Computers for graphic design: The best computer for graphic design

7 Best Desktop Computers for Graphic Design in 2023

After days of research, consulting with several tech geeks, and more than 10 years of experience using graphic design software, I’ve picked out some desktop computers ideal for graphic design and I concluded some pros and cons of the options, all in this article.

Hi! My name is June. I’m a graphic designer and I’ve used different desktops for work. I find that using the same program on different devices can make a noticeable difference with different screens and specs. 

My favorite screen display is Apple’s Retina display and that’s one of the big reasons that it’s so hard for me to switch from Mac to PC. But of course, PC has its advantages as well, for example, you can get the same specs at a more affordable price.

Not a Mac fan? Don’t worry! I’ve got some other options for you as well. In this buying guide, I’m going to show you my favorite desktop computers for graphic design and explain what makes them stand out from the crowd.

You’ll find a beginner-friendly option, a budget option, the best options for illustrators or photo/video editors, an all-in-one option, and a desktop-only option.

Not familiar with the tech specs? Don’t worry, I’ll make it easier for you to understand 😉

Table of Contents

  • Quick Summary
  • Best Desktop Computer for Graphic Design: Top Choices
    • 1. Best for Professionals: iMac 27 inch
    • 2. Best for Beginners: iMac 24 inch
    • 3. Best Budget Option: Mac Mini (M1)
    • 4. Best for Illustrators: Microsoft Surface Studio 2
    • 5. Best for Photo/Video Editing: Mac Studio M1 Max
    • 6. Best All-in-One Option: HP ENVY 34″ All-in-One
    • 7. Best Tower Option: Dell G5 gaming desktop
  • Best Desktop Computer for Graphic Design: What to Consider
    • Operating system
    • CPU
    • GPU
    • Screen display
    • RAM/Memory
    • Storage
    • Price
  • FAQs
    • Do graphic designers prefer Mac or PC?
    • Is Core i3 good for graphic design?
    • Is SSD better for graphic design?
    • Are gaming desktops good for graphic design?
    • How much RAM do you need for graphic design?
    • Is a desktop or laptop better for graphic design? 
  • Conclusion

Quick Summary

Shopping in a rush? Here’s a quick recap of my recommendations.

CPU GPU RAM Display Storage
Best for Professionals iMac 27-inch 10th generation Intel Core i5 AMD Radeon Pro 5300 graphics 8GB 27 inches 5K Retina display 256 GB SSD
Best for Beginners iMac 24-inch Apple M1 chip with 8-core Integrated 7-core 8GB 24 inches 4.5K Retina display up to 512GB SSD
Best Budget Option Mac Mini Apple M1 chip with 8-core Integrated 8-core 8GB Doesn’t come with a monitor 256 GB SSD
Best for Illustrators Surface Studio 2 Intel Core i7 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 16GB 28 inches PixelSense display 1TB SSD
Best for Photo/Video Editing  Mac Studio Apple M1 Max 10-core 24-core 32GB Doesn’t come with a monitor 512 GB SSD
Best All-in-One HP Envy 34 Intel Core i7 Nvidia Ge Force Rtx 3060 32GB 34 inches WUHD IPS display 1TB SSD
Best Desktop Tower Option Dell G5 gaming desktop Intel Core i7-9700K NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 16GB Doesn’t come with a monitor 1TB SSD

Best Desktop Computer for Graphic Design: Top Choices

There are many good desktop options out there, but which one is the best one for you? Depending on your workflow, workspace, budget, and of course, personal preference, here is the list that can help you decide.  

1. Best for Professionals: iMac 27 inch

  • CPU/Processor: 10th generation Intel Core i5
  • Screen Display: 27 inches 5K (5120 x 2880) Retina display
  • GPU/Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 5300 graphics
  • RAM/Memory: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD 

Check Current Price

The 27-inch iMac is designed for multi-purpose work, if you’re working on different types of projects on a day-to-day basis, this is the best option for you.

This all-in-one desktop is good for any graphic design task from basic image editing to high-end branding design or motion graphics. Yes, it’s the typical model you’ll see in advertising and design agencies. 

The super high-resolution screen display with its one billion colors and 500 nits of brightness shows accurate and sharp colors, which is essential for photo editing and coloring artwork because the color is one of the most important elements in graphic design.  

The entry-level option is affordable and it comes with the Core i5 CPU and AMD Radeon Pro graphics card that support your daily design workflow. It only comes with 8GB RAM but it’s configurable to 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB if you use intensive graphic programs at the same time. 

If you’re a heavy user and creating videos is part of your job, you can get a really high-performance iMac 27-inch but it can get pricey. For example, a high-end model with an i9 processor, 64GB memory, and 4TB storage will cost you a ton.

2. Best for Beginners: iMac 24 inch

  • CPU/Processor: Apple M1 chip with 8-core
  • Screen Display: 24 inches 4.5K Retina display
  • GPU/Graphics: Integrated 7-core
  • RAM/Memory: 8GB
  • Storage: Up to 512GB SSD

Check Current Price

The 24-inch iMac came out quite different from the classic iMac design and there are seven colors that you can choose from. Pretty stylish for designers, I like that. 

This is basically a replacement for the older version 21.5 inches iMac. Not a bad idea, because it’s true that a 21.5 inches screen size can be a bit small for a desktop and it’s already outdated. Besides that, the new 24-inch iMac has upgraded the display resolution by far. 

