When looking for the Best Computer For Graphic Design, your goal is to have a balance between efficiency and pricing. Although it sounds technical, we have layed out an easy path to follow when choosing your ideal computer.
Scroll to the end of this article for the quick to follow guide to get the best computer that will give you great value. You do not have to use a desktop computer for graphic design. If you prefer the portability that comes with a Laptop for graphic design instead , there are great 17 inch Laptops you can buy for those out of office designs and still work equally as effective.
Sometimes if you travel a lot or like to work on the go, a graphic design tablet or Laptop may be a great investment for you. For those computers that do not come with a monitor, just check out the best monitors you can buy after selecting your graphic design PC below.
The tools you use in your workflow, will greatly determine the kind of professional you will become in future. I recommend you choose a computer, that is a little higher in specs than you currently require to match up to future needs as you grow.
What Is The Best Computer For Graphic Design
Here are our top picks for the Best overall, Best Budget and PC alternative you can choose to start you off.
Best Computer For Graphic Design List
- iMac (27-inch, 2020) Best overall computer for Graphic Design
- HP Pavilion 590 Best Budget computer for Graphic Design
- Microsoft Surface Best Graphic Design PC
- Lenovo Yoga A940 Best Value All in one PC for Graphic Design
- Apple iMac Pro Best Computer for animation
- Acer Aspire Z24-890-UA91 Desktop Best beginner PC for Graphic Design
- HP Envy 31.5” All-In-One Best Wide screen PC for Graphic Design
- ASUS AiO Desktop
- Alienware Aurora Gaming Computer Very powerful Pc
- Lenovo Legion Tower 5
Best Computer For Graphic Design review
Best overall computer for Graphic Design
Apple iMac takes the best overall computer for this purpose. First of all you will not need to buy a monitor separately. It comes with a 27 inch monitor with a 5k Retina display that is super crisp and clear. This is a big plus for any pro graphic designer because you are able to view your work in great color accuracy.
In this 2020 update, the 10th-generation Intel Core i5 – i9 sets apart this computer as a great industry leader and choice machine for graphic designers.
If you use Memory cards especially for photographers, this machine has a memory card slot, a feature not too common in most computers.
The AMD Radeon Pro 5300 is one of the best thing about this machine when it comes to its performance. It makes the machine super powerful compared to others in its price range.
One downside however, the machine needs some configuration to meet its full potential because, when you buy, the hard drive is at 256 GB instead of our recommended 1 TB. The RAM is also at 8 GB which is not bad but can be better especially if you intend to use it for Animation. However, both this factors are flexible, with the Ram expandable up to 128 GB and storage up to 8 TB.
Best Budget computer for Graphic Design
This is the best graphic design computer that will not dent your pocket too deep. You will get When on a budget, then this is the best pick. It comes with an 3.6 GHz AMD Ryzen 5 2400G Quad-Core processor processor that will smoothly run graphic design software. As a designer, running different programs simultaneously is a must so such a powerful processor is a must have.
8 GB Ram expandable to 16 GB will work well and memory that can be expanded to 2 TB. Even though our recommended is 1TB, this will work well but you will need to invest on external memory if you have a lot of data.
The machine comes with a mouse and keyboard so you do not have to buy that. Unfortunately you will need to separately buy a monitor because it does not come with one. Check out our previous article on Best monitors for Graphic Designers.
The sleek design makes the computer quite small which is great.
Best Graphic Design PC
Some designers will rush and go for the iMac but for the Windows guys this machine gives the iMac a run for its money. Very powerful and fast computer with Intel Core i7 processors, With this, running many programs will be a walk.
Viewing your work in high detail is vital for the quality of graphic design output. This computer comes with a he strikingly large 28″ (4,500 x 3,000 ) PixelSense Display and a stunning touchscreen with 13.5 million pixels of true-to-life color.
Still uses an old Quad Intel Processor that works well for graphic designer, but with increasing demands, this needs an update.
