How to Pick the Best Computer for Graphic Design


You’re a fresh new graphic designer who just graduated from school. You’re going to need to find a computer if you want to produce results that will please your clients. So, what do you need to look for?

Finding the best computer for graphic design is all about speed. It can be hard to get anything done if your PC can’t handle the strain of running your software. Hardware isn’t the only thing you should be looking at.

Check out this guide to learn everything you need to know about choosing a computer for graphic design as well as see a few options that might work for you.


Random Access Memory, better known as RAM, is responsible for how fast a computer runs. The more RAM it has, the more applications it can run before it starts to get bogged down.

When looking at a computer’s RAM, don’t mistake space for speed. A computer could have 6 GB of ram but still, run slow. For Graphic design, you need a computer with RAM speeds of 1600 MHz at least.


The processor (CPU) is the brain of the computer. It’s responsible for jump-starting all the programs that are supposed to run when the computer turns on. Many of the programs you’ll use as a graphic designer put a lot of pressure on the CPU.

With newer versions of these processor-intensive programs coming out each year, you need a CPU that can keep up. Look for a computer with a 1GHz processor.

If you can afford to get a computer with a CPU that’s faster than that, you can but it’s going to cost you.

Graphics Card

If you plan on making it big in graphic design, the main thing you want to splurge on is a graphics card. The computer you buy will have one already in it but it’s probably best for you to trade it out for a more powerful one.

As a graphic designer, the quality of the images you work with is everything. The better the graphics card, the better images you have access to.

Hard Drive

When looking at a computer’s hard drive, you’ll come across two types. Hard disk drives and solid-state drives. Both of them perform the same function but which one your computer uses does matter.
If your main concern is storage, you’ll want an HDD hard drive. You’ll have much more storage space and computers that use an HDD hard drive are much cheaper than ones that use an SSD.

Speed is where SSD hard drives come out on top. Computers with an SSD hard drive start-up and launch programs much faster than ones with an HDD hard drive.


Some desktop computers still come hand and hand with a monitor. If the one you purchase does, take a look at it. For you to get your graphic design work done, the monitor needs to have a resolution of at least 1280 x 800.

If the resolution is any lower than that, none of your images will look quite right. Like picking up any computer equipment, getting a good monitor can be expensive but the image quality will make the financial hit worth it.  

Good Computer Options

Now that you know what specs to look for, we’re going to throw a few options your way. Any of these computers may suit your needs.

– Apple iMac with Retina Display 
If you’ve seen a screenshot on Mac you know that the image quality can’t be beaten. The Apple iMac with Retina Display is no exception. The color-accurate display makes it the perfect computer for graphic design.

On top of the gorgeous display, it contains 8 processor cores that make it a contender for speed as well. We will warn you that Macs don’t come cheap, especially if you want to add in upgrades after a while.

– Microsoft Surface Studio 2
As great as the iMac is, there are a few things that the Surface Studio can do that it can’t do. For example, the screen is touch-sensitive. You can lay it down and use it as a giant tablet to suit your drawing needs.

It also packs a punch in the graphics department. iMac does have it beat when it comes to processing power. The processor in the Microsoft Surface Studio isn’t too powerful and there’s no way to upgrade it.

– Lenovo Yoga A940
Like the Microsoft Surface, you can flip the computer screen on the Lenovo Yoga and use it as a drawing canvas. With this computer, you’ll also get a stylus, a charging mat that will work with your phone, and a digital creation dial.

The Lenovo Yoga isn’t as powerful as the Microsoft Surface and the iMac but it will suit your needs and the price is amazing considering everything that it does.

– HP Pavilion 590
If you’re on a steep budget you’ll want to go with the HP Pavilion 590. It doesn’t have the bells and whistles that the other computers on this list have but it will do everything that you need it to.

Finding the Best Computer for Graphic Design Projects

If you’re trying to make it as a graphic designer, you’re going to need a quality computer that can help you do it. When looking for the best computer for graphic design, you want to look at speed and graphics.

Finding a computer is part one of getting your Graphic design business off the ground. Check out our blog daily for even more tips to get you started.