The Best Computers For Graphic Design
If you are in the market for an upgraded computer, it’s hard to know where to begin with all the choices out there. When it comes to shopping around for a computer, it’s best to have a clear idea of what you will be using it for. In this case, if you’re looking for a machine that can handle any graphic design tasks smoothly, you will need a PC that is powerful enough to run the software you need.
Most modern computers out there will fit your needs well enough. However, if you opt for a system that is a bit slow, you can end up wasting time either waiting for things to load or even overloading your system with too many applications open at once. If you are a graphic designer by trade, then it’s very important that you can complete your work efficiently and the first step is choosing the right computer.
Choosing a new computer can be tricky, whether you have a lot of experience doing so or not. There are plenty of different things you will need to check such as storage space, RAM, processing power, and of course you’ll need to check the price fits in your budget.
In this article, we’re aiming to make this choice just a bit easier for you. We have rounded up some of the best computers for graphic design and have taken the time to help you understand exactly what you should be looking for in a new computer. So, without any more delay, let’s take a look at the computers we’ll be reviewing today.
First Look: Best Computer For Graphic Design
While an expensive computer to invest in, Apple Macs are popular with graphic designers for a reason. This computer packs an impressive 5K Retina display that will make any tasks you perform on it look fantastic.
Doubling up as a tablet, this computer is ideal for graphic designers who need to draw out their designs.
While not the most powerful or interesting to look at on the list, the HP Pavilion 590 PC is good for beginners and those on a tight budget.
A brand favored by business people, Lenovo has brought us a tablet-inspired, touchscreen computer which will make graphic design and editing simpler.
How We Choose
Making a list of the best computers for any particular need is always difficult as there’s so much choice out there and so many different things to consider when buying a new computer. If you’re not as tech-savvy as you’d like, the choice can feel a bit overwhelming.
That’s why we put together handy guides like this. It can take hours of research and testing before we’re happy to recommend a product to our readers. We take a look at all the specifications, customer reviews, and price so we can provide a fair analysis of each computer.
So, don’t worry if you’d rather not have to go through everything yourself. We’re here to help and have selected four great computers which will be ideal for any graphic designer out there.
How We Test
Testing is a huge part of what we do here at WePC. The last thing we would want to do is recommend a bad product so we try to thoroughly test all the products we recommend. This ensures that we’re only recommending the best products.
Our testing process is strict and in it, we look at all key areas that you’ll need to consider when choosing a new computer. When looking at computers for graphics designers, we concentrate on the processing power, RAM, display and storage options.
While a few of the computers we will be discussing today fall into the high budget category, we also have made an effort to include a budget option too. Any of the computers mentioned above will be great for graphic design, but their specifications will differ slightly. We’ll explain exactly how so you can make your own mind up.
Things To Consider
The main thing to look at when shopping around for a computer, especially for graphic design, is the performance of the computer. If your computer doesn’t have a good level of performance, you may find the programs you need to work with run slowly or even crash when you need to do several things at once.
If you’re using the likes of Photoshop or Adobe InDesign, you need a processor, RAM, and GPU which can run these types of software without issue. If you can push your budget to get a computer with higher clock speeds and at least 8 GB of RAM, this is a good start. You might also want to think about investing in a graphics card to futureproof your system, take pressure off the CPU and also use it for a spot of gaming in your spare time.
If you’re a graphic designer, the chances are storage is one of the most important factors to consider because you’ll need somewhere to save all your files and images. You could always invest in external storage, but it’s best to have a large amount of storage built-in.
Having a good amount of storage and the option to expand it is the best way to go. With most PCs, it’s easy enough to change your storage but this might be more difficult for all-in-one computers or laptops.
It’s also worth looking into solid-state drives for your storage rather than just typical hard drives. This will help to speed up your system and improve the loading time of anything installed on the SSD including your graphic design software.
What Budget Should I Set For A Computer For Graphic Design?
With so much choice out there, the price of computers widely varies depending on the level of performance on offer. If you need to use this computer for professional work, then it’s always worth trying to get the best that your budget can stretch to.
Some of the computers on this list are pretty expensive, with the high-end ones setting you back $3,000 to $4,000 and budget ones coming in at around $500 (but you’ll likely have to buy a separate monitor on top of that).
The good thing about buying a high spec computer is that you’ll be able to use it for different things, including gaming if your graphics card is good enough.
The Best Computers For Graphic Design
Apple iMac Pro With Retina 5K Display
- ProcessorIntel Xeon W 3.2 GHz 8 core
- Memory32 GB DDR4
- Operating SystemmacOS
- Graphics CardRadeon Pro Vega 56/64 or 64X
- Screen Size27 inch
- Storage1 TB SSD expandable to 4 TB
- Fantastic 5K display
- Sleek design
Apple Macs are no stranger to lists like these, and for good reason. With the iMac Pro with Retina 5K display, you will be getting fantastic color reproduction and crystal clear graphics. This is ideal if you will be using this computer for watching movies, video editing, animation or graphic design. The great thing about this computer is that the processing power is superb. The base model has an 8 core CPU but there are options to upgrade all the way up to 18 cores if you have the need for it. If you do upgrade, there will likely be nothing this machine can’t handle.
