Tasks performed in a PC can either be CPU intensive or GPU intensive or even both. Although in many cases both CPU and GPU work their fair share in all tasks, some tasks require more juice from any one of the core components more intensively.
One such task where the GPU is involved a lot is graphic design. But when you want to build a system specifically for graphic design, there are many hardware specifications to consider along with GPU. Let us build the perfect PC for graphic design as per your level of expertise.
How to Build a PC for Graphic Design?
The followings are the hardware required for designing a PC for graphic design and the factors to consider when choosing the specifications of the hardware.
- Choice of Specifications According to the Budget
- CPU selection
- GPU selection
- Motherboard selection
- RAM selection
- Storage solution
- Cooling System Selection
- Power supply selection
- Monitor Selection
Choice of Specifications according to the budget
First of all, before building a PC, you should fix your budget. The amount of money you are ready to spend decides the type of hardware and its specifications. Therefore, you should come up with a number that you are willing to spend on building a PC for graphic design.
You can also decide the budget by keeping in mind the level of expertise you have in graphic design and how you will develop your skills in the future. Because, if you are looking to build a PC that can survive any future upgrades, you cannot do it with a low budget.
Therefore, decide your level of expertise and the money you want to invest in building a graphic design PC.
Once you have decided on a budget to spend, you can now browse through the specifications that will suit your budget. Let us now understand how to select each piece of hardware for a graphic design PC. This will help you to make a choice within your budget.
Also, we will provide you with our recommended builds according to your level of expertise and you can go for a similar build.
First let us understand how to choose a hardware specifically for graphic design and the things you should look for in selecting that hardware.
Although graphic design involves a lot of graphic processing power, you will also need high computing power for performing complex designs. Certain modeling and renderings depend on the CPU’s capacity for giving a faster and more efficient output.
So, when building a PC for graphic design, you must choose a CPU with at least 8 cores and 16 threads with a clock speed of 3.8GHz or more. You can find it with Intel 11th gen i7 or i9 or AMD Ryzen 7 series processors.
The reason for choosing a higher core count and the thread count is that the PC will be able to perform multitasking effortlessly. Most designers don’t stick to just one program or software. They usually seek multiple graphic design applications and complete their model.
So, having a high-performing CPU will effortlessly get you through multiple applications. Also, this CPU can aid your GPU to perform its tasks well because some applications are CPU dependent too.
For graphic design, GPU is the most essential component. You must have a high-performing GPU to efficiently perform all kinds of graphical models.
When selecting GPU, you should look into the following specifications:
- Technology supported
The number of cores must be higher to perform several graphical processing at the same time. When you deal with complex tasks like game designing, 3D modeling, etc. you will need to deal with a lot of polygons which require high processing capacity. Therefore, try to choose a GPU with a higher core capacity.
TDP denotes the power consumption of the GPU. Naturally, when you go up with the high-core GPUs, the TDP will increase a lot. But you have to find the sweet spot where your budget meets the right amount of GPU cores that consume less power.
VRAM denotes the video memory the GPU possesses, and it should be at least 4GB for an entry-level PC and the higher is better.
As for the technology, both Nvidia and Radeon provide some innovative technologies like Ray tracing, DLSS, etc., with their GPU cards. If your GPU supports them, it is well and good.
The choice of motherboard is very important for graphic designers. When choosing a motherboard, you have to look into the following specifications so that you can use the board for a long.
- CPU compatibility
- GPU compatibility
- Excess slots
- Expandable storage solutions
- A sufficient number of ports
- Good sound card
Since the motherboard holds all the hardware components, you should get one that is reliable and of high quality.
After choosing the CPU and GPU, you should find a compatible motherboard for it. Because AMD motherboards don’t support Intel. Also, the GPU you have chosen must be compatible with the motherboard. The board should have the necessary PCIe slot for the GPU to be installed.
