The design may look outdated.

The first computer on this list is the iMac (27-inch, 2020). This high-end choice computer is the best computer for graphic design at the moment.

Despite being the older product, Apple’s largest iMac boasts of powerful 10th generation Intel Core processors, with an option to go with a hugely powerful 10-core CPU from Intel, making this an incredibly accomplished PC for graphic design.

Just because it doesn’t have that delight M1 silicon, doesn’t mean this isn’t a very capable machine.

More so, the 2020 iMac comes with AMD Radeon Pro 5000 graphics card, which is perfect for powering demanding applications on its beautiful 5K retina display.

The iMac comes with a matching Apple Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse 2, which give your desk a wireless, minimalistic look that is hard to compete with.

iMacs are incredibly popular PCs with graphic designers, and the macOS operating system offers you all the apps and tools you’ll need.

#2. Microsoft Surface Studio 2

microsoft-surface-studio-computer

Specifications

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-7820HQ
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB -GTX 1070 8GB
  • RAM: 16GB – 32GB
  • Storage: 1TB – 2TB SSD

Why you should buy it?

  • Full touch screen and has a surface pen support
  • Powerful graphics
  • Vertical hinge that enables you to adjust the viewing angle.

Why you should not buy it

  • Very expensive
  • Heats up under load
  • Quiet speakers

The Microsoft Surface Studio 2 is an incredible windows PC for graphic design. It is an all-in-one alternative to other competing products like the Apple iMac. And is a great option for anyone who dislikes the Apple operating system.

The best part, it has unique features that the Apple iMac doesn’t have, and these features make it the most versatile computer for graphic design.

Microsoft’s Surface Studio 2 is an all-in-one computer that includes a full touchscreen with pen support, allowing it to pass for a desktop drawing tablet (with support for the Microsoft Surface Pen) when you lay it down flat using the hinge at the back, which will save you some cash on buying a dedicated drawing tablet if you’re on a tight budget and need the best of both worlds.

Conversely, the Microsoft Surface Studio 2 still uses an older quad-core processor from Intel, and despite more capable GPUs being available, it’s still rocking with either an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 or 1070. 

However, they still offer good processing power for all graphic design work and you can configure it to have 2TB Storage and 32GB of RAM.

#3. iMac (24-inch, 2021)

imac-24''-best-computer-for-graphic-design

Specifications

  • CPU: Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU
  • Graphics: Integrated 7-core – 8-core GPU
  • RAM: 8GB – 16GB unified memory
  • Screen: 24-inch 4.5K Retina display
  • Storage: up to 2TB

Why you should buy it

  • Has an excellent 4.5K retina display
  • Has a new and better design

Why you should not buy it

  • No ports
  • Smaller display
  • No secret GPU

Another best computer for graphic design is the iMac 24-inch, 2021 model computer. This is a beautiful remake of the Apple series.

This computer utilizes the latest integrated graphics, featuring Apple’s own Silicon M1 SoC (system-on-a-chip), an updated webcam, and of course, the beautiful, colorful redesign. 

It lacks a dedicated GPU, so it may not have the raw power of its older 27-inch family member, but its fast and brilliant hardware runs any graphics design app with ease. More so, its 4.5K retina display is well suited to digital illustration and graphic design applications.

If you’re going to be doing more intense tasks like 3D sculpting or animation, then we suggest you go for a PC with more dedicated graphics.

This means that while the iMac 24-inch is a good computer for graphic design, its counterpart, iMac 27 inch is better for more intense tasks.

#4. Dell XPS 8940 Desktop

dell-xps-best-computerss-for-graphic-design

Specifications

  • CPU: 11th-generation Intel Core i5 – i9
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 – RTX 3070 Super
  • RAM: 8GB – 16GB DDR4 2933Mhz
  • Storage: 256GB – 1TB M.2 PCIe NVME SSD + 2TB SATA 7200RPM HDD

Why you should buy it?

  • It’s affordable
  • Has lots of available configurations
  • Has a professional look

Why you shouldn’t buy it

  • Only one USB-C port

Dell XPS 8940 Desktop made it to the list of best computers for graphic design and it’s worth it.

This computer features some powerful components inside its office-friendly and sleek design, making it a good option for most graphic designers.

The Dell XPS linked desktop PC is one of the few remaining desktop towers still being made for a non-gaming market, but thankfully it also happens to be one of the best.

Even the lowest spec model still packs a dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 so those on a tight budget can get a powerful and capable machine for significantly less. Even better, if you do have some cash to spend, then you can opt for the 11th generation Intel i9 processor and an RTX 3070 graphics card.

Asides from being budget-friendly and flexible for all your needs, the Dell XPS offers several other benefits including a good selection of ports across the front of the tower, a built-in SD card, and lest we forget, the corporate discounts that Dell offers.

Once you pair it with the monitor and other devices of your choice, the Dell XPS 8940 Desktop is a powerful machine suitable for graphic design professionals.

READ MORE: What’s the Difference Between Vinyl and Flex Printing?

#5. MAC Mini (M1, 2020)

mac-mini

Specifications

  • CPU: Apple M1 chip with 8-core
  • Graphics: Integrated 8-core
  • RAM: 8GB – 64GB unified memory
  • Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD

Why you should buy it

  • Has the M1 chip that gives it a great performance potential
  • Very portable
  • Compact form factor

Why you shouldn’t buy it

  • Limited ports
  • Can’t use eGPUs

Another computer on this list of best computers for graphic design is the Mac Mini (M1,2020).

The MAC mini has been updated to feature the same M1 chip that is contained in the 24-inch iMac, making the two perform almost alike, though the Mac mini is a lot cheaper.

This small-sized computer runs macOS, just like other Apple computers. This means that any graphic design program you intend to use will run smoothly. More so, its size makes it easy to be thrown into a bag just like a laptop.