It’s really hard to say no to iMac’s amazing 4.5K Retina display and it’s ideal for photo editing or image manipulation. The M1 8-core processor is tested to run design programs like Adobe software and CorelDraw smoothly and it’s able to export images at a good speed. 

Surprisingly, the new iMac from Apple doesn’t come with an impressive GPU, this could be the main reason that would keep you considering whether to get it or not. If you’re a professional and need to use it for intensive high-end work, the iMac 27-inch should be a better option.  

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the GPU isn’t good for professionals. If you mainly use Photoshop daily for graphic design, this desktop can handle the tasks perfectly fine.  

3. Best Budget Option: Mac Mini (M1)

  • CPU/Processor: Apple M1 chip with 8-core
  • GPU/Graphics: Integrated 8-core
  • RAM/Memory: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD 

Check Current Price

Although it looks tiny and cute, it still has a good 8-core graphics processor that’s essential for intensive graphic design tasks. Besides that, it has the same storage and memory as a regular iMac.  

Another reason I like Mac Mini is that it’s so compact and for example, if you want to show your work on another computer somewhere else, you can simply take the desktop with you and connect it to another monitor. 

The Mac Mini doesn’t come with a monitor, so you’ll need to get one. I actually like the idea because it gives you the flexibility to choose the screen display. You can use a monitor that you already have at home or get a monitor of the size you want.  

You can get a larger monitor screen than all-in-one desktop computers, and probably you’d still be paying less. It’s much better than getting a lower specs all-in-one desktop. That’s why I chose it as the best budget option. You can save money by getting a better screen (or using the one you have)!

4. Best for Illustrators: Microsoft Surface Studio 2

  • CPU/Processor: Intel Core i7
  • Screen Display: 28 inches PixelSense display
  • GPU/Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060
  • RAM/Memory: 16GB
  • Storage: 1TB SSD

Check Current Price

What I like a lot about this desktop is its adjustable touchscreen display. Drawing digitally isn’t the easiest thing even with a tablet, because you have to constantly keep track of your tablet and screen back and forth. 

The Surface Studio 2 from Microsoft allows you to tilt and flexibly adjust the screen which makes it great for illustrators or graphic designers who do a lot of drawings in Adobe Illustrator or other software. You can even use it as a tablet to draw directly on the display screen with a Surface Pen. I’m quite an Apple fan but for me, this is a feature that beats iMacs.  

You probably already guessed that such a product isn’t going to be cheap, and you’re right. Microsoft Surface Studio 2 is pretty pricey for a Windows PC, especially when its processor isn’t the most up-to-date. 

Besides the price, another downside of this model is that it’s still using an older version of the quad-core processor from Intel. It’s good enough for using design software, but for paying this price, you might expect a higher-end processor. 

5. Best for Photo/Video Editing: Mac Studio M1 Max

  • CPU/Processor: Apple M1 Max 10-core
  • GPU/Graphics: 24-core
  • RAM/Memory: 32GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD

Check Current Price

If you’re looking for a portable option but the Mac mini isn’t powerful enough for you, the Mac Studio can a great alternative, especially if you handle a lot of images and videos on a daily basis. Mac Studio comes with a powerful 24-core GPU that is perfect for 3D rendering, and photo and video editing.

Together with its large memory and storage, you can edit your photos or videos at a faster speed. You can If you do a lot of intensive work, you can choose to upgrade your GPU to 32-core. With all the powerful specs, Mac Studio can support up to five displays, creating the real studio experience.

The only factor that would stop me from getting a Mac Studio is the price. The desktop itself is already pretty expensive and it doesn’t come with a monitor. It’s not an affordable option for everyone.

6. Best All-in-One Option: HP ENVY 34″ All-in-One

  • CPU/Processor: Intel Core i7
  • Screen Display: 34 inches WUHD IPS display
  • GPU/Graphics: Nvidia Ge Force Rtx 3060
  • RAM/Memory: 32GB
  • Storage: 1TB SSD

Check Current Price

If you’re not a Mac fan or find that Microsoft Surface Studio 2 is too expensive for you, the HP ENVY 34″ All-in-One is a great alternative to the Surface Studio 2 from Microsoft because it has similar (even more powerful) features and it’s more affordable.  

This all-in-one option has a large screen size with a maximum display resolution of 5120×2160 pixels that’s perfect for viewing and working on detailed designs.

HP ENVY 34″ All-in-One comes with a powerful Intel Core i7 -11700 processor and 32GB RAM that supports multitasking in different design software. Another good feature is its massive storage of 1TB for keeping design files on your computer. 

Surprisingly, this awesome large-screen display all-in-one option doesn’t support HDR. This is probably the only down-point that I can think of so far.

7. Best Tower Option: Dell G5 gaming desktop

  • CPU/Processor: Intel Core i7-9700K
  • GPU/Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060
  • RAM/Memory: 16GB
  • Storage: 1TB SSD

Check Current Price

If a computer is good for gaming, it’s good for graphic design because both require similar specs except that graphic design should have a higher standard for screen resolution. But since this is desktop-only, you can choose a monitor that suits your need. 

The basic G5 model comes with 16GB RAM, but it’s configurable. Together with its powerful 7-core processor, 16GB memory is already pretty good for running any design program but if multi-tasker or work on high-end professional graphics, you can get a better graphics card.    

Another good point of Dell G5 is its price advantage. Looking at the specifications, you’re probably thinking it’s going to be out of the budget, but it’s actually more affordable than you think compare to Apple Mac. 