It is better to have some extra PCIe slots so that you can install more GPU. But more than that, the motherboard should be able to hold a lot of RAM and storage because graphic design consumes more of it.
Since a graphic designer might use more displays and other accessories, you will need more USB ports, display ports, and audio ports for a wide range of device connectivity. The motherboard should be equipped with a proper sound card for good audio input and output quality.
Any graphic design PC must have at least 8GB to 16GB of RAM to have a decent performance with any kind of task. Although the GPU’s VRAM takes care of graphical tasks, having a higher memory helps you to perform multiple tasks efficiently.
You can open up a lot of applications besides the major task and perform all of them with ease. You will not feel any kind of lag between the applications.
Also, choose a RAM with at least DDR4 technology with 3200MHz speed for better performance. When you choose the RAM with these specifications or more than this, you will get seamless computing power as well as graphical processing performance.
Graphic designers require a lot of storage since the data they deal with is bulky. The media consumes a lot of space which requires a reliable, fast, and spacious storage solution.
It is best to have a combination of HDD and SSD for your graphics design PC. Because HDD offers higher storage within an affordable price point while SSD offers better performance.
So, you will need at least 1TB of HDD and 500GB of SSD at the entry level for sufficient storage of your graphics design data. This helps in getting a better balance between space and performance.
You can store all the data related to your graphics application in the SSD for quick launching and faster access. Also, you can store all the bulk data in your HDD.
It is better to go for a sophisticated cooling system especially if you are dealing with highly intensive modelling or development. Because the system has to run for long hours, and it stresses the CPU, GPU, and other core components a lot. As a result, you can find the thermals crossing the line leading to poor performance.
Therefore, when you want to build a good graphic designing PC, go for a liquid cooling system. If you don’t have budget constraints, a liquid cooling system fetches you the utmost performance and thermal handling.
But when you have budget constraints, try to choose a good case with sufficient cooling fans on top, front, and rear sides for positive airflow. You can also choose to install heat sinks and localized cooling fans for each piece of hardware.
Power Supply Selection
The PSU you are choosing for the design PC must satisfy the power requirement of the hardware you have chosen and also provide room for future upgrades.
When you decide to upgrade your RAM or GPU, you should not be upgrading the PSU also. Therefore, get more than 650W of PSU so that you can upgrade your other hardware in the future without any need for upgrading the PSU.
Also, if you get a silver or gold-rated PSU, the efficiency will be good, and you will get modular cables that are easy for cable management.
Since we are dealing with graphic PC build, monitor or display is very important. The size of the monitor must be at least 24 inches and having multiple monitors in the same size can be useful too. You can also go for larger sizes as per your requirement.
Then you should choose a display with LED or LCD panel with higher resolution. It is better to have at least a 1080p IPS display for a good visual treat.
If you can afford an OLED panel, then it is the best choice. Also, if you get a curved display, it will be easier to work with it and you will not be straining yourself for long hours.
Apart from these major components, you can choose peripherals like the keyboard, mouse, etc. as per your requirement and liking. Let us now get into our recommended builds according to the level of expertise.
Recommended PC builds according to the level of expertise
Entry Level Graphic Design PC:
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600X
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super
- RAM: 16GB DDR4
- Storage: 500GB NVMe SSD + 1TB HDD
- Motherboard: B550 chipset
- PSU: 550W 80 Plus Bronze
- Display: 24-inch IPS 1080p monitor
Why we chose this?
The Ryzen 5 5600X offers excellent single-threaded performance and six cores, providing a good balance between cost and performance for entry-level graphic design tasks.
The GTX 1660 Super offers sufficient graphics processing power for entry-level graphic design work, including working with 2D designs and basic 3D rendering.
16GB of RAM is adequate for handling moderate-sized design files and multitasking between design software and other applications.
The combination of a 500GB NVMe SSD for fast boot times and software responsiveness, along with a 1TB HDD for data storage, provides a balance between speed and storage capacity.