For optimal results, you need to get a monitor to use with it (or use the one you already have), so it’s not exactly so tidy on the desk as an all-in-one computer.

Regardless, the base model features the Apple M1 chip with an 8-core CPU and 16-core Neural Engine with 256GB SSD, and there are four expansion ports at the back for either USB or Thunderbolt external storage, plus HDMI 2.0 to simultaneously support two displays.

So, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly graphic design computer, the Apple Mac Mini is a great choice.

#6. Mac Pro (2019)

mac-pro-best-computer-for-graphic-design

Specifications

  • CPU: up to 28-Core Intel Xeon W
  • Graphics: up to AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo
  • RAM: up to 1.5TB
  • Storage: up to 8TB SSD
  • Communications: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, 2x 10Gb Ethernet,
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 21.8 x 45.0 x 52.9 cm

Why you should buy it

  • Has a modular design
  • Has a sturdy build

Why you shouldn’t buy it

  • Very expensive

The Apple Mac Pro is currently the main man of the Apple family of desktop computers. It comes with lots of customization options available to optimize the device to suit your needs.

There’s nothing in the graphic design world that the Mac Pro can’t handle. It can handle extremely tasking workloads and offers some rare upgrades for an Apple product.

While it’s very powerful and expensive, there are plenty of configuration options, which lets you select your best needs. It also has a modular design, which means unlike other Apple devices, it’s easy to upgrade parts of the system later on.

#7. Lenovo Legion Tower 5

lenovo-best-computers-for-graphic-design

Specification

  • Display: None
  • Processor: 6-core 2.90GHz Intel Core i5-10400F
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Super
  • Memory: 32GB RAM
  • Storage: 1TB SSD + 2TB HDD

Why you should buy it?

  • Has lots of system memory
  • Ideal for gaming

Why you should not buy it

  • Not the best processor

The Lenovo Legion Tower 5 is a strong PC that has an excellent performance in 3D software, creative programs, and gaming.

This computer features a mid-range processor and a modest GTX 1650 super, hat makes it the perfect shot for gamers. As it delivers just the right amount of power to make all game graphics smooth without going overboard.

Additionally, you’ll be able to get 60fps in AAA games, and that means you can run SolidWorks or Cinema4D with ease as well, as long as you’re not trying to get 144fps on an 8k TV or something like that.

Asides from being a good gaming PC, the Lenovo Legion Tower 5 is one of the best computers for graphic design.

READ MORE: What Does Collate Mean When Printing?

#8. Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10

Specifications

  • CPU: Up to AMD Ryzen 9 5950X
  • Graphics: Up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080
  • RAM: Up to 128GB 3200MHz DDR4
  • Storage: Up to 2TB SSD + 2TB HDD

Why you should buy it?

  • There are lots of specifications to choose from
  • Has a beautiful design

Why you should not buy it

  • Can be very expensive at the highest configurations

Gaming computers have become the new order of the day, and due to their powerful components, they can pass for excellent graphic design computers.

The Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 comes with AMD’s latest and greatest processors, and also features Nvidia’s latest RTX 3000 series graphics cards as well. This makes it an incredible graphic design performer.

The best part, it comes in a range of configurations, so you can easily select which model best suits you.

It is also a great option for anyone who prefers an AMD-powered desktop over an Intel device.

Although the Alienware products tend to be very expensive, the Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 comes at a fair price and is worth the investment.

#9. Dell G5 Desktop

dell-g5-desktop

Specifications

  • CPU: 9th Gen Intel Core i3-9100 – i9 9900K
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 – RTX 2070
  • RAM: 8GB – 64GB
  • Storage: 1TBSSD – 1TB SSD + 2TB HDD

Why you should buy it?

  • Its very powerful

Why you should not buy it

  • Lacks proper airflow hence, could lead to heating

Another computer that makes it to the list of best computers for graphic design is the Dell G5 Desktop.

Its specifications are perfect for any graphic designer or illustrator. The tower is configurable so you get a choice of graphics cards that not only help you play the latest AAA titles but also for running demanding graphical programs, making it ideal for content creators, art professionals, and architects.

The best part, it is relatively affordable for a gaming desktop. So if you are a graphic designer on a budget looking for a powerful PC that would serve your needs, then the Dell G5 Desktop is a good option. Its gaming prowess is an added advantage too.

The front panel has an RGB LED light strip so that the color can easily be changed to match your company, your favorite color, or be switched off for a no-nonsense office look.

This configuration runs on a 10th Generation i7 and a GTX 1660ti, with a decent amount of RAM and storage, and with several extra drive bays for future storage upgrades.

READ MORE: What’s the Difference Between Vinyl and Flex Printing?

#10. MSI Trident AS

msi-trident-as-best-cmputer-for-graphic-design

Specifications

  • Display: None
  • Processor: 8-core Intel Core i7-10700F
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super
  • Memory: 16GB RAM
  • Storage: 1TB SSD

Why you should buy it

  • It is very powerful
  • Has a slim and compact look

Why you should not buy it

  • It looks more like a gaming PC.
  • Very expensive

The last computer on this list of best computers for graphic design is the MSI Trident AS. This is the most powerful computer for video editors and 3D artists.

With its edgy angular geometry and a profile roughly the same size as an Xbox One or PS4, the Trident AS takes the console versus PC war to another level.

This computer comes with an RTX 2060 Super graphics card capable of real-time raytracing, and they have higher configurations as well, to solve all your 3D simulation and rendering with ease.

The best part is that the extra graphics power also means that all your graphic design programs can run softly on the MSI Trident AS.

Conclusion

I hope this list of the best computer for graphic design guides you when buying a computer for your needs. If you have any questions, kindly let us know in the comments section below.

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