Best PC Specs for Graphic Design in 2020

Best PC Specs for Graphic Design in 2020

In this video I’ll be going over what you should be looking for in terms of computing power if you’re going to be doing any kind of graphic design work.

Graphic design is a little more demanding of resources than what you would typically use computers for, like browsing Facebook and using Google Docs, so you’re going to need a little more power than your standard budget laptop. However, it’s not nearly as demanding as something like video editing or gaming, so you don’t exactly have to shell out cash for the highest-end hardware either.

Official system requirements for each application…
After Effects:
Affinity Photo & Designer:

Want to learn more about how Inkscape works? Check out the Inkscape Master Class – a comprehensive series of over 50 videos where I go over every tool, feature and function in Inkscape and explain what it is, how it works, and why it’s useful:

00:00 Intro
01:23 Photoshop
02:14 Illustrator
03:08 After Effects
03:51 Affinity Photo
04:48 Affinity Designer
05:30 Blender
05:55 Inkscape and GIMP
07:14 Best overall specs
07:42 My own specs

Intro song: “In Da Mood” by Combustibles, used with written permission


  1. Daniel Yount on February 17, 2021 at 10:04 pm

    I didn’t see any talk about render farming. Inkscape, GIMP, Blender can all be setup as a farm. So you can render large scenes or long animation across multiple systems. So you can have a main system to design the output as you had shown, but the make the final product you can send the project to the farm.

  2. Geek Savz Fat_T on February 17, 2021 at 10:05 pm

    Is there any laptops that fill out those specs?

  3. wisler jean on February 17, 2021 at 10:06 pm

    Ou toujou voye bon bagay pou nou

  4. Donny Fontenot on February 17, 2021 at 10:08 pm

    Hey Nick. What’s the best way to get in touch with you? I purchased the premium course and want to download for offline viewing. Sent you an email through contact form on your website but never heard back.

  5. Salsa Bro on February 17, 2021 at 10:09 pm

    I was using a windows 10 PC with an Intel i3 and 4gb of ram and I was able to use inkscape without any problems. Your tutorials are awesome btw! I just gotta find more time to go through them all! I’m getting into video editing now so I just upgraded my computer. It’s coming tomorrow so I’m excited 😁

  6. poggers nick on February 17, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    I use a 2014 MacBook Pro with a 2.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor and 8gb of memory, and Inkscape and Gimp run great. Here are my specs

  7. Róbert Révész on February 17, 2021 at 10:13 pm


  8. Mass-Produced Madness on February 17, 2021 at 10:14 pm

    I recently made the switch to Apple, and I came here looking for new design. I use Affinity for my 2D work because I can’t stand Adobe’s model. My more complex projects get my fan running and they’re relatively tame. If I’m being honest, the Macbook just isn’t powerful enough. Blender just crashes whenever I try to sculpt using SVGs, and overall it’s giving me pause

  9. MY TOWEL DESIGN on February 17, 2021 at 10:14 pm

    i love this channel for giving a tutorial how to use inkscape

  10. Khaleel Ahmad on February 17, 2021 at 10:15 pm

    Z420pc 16 ram 2 gb grafic card i used pc

  11. Only Light Matters on February 17, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    Hi Nick. On almost a daily basis I use Lightroom to process 21Mpix RAW photos, GIMP/Photoshop for what Lightroom cannot do + simple image editing, Inkscape to make simple shapes (icons), VSE in Blender for Youtube videos, Audacity to process my voice recordings and of course Kerbal Space Program with a bunch of visual mods. I also have a few virtual machines I run, one each at a time (OpenSource solutions under CentOS). I’ve been using for a year and a half a Ryzen 7 2700/16gb RAM/Nvidia 1060/1To of SSD/W10 Pro, there is almost nothing I can complain except maybe CPU for big ship rendering in KSP because the game does not know how to take advantage of several cores. When I make YT videos I can have KSP, OBS, Blender, GIMP, Inkscape running at the same time with no ressource problem at all.

