The Best Computer for Graphic Design

best computer for graphic design

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If you’re looking for the best computer for graphic design, you’re in luck.

We’ve researched a wide variety of computers and have found some great options.

But while there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, we can give you the five best computers for graphic design for the few years to come.

This article will guide you to find the perfect computer for your needs, especially if you are a beginner, that looking to start your own graphic design business.

Without any further ado, let’s get started.

At A Glance – Best Computer for Graphic Design

1. Apple iMac – Best overall
2. Acer Aspire Z24 – Best affordable computer for graphic designers
3. HP Pavilion 590 – Best Computer under $500
4. ASUS K501UW-AB78 – Best 2 in 1 Laptop for Graphic Designers 
5. Dell Inspiron i7559 – Best Computer for Gaming & Graphic Designing

How To Choose The Best Computer for Graphic Design?

Before you go out and buy a computer, there are some things you need to consider.

If you’re not aware of these things, then you might end up buying the wrong computer for your needs.

Keep that in mind as we navigate through the different options.

CPU (processor)

The processor of a computer plays a major role in the speed of the computer.

The processor determines how well you can multitask, which is especially important for graphic designers.

This is something to take into consideration when choosing the best computer for graphic design.

You’ll also need to know your specific needs when choosing a processor.

The higher the clock rate, the better.

For example, for most people, an i5 will work just fine, but if you’re designing in 3D or doing complex rendering then you might want to look into an i7 or Xeon processor.

RAM (Memory)

RAM is important because it allows you to multitask without slowing down your computer’s performance.

The more RAM, the better. If you’re getting an iMac or Macbook Pro, 8GB of RAM should be enough for most graphic designers.

However, if you’re looking for a laptop, opt for at least 8GB of RAM.

The only reason you wouldn’t need more than 8GB of RAM is if you run very few programs simultaneously or don’t have many large files open at the same time.

In that case, 4GB is sufficient for basic tasks. But again, if you’re a graphic designer, you’ll need at least 8GB of RAM.

Storage

Hard drive size is important because it determines how much work you can do on your computer without having to constantly save and open files.

I suggest getting at least a 1TB hard drive (or more) if you’re looking for a laptop.

If you’re buying an iMac or Macbook Pro, the rest of the options are up to your preference.

A solid-state drive is more expensive but it performs faster than a traditional hard drive.

That’s one reason why most graphic designers prefer laptops with SSD storage.

You’ll also need to consider RAM and CPU as we mentioned before.

Graphics Card

This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to get a laptop with a dedicated graphics card (more on that below).

But it’s still good to know which graphic cards are best for the kind of work that graphic designers do.

NVIDIA and AMD are the two companies that make graphics cards that can be found in most computers.

They both make great cards; however, you might want to stick with NVIDIA if you’re looking for a laptop for graphic design.

AMD’s drivers tend to be less compatible with certain software like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

Battery Life

This one is pretty self-explanatory. We’ve all had computers that don’t last very long on a charge.

And you’ll need to find out how long the battery will last you before buying a laptop.

I personally use my computer for close to 10 hours per day, so I’d recommend getting at least 8-12 hours of battery life.

You can get more if you’re doing heavy work or editing photos, videos, or audio files.

Monitor

While a monitor isn’t as important as the other options, it’s still important to decide which kind of monitor you’ll need.

A higher resolution will allow you to see more detail and make things clearer, but a lower resolution might work if you’re not a big graphic designer.

For most people, a 21″ screen is sufficient for daily use.

If you’re planning on buying a laptop for basic graphic design, you don’t need a super high-resolution monitor.

It’s also very worth your time to research which monitors are compatible with your specific computer.

In general, it’s best not to upgrade your monitor as your graphics card and RAM improve as well as the overall speed of your computer.

Best Computer For Graphic Design (My Top 5 Picks)

Now that you know what to look to consider before buying a computer, let’s talk about the best computers for graphic design.

1. Apple iMac – Best Overall

The best overall computer for graphic design is the best computer for everything.

The iMac is the fastest computer on this list, but it comes at a price of $1500+.

