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What Is The Minimum Laptop For Graphic Design

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The best laptop for architects heavily depends on the specs and configuration of the laptop. Don’t you agree? 

Similarly, for a graphic designer, a laptop must run on a dedicated graphics card that can perform optimally with the latest trends in graphics design. On the other hand, photo editing might require you to invest in the latest central processing unit (CPU). 

Hence, we have put together this article to help you decide which laptop is best suited for your current needs. Moreover, we have made this article keeping the latest trends in the graphic design market. 

So, without further ado, let’s move to the next section. 

Minimum Requirements For Photo Retouching Programs

Minimum requirements for photo retouching programs

When it comes to photo retouching programs such as Goral Paint Shop Pro, Photoshop CC, and Affinity Photo, you will require a laptop with good RAM and a graphics card. On that note, you will require the following specifications to achieve the best results: 

1. RAM Requirements

Photo retouching applications require at least 4GB RAM to perform decently. However, more RAM is recommended if you want to boost the overall performance. In that case, you should go for a laptop that is willing to give you 8-16 GB of RAM. 

If you are falling short on cash, you can purchase a laptop with at least 8GB of RAM. It can be upgraded later whenever you need to expand your graphic design tasks. 

2. Graphics Card

The graphics card is one of the most important components of a laptop since it helps to enhance and process high-quality images and videos without difficulty. Most photo retouching applications require a minimum of 4 GB of GPU memory. 

Besides this, you should always invest in a higher-memory graphics card since it helps you deliver high-resolution graphic designs without difficulty. One of the best graphics cards on the market is the Nvidia GeForce RTX. This GPU is more than capable of running your photo retouching software. 

Minimum Requirements For Illustration Program

Illustration programs are mostly used by graphic designers with creative minds. This software allows users to illustrate their designs on a virtual canvas using a stylus pen. 

Therefore, you must pick a laptop with good RAM and graphics memory. Also, the laptop should come with a dedicated stylus that will allow you to illustrate your creativity without restriction. 

1. RAM Requirements

Unlike photo retouching applications that require a lot of RAM, an illustration program can run on a system with 2GB RAM. Nevertheless, higher RAM storage will significantly enhance your laptop’s illustration performance. 

Besides, you will not feel any latency while using the stylus pen since higher RAM can efficiently process accurate strokes and angles. Hence, an 8GB RAM laptop would be sufficient to run your illustration software like a pro. 

2. Graphics Card

Illustration software is usually demanding when it comes to graphics performance; therefore, you will be required to purchase a laptop with a high-quality graphics card. The benchmark requirement for most illustration software is a 4GB GPU memory laptop. However, this specification can only handle very basic illustrations and freestyle drawings. 

If you plan on making 3D illustrations and modeling, we highly recommend purchasing a laptop with a minimum of 6GB GPU memory. This specification is future-proof as well. 

3. Stylus Pen

Stylus pens are the backbone of illustration software since they were designed to allow graphic designers and architects to bring out their full potential and creativity. That said, you should always select a laptop with a dedicated stylus pen. Although you can still buy a stylus separately, it will not give you the exact performance required. 

This problem usually occurs because brands design their styluses for a specific laptop model. Therefore, a dedicated stylus will work optimally with a particular model. In addition, you get access to all types of gestures such as strokes, brush customization, angle alteration, and many more. 

Minimum Requirements For Vector Graphics Programs

Unlike most graphic designing software that require a heavy specification to run optimally, vector graphics programs are less demanding on the specifications. On that note, you don’t need to purchase a high-end laptop; however, the requirements keep changing based on your task and project. 

For instance, if you are working on a project that focuses on simple vector elements such as posters, logos, banners, and icons, you can use a laptop with minimum specifications. On the other hand, high-resolution images and complex vector illustrations will require a laptop with better configurations. 

Hence, we recommend purchasing a laptop with a decent CPU and GPU with a minimum of 4GB of RAM. Note that 2GB of GPU memory will be sufficient to handle single vector elements, while 4 GB of GPU memory is ideal for complex vector elements. 