The only down point for some of you might be that you need to get a separate monitor. I think it’s not such a big problem to get a monitor, for me, it’s more because having a desktop machine takes up more space in my workspace. If the size was smaller like Mac Mini, I would have no problem at all. 

Best Desktop Computer for Graphic Design: What to Consider

Depending on your workflow, there are different factors to consider when choosing the best desktop computer for your graphic design needs.  

For example, If your work routine is more photo editing, you probably want the best screen display. If you’re a heavy user running multiple design programs at the same time, a better processor is essential. 

Obviously, for professionals, there are higher requirements for the specs. On the other hand, if you’re new to graphic design and don’t have a generous budget, you can still find something affordable that does the job. 

Operating system

Most graphic design programs like Adobe and CorelDraw run on both Windows and macOS today, but it’s always a good idea to research and double-check whether a specific program works on the operating system you’re going to get. 

The only concern is that if you’ve been using the graphic design software on one system for a while, switching to a new one will require you to change some shortcut keys while using the program.  

Other than that, it’s really just a personal preference of which system interface you like more.  

CPU

CPU is the central processing unit of your computer and it’s responsible for the speed your software runs. Design programs are intensive, so you should be looking for a powerful CPU that enables the program to work smoothly. 

CPU speed is measured by Gigahertz (GHz) or Core. You’ll need at least 2 GHz or 4 core for daily graphic design work.

As a graphic design beginner, Intel Core i5 or Apple M1 will work just fine. If you create complex illustrations in a daily routine, you should get a faster processor (at least 6 cores), because every stroke and color requires the CPU to process. 

GPU

GPU is just as important as the CPU, it processes the graphics and shows the quality of the images on your screen. A powerful GPU shows your work the best it can.

Nvidia Geforce graphics cards or Apple’s integrated graphics work pretty well for graphic and image tasks. But if your work involves 3D rendering, video animations, high-end professional graphic design, or motion graphics, it’s highly recommended to get a powerful GPU.  

Not sure if you need it at the moment? You can always purchase a graphics card later.  

Screen display

Display determines the resolution of the image showing on your screen. Higher resolution shows more details on the screen. For graphic design, it’s recommended to have a monitor with a good screen resolution (at least 4k) that shows accurate color and brightness. 

In this case, iMac Pro’s 5k Retina display with 500 nits brightness is hard to beat. 

If you have enough space on your workstation and a good budget, get a large screen! No matter you’re manipulating photos, drawing, or making videos, working in a large space is much more comfortable.  

It allows you to work between apps like dragging files from Adobe Illustrator to Photoshop, or other apps without minimalizing or resizing the document, sound familiar? In a way, it improves productivity and avoids mistakes. 

RAM/Memory

Are you a multi-tasker? Ever run into situations when you copy something from one program to another and it took a while to show, or your app froze while working on a project with many windows open? 

Oops! You probably need more RAM for your next computer.  

RAM stands for Random Access Memory, which affects the number of programs running at a time. When you use multiple apps at the same time, the more RAM you have, the smoother the programs run. 

Design programs require at least 8 GB to run smoothly. If you only use one program for your daily workflow, getting the minimum requirement should be enough. For professionals who integrate different programs, 16 GB or more RAM is highly recommended. 

Storage

Photos and design files can take up a lot of space on your computer, so storage is an important factor to consider when choosing a graphic design desktop computer. 

When you look at storage, there are three types: SSD (Solid Disk Drive), HDD (Hard Disk Drive), or hybrids.  

Let’s skip the technical explanation, in short, HDD has larger storage space but SSD has the speed advantage. A computer that comes with SSD runs faster and it’s more expensive. If budget is your concern, you can start with an HDD and later get an upgrade whenever you can.  

Price

You get what you pay for. The expensive options have better screen display, more powerful processors, etc, but the budget-friendly options also have good features. 

Tight budget? It’s okay to start with a cheaper basic option and get an upgrade later. For example, if the display is more important than storage, you can get a desktop with less storage but a better monitor. 

If budget is not a problem for you, then, of course, go for the best ones 😉    

A good desktop computer for graphic design isn’t easy money. Consider it as a future investment and your quality work will pay off. 

FAQs

You might also be interested in the answers to some of the questions below that can help you choose a desktop for graphic design. 

Do graphic designers prefer Mac or PC?

Can’t speak for all but it seems like a large percentage of graphic designers prefer Mac over PC because of its simple operating system and design. Especially for designers who use several Apple devices because you can transfer files easily with Airdrop.  

Years ago, some CorelDraw users would choose a PC because the software wasn’t available for Mac, but today most design software is compatible with both systems. 

Is Core i3 good for graphic design?

Yes, i3 can support basic graphic design workflow, but if you do video editing it might not run super smoothly. It’s recommended to have at least an i5 CPU for professional graphic design projects especially if you use video editing software. 

Is SSD better for graphic design?

Yes, SSD storage is preferred for graphic design work because it works better in responding, meaning it will open your design program and load files faster. 

Are gaming desktops good for graphic design?

Yes, you can use gaming desktops for graphic design because usually, they have a pretty good CPU, graphics card, and RAM for running intensive gaming programs. If a desktop is good enough to handle video games, it can run design programs easily. 

How much RAM do you need for graphic design?

The minimum requirement for professional graphic design is 8GB RAM, but it’s recommended to get 16GB if you’re a heavy user or multi-taker. For learning graphic design or doing school projects, 4GB will work just fine.

Is a desktop or laptop better for graphic design? 