Some people will say that if you’re only looking for your first graphic design machine, then it’s worth it to spend more on an iMac.

I completely disagree with that comment; however, if you’re looking for the best overall machine, then it might be worth considering an iMac.

I’ve used iMac for years, mostly because they’re easy to use.

The Mac OS works well with the programs that I use every day.

For example, Adobe Photoshop runs smoothly even on mid-grade iMacs.

Apple has got the knack to design computers that are powerful for graphic design.

The new iMac M1 is designed to be faster than ever before with its 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU.

Pros

  • Price can compete with high-end PCs
  • Great design and display
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Ideal for huge open spaces
  • Excellent graphics card
  • Reliable hardware
  • Very smooth performance
  • Easy upgradability

Cons

  • Price might be too high for some people
  • Mouse charging is stupid and awkward (you can’t use the mouse while it’s charging)

2. Acer Aspire Z24

Perfect for home and office use, the Acer Aspire Z24 is probably the best affordable computer for graphic design.

It comes with a large 24″ screen which makes it ideal for a crisp and clear view.

The Acer Aspire Z24 comes with a 10-point touch borderless display.

Although it’s not 4K Ultra HD, it still offers good graphics and vibrant colors.

It comes with the latest 8th Gen Intel i7+ Core processor clocked at 32GB of Optane Memory and Nvidia Geforce MX150.

The Nvidia GeForce MX150 is the perfect graphics card for video editing, 3D modeling and photo editing.

It comes with 2GB of memory and is used primarily by Mac.

You can easily run multiple programs at the same time because the laptop has a 16 gigs of DDR4 Ram.

So, no need to worry about too many open windows.

And as mentioned before, this one comes with a dedicated Nvidia Graphics Card which is ideal for video editing and graphic design.

In terms of sound, Acer’s flagship laptop comes with Dolby Audio Premium and Acer TrueHarmony technology.

Both of those help you to have a more immersive listening experience.

The Acer Aspire Z24 is definitely a great graphic design computer for its price.

It’s very stylish and cozy design will look good in any room or office space.

Pros

  • Far-field voice technology that picks up your voice from up to 4-meter square
  • Comes with 2 digital assistants (Alexa & Cortana)
  • Easy navigation with its 10-point touch display
  • Image and video are not over saturated

Cons

  • Too much plastic construction IMO
  • It stands a bit too high (can be annoying when using the webcam)
  • The stand is not adjustable

3. HP Pavilion 590 – Best Computer Under $500

Tight on budget? Don’t panic!

The HP Pavilion 590 is probably the best computer for graphic design under $500.

It packs a punch with the latest 8th Gen Intel i5 processor and 8GB of RAM.

On top of that, it comes with 1TB of SDD storage.

The HP Pavilion 590 is compact and portable.

It has an 11-inch display which makes it easy to work on without fussing with your computer.

It’s very responsive thanks to its Solid State Drive (SSD).

Storage speeds are incredible thanks to that sleek 16Gb Intel Optane memory card that’s inside the computer.

Although the previous model had some noise issues, this newer model fixed that problem completely!

There is no more rattling during operations which is so good for graphic designers who want quiet working environments.

It’s perfect for graphic designers who work primarily in photo and video editing and want to edit photos, videos, and music files without investing too much money into their computers.

The 8th Gen Intel Core i3 CPU gives you plenty of power to run multiple programs at once without crashing or freezing.

Its graphics card can handle almost any work you throw at it.

If you’re a graphic design and a gamer at heart, the HP Pavilion 590 might be the perfect computer for you!

Pros

  • It’s inexpensive and easy on budget. A good choice if you’re looking to upgrade your computer after a few years
  • Lightweight as compared to other computers on this list
  • Easy upgrading ability due to SSD storage and RAM capacity
  • Good graphics card and processor speed (iGPU) for graphic design purposes
  • Excellent performance in CPU tests, multithreading test, graphics tests, and overall performance test

Cons

  • The keyboard and touchpad are stiff and clicky. They can be annoying if you’re typing a lot
  • Slightly noisy (has improved compared to its predecessor though)

4. ASUS K501UW-AB78 – Best 2 in 1 Laptop for Graphic Designers 

Are you more of a laptop lover than a desktop?