You can configure the surface pro from 8 GB it to 32 GB memory and SSD is expandable to 2 TB from 1 TB.
Great price for an all in one pc
This is a great all in one computer and is quite price friendly for all the things you get in one purchase. Like in the Microsoft surface and iMac you save on the monitor cost. The Lenovo Yoga A940 comes with a 27 inch monitor that has touch screen pen support. A 4K display makes it great for design work
For the Processor a 9th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-9700 Processor with Pro™ (3.0 GHz, up to 4.70 GHz will allow your programs to run faster and you can multitask easily. In as much as the features are not too stand out, they all meet the requirement for an effective graphic design computer at some great rate.
Expensive but best for very heavy tasks
If you are looking for a very powerful machine and do not mind the price tag, then the Apple iMac 2017 is the machine for you. It has a 27 inch monitor like most computers reviewed here, however a 5K 5120×2880 resolution and color accuracy, makes it ideal for color sensitive industries such as printing and videography.
This feature makes it ideal and if you visit most print shops or professional outfits, you will find them work with it.
However as mentioned the price is far much on the hire side and as you start of f in graphic design, you will not need most of the abilities on offer by this computer.
Best beginner Pc for Graphic Design
Acer Aspire is one incredible computer that comes with an enormous display, simple yet elegant design and a great storage space ideal for graphic designers.
Acer brand has done an amazing job with this computer making it impossible to compare it with other brands ranging the same price.
This desktop has a core i5 processor with 12GB of memory. What I love about this desktop is the way it effortlessly displays colours vividly making it easy to work on even the tiniest details on your projects.
Let’s go down to the PC. The Acer Aspire Z24-890-UA91 PC comes with high-end features that you can utilize as an artist, designer or even a gamer. We all know that a gaming PC comes with powerful and huge storages. With this computer, you can work on your projects seamlessly, store your projects and even explore the gaming side of you.
Affordable edge to edge display Computer
Dell Inspiron 7000 all-in-one desktop is a great choice if you want an alternative to iMac. This desktop is not only of good quality but also comes at an affordable price compared to other high-end computers.
Starting with the display, Dell Inspiron 7000 comes with an elegant infinity edge 4K display with thick Bezels. The screen is an anti-glare display that has a wide viewing angle.
One thing that we love about this Dell computer is that you can configure it to fit your needs. With the 8 core processors and other superb specs, you are guaranteed a great experience with this computer.
Lenovo IdeaCentre all-in-one computer is a great and affordable choice for you if you want a machine that will allow you to multitask without any lags. With this computer, you can do anything. It has a powerful graphics co-processor AMD Radeon and is powered by an AMD Ryzen 5 4500U CPU not forgetting the 4 core processors making it easy to handle multiple tasks.
This computer has a FHD display that enables users to get a nice view even at wide angles. We loved the fact that we could change the angle of the display pretty easily hence avoiding any sorts of distractions.
Lenovo IdeaCentre is designed with several ports and it even has an HDMI port just in case you want to add another screen to this one.
Dell is a popular brand that comes up with powerful and affordable computers with their every new model. The brand has done a commendable job with this customizable computer.
Starting with the speed. The computer is super-fast and will accelerate your ideas with its 9th generation 8 core processors. The Dell Tower Desktop also has high-performance graphics making it ideal for video editing, playbacks and even gaming.
Another upside that is worth mentioning is how silent this computer is. The system well built with thermally controlled fans that barely whisper even after working for longer hours.
If you are the kind of person that loves some music while working, this computer is your best pick because it offers high-quality sound. The engineers of this Dell XPS Tower Desktop used Waves MaxxAudio Technology combined with MaxxSense that make the external speakers produce a clearer, fuller and loud sound.
Dell Tower Desktop has about 11 USB ports with two type C USB ports one at the back and one at the front and three USB-A ports at the front.
HP Envy 31.5” All-In-One
Lately, all-in-one computers have gained popularity. iMac set its standard high and other brands like Microsoft followed suit. Although iMac and Microsoft Surface 2 are known to be high-end computers with slightly different specs that might make you own both, this HP Envy all-in-one computer has bridged the gap.