Generally, a desktop is better for professional graphic design, especially if you work in a stable work environment, office, or home. However, if you travel for work or work in different places often, obviously a laptop is more convenient. 

It’s more of a personal preference and work environment. Of course, a larger screen display will be more comfortable to work with.

Conclusion

The most important things to consider when buying a new desktop for graphic design are CPU, GPU, RAM, and screen resolution. Depending on which program you use more often specifically, choose the specs that support your workflow the best. 

For example, if you use Photoshop more often, you might want to get a pretty good display screen that shows true tone colors for editing photos. And if you’re an illustrator, an adjustable screen can be pretty helpful.  

If you’re doing all types of projects, a desktop that supports heavy-duty tasks is essential, so you should get the best specs possible. 

Are you currently using a desktop? Which model are you using? How do you like it? Feel free to share your thoughts below 🙂

About June Escalada

Graduated from Creative Advertising major, worked more than eight years as a graphic designer focusing in branding and Illustration. Yes, Adobe Illustrator is my best friend and I’m passionate about art and design.

Best Computers for Graphic Designers in 2023

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If you are researching computers for graphic design, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with all of the different options available. There are countless different brands and models that claim to have all the specifications needed to support design work, but which is the best for graphic designers? This article will cover the best computers for graphic designers in 2022 and the important factors to consider when shopping for your new device.

Important Factors to Consider

Every computer is unique, which is why it can be so challenging to determine which is the best option to support graphic design work. Some of the most important factors to consider when selecting a computer include:

  • Monitor Resolution
  • Operating System
  • Storage Drive
  • Processor Power
  • Memory

The 24” Apple iMac (2021) is a new version of the 21.5-inch iMac and features upgrades in nearly every area. It is an excellent option for every type of creative designer, thanks to the M1 chip and 4.5K retina display. The 24” iMac is available in seven different colors, allowing designers to pick a computer that speaks to their personal style. The main drawbacks of choosing this iMac are the lack of ports and the lack of a dedicated graphics card.

  • CPU: Apple M1 8-core chip
  • Graphics: M1 8-core chip
  • RAM: 8GB-16GB
  • Storage: 256GB – 2TB
  • Display: 24-inch 4.5K Retina display

The Mac mini (M1, 2020) is a great compact option for graphic designers that want to select their own display monitors but still benefit from the new M1 chip. While functionality and capabilities are similar to the 24” iMac, the small size is portable and great for designers that work on the go. One significant benefit for designers is the ability to connect a monitor with up to 6K resolution with a thunderbolt connector. Some of the main drawbacks include the need to purchase a monitor and accessories and a limited number of ports.

  • CPU: Apple M1 8-core chip
  • Graphics: Integrated 8-core
  • RAM: 8GB-16GB
  • Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD
  • Display: n/a

The Dell XPS 8940 is a great choice for freelancers that work from home and those who need an office-friendly option. This computer can perform well, even with the use of extensive design software. Another major benefit is that this computer is customizable, meaning you can create a system that meets your specific needs. There are ample ports available, and overall, the unit is easy to upgrade. One drawback of this computer is the limited storage, which may be an issue for some designers.

  • CPU: 11th Gen Intel Hexa-Core i5
  • Graphics: Intel UHD
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: n/a

Often credited as the best Windows computer for graphic design, the Microsoft Surface Studio 2 has incredible features that help it stand out from other options. The high-resolution 28-inch display is a touch screen and also has a vertical hinge for ultimate functionality. The Microsoft Surface Pen is an added bonus that can turn this computer into a digital drawing pad, similar to the iPad. One drawback of this computer is the Intel processor that cannot be updated.

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-7820HQ
  • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1070 8GB GDDR5
  • RAM: 16GB – 32GB
  • Storage: 1TB – 2TB SSD
  • Display: 28” PixelSense™ 4500 x 3000

While this computer is an excellent choice for those just getting started in graphic design, the display for this model does not disappoint. The HD display may not have 4K capabilities but can still provide accurate colors and sharpness. The SSD storage and processor help this computer function efficiently while using high-end software.

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-9400T
  • Graphics: UHD Graphics 630
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 23.8 inch Full HD w/ 10-point touch2 borderless display

This all-in-one computer is a great option for designers that need an affordable choice that is able to provide a 4K display. This specific model can support the use of a touch screen pen, has a built-in wireless charging pad, and up to 1TB of SSD storage. Designers who need an affordable iMac alternative should check out this efficient computer option.

  • CPU: 3.2GHz Intel Core i7-8700
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 560X (4GB GDDR5)
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Display: 27″ 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS, touchscreen, 350 nits 100% Adobe RGB

This gaming computer is a powerful option for graphic design that offers all of the latest features for functionality and efficiency. The Alienware Aurora r10 will perform without lags from the processor to storage capabilities, even using some of the most high-end software. While this option may be one of the most expensive, the performance features of this model make it an excellent choice for any type of creative design work.

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen™ 7 5800 (8-Core, 36MB Total Cache, Max Boost Clock of 4.6GHz)
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 12GB GDDR6
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 1TB
  • Display: n/a

Another all-in-one computer option, the HP Envy Pro Curved 34” has a display that will impress any graphic designer. The 34-inch Quad High Definition (QHD) display has a resolution of 3440 x 1440 pixels and boasts a unique widescreen size that can eliminate the need for multiple monitors. The 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor ensures functionality, and the sleek design eliminates the need to have a large computer tower.

