The Best Computer for Graphic Design in 2022 : Both MAC and PC option

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Are you looking for the Best Computer For Graphic Design? There are many different computers you can choose from based on budget, price, or professional level. Your main goal is to have a balance between features, efficiency, and pricing.

For an effective computer, you will need at least 12 GB of RAM. A fast processor from Intel Core i5 or higher. A dedicated graphics card is an added advantage and very important if you will want to run 3D software.

Check out our review for Best PCs for Graphic Design and Best Samsung Laptops for Graphic Designers.

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.

  1. iMac (27-inch, 2020) Best overall computer for Graphic Design
  2. HP Pavilion 590 Best Budget computer for Graphic Design
  3. Microsoft Surface Best Graphic Design PC
  4. Lenovo Yoga A940 Best Value All in one PC for Graphic Design
  5. Apple iMac Pro Best Computer for animation
  6. Acer Aspire Z24-890-UA91 Desktop Best beginner PC for Graphic Design
  7. HP Envy 31.5” All-In-One Best Wide screen PC for Graphic Design
  8. ASUS AiO Desktop
  9. Alienware Aurora Gaming Computer is a Very powerful Pc
  10. Lenovo Legion Tower 5

Best Computer For Graphic Design review

iMac (27-inch, 2020) best computer for graphic design

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  • Storage: 256GB – 8TB SSD
  • Memory: RAM 8 GB
  • Display: 27-inch (diagonal), Retina 5K display
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 up to Core i9
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 5300 graphics

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 with 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 things 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 these factors are flexible, with the Ram expandable up to 128 GB and storage up to 8 TB.

PC and Android devices are good but just like drawing tablets for graphic design, the Apple brand stands out as one of the best devices.

Pros

  • You will not have to buy a monitor separately
  • Powerful Machine
  • Crisp clear display
  • Comes with a powerful AMD Radeon Pro 5300 graphics card

Cons

  • Requires some configuration to reach full potential
  • Only 2 thunderbolt ports
  • Relatively Expensive

HP Pavilion 590

Best Budget computer for Graphic Design

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  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Memory: RAM 12 GB
  • Display: Recommended Monitor
  • Processor: Intel Core i7
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 630

This is the best graphic design computer that will not dent your pocket too deep. If you will get When on a budget, then this is the best pick. It comes with a 3.6 GHz AMD Ryzen 5 2400G Quad-Core 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.

8GB Ram expandable to 16 GB will work well and memory can be expanded to 2TB. Even though our recommended is 1TB, this will work well but you will need to invest in 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 the Best monitors for Graphic Designers.

The sleek design makes the computer quite small which is great.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Comes with a keyboard and Mouse

Cons

  • Does not come with a monitor

Microsoft Surface 2

Best Graphic Design PC

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Some designers will rush and go for the iMac but for the Windows guys, this machine gives the iMac a run for its money. A 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 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 designers, but with increasing demands, this needs an update.

You can configure the surface pro from 8 GB to 32 GB memory and the SSD is expandable to 2 TB from 1 TB.

Pros

  • Touch Screen
  • Large view monitor

Cons

  • May sometimes heat up when overloaded

Lenovo Yoga A940 best all in one computer for graphic design

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This is a great all-in-one computer and is quite a 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 touchscreen 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.

Pros

  • Comes with a 4k Monitor Keyboard and mouse
  • Touchscreen pen support

Cons

  • The screen may not be the best view in heavy light

Apple iMac Pro

Expensive but best for very heavy tasks

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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, make 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 their work with it.

However as mentioned the price is far more on the hiring side and as you start off in graphic design, you will not need most of the abilities on offer by this computer.

Pros

  • 5K Crisp clear monitor
  • Wireless mouse and keyboard
  • Elegant gray look

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not the most comfortable keyboard if you are unfamiliar

Acer Aspire

Best beginner Pc for Graphic Design

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Acer Aspire is one incredible computer that comes with an enormous display, a 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 colors vividly making it easy to work on even the tiniest details of 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 storage. With this computer, you can work on your projects seamlessly, store your projects and even explore the gaming side of you.

Pros

  • The computer is pretty fast because it has SSD storage
  • Comes with a decent keyboard and mouse
  • Has a built-in microphone
  • This computer is potable
  • Great performance because it has a six-core processor

Cons

  • The computer has a plastic construction
  • No 4k screen

Dell Inspiron 7000 All-In-One

Affordable edge-to-edge display Computer

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Dell Inspiron 7000 all-in-one desktop is a great choice if you want an alternative to the 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.