The computer has a stylish and elegant design and it just wowed us when unpacking it. If you are a fan of enormous screens, this is just the perfect pick for you.
Hp Envy can do anything you want it to do for you, from gaming, editing and designing using those heavy programs that make weak computers crush.
The only thing we didn’t like is that the stand isn’t that flexible but you can tilt the display downwards or upwards effortlessly. The overall quality of the display is good.
Another thing that makes us love this computer is the CPU and GPU 8 core processors, a speed of 4.5GHz combined with dedicated graphics making it easy to handle your designing projects.
There are multiple ports at the rear and on the sides of the computer. HP Envy also has a pop-up webcam that can be retracted back to the computer fully.
Another feature worth mentioning is the Audio Advanced stream that lets you use the sound bar and control it with your phone using Bluetooth.
If you want an all-in-one computer but your budget can’t be stretched to fetch you an iMac then the ASUS AiO computer might fit your budget. One thing that we can’t ignore is how easy it is for you to mistaken this computer for an iMac when you take a glance.
ASUS has a 23.8-inch display bordered with 0.2mm thick bezels making the computer look elegant and modern. There are several USB 3.2 Type-A ports at the rear of the computer with HDMI-in and HDMI-out ports and an ethernet jack. There is also a USB 2.0 type A port plus a 3.5mm audio jack that you can use to plug your earphones in.
The ASUS computer features full HD 1920×1080 pixels that allow you to have a crisp and sharp view of your projects and videos so long as you don’t seat too far.
Another excellent feature of this computer is the 11th generation, integrated graphics, 256GB SSD and a 720-pixel webcam that you can utilize for maximum efficiency in terms of communication.
Alienware Aurora Desktop is an ideal computer for those who want an extra powerful computer when it comes to graphics design.
The overall design of this computer wowed us completely. The build is strong with a unique appearance you might mistake it for a small woofer.
Of course, the desktop isn’t on this list because of its beautiful design. There are so many incredible features packed in this unique design.
The desktop has AMD processors and it also features NIVIDA RTX3000 GPU. These features do a great job in handling graphic design and you have the freedom to choose from a wide range of customizations.
When it comes to storage, this computer offers you an incredible space to save up your projects and even run heavy designing programs efficiently without any lags. With a 2TB SSD and 2TB HDD combined with a RAM of 128GB, this desktop is the real deal.
Whether you’re a gamer or a designer, this desktop is a great pick because it carries high-end specs at a mouth-watering cost.
How to choose the Best Computer for graphic design
How do you Choose The Best Computer For Graphic Design? Before you go for a graphic Design computer, here are some factors to consider.
The trick is to find a computer that can multitask without hanging and at a great price. The below factors affect the speed and inturn multitasking ability. The second factor price, depends on your budget.
The hard drive will either be Hard Disk Drives (HDD) or Solid State Drives (SSD). You may be wondering, what is the difference between SSD Hard Drive and HDD, and which one is best for your Graphic Design computer.
SSD have no moving parts and replace this with memory chips. This makes them tolerant to adverse conditions like drops unlike HDDs that have spinning parts. Although more costly, SDDs offer more in speed and durability.
What is the difference between HDD and SSD
I recommend a Solid State Drive for graphic design computer. However, you can choose either of the 2 but SSD will have your programs loading faster which is a big plus in this field. 1TB or 1000 Gb size is recommended but as you grow an upgrade to 2 TB is welcome. This will be the space where you will save your files and install your graphic design software.
Sometimes you will work with very heavy graphics that may make your computer slow and difficult to operate. They are really annoying especially if you are working on 3d animation or on a timeline.
These types of files require a dedicated unit for processing graphics. This is called a graphics card. It will help you work smoothly across different software and rendering.
If you are using your computer for specific plugins, make sure to check whether the plugin is compatible with the one you have. For example some plugins like Video Copilot’s Element 3D works on some Graphics Cards and not others.