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-6700
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960A graphics with 2 GB GDDR5
  • RAM: 8GB-16GB
  • Storage: 2TB
  • Display: 34” High-resolution Ultra WQHD (3440 x 1440)

Stay Current With Your Technology

With how fast technology and graphic design software evolves, it’s crucial to stay as current as possible in the field. This can include watching trends in your specific niche area, looking for changes in software processes, and keeping your technology as up-to-date as possible. Signing up for live online graphic design classes is an excellent way to refresh your skills without leaving the comfort of your home. If you are ready to get started and want to learn more about the options available to you, try searching for graphic design bootcamps in your area.

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Best Computers for Graphic Design 2023

Author Dmitry Evseenkov Reading 18 min Views 12.1k.
Updated

Finding the best computer for graphic design means sifting through a plethora of options. There are plenty of great designer cars out there, so it’s worth narrowing down your search by asking yourself a few questions. How much power do you really need – will you work with huge files in 3D programs or will you be fine with anything as long as Adobe Illustrator runs on it? Do you need an all-in-one computer with its own display, or do you already have a monitor? Also, very importantly, what is your budget?

To be on the safe side, we recommend choosing a computer with at least 12 GB of RAM so that it can handle the demands of graphic design. We have a lot to say on this subject, so if you need to get a little technical, scroll down to the bottom of the page where we’ve put together a FAQ on choosing the best computer for graphic design.

In this guide, we’ve focused on desktop computers because they provide the best processing power by allowing for more powerful cooling systems. However, if you need a more portable solution, we have a guide to the best laptops for graphic design. Some of the computers featured in this guide are all-in-one versions with built-in displays, while others need to be connected to monitors – our guide to the best monitors can help you with that.

We have included graphic design computers for all budgets in this guide. So, let’s get down to reviewing the best graphic design computers you can buy right now.

Contents

Top 10 Best Graphic Design PCs 2023

1. iMac (27-inch, 2020)

The best PC for graphic design right now.

Photo imac (27 inch, 2020)

Features:

CPU 10th generation Intel Core i5 – i9
Video card AMD Radeon Pro 5300 – Radeon Pro 5700 XT
RAM 8GB – 128GB 2666MHz DDR4
Memory 256GB – 8TB SSD
Monitor 27-inch (diagonal) 5120 x 2880 Retina 5K display

Pros:

  • Improved internals
  • Large 5K retina display
  • Can be set to very high power

Cons:

  • Design looks a little dated
  • Only two Thunderbolt ports
  • No M1 Pro chip

While the iMac (27-inch, 2020) isn’t Apple’s newest generation of all-in-ones, we still think it’s the best choice for graphic designers. With a large screen and discrete graphics card, it has everything a graphic designer needs, and the subsequent introduction of newer models means it will be easier for you to acquire or buy at a good price.

iMacs are very popular among graphic designers – look into the office of a design agency and you will probably see several of these computers there. This 2020 version is one of the latest computers from Apple that doesn’t use its own M1 compute chips. Instead, it uses 10th generation Intel Core processors with a choice of 10-core processors. This is a huge amount of computing power, which is comfortably enough for all but the most resource-intensive design tasks. Graphically, the iMac 2020 uses an AMD Radeon Pro 5000 graphics card, which means content will look great on its impressive 5K Retina display.

When we reviewed the iMac 2020, we were impressed with both the display quality and speed. The computer booted up at an incredible speed, and we found that we could have a huge number of tabs and windows open and still have the iMac perform tasks without a hitch. This is very handy for any designer who likes to be able to keep working while their computer is doing something else.

The iMac’s (27-inch, 2020) slim, efficient, versatile design means it fits seamlessly into any office or home work environment, with minimal cable clutter or mess. It’s a fantastic graphic design computer and continues to be our #1 pick.

2. iMac (24-inch, 2021)

The iMac has received a long-awaited redesign.

Photo imac (24 inch, 2021)

Features:

CPU Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU
Video card Integrated 7-core – 8-core GPU
RAM 8GB – 16GB unified memory
Memory up to 2TB
Monitor 24-inch 4.5K Retina display

Pros:

  • Superb 4.5K retina display
  • New, colorful design

Cons:

  • No ports
  • No discrete GPU
  • Smaller display

Oh, that beautiful clean design. The 2021 24-inch iMac combines a timeless exterior design with powerful, modern internals. This is an iMac that uses Apple’s own M1 chips. This gives it tremendous processing power – however, it lacks a dedicated GPU.

In our review, the 2021 24-inch iMac made a huge impression on us. This is a great computer, fast for most applications. Eight cores and 16 GB of processing power is a lot, but for pros with intensive workloads, this may not be enough, especially in terms of GPU.

However, there is a lot to like here. The 4.5K Retina display means all your content will look great, especially when framed in a colorful design. While ultimately we still think the 27-inch iMac outperforms this one in its ability to really immerse itself in graphic design tasks, it’s hard to imagine many designers not being satisfied with this superb computer.

3. Microsoft Surface Studio 2

Incredible Windows PC for graphic design.

Photo microsoft surface studio 2

Features:

CPU Intel Core i7-7820HQ
Video card Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB -GTX 1070 8GB
RAM 16GB – 32GB
Memory 1TB – 2TB SSD
Monitor 28-inch PixelSense display, 4. 5K resolution

Benefits:

  • Touch sensitivity, Surface Pen support
  • Vertical hinge for viewing angle adjustment
  • Powerful Graphics

Disadvantages:

  • Cannot use modern Intel
  • processor

  • Expensive for Windows PC

The Microsoft Surface Studio 2 is a fantastic all-in-one alternative to competing products like the Apple iMac, perfect for those who don’t like using the Apple ecosystem. What’s more, it even has some great features that iMacs don’t have.

