Best Computer for Graphic Design

Best Computer for Graphic Design

Choose one of these best computers for graphic design for fast and convenient work. If Photoshop, InDesign or Illustrator work slowly, it is a high time to update your PC. I’ll try to help you make the right choice and buy a good desktop for graphic design.

best computer for graphic design

What Is the Best Computer for Graphic Design?

A logo designer needs lower characteristics than animators. Therefore, it makes sense to evaluate it at a more personalized level. The easiest way to do this is to determine which software you will use and check its recommended performance specifications.

top 3 best computers for graphic design

If you want to save time and entrust computer assembly to the largest manufactures, then my list of top 10 best computers for graphic design will help you do it.

Best Computers for Graphic Design in 2019

I've chosen these computers according to their price, CPU, Memory (RAM), GPU characteristics, disk storage, and monitor.

1. Dell Alienware Aurora R7

dell Alienware aurora r7 Buy for $1430 on Amazon
Pros+
  • Beautiful design
  • You can open the case without tools
  • Has Intel Optane brand memory
Cons-
  • Haven’t been found
 

Alienware Aurora R7 is a popular Dell Tower desktop computer that promises high working speed, great graphics and lots of memory.

Multifunctional hardware with a variety of connectivity options (DisplayPort, HDMI, DL-DVI, 16 x USB 2/3) makes it one of the best PC for graphic design for any photo retoucher or designer who wants to work professionally and regularly create high-resolution images.


2. Microsoft Surface Studio 1st Gen

Microsoft surface studio 1st gen Buy for $2350 on Amazon
Pros+
  • Support for Studio Mode
  • Wide display with very high resolution
  • Surface Pen tool
Cons-
  • Not the most powerful graphics processor
  • Expensive
 

Surface Studio is a unique technology that can offer both functionality and performance with a well thought design. You can easily activate the studio mode thanks to Zero Gravity Hinge.

The display is narrowed 20 degrees from its vertical angle. It provides many possibilities for creating stunning designs thanks to turning into a 28” touch screen.

The display supports three 3 color modes - DCI-P3, sRGB, and Vivid. The latter improves color rendering and brightness, providing stunning visual effects for the owners of this best PC for graphics design.


3. Acer Aspire S24

acer aspire s24 Buy for $830 on Amazon
Pros+
  • Elegant design with thin frames
  • Combination of low cost and helpful features
  • Brand Optane memory + HDD
Cons-
  • Resolution is not suitable for 4K design
  • Insufficient image sharpness
 

If you are just starting your designer career, you may not want to spend a lot of money on your computer. This is a very affordable example of computers for graphic design. It will suit users with a limited budget who do not need first-class characteristics.

There are several features that make it attractive. The first is the design. It looks like a very respectable 23.8-inch monoblock. The full HD resolution is considered as sufficient, but it cannot compete with 4K displays, which are becoming more and more available.

The second is Acer VisionCare function to reduce eye strain.


4. HP Envy 34

hp envy 34 Buy for $2100 on Amazon
Pros+
  • Modern design with many innovations
  • Can connect any peripheral devices
  • Built-in speakers and wireless charging panel
Cons-
  • High cost
  • The curved screen may distort some elements
 

The first thing you see when look at ENVY 34, is a 34-inch, ultra-thin, curved, tiled display. This is a QHD LED monitor that offers stunning visual effects. The display has 99% sRGB color range.

You can also switch to a Technicolor-certified mode that enhances colors, providing even more convincing playback of images and videos. The model has Intel Core i7 2.40 GHz processor of the 8-th generation and 16GB DDR4 SDRAM memory, which is suitable for almost any graphic design project.

It was done to preserve a sleek and futuristic design of the curved screen. Therefore, you can connect any peripheral devices.


5. CUK Continuum Gamer PC

cuk continuum gamer pc Buy for $2000 on Amazon
Pros+
  • Excellent performance and gaming characteristics
  • For any kind of graphics work
  • Liquid cooling
Cons-
  • High cost
  • Works loudly
 

High-quality gaming PCs are often referred to as computers for graphics design because they have the latest technology necessary for a smooth design and 3D modeling. If you are focused on performance, this PC will surely satisfy your needs.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 with 8GB of GDDR6 video memory is one of the most advanced graphics processors. This is almost everything you need to keep up with the latest technology for a long time. Pair it with a good monitor, and you can get the perfect device for graphic design.