  12. VIVEK KATARIA on February 17, 2021 at 10:18 pm

    Core i7 4770k 3.5 ghz overclocked to 4.3ghz with 12gb ddr3 1600mhz, 760gtx, 250 gb ssd and 2tb hdd…using since 2014…..since then photoshop is become bitch now..too demanding 😥

  13. Md. Ali Siddique on February 17, 2021 at 10:18 pm

    What about AMD? any suggestions?

  14. The Deep Unboxing Malayalam on February 17, 2021 at 10:24 pm


  15. mkm 101 on February 17, 2021 at 10:24 pm

    hey there, it’s 2021 and I dare to ask – is CS6 still good enough for freelance graphic design with occasional photo editing??

  16. JunaZard Abd on February 17, 2021 at 10:26 pm

    I use blender, maya, PS, inkscape using amd fx-6300, amd radeon R7 200 series, 8gb RAM, with stock cooler and 1 fan LUL.. #strugleisreal

  17. ManCraft on February 17, 2021 at 10:27 pm

    Inkscape stutters on Mac OS for a 2013 13-inch Macbook Pro with then-gen core i5 which is dual core, 8gb ram and integrated graphics. but ran well on the same Macbook on Ubuntu 20.04.
    It ran brilliantly on my desktop i3-9100, GTX 1060 3gb, 32 gb ram on ubuntu, slightly slower on Windows on the same desktop.

    So if you want to use Inkscape, strongly recommend to run it on Linux

  18. Rodrigo Ambriz on February 17, 2021 at 10:27 pm

    Hey man, I really love your tutorials but… I don’t think you are really conveying a proper message with this video. Sure eight core processor have gotten cheaper, BUT 12 gigs of video memory?! You either go for a high end Quadro card or a Vega II but people watching this video probably have no idea what I’ve said nor are willing to pay for that. I think that the best "overall specs" is gonna mislead many people when in reality a quadcore laptop with a 1050 and 16 (maybe 8 if budget is really tight) is more than enough to get someone started.

  19. King Rasheed on February 17, 2021 at 10:28 pm

    hi 1:27 witch software name ples

  20. Nathan Enos on February 17, 2021 at 10:28 pm

    Anyone know why Photoshop specs page requests a specific graphics card for use, but Illustrator doesn’t, it only lists GPU specs?

  21. RVseniors on February 17, 2021 at 10:30 pm

    Thanks Nick, for the review, great a usual. I have been following your tutorials for the last year, learning a lot, mostly Inkscape. I am currently using an Alienware AuroraR7, x64, i7-8700 at 3.2 ghz, 32 Gb ram. NVIDIA GTX 1070 with 8 gb. I used this for autocad and fusion 360 prior to getting into video work. Using Power Director for video.

  22. Joshua Harris on February 17, 2021 at 10:32 pm

    I have a MacBook Pro I got back in 2017, I have had some issues with lag and processing when using large photoshop files for editing… Illustrator works fine but it takes a while to Process when I’m applying gradients on a lot of objects at once

  23. Sokpheap Thorn on February 17, 2021 at 10:32 pm


  24. Enjerune on February 17, 2021 at 10:32 pm

    Watching cuz I’ll be in university soon and all I have is an core i3 100$ laptop hELP

  25. Ramkrishna Chakraborty on February 17, 2021 at 10:32 pm

    Hey Nick..Many many thanks for your U- tube channel which help me to learn Inskape.I am using Dell which I’ve purchased on 2015 with Windows 8.1 pro.Inskape is running smoothly.

  26. Crazy Russian Bot on February 17, 2021 at 10:36 pm

    Bro, you know about GFX design, but you know crap about good computers. AMD Ryzen 3000 series beats intel by 30% in in Workstation performance for same price CPUs and even beats more expensive intel CPUs. If you recommend intel in 2020 you are clueless. For gfx/video design it’s best to buy a Ryzen 3600 for 170 bucks or a faster AMD if you got money, like 3700x 3800XT etc…

  27. Sean Greenhalgh on February 17, 2021 at 10:37 pm

    I grew up learning graphic design on a mac but now I use a i3 3.9 quad core intel, 16gb ram, gtx 1650 4gb, all running off ssd’s. It does the job. Probably wouldn’t do blender work on it though.