When we got our hands on the Microsoft Surface Studio 2 in our review, we were impressed by a number of things. In particular, we liked the high-resolution 28-inch display and the fact that the touch sensitivity makes it possible to use the computer as a huge graphics tablet. The drawing feel is good, and the Surface Pen stylus bites nicely. We also appreciated the ability to instantly switch between color profiles, from sRGB to vivid and DCI-P3 modes.

However, there are a few caveats that mean Apple has won our hearts: Surface Studio 2 still uses the old quad-core processor from Intel, and despite the availability of more powerful discrete GPUs, it still features an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 or 1070.

However, they should provide enough power for graphic design, and you can set up Surface Studio 2 with up to a 2TB SSD and 32GB of RAM.

4. Mac Studio

A powerful yet compact Apple computer ideal for professionals.

Photo mac studio

Features:

CPU Apple M1 Max chip with 10-core CPU (configurable) / Apple M1 Ultra chip with 16-core CPU (configurable)
Video card Integrated 24-core / 48-core GPU
RAM 32GB – 128GB unified memory
Memory to 8TB
Monitor No

Benefits:

  • Multiple power settings
  • Multiple Ports

Drawbacks:

  • More than needed.
  • New, therefore expensive

Apple computers are hugely popular with creative professionals who need all the computing power, and Mac Studio is the latest model aimed at that audience. Depending on the user’s preference, the Mac Studio can be equipped with either the Apple M1 Max chip or the latest M1 Ultra chip (essentially two M1 Mac chips welded together), making it one of the most powerful computers Apple has ever made.

When we looked at the Mac Studio, we were immediately struck by how little space it takes up thanks to its compact design – it essentially looks like a folded Mac Mini (see below). We were also extremely pleased to find how energy efficient it turned out to be. While the M1 Ultra delivers higher GPU performance than the highest performing PC GPU, it consumes 200W less power. This is mainly due to the efficient architecture of the M1 chips, but in the real world, in a period of rising electricity bills, this is likely to be very useful.

If you do intensive graphic design tasks, like editing huge files in Photoshop, Mac Studio will work great. If you are not doing so much, then most likely there will be more power than you need. The Mac Studio M1 Max version costs $1,999, while the M1 Ultra version can offer twice the power, but it’s also priced twice as much at $3,999. Needless to say, if you don’t have to spend that much on a computer, you shouldn’t. . However, if you’re looking for the most powerful graphic design computer available today, this is it.

5. Mac mini (M1, 2020)

Great compact PC for graphic design.

Photo mac mini (m1, 2020)

Features:

CPU Apple M1 chip with 8-core
Video card Integrated 8-core
RAM 8GB – 64GB unified memory
Memory 256GB – 2TB SSD
Monitor No

Benefits:

  • Same great design as
  • Very good performance
  • New M1 hardware has potential

Disadvantages:

  • Unable to use eGPU
  • Very little upgrade option

If you’re picky about using your own display and peripherals, but love the Apple ecosystem, Mac mini has been updated with the same M1 chip as the 24-inch iMac, making the performance of the two computers almost identical, even though that the Mac mini costs a little less.

This miniature secret weapon runs on macOS like other Apple computers, which means all the graphic design apps you can use on your iMac can be used on your Mac mini, and it’s small enough to fit in your bag for portability, like a laptop.

Of course, you need to buy a monitor for it (or use an existing one), so it is not as neat on the table as the all-in-one, but this gives you some freedom in purchasing a display optimized for graphic design to further improve your projects.

Base model features Apple M1 chip with 8-core processor and 16-core neural engine, 256GB SSD, four rear expansion ports for USB or Thunderbolt external storage, plus HDMI 2.0 for simultaneous support of two displays.

6. HP Pavilion 590

The best budget computer for graphic design.

Photo hp pavilion 590

Features:

CPU Intel Core i7-8700 processor
Video card Intel UHD Graphics 630
RAM 12GB DDR4
Memory 1TB HDD
Monitor No

Benefits:

  • More affordable than competitors
  • Multiple Ports

Drawbacks:

  • Will be difficult to work with huge files
  • Storage is HDD, not SDD

Although the HP Pavilion 590 is a few years old, it has earned a reputation as a great budget desktop and is a good choice for budget-conscious designers.

With a surprisingly generous 12GB of RAM and an Intel Core i7-8700 processor, it’ll handle most graphic design tasks just fine, as long as you’re not trying to do too many things at once or deal with absolutely massive billboard-style files. The processor is equipped with an integrated Intel UHD Graphics 630 card, which is good enough for complex tasks like 3D modeling. In addition to what we really appreciate, Pavilion 590 has a plethora of ports including USB Type-C and Type-A, 3.1 and 2.0 ports, and HDMI and DVI.

The 1TB of memory is handy – the fact that it’s an HDD and not an SSD slows things down a bit, but it’s an acceptable compromise to get a solid desktop at this price point.

7. Dell XPS Desktop

Accessibility and personalization.