6. Apple iMac mini

apple imac mini Buy for $1050 on Amazon
Pros+
  • Small size and portability
  • Supports 5K + 4K or 3x4K video display settings
  • First-class pre-installed software
Cons-
  • Expensive upgrade for more memory
  • Integrated graphics card
 

This is Mac Mini in the same small desktop form-factor. However, now it has an optional Intel six-core processor, which will undoubtedly provide outstanding performance in Photoshop and Lightroom.

Unlike the multifunction devices on this list, you need to connect an external display via an HDMI or Thunderbolt 3 connector. Higher level storage options are expensive, but you can reduce costs by choosing a small internal storage capacity (256GB or so).

You can also use a fast external USB or Thunderbolt to store the largest media files. This makes iMac the best computer for graphic design, powerful for photo editing, roomy for storing thousands of images and portable for use on the go with other components of Mac computer.


7. CyberPowerPC Gamer Ultra

cyberpowerpc gamer ultra Buy for $480 on Amazon
Pros+
  • Supports several monitors
  • Stained glass side panel
  • Keyboard and mouse are included
Cons-
  • The motherboard could be newer
 

Its multi-core AMD processor, good graphics card and 1TB of memory make it easy to use several applications simultaneously. It definitely stands out among other computers for graphic design thanks to a reasonable price and nice features which will meet the requirements of designers and photographers who need an amazing workhorse for little money.


8. Intel Hades Canyon NUC

intel hades canyon nuc Buy for $1240 on Amazon
Pros+
  • Compact and bold form factor
  • It’s easy to upgrade components
  • Many modern ports
Cons-
  • Some professional applications require BIOS update
  • No CD/DVD port
 

If you need compactness similar to Mac mini but with more power and Windows-compatibility, you will like Intel Hades Canyon NUC. It is designed with an individual approach to “stuffing” that can meet the requirements of most users engaged in photo editing.

On this tiny PC, you have an incredibly powerful 8-th generation Intel Core i7 processor, Radeon discrete graphics, and support for 6 monitors at the same time. As soon as you add a little RAM, you will have a small and easily portable PC capable of smooth functioning with heavy graphics.

If you travel a lot and want to have a powerful and reliable photo editing PC, then Intel Hades Canyon NUC is worth considering as the best PC for graphic design.


9. Apple iMac 27-inch Retina 5K Display

apple imac 27 retina 5k Buy for $2200 on Amazon
Pros+
  • Excellent screen quality
  • Works quietly even with a large load
  • Expandable RAM up to 128GB
Cons-
  • Fusion Drive lags behind SSD
  • Starter kit has 8GB of RAM
 

If you hoped to update the design of your iMac, then Apple still does not think it necessary to change anything. However, the inside arrangement in some of its configurations is superior to iMac Pro with the lowest performance. This makes it a viable alternative for those, who are looking for an elegant, but powerful desktop for graphic design.

It can handle all tasks: from photo editing and rendering 4K video to running professional 3D applications. Unfortunately, getting an iMac with SSD is quite difficult, since an SSD update is still quite expensive. It comes with a wireless keyboard and a Magic Mouse, but you can choose an elegant Magic Trackpad with a glass cover.


10. Asus Zen AiO Pro Z240IE

asus zen aio pro z240ie Buy for $1500 on Amazon
Pros+
  • Stylish design
  • Beautiful touch screen
  • Built-in speakers and many ports
  • Strong overall performance
Cons-
  • Brightness is not the highest
  • Limited memory expansion
 

Asus Zen AiO Pro is an affordable All in One computer with a powerful bundle that combines a 4K display, high performance, and large memory. You can add discrete graphics, a touch screen, and a USB Type-C connection, and get the best desktop computer for graphic design.

It will cope with almost any kind of graphic work. The thin case is made of glass and metal, with a thick black frame and a curved back panel made from aluminum.