However, the price is pretty steep like all Apple products. All those cores don’t come cheap after all. This iMac will set you back around $4,000 and above if you go for better graphics and processors. This makes it the most expensive model on the list. There are plenty of iMacs to choose from which you can get cheaper though.
This is a computer that will offer fantastic performance but there are certainly cheaper options out there. If you want what many people count as the best of the best though, you’ll have to pay the Apple premium prices.
Microsoft Surface Studio 2
- ProcessorIntel Core i707820 HQ
- Memory16 GB or 32 GB DRR4
- Operating SystemWindows 10 Pro
- Graphics CardNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB or 1070 8 GB
- Screen Size28 inch
- Storage1 TB or 2 TB SSD
- Designed for creatives
- Adjustable touchscreen
- Good graphics card
- Very expensive
Giving the Apple iMac Pro a run for its money, this offering from Microsoft is another fantastic machine - ideal for creatives. With a huge 28-inch screen with touchscreen functionality, this is perfect for those who work as designers who need more of a hands-on approach to their work. This is the main thing that sets it aside from the Mac.
The computer is essentially a giant tablet that packs a powerful processor and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card. With a huge amount of storage available and a decent amount of RAM, this is an impressive computer that ticks a lot of boxes.
Of course, there is a downside - the price. This is certainly not a cheap piece of kit to invest in and is probably only worth it if you’re a professional who needs to invest in a good solid piece of equipment for your business. This computer will cost you around $3,500 but the price can jump up if you decide to upgrade the RAM to 32 GB and the SSD to 2 TB.
If you have the budget to splash out, this is an excellent investment to make for a computer that not only looks amazing but also has the power behind it to match.
HP Pavilion Desktop 590
- ProcessorIntel Core i5+ 8400
- Memory8 GB
- Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
- Graphics CardIntel UHD Graphics 630
- Screen SizeN/A
- Storage1 TB
- Much cheaper than alternatives
- You’ll have to buy a separate monitor
- Processing power fairly low in comparison to others
If the two computers above are way too expensive, then the HP Pavilion Desktop 590 is a solid budget choice. While such a low price will mean that processing power, RAM, and graphics suffer a bit, this could be a good beginner workstation that will handle plenty of different tasks.
You probably won’t be able to run lots of different applications at once, however, without overloading your system. Also, if you’re looking to play high-specification games on a computer, this probably isn’t the best choice for you. There will be others out there that are better suited for you, but this provides great value for money and will be able to run plenty of basic processes without too much trouble.
The downside is that it doesn’t come with a monitor or screen like some of the other options so you will need to start your search for the best monitor to add to your system. However, even if you pick up a monitor on top of this computer, you will still be able to build your PC for under $1,000 which makes it a lot more affordable than some of the other options out there.
Lenovo Yoga A940
- Processor3.2 GHz Intel Core i7-8700
- Memory16 GB
- Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
- Graphics CardAMD Radeon RX 560X (4GB GDDR5)
- Screen Size27 in
- Storage1TB SSD
- Not as expensive as other options
- No the most powerful
- Screen isn’t the best quality
While the Lenovo Yoga is still very expensive, when compared to some of the other options on this list, it’s got some great value for money. All-in-one solutions are never going to be the cheapest computers out there, but this packs a serious bit of power which is great for all your processing and graphic design needs.
Most importantly, this system has a large 27 inch, 4K resolution screen which can be adjusted to allow for you to draw on easily. Some users have reported that the screen isn’t the best quality and the palm recognition can be a bit sketchy at times but this does come at the cost of an altogether cheaper model.
At the base of the system, you’ll be able to find a variety of ports, something that is essential for plugging in any device that holds your files. There is a Thunderbolt 3 port, 3mm audio jack, USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A and an SD card reader. On the rear of the base, you can find four USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports, an HDMI port, an ethernet port, and the power port.
The performance of this machine is great for what it’s built for tough, the i7 processor paired with the Radeon graphics card is a great way to get started in your designs. You may want to opt for a bigger specification loadout if you plan on doing more intensive tasks, but this will sharply drive up the price.
There you have it, four computers which will be great pieces of equipment for all your graphic design needs. If you don’t have time to go through it all, we’ve included a quick roundup below of what to look for.
We’ve tried to pick computers from a couple of different categories today and made sure to cover some that fit different budgets. It’s important to remember that the amount you spend on a computer doesn’t always directly correlate to its performance however, some computers such as the Apple Macs sell with a hefty brand premium.
If your budget is tight and you don’t want to invest over $1,000, the HP Pavilion is a good budget choice.
For those looking for touch screen functionality, the Lenovo Yoga is a great choice.
If you are looking for the best performance, the Microsoft Surface Studio 2 blends great performance with excellent graphics.
The best graphics and color reproduction winner goes to the Apple iMac which is a powerful machine popular with graphic designers for a good reason.
These computers aren’t the only options out there that are great for graphic design though, we simply didn’t have time to list more! If you’re still looking for alternative options, why not check out some of our honorable mentions down below.
That’s all we have time for on our list today, we hope we’ve covered something that strikes your fancy, we know it can all get a bit stressful when you’re comparing product after product. Saying this, we hope this list of computers has made it a little bit easier for you to make your final choice.
If there’s anything we’ve missed or you have any questions on today’s picks, please leave us a comment down below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. If you want to have a chat with some of our other users, why not head over to the Community Hub to get started?