Do you move a lot and want a 2 in 1 laptop machine for graphic design purposes?

Then the ASUS K501UW-AB78 is a great choice! It’s a very beautiful and sleek machine. It looks amazing on the outside and inside.

A 15.6 inch Full HD display with ASUS Splendid visual optimization technology makes it easy on your eyes to work for long hours.

The ASUS K501UW-AB78 comes with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M graphics card which makes it a suitable choice for bulky software such as the Adobe software.

It’s also a great choice for some casual gaming without any lag.

The ASUS K501UW-AB78 has very impressive hardware specifications for its price range.

For instance, the smart dual-fan cooling system ensures that your laptop is quiet and cool at all times.

It also has a backlit keyboard which you will love if you’re a night owl or a writer by day.

It’s a very elegant-looking laptop that has good legroom space and a lightweight body.

It has an impressive set of specs for an affordable price!

Other than that, this laptop comes with a Core i7, 8GB DDR4, and 512GB SSD which makes it great for graphic design, photo-editing, video rendering, gaming…you name it!

Pros

  • Backlit Keyboard
  • Excellent graphics card for its price range
  • Very lightweight, sleek and portable
  • Solid and fast SSD performance
  • Win10 pre-installed

Cons

  • An occasional rattle can be heard though not a major concern.
  • Monitor is not IPS
  • Low webcam quality

5. Dell Inspiron i7559

This edition from the 7000 series is a great choice for a powerful computer.

The Inspiron i7559 comes with a 6th Gen Intel Core i7.

The display is nice and bright at 1920×1080 resolution which helps you to see things clearly.

It’s not as bright as some other laptops in its price range but it’s still good.

The screen should offer an amazing experience though thanks to the FHD or UHD anti-glare IPS wide-angle display.

You can also easily open the top or bottom of the laptop to access chipsets, memory, & storage.

The Dell Inspiron i7559 is a perfect choice for graphic designers who want a powerful machine that they can take anywhere they go.

Pros

  • Superior display with anti-glare technology
  • Performance-class graphics card
  • Amazing cooling systems
  • Superior anti-glare technology

Cons

  • Maximum memory of 32GB
  • Very glossy screen
  • Speakers not impressive

My Verdict On This List of The Best Computer for Graphic Design

As you can see, there are many choices for the best computer for graphic design.

The iMac is my best choice as it’s one of the most comprehensive computers I’ve ever used.

If you’re on a tight budget, I think the HP Pavilion 580 is a great choice as it’s decently powerful and offers a better value for your price.

And if you have a little more money to spend, this list of the best graphic design computers will help you find a computer that will fulfill all your requirements for working on visual documents.

The HP Pavilion 590 surprised me during its testing period because it’s ideal for the laptop category!

It’s inexpensive and users will have no problems with it.

The ASUS K501UW-AB78 has excellent hardware specifications at an affordable price! It’s totally worth the purchase!

Another computer that I like is the Dell Inspiron i7559 which has everything you need in a basic machine for graphic design purposes.

Final Thoughts On The Best Computer for Graphic Design

There’s a lot to consider when you’re buying a computer for graphic design.

Not all computers are built equally and not all function the same way.
It’s important to know what your priorities are before buying a new computer.

If you’re just starting your graphic design career or you don’t have a lot of money to invest in your computer, then the HP Pavilion 590 is a great choice.

It’s cheap and powerful for regular graphic design projects.

It’s also nice if you want to upgrade your computer in the future without having to buy another one!

Remember, your laptop should be comfortable for you to work on for long hours.

Choose an ergonomic keyboard and screen display that suits your needs.

If you’re looking for a computer that lets you open it up with ease and repair parts if there’s a problem, then choose a computer that offers that kind of service.

Do your research before buying a new laptop with graphic design in mind.

There is a lot to consider but it’s all worth it!

Choose a computer with the right components and you’ll enjoy using your computer for many years to come!

I hope this article was helpful to you!