Minimum Requirements For Editorial Design Programs

Minimum requirements for editorial design programs 

Just like the illustration software, the requirements for an editorial design program will alter depending on the types of images you are working on. Simple vector elements and raster images require very minimal specs to perform well. 

For instance, if you plan to make a simple fashion magazine layout, you wouldn’t require heavy specs to complete the task. However, if you keep increasing the number of pages and images for your project, there will arise a requirement for more resources to get the job done. 

Editorial design programs are dependent on four types of hardware. Namely, the RAM, GPU, processor, and internal storage play an important role in running the software decently. 

1. RAM Requirements

As mentioned earlier, if you plan to work on simple vector elements and raster images, you will not require a laptop with a configuration. A simple 2GB RAM will be sufficient to run most software programs without giving any trouble. 

Nevertheless, if your project requires a lot of high-resolution images, you will need a laptop with a minimum of 4GB RAM or more. For best performance, we suggest going for a laptop with 16 GB RAM since it will give you decent and reliable speed to get the images processed in time. 

2. GPU

When it comes to editorial design programs, the bare minimum requirement for a GPU is 2GB. Anything below this will cause your laptop to lag while it tries to process the images and complex layout. Although this might seem enough, you can go for a higher specs model, especially if you plan to work on demanding projects. 

On that note, we recommend purchasing a laptop with at least 4GB of GPU memory. This will get all your projects completed in no time. In addition, you need to make sure that your laptop has the latest Direct X 12 installed in the main operating system. 

3. Processor

A good processor can do two things – complex calculations and multitasking. Keeping this in mind, most professional editors prefer to invest in a processor that can process huge files and operate powerful hardware without any issues. 

Nowadays, most processors are designed with multiple cores embedded in the hardware. This allows the hardware to multitask without any issues. In this regard, we suggest selecting a laptop that runs on either an AMD processor or an Intel core processor. 

4. Storage Capacity

Usually, editorial design programs deal with large files that require a ton of storage. Vibrant colors and intricate design work can increase the size of your project. Hence, you will require a large storage to preserve such data. If you are running on a tight budget, we recommend purchasing a laptop with a minimum of 1TB of hard disk drive storage. 

Additionally, you can purchase an external hard drive or a solid-state drive for your computer. SSDs are well known for delivering high-speed data despite being light and portable. This makes an SSD an ideal external drive for people who like to travel and work. 

Minimum Requirements For 3D Design Programs

Most animations these days use 3D design programs to get the best details and depth. Although the animations might look simple, a lot of complexity is involved while designing them. 

3D design programs heavily depend on an excellent graphics card that can perform complex calculations without breaking down. Apart from this, you will require plenty of RAM and a good performance processor. If you are a professional graphic designer, we highly suggest using at least 32 GB of RAM or more. 

AMD processors and high-end Intel core i5 processors are more than capable of handling complex 3D designs. It doesn’t matter whether you purchase an Intel or AMD process as long as it meets the software requirements. 

Moreover, if you plan to work with massive textures and 3D projects, then you will require the next-gen graphics processor to keep up with your design. One of the best graphics cards on the market is the Nvidia RTX GPU. 

You can get a laptop with Nvidia GTX graphics if you have a tight budget. However, this GPU will not be capable of performing high-end 3D design rendering. 

Which Processor Is Better For A Graphic Design Laptop?

The CPU is the most important component of any laptop. It performs complex calculations while ensuring that the other laptop components receive the correct instruction on time. As a graphic designer, you will require a fast and reliable processor to handle complex designs. 

Most laptops these days either run on an AMD or an Intel processor since they are currently the top brands on the market. AMD processors are well known for being cheap and highly powerful in multi-thread performance. On the other hand, Intel processors perform better in single-thread tasks. 