Photo dell xps desktop

Features:

CPU 11th generation Intel Core i5 – i9
Video card Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 – RTX 3070 Super
RAM 12GB DDR4
Memory 256GB – 1TB M. 2 PCIe NVME SSD + 2TB SATA 7200RPM HDD

Benefits:

  • Great value for the specs
  • Lots of power
  • Plenty of configurations available

Weaknesses:

  • One USB-C port
  • Not very bright design

The Dell XPS line of desktop PCs is one of the few remaining desktop towers still in the non-gaming market, but thankfully it’s also one of the best. Choosing a Windows-based PC will likely give you more freedom to customize components, and it’s usually a much cheaper option than buying an iMac or Mac Pro when it comes to performance and affordability.

Even the smallest model is equipped with a dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card, so those who don’t have a lot of money to buy an iMac can get a powerful and capable machine for significantly less money. Even better, if you have some money to burn, then you can opt for an 11th gen Intel i9 processor and an RTX 3070 graphics card. a good array of ports on the front (meaning you don’t have to fiddle with the back), a built-in SD card slot, and the fact that Dell offers a lot of corporate discounts so you can save even more money thanks to your employer.

8. Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10

Powerful personal computer.

Photo alienware aurora ryzen edition r10

Features:

CPU to AMD Ryzen 9 5950X
Video card to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080
RAM up to 128GB 3200MHz DDR4
Memory up to 2TB SSD + 2TB HDD
Monitor No

Benefits:

  • Powerful components
  • Many specifications to choose from
  • Stunning design

Drawbacks:

  • Very expensive in the highest configurations

Gaming PCs are much more common than family desktop towers these days, but thanks to the powerful components inside, they’re also usually great PCs for graphic design. This Alienware example is one of the best, with a striking design and lots of RGB lighting.

The Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 features the latest AMD processors as well as the latest Nvidia RTX 3000 series graphics cards, making it an incredible performer when it comes to graphic design.

It also comes in a variety of configurations so you can easily choose the model that best suits your needs and budget. It’s also a great option for those looking to get an AMD-based desktop rather than Intel, which has become increasingly popular in recent years with AMD rising like a phoenix from the ashes.

Alienware products are usually quite expensive, but the Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 is very reasonably priced and has excellent build quality and design. This graphic design computer is well worth the investment.

9. Lenovo Yoga AIO 7

Great alternative to iMac or Surface Studio.

Photo lenovo yoga aio 7

Features:

CPU Up to AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
Video card to Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060
RAM 32GB DDR4
Memory up to 1TB M. 2 SSD + 2TB HDD
Monitor 27″ 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS, DCI-P3 99%, Adobe RGB 99%

Pre property:

  • Good price for the features and specifications of
  • 4K display can be rotated to portrait mode
  • Optional 99% coverage Adobe RGB

Drawbacks:

  • Components are a little outdated
  • Expensive for a non-Apple AIO

If you love the all-in-one idea but don’t want to pay for Apple, then the 27-inch Yoga AIO is an AMD-powered Windows PC perfect for creative professionals and hobbyists who want a product optimized for graphic design.

4K display available with optional 9 gamut9% Adobe RGB and 99% DCI-P3 color space, useful for those who need to optimize color fidelity. The screen can be fully rotated to portrait mode with the tap of a finger if you need a different viewing angle.

With the recent popularity of vertical platforms such as TikTok and Instagram Reels, many artists and graphic designers are exploring new formats to promote their work, so a rotating display can come in handy for more than just finding a better working angle.

You also get up to 1TB SSD and the option to install a 2TB HDD. Hard drives may be obsolete in gaming devices, but their available capacity gives you enough space to save projects. For demanding applications, the 27-inch Yoga AIO is equipped with 32 GB of RAM, allowing you to easily run almost any application from the Adobe Creative Suite.

10. Dell Inspiron 27 7000

Edge-to-edge display in a more affordable all-in-one.

Photo dell inspiron 27 7000

Features:

CPU Intel Core i5-i7 / AMD Ryzen
Video card AMD Radeon 580 8GB / Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 4TB
RAM 8GB – 32GB
Memory 1TB HDD; 256GB SSD
Monitor 27-inch 3840×2160 IPS display

Benefits:

  • 27″ 4K edge-to-edge display
  • Tilt and Adjustable Stand
  • HDMI input

Disadvantages:

  • Uses low power laptop processor
  • No Thunderbolt 3 port

Dell has already created some fantastic desktop solutions for the gaming and professional market, so it’s no surprise that this Dell Inspiron 27 7000 AIO has some impressive features that creative people should love.

For starters, you get a stunning 4K Infinity Edge display that makes iMac’s 27-inch screen with its thick bezels feel dated. The tilt stand is also particularly useful for adjusting viewing angles and really helps confirm the high build quality of this device.

In terms of specifications, you have a lot of options, as with other Dell computers, which means you can get a configuration that offers exactly what you need. With 8-core AMD processors and powerful GPUs, it’s a great affordable iMac alternative that doesn’t compromise on quality.

And of course, because this is a Dell product, you can save some money by taking advantage of the Employer or Educational Discount and be confident that, being a Dell product, this is a reliable and high quality computer.

What makes a computer good for graphic design?

Desktop computers may have fallen out of fashion among everyday home and office users in recent years, but they still play an important role in industries and markets where more power is required. While there are some great graphic design laptops that can help you with your graphic design work, they generally can’t offer the same level of performance as desktops because they need to be thin, light, and portable.

Desktop PCs don’t have to worry about this and are usually easier to customize to your needs. They can also be more affordable than a laptop of similar specs, but since the best graphic design computers require powerful components like the latest processors, graphics cards, don’t expect any of these PCs to be particularly cheap.