Pros

  • Huge 4K display
  • Fast
  • Powerful configuration

Cons

Lenovo Idea Centre Computer

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Lenovo IdeaCentre’s 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 an 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 sort 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.

Pros

  • Pros
  • Powerful. Can handle the most demanding design applications
  • Fast
  • Great storage space
  • Superb edge-to-edge display
  • Easy to set up

Cons

  • Cons
  • The stand is a bit hard to adjust

Dell XPS 8930 Tower Desktop

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Dell is a popular brand that comes up with powerful and affordable computers with 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 is 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 which makes 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.

Pros

  • Pros
  • Comes with a keyboard and mouse
  • High performance
  • The computer is fully customizable
  • Comes with HDD and SSD storage

Cons

  • Cons
  • Does not come with a monitor

HP Envy 31.5” All-In-One

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Lately, all-in-one computers have gained popularity. iMac set its standard high and other brands like Microsoft followed suit. Although the 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 design 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 into the computer fully.

Another feature worth mentioning is the Audio Advanced stream which lets you use the sound bar and control it with your phone using Bluetooth.

Pros

  • Pros
  • Large 4K display (32 inches)
  • Powerful computer ideal for graphics and gaming
  • Has a powerful soundbar that can be controlled via phone like other Bluetooth soundbars
  • Has a cable-less charging pad

Cons

  • Cons
  • Has a big power brick

ASUS AiO Desktop

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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 mistake 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.

Pros

  • Sleek and attractive design
  • Quality speakers for a great listening experience
  • Multiple ports

Cons

  • Doesn’t have USB-C ports

Alienware Aurora Gaming Computer

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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.

Pros

  • High performance
  • Incredible specs
  • Affordable
  • Beautiful design

Cons

  • You might need to pay more for high-end configurations

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 in turn multitasking ability. The second-factor price depends on your budget.

best computer for graphic design
the best computer for graphic design

The tools you use in your workflow will greatly determine the kind of professional you will become in the 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.

Disk Storage

The hard drive will either be Hard Disk Drive (HDD) or a Solid State drive (SSD). You may be wondering, what is the difference between SSD Hard drives and HDDs, and which one is best for your Graphic Design computer.

SSD has no moving parts and replaces 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 speed and durability.

What is the difference between HDD and SSD?

I recommend a Solid State Drive for graphic design computers. 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.

If you are starting and would like to learn check out cheap training courses for illustrator classes near you and Photoshop Classes Near you.

Best computer for graphic design
Difference Between HDD and SDD

Graphics Card

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 work on some Graphics Cards and not others.

If you wish to upgrade your PC please there are cheap Graphic Cards you can choose from 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 at 1 GHz, we recommend 2 GHz and above if you do not want it to be slow and annoying while using.

Memory

Every time your computer needs to get files, it goes to the hard drive. To increase retrieving speed, computers have partial memory that 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 RAM is the best place to start.

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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.

Display

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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 good Monitors for Graphic Design you can buy.

Price

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 a graphic design powerhouse.

If you prefer a laptop, watch out for our next article where we discuss Drawing Laptops. They are also great for Graphic Designers. However, a desktop computer is preferable for graphic design because a desktop computer is easy to upgrade to higher memory and almost any other specifications including graphic cards.

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 straightforward 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 to make the difference. I personally prefer a 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 of laptop screen size and 17 inches for optimal performance of a graphic design laptop.

Best Computer for Graphic Design

  1. iMac (27-inch, 2020) Best overall computer for Graphic Design
  2. HP Pavilion 590 Best Budget computer for Graphic Design
  3. Microsoft Surface Best Graphic Design PC
  4. Lenovo Yoga A940 Best Value All in one PC for Graphic Design
  5. Apple iMac Pro Best Computer for animation
  6. Acer Aspire Z24-890-UA91 Desktop Best beginner PC for Graphic Design
  7. HP Envy 31.5” All-In-One Best Wide screen PC for Graphic Design
  8. ASUS AiO Desktop
  9. Alienware Aurora Gaming Computer is a Very powerful Pc
  10. Lenovo Legion Tower 5

What specs do I need for a 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.

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