So, if you are planning to multitask and perform several graphic design projects simultaneously, then AMD processors would be an ideal option. In contrast, Intel processors give better clock speed for single-core performance. 

Apart from this, most AMD processors come with integrated graphics chips, allowing them to use the RAM as a graphic processing unit virtually. This makes AMD processors more suitable for graphic designers with a tight budget. Integrated graphics are more than capable of running various graphic design software at the minimum requirements. 

Does Color Accuracy Matter For A Graphics Designer?

No matter which graphic design software you use, color accuracy and a wide color palette play a very important role. Most laptops these days are designed to give out the best color accuracy without compromise. Nevertheless, there are a few key factors that can help you to distinguish a good color-accurate monitor. 

In general, you should go for a monitor that has at least 100% of Adobe RGB accuracy. Besides, you can use a 100% sRGB monitor if color isn’t your main focus for the project. Usually, color accuracy is measured by the Delta-E score. 

A monitor with a lower Delta-E score is highly recommended since there is less gap between the actual and virtual color accuracy. Professional graphic designers prefer to use a monitor with a Delta-E score lesser than five. 

What Is The Minimum Laptop For Graphic Design Frequently Asked Questions ?

Do Architects Use Mac Or PC?

Nowadays, most graphic design software is produced to suit IOS and Microsoft platforms. On that note, most architects use Mac or PC and choosing the right one boils down to their unique needs and requirements. 

The MacBook Pro is well known for its color accuracy and high-end display quality. On the other hand, a Windows laptop is designed to suit your graphic needs with a dedicated graphics card. Therefore, both of them can serve your purpose efficiently. 

What Storage Drive Will Be Ideal For Graphic Designers?

When it comes to storage drives, graphic designers mostly use two types of options–HDD and SSD. If you are running on a tight budget, we highly suggest purchasing a laptop with an HDD. It is cheap, and you get a variety of storage options. 

In contrast, an SDD is extremely light and fast. Most modern laptops run on SSD storage. However, SSD storage is expensive, so you must choose wisely. 

How Much RAM Does An Architect Need?

Usually, people are confused about how much RAM an architect would need. Well, in general, architecture-based software consumes a lot of RAM. Hence, professional architects recommend using 8 GB as the minimum requirement. In addition, you might need to expand your RAM capacity further to achieve the best results. 

On that note, we suggest getting a laptop with a minimum of 16 GB RAM to run the basic architecture software at its peak capacity. For advanced software, you will require a laptop with at least 32 GB or higher. 

Does Display Size Matter For Graphic Design?

Yes! Graphic design is a visual art form; therefore, you will require the best monitor for your laptop. Try not to purchase a 13-inch laptop since it will not display the graphic design efficiently. Instead, you can purchase either a 15-inch or 17-inch laptop. 

Moreover, you will need to choose a monitor that has a HIDPI screen. This will allow you to see the colors accurately since it has a higher density of pixels. 

What is the minimum laptop for graphic design final words

What Is The Minimum Laptop For Graphic Design Final Words

Finally, we have come to the end of our extensive guide. We hope you were able to make the correct choice for your current graphic design needs. Before taking our leave, we would like to share a few tips to help you narrow your search. 

Firstly, go through the spec requirements of the latest software that you plan to install on your laptop. Every software comes with a list of minimum and recommended specification requirements. We highly suggest picking a laptop model that fits all the recommended specifications of the software. 

Secondly, always go for a laptop that has a dedicated graphics card and high-performance processor. You can also use laptops with integrated graphics cards as long as you are working on small projects that have fewer graphics requirements. 

That said, it is time for us to take our leave. See you next time! 


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Bạn cần tư vấn thiết kế kiến trúc, nội ngoại thất, thi công các công trình dân sự hay công nghiệp? Hãy liên lạc ngay với Kiến Trúc Sư Phan Phương Thanh theo số điện thoại, hoặc Zalo: 0932463644 - 0935088660 để được hỗ trợ tận tình với những dịch vụ tốt nhất.

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