If you wish to upgrade your PC please there are cheap Graphic Cards you can choose for as low as 200$.
Processor for Graphic Design
The processor determines the speed that your computer will make calculations, which will determine the overall speed. The processor speed is measured in Ghz . 1 Ghz simply put means the number of calculations your computer makes per second 1 Ghz being 1 billion calculations in a second.
Most of the software you will run on your computer as a graphic designer, will be quite “heavy”- CPU intensive. Although the software will run in 1 Ghz, we recommend 2 Ghz and above if you do not want it to be slow and annoying while using.
Every time your computer needs to get files, it goes to the hard drive. To increase retrieving speed, computers have like a partial memory where it keeps at the top of its head instead of going to the hard drive all the time. This is called RAM (Random Access Memory). If you want an upgrade and do not know which one to start with, then the RAM is the best place to start.
You will need a computer with at least 8GB of Ram as you start but check the ability to expand because as you grow, you will need more RAM. Your ideal machine should at least allow expandability to 32 GB.
For graphic design you need a good display for your day to day work. You need a monitor that can achieve high brightness and resolution plus be very accurate in color display. Please check out Best monitor for Graphic Design and Digital Artists in 2022.
A computer for a graphic designer is a main tool of trade, so as you balance affordability and effectiveness, always treat it as an investment for future returns. If you are running on a low budget and want a cheap computer, be very keen on the expandability of the features because you can improve them over time to upgrade a cheap slow machine to graphic design powerhouse.
If you prefer a laptop, watch out for our next article where we discus Drawing Laptops. They are also great for Graphic Designers. However, a desktop computer is more preferable for graphic design because a desktop computer is easy to upgrade to higher memory and almost any other specifications including graphic cards.
How to choose the Best graphic design computer checklist
Is Mac or PC better for graphic design?
For the longest time, debate among artists, graphic designers and other professionals has been heated on whether to go for PC or Mac computers. Both Mac and PC computer brands have some very advanced machines that pack a lot of power. Which brand between Mac and PC is best for Graphic Design?
Apple or Mac computers have a sleek and cool look and come with a straight forward and easy to use OS. However despite being considered Industry standards, Mac computers are more expensive compared to PCs.
Sometimes you may be on a budget and wish to buy a cheap low spec computer you can upgrade later. If this is you the PC is for you because upgradability is a little complicated with Macs. For Graphic Design Pcs, you can easily upgrade and improve everything from RAM to storage space and end up with a powerful computer.
There is no clear cut choice between the 2 however but budget and preference of the operating platform you want makes the difference. I personally prefer PC because i have used it for so long.
Can i use a Gaming Laptop for Graphic Design?
Gaming laptops can easily run graphic design software. The specs are great but you need to be careful when choosing the screen size. We recommend a minimum of 15 inches laptop screen size and 17 inches for optimal performance.
Which computer is best for graphic design?
iMac (27-inch, 2020) Best overall computer for Graphic Design
HP Pavilion 590 Best Budget computer for Graphic Design
Microsoft Surface Best Graphic Design PC
Lenovo Yoga A940 Best Value All in one PC for Graphic Design
Apple iMac Pro Best Computer for animation
Acer Aspire Z24-890-UA91 Desktop Best beginner PC for Graphic Design
HP Envy 31.5” All-In-One Best Wide screen PC for Graphic Design
ASUS AiO Desktop
Alienware Aurora Gaming Computer Very powerful Pc
Lenovo Legion Tower 5
What specs do I need for graphic design cOMPUTER?
Display: 15 inches screen size and resolution Full HD (1920×1080 pixels)
RAM: 8 GB but for optimal performance 16 GB is better
CPU: Intel Apple M1 or Core i5 or i7
Storage: 1 TB for optimal performance and 250 GB minimum
Is Mac or Windows better for graphic design?
Most designers choose MAC over PC. However, it is a matter of personal preference because each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
How to choose the Best graphic design computer