  28. goddamnit452 on February 17, 2021 at 10:37 pm

    Well technically the minimum specs used for gimp are good enough for blender. But you just either render in a free render farm or paid.
    Or you have tons of patience.
    I used a core 2 duo with 2gb of ram on linux ubuntu for blender in 2.61 took forever. But works fine.
    Going upward with more then 8 cores and 32gb of ram allows you to do more ambitious project, multitask more and switch program without having to close them.
    I went with a 3970x and 256gb of ram. Planning to add titans rtx later when stock comes back. I really do stupid thing I would never do before. I play with simulations, fur, cloth and more. As the waiting time to bake those sim went down by so much i can feel it’s not a chores anymore and its rather very fun. Honestly it’s overkill but it did save tons of time and made clients happy that I could deliver quickly a pre render or do a revision quickly. Time is money and this time saved is huge.

  29. InfoTech Zone - Biv on February 17, 2021 at 10:38 pm

    Well I am a beginner so I use Acer Nitro 5 – 8 GB RAM (Will be doing 16) 4 GB GPU

  30. Jean F. Amoni R. on February 17, 2021 at 10:38 pm

    I want to add that the really minimum GPU that can render over CUDA is *GT 730 1 GB DDR5*. Next comes GTX 650 DDR5.
    I don’t remember the required technology that disables GPU Computing, but if you have less than that graphics, make sure to have a really good processor because it will be used ever. An OpenGL 3.3 GPU Computing is strictly required to just run Blender and processing overall viewport features.
    In terms of RAM Usage*… I can say that 8 GB is the minimum to open all Blender Open Movies files (I mean one at time). For example, more than 4 GB will be consumed by *The Agent at the start.
    A good CPU, at least for me, is the most needed piece of hardware. I don’t know what I need, but I have an AMD Athlon 64x Dual Core 5200+ (Single Thread by core, 64 bits) with 4 GB of RAM and an ASUS GT 640. I strongly suffer for overheating, I can’t reproduce 720p 60 fps or 1080p 30 fps in Firefox because it consumes 100% of CPU because there is no GPU Acceleration in YouTube or any player. This doesn’t happen in VLC, where I could play 2K 60 fps I think. GIMP Processing is suffering and Inkscape is a little bit choppy. Blender goes good modeling, say NO to any render.
    Sometimes I get out of memory. That’s not a significant issue, but it is completely limiting if you want to have Firefox and Inkscape open at the same time for a long time, or two any productivity apps at the same time.
    *Recommendations for me (someone who is at the edge):*
    – 8 GB RAM DDR3 (You should never suffer out-of-memory issues with normal usage on multitasking).
    – AMD Athlon 200GE (4 cores). This is good enough to run a 1080p 60 fps YouTube video without arriving 100% CPU usage.
    – AMD Ryzen 3 2200GE. With this, you even can apart dedicated graphics and save money.
    (I THINK…) With that configuration, you will be able to run all Blender, Inkscape, YouTube 2K, and High GIMP Processings without any issue in memory, choppiness, or lagging with just ~$ 300.
    Regarding the screen… Actually, a 1920 x 720 is a minimum these days. I’m not speaking of Tiling Windows, but a commodity to have all tools without any hiding and also a high quality to look at different export-dimensions.

  31. JUSTO GONZALEZ on February 17, 2021 at 10:41 pm

    I´m currently using a Ryzen 7 2700, 32 Gb of RAM and a GTX 1660Ti for animation, video editing and general graphic design (photoshop and some Illustrator, and learning inkscape here) also, I use it for some 3D modeling in blender as I´m poor to get a license for Cinema 4D which is the one that I used to use a lot when I worked on TV as editor and motion graphics

  32. Shashank Mutgi on February 17, 2021 at 10:41 pm

    Good to know that my gaming PC which I assembled myself is an absolute overkill for my favourite pastime – designing logos.