A desktop computer with a processor (CPU) with four, six or more cores will allow you to easily run applications such as Photoshop or Illustrator, and at least 8 GB of RAM, 256 GB SSD and fast memory will help you work on multi-layered high-resolution documents without slowing down the system.

A dedicated graphics card is also an advantage, but most graphic design applications will not be as demanding on the system as tasks such as 3D rendering. Choosing a gaming PC with a powerful Nvidia RTX 3080 GPU will certainly help (and allow you to use ray tracing features), but in a pinch, integrated graphics will do as well.

Many of the models featured here have built-in displays—these computers are called all-in-ones, often abbreviated to AIO—iMac is a great example of everything in one box. More PCs are moving to this form factor as well, but one downside is that they aren’t as easily upgradeable as standard tower desktops, so it’s still the best option in terms of flexibility and overall performance.

Is a Mac or PC better for graphic design?

The battle between Apple and PC fans has been going on for decades, but as far as which brand is “best” for graphic design, they each have their own strengths. There are very powerful Mac and PC based solutions on the market for a wide variety of requirements, but which brand you place yourself in ultimately comes down to a few personal preferences.

Microsoft PCs are usually much cheaper than Apple alternatives, and desktop towers are usually easy to upgrade, which can greatly extend the life of your machine. For a particularly powerful build, you can even opt for a gaming PC, as they usually come with a powerful graphics card, plenty of memory (RAM), and a powerful processor from Intel or AMD.

On the other hand, Apple devices, although more expensive in some regions, are known for their high quality and simple, easy-to-use operating system. Historically, many graphic designers have used iMacs and Mac products because of the Apple ecosystem and simply because they were considered the industry standard for several years.

There’s no clear winner these days (despite our pick in this top ten list), because both operating systems are well-optimized to support your hardware and software needs. It’s easy to find a product that suits your needs on either OS, so we recommend that if you have a lot of PC or Mac experience, stick with what you know, unless you want to diversify your skills using both brands.

Know-How is an electronics store where you can buy not only personal computers for graphic design, but also other equipment.

Graphics and design computers

What kind of graphics do you build PCs for?

RoyalPC specializes in creating customized solutions for the needs of customers. The catalog contains top assemblies of computers for graphic design: powerful, productive, assembled from the latest components. All PCs are tested and we can guarantee that the build is functional.

Each assembly can be modified to suit your needs.

RoyalPC specialists will help to assemble productive computers for designers involved in different types of graphics.

PC for 2D graphics (vector, raster, fractal) . Let’s assemble a system unit for working in Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Autodesk Sketchbook, Corel Draw and others. Such computers do not require superpowers.

PC for 3D graphics . To work with three-dimensional graphics, and especially with the rendering process, powerful computers are required that can withstand the load and quickly process a three-dimensional image. We will select solutions for interior designers, architects, engineers working with graphics in Autodesk 3DS MAX, Compass-3D, SolidWorks, AutoCAD.

Heavy duty motion graphics computers . We assemble high-performance workstations for video editing, animation, rendering of complex scenes.

Are you a professional looking for a quality, productive and efficient computer? Contact RoyalPC! Let’s assemble a reliable workstation – for processing graphics, music or video.

How to choose a computer for graphics?

Assembling a PC, focus on the tasks that need to be solved.

✔ You don’t need powerful hardware to draw and work with 2D graphics. For beginners, builds with 8th generation Intel Core i3 and Intel Core i5 processors with any video card, for example, GeForce 1060 or 1660, are suitable.

✔ A powerful graphics station is required to work with 3D scenes. You need to understand that even top-end gaming PCs cannot always handle rendering, and the resource intensity of games cannot be compared with the power required to process three-dimensional objects and scenes. When assembling a system unit for working with design and three-dimensional graphics, we recommend a stone no lower than the tenth generation Intel Core i5 and an NVIDIA RTX series graphics card. For professional designers, the NVIDIA Quadro and Titan RTX series graphics cards are the graphics cards designed specifically for super-powerful workloads.

Are there ready-made graphics stations in the showroom?

RoyalPC assembles computers and graphics stations for the needs of clients, so there are no pre-assembled machines in the showroom. The store has several “showcase” samples to demonstrate the quality of the assembly, and you can also personally get advice from a specialist in selecting components and assembling your PC.

Will you bring a PC to any city?

You can buy a graphics computer with delivery to your address or pickup in St. Petersburg. Delivery by courier takes 1 business day from the date of assembly.

Delivery in Russia is carried out by trusted transport companies: Business Lines, DHL, SDEK. It is carried out according to the tariffs of transport companies and takes an average of 7 days from the moment of assembly.

Delivery in neighboring countries is carried out by international transport companies.

Are you sure that the graphics station will arrive intact?

RoyalPC insures all computers for the full price.

Our assemblers assemble the system blocks, and then they are already assembled and delivered to the customer. During transportation, the components are packed in special foam bags that protect against mechanical damage and shaking. For added protection, graphics station parts are packaged in a wooden crate or heavy carton.

Can I borrow a PC for a designer?

We understand that professional design machines are expensive. Therefore, various payment options are available to buyers, including a credit program from Tinkoff Bank.

To buy a graphics station on credit, select the payment method “Purchase on credit” in the shopping cart and the system will redirect you to the page for applying for credit funds. Fill out an application and expect a response: on average, the bank makes a decision within 3 minutes.

How to pay for a graphics station?

Payment options:

  • Cash or bank card to the courier or at the pickup point (only for St.