Intermediate Graphic Design PC:
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5800X
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060
- RAM: 32GB DDR4
- Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD + 2TB HDD
- Motherboard: B550 chipset
- PSU: 650W 80 Plus Gold
- Display: 27-inch IPS 1440p monitor
Why we chose this?
The Ryzen 7 5800X provides eight cores and sixteen threads, delivering excellent multi-threaded performance for more demanding graphic design tasks, such as rendering complex 3D models or working with large files.
The RTX 3060 offers significant graphics processing power and ray-tracing capabilities, enabling faster rendering and better real-time visualization of designs.
With 32GB of RAM, you’ll have ample memory for handling larger design files, complex projects, and multitasking between various design software.
The 1TB NVMe SSD provides faster read/write speeds, allowing for quicker file access and software loading times. The 2TB HDD offers ample storage capacity for large design files and data.
Professional Graphic Design PC:
- CPU: Intel Core i9-11900K
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080
- RAM: 64GB
- Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD + 4TB HDD
- Motherboard: B550 chipset
- PSU: 850W 80 Plus Gold
- Display: 32-inch IPS 1440p monitor
Why we chose this?
The Core i9-11900K is a high-performance CPU with eight cores and sixteen threads, delivering exceptional single-threaded and multi-threaded performance for professional-grade graphic design work.
The RTX 3080 is a top-of-the-line GPU that offers outstanding graphics processing power, making it suitable for demanding tasks like complex 3D rendering, video editing, and working with large design files.
64GB of RAM ensures smooth performance when handling extremely large design files, complex projects, and multitasking between resource-intensive software.
The combination of a fast 1TB NVMe SSD for lightning-fast system responsiveness and a 4TB HDD for extensive storage space accommodates the needs of professional graphic designers with large file sizes and extensive project libraries.
List of Graphics Design software recommended for the PCs
We have listed some of the popular graphic design software that you can use with our suggested PC builds:
Entry Level Graphic Design PC
- Adobe Photoshop: A widely used raster graphics editing software for image manipulation, retouching, and digital painting.
- Adobe Illustrator: A vector graphics editor used for creating scalable illustrations, logos, and typography.
- Canva: A web-based graphic design tool with a user-friendly interface for creating social media graphics, presentations, and marketing materials.
- GIMP: An open-source alternative to Photoshop, offering similar functionality for image editing and manipulation.
Intermediate Graphic Design PC
- Adobe Creative Cloud Suite: Includes software such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, and After Effects, providing a comprehensive set of tools for graphic design, video editing, and motion graphics.
- CorelDRAW Graphics Suite: A powerful vector graphics editor for creating illustrations, layouts, and typography.
- Sketch: A design tool specifically for UI/UX design, wireframing, and prototyping.
- Affinity Designer: A vector graphics editor with a focus on professional-grade design work, offering similar functionality to Adobe Illustrator.
Professional Graphic Design PC
- Autodesk 3ds Max: A 3D modeling, rendering, and animation software used for creating complex 3D models and visualizations.
- Cinema 4D: A professional 3D modeling, animation, and rendering software widely used in motion graphics and visual effects.
- Adobe Creative Cloud Suite: Includes industry-standard software like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, and After Effects for comprehensive graphic design, video editing, and motion graphics workflows.
- Blender: A versatile open-source 3D creation suite for modeling, animation, simulation, and rendering.
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Why Customized PC is better for graphic design?
Graphic design involves a lot of complex tasks and processes that require sophisticated hardware setup which can only be brought by building a PC.
You can build a PC as per your level of expertise and requirement which is not found with prebuilt PCs. If you don’t want certain hardware or certain specifications, you can save more money by skipping them from your build.
Therefore, building a PC for graphic design is always the right choice over buying a prebuilt PC which may not be suitable for your preferences.
We have now understood the complete requirements for building a graphic design PC. You also know how to choose the best specification as per your level of expertise and requirements. With this guide, you will be able to build the perfect graphic design PC.