Top 10 Best Computers for Graphic Design

Image Name Features  
Dell Alienware Aurora R7
Dell Alienware Aurora R7
OUR CHOICE
  • Nice design
  • Powerful
  • Inexpensive
Check Price
Microsoft Surface Studio 1st Gen
Microsoft Surface Studio 1st Gen
BEST RAM
  • Wide display
  • Surface Pen tool
Check Price
Acer Aspire S24
Acer Aspire S24
AFFORDABLE
  • Elegant design
  • Low cost
Check Price
HP Envy 34
HP Envy 34
BEST AIO
  • For peripheral devices
  • Built-in speakers
Check Price
CUK Continuum Gamer PC
CUK Continuum Gamer PC
PROFESSIONAL
  • For any graphics work
  • Liquid cooling
Check Price
Apple iMac mini
Apple iMac mini
  • Small size
  • Supports 5K
Check Price
CyberPowerPC Gamer Ultra
CyberPowerPC Gamer Ultra
FOR BEGINNERS
  • Several monitors
  • Keyboard included
Check Price
Intel Hades Canyon NUC
Intel Hades Canyon NUC
  • Compact
  • Bold form factor
  • Many ports
Check Price
Apple iMac 27-inch Retina 5K Display
Apple iMac 27-inch Retina 5K Display
  • High screen quality
  • Works quietly
Check Price
Asus Zen AiO Pro Z240IE
Asus Zen AiO Pro Z240IE
  • Stylish design
  • Built-in speakers
Check Price

How to Choose a Computer for Graphic Design?

No matter whether it is a PC, AiO or Mac, you still need to figure out what is inside. Often, 2 computers that differ in one single detail can differ in price several times. That’s why it’s necessary to know 5 main aspects of choosing a computer for graphic design.

CPU

best computer for graphic design

Depending on the complexity of the graphics and apps, you may need the computational power of the number of cores or CPU frequency.

For example, for the 3D image and video rendering, you need a processor that has the maximum possible number of cores for video editing. You will need a processor with the highest possible clock frequency for active workflow, such as modeling, 3D-scenes, animation.

One of the most effective processors for these programs is i9-9900k processor, but if you want to save some money, i5-9600k or i5-8400 are good options as well.

Memory (RAM)

Try not to choose less than 16 GB, but if there is no other choice, then 8 GB is the minimum to perform complex graphic design tasks. If you work with video or 3D, 32GB is perfect. Remember, the more memory your desktop has, the better.

GPU

best computer for graphic design

This is the hardware that helps CPU perform all graphics-related tasks, such as rendering, 3D modeling, etc. The graphics processor will also take the load off your processor, allowing it to focus on other tasks and, in general, increase the speed of your computer.

For this reason, I recommend using a graphics processor with at least 2GB of video memory. Upgrading the graphics processor on your computer is possible and relatively easy if you know something about it. So do not worry, if you buy a desktop computer with an average graphics processor, you can always update it later.

Disk Storage

best computer for graphic design

Currently, two types of hard drives are available: a solid-state drive (SSD) and a hard drive (HDD). SSDs are more expensive than HDDs, but they are faster, more efficient, and less likely to fail.

Usually, a good computer can have both SDD and HDD, with SDD being used for downloading and storing basic software files. For professional design work, a minimum of 500GB of HDD is best. The more, the better, but 500GB is the minimum graphic design computer must have.

Monitor

If you look for the best computer for graphic design and animation, then don't forget to pay special attention to the monitor. Any designer will be pleased with a monitor size from 27 to 32 inches. Your monitor should also have Full HD resolution (1920x1080), IPS panels instead of TN panels.

TN matrix monitors usually go with desktop computers sold for gaming purposes due to high refresh rates. You need an IPS panel because of its higher color accuracy.

As a rule, professional designers work more in AdobeRGB than in sRGB, so you need a computer for graphic design with monitor covering at least 92% of the AdobeRGB color space.

How to Build a Computer for Graphic Design?

Do you want to spend several days and build a computer on your own to save money? Then you need to study the requirements of the programs carefully which you will use to not overpay for unnecessary features.

best computer for graphic design

Adobe InDesign, QuarkXPress, Sketch, Adobe XD

Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD + 500GB HDD, FullHD screen (1920x1080) or higher resolution.

Photoshop or Illustrator

Core i5 processor, 16GB RAM, 512GB PCIe SSD, AMD Radeon Pro 550 or Nvidia GeForce 1030 graphics chip, Full HD screen (1920X1080) and Thunderbolt 3 ports for fast connection.

For Bulky Photoshop Files, edit 4K or Work in After Effects

Core i9 processor, 32 GB RAM, 512 GB PCIe SSD + 2TB HDD, AMD Radeon Pro 570 or Nvidia GeForce 1050 Ti, 2K or 4K screen and Thunderbolt 3 ports for quick connection to the storage.


Ann Young

Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments. read more