  33. Be Memorable on February 17, 2021 at 10:42 pm

    I’m so glad I don’t use adobe. Having to buy a GPU for vector design is ridiculous. Also animation in After Effects? Oh no, all the cool kids do it in blender now.

  34. Galactic Vibes on February 17, 2021 at 10:43 pm

    How did you study illustrator and what courses you went for that please i want to know i am asking you only for educational purpose only.

  35. bert farry on February 17, 2021 at 10:44 pm

    On mac the graphics card helps

  36. Naiá Lusvarghi on February 17, 2021 at 10:46 pm

    I have an i3 3220, GA B75M, RX 550 with 2gb dedicated and 16gb DDR3 ram. I use all the software you mentioned, except for Blender, and they all run just fine.

  37. bert farry on February 17, 2021 at 10:46 pm

    Motile m10 16 gigs ram vaga graphics 2 gigs shared mem photoshop cs3 runs fine so does illustrator and indesign, of course the affinity ones run great

  38. Becky Lawson on February 17, 2021 at 10:47 pm

    I’m using a Dell Inspiron 15-5558 laptop, running Linux Mint 19.3. It’s maxed out with 16 GB ram and a 500 GB SSD.
    While I will be learning graphic design through YouTube, It will only be for book covers and teasers (I’m also an author). So GIMP and Inkscape will work for me.

  39. Johana Georges on February 17, 2021 at 10:47 pm

    Good job my brother

  40. Khaliyah on February 17, 2021 at 10:47 pm

    I have the MacBook Pro 13”
    i7 quad-core / 16GB RAM / 512GB SSD
    Jumped on the Macintosh bandwagon just because I like the operative system but I’ve also switched to Affinity and ditched my previous Windows ASUS gaming laptop with Photoshop.
    What about you?

  41. Drawphilic on February 17, 2021 at 10:48 pm

    Is 2gb graphic card with 8 GB ram is okay?

  42. Pablo Antonio Lillo Cea on February 17, 2021 at 10:48 pm

    I absolutely love your channel. Thanks!

  43. Nitin Arora on February 17, 2021 at 10:49 pm

    can we go for 4gb gpu and r5 1600 with 8 gb ram

  44. Stone Berglund on February 17, 2021 at 10:50 pm

    I really could’ve used actual part recommendations rather than just reading the spec pages which aren’t helpful at all…

  45. Auna Breslin gaming on February 17, 2021 at 10:57 pm

    reading spec sheets that are more than 10 years old in some/most cases mmmmm _Smart_ Like… you’re gonna get an accurate recommendation from "Core 2 Duo Or Newer" …rule of thumb if you see these.. look for more info generally given by the community that uses it e.g tarren from LTT (forms)

  46. Alsahim Raz on February 17, 2021 at 10:59 pm

    Good job

  47. Don 1 Design CEO on February 17, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    I use CorelDRAW
    I am using a 2018 Lenovo ThinkCentre M92P SFF

  48. P W on February 17, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    I’m on a six year old i5 3GHz, with 8GB, a GTX 1660 Super (6GB). Not had any issues with Photoshop, Inkscape, various games with differing requirements, all of which run flawlessly in ultra. Nine times out of ten, I suspect the software companies are given bonuses from various chip companies for over quoting requirements. My laptop, on the other hand, is an i7 12 core, with 32GB and a really crappy built in GFX card and it has real problems with most games … MineSweeper’s a bitch!

  49. Mel Feliciano on February 17, 2021 at 11:02 pm

    I have never heard of VRAM on computer displays, only on graphics cards.

  50. Rikardo Rvszo on February 17, 2021 at 11:03 pm

    Lol I perfom a good with first generation i5 4GB RAM 1TB storage working with Corel X6 and PS 2020
    No complains