The name Adobe Illustrator is one of the most wanted choices for those who are mainly interested in graphics designing, no matter what the kind. This article would provide one with the best desktops that you can use for designing on Adobe Illustrator.
In This Article
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements for Adobe Illustrator
The official website suggests for running Adobe Illustrator your PC must have a multi-core Intel or AMD CPU (either with 64-bit support), 8 GB of RAM, and a minimum of 2 GB free space in the storage drive.
These requirements are mostly similar to the requirements for running any 64-bit Mac OS on Apple’s products.
But if you are intended to experience better graphical performance, then it is good to have a powerful GPU in the system.
When you are going to purchase any PC, then considering only the system requirements for Adobe Illustrator will not be a good decision because you will not use only one software on the PC.
For the best general usage, you can consider the above-mentioned references.
Minimum System Requirements: AMD Ryzen 5 3400G | 8GB RAM | AMD Radeon RX Vega 11 graphics | 512GB SSD.
5 Best Desktops for Adobe Illustrator:
1. Asus ROG Strix GL10DH – Best Overall
Bottom Line: The ROG Strix GL10DH works well with Adobe Illustrator or any such software dedicated to graphics designing for that matter. And the touch of RGB on the chassis makes it a match for any creative user.
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- RAM: 16 GB
- Storage: 512 GB SSD
- Sleek and compact design
- Impressive specs
- Good cooling
- Upgrading SSD storage could be a problem
- A bigger storage drive would have been better
- Wi-Fi 6 is not present by-default
One of the best desktops here that provide you with a balanced power and price tag is the Asus ROG Strix GL10DH.
This is a customized offering from the brand, and being so is one of the very few options like this.
ROG gaming laptops are quite popular, and we assure you that this desktop here won’t disappoint you at all.
The specs for this desktop include a Ryzen 7 3700X CPU, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU, 16 GB of RAM, and a 512 GB SSD.
The PC has got enough RAM and fast SSD storage for you to work comfortably.
The case used has a strip of RGB lighting on the outside and a glass panel that shows off the lighting inside.
This is why the PC in no way looks dull. On top of this, there is an efficient cooling mechanism that makes sure the desktop can take on workload without slowing down.
Now there are other PCs that you’d find with similar specs, but very few are available at this price tag unless you build one.
2. Microsoft Surface Studio 2 – Runner up
Bottom Line: The Microsoft Surface Studio 2 is an excellent choice for Adobe Illustrator due to the convenience it provides. Plug it in, grab a stylus and you are good to go!
- Processor: Intel Core i7
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
- OS: Windows 10 Pro
- RAM: 32 GB
- Storage: 1 TB SSD
- Excellent display quality
- Touch capabilities and convenience while working
- Ample RAM
- Limited upgradability
- Quite Expensive
- Heating issues under heavy workload
The iMac might possess elegance and performance, but even then it has its drawbacks. One of the things it misses is a touch-screen option, and for that, we have included the Microsoft Surface Studio 2.
It also comes with a studio mode in which you can tilt it back to the point that it almost lays flat on the table.
This is truly the most exceptional device on this list because of such features.
The variant we have here has got an Intel Core i7 CPU, 32 GB of RAM, and a 1 TB SSD for storage.
The graphical elements are handled well by an NVIDIA GTX 1070 GPU installed in it already.
Although launched quite some time ago, this 8 GB video card still has some value now.
And it provides ample power for you to run a lot of different software, other than Adobe illustrator.
The Surface Studio can be used for intricate designing purposes, as it can handle the relevant software smoothly.
Your productivity would be largely boosted with the use of the touch-screen display, and as we said you may also tilt it to adjust the viewing angle.
Overall, apart from the lack of upgradability and a bit expensive price, this PC should be one to consider if you are looking for the best desktop for Adobe Illustrator.
3. Dell XPS 8930 Desktop – More Than Just Any Other Tower Desktop
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a minimalist and subtle desktop to get the work done on Adobe Illustrator and other designing applications, then you must consider the XPS 8930.
- Processor: Intel Core i5-9400
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660
- OS: Windows 10
- RAM: 16GB
- Storage: 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD and 1 TB HDD
- Decent performance
- Easily upgradeable
- Does not support hyper-threading
- Accessories could have been better
The next desktop in this list has multiple uses and should be affordable for large audiences.
The Dell XPS 8930 desktop comes packed with power and features in a professional casing; especially for those of you who cannot use fancy cases or don’t like RGB.
The 9th gen Intel Core i5 CPU present in the PC operates at a speed of 2.9 GHz but can be boosted to 4.1 GHz for better performance.
It may not support hyper-threading, but the potential of the PC is by no means less.
The PC has got both a smaller, quicker SSD for storing the system files and a larger hard drive for the other things that do not require much speed.
You can work on your projects in Adobe Illustrator without worrying about space, with quick responses from the system.
The PC is fully upgradable, and you can make those at your convenience.
This one would last for years and help you for various purposes, given that you make those upgrades.
There are many reasons why it is here, and you should find it very useful too.
4. Apple iMac – Premium Experience at a Not So Premium Price
Bottom Line: The recent launch of the M1 compatible version of the Adobe Illustrator makes the 24-inch iMacs most eligible for graphics designing purposes. Not just performance, the entirety of this machine is made to impress.
- Processor: 8 core M1 Silicon CPU
- Graphics: 8 core M1 Silicon GPU
- OS: Mac OS
- RAM: 8 GB
- Storage: 512 GB
- Robust performance
- Excellent Display
- Impressive connectivity
- Scarcity of ports in the lower-priced variants
- Limited upgradability
- Small internal storage in this variant
After the Mac Minis and the MacBooks, the iMacs with Apple’s M1 chip are here.
And we must say, it seems to tick all the right boxes, be it looks, design, performance, connectivity, and more importantly the pricing.
While these newer ones retain the characteristics of the older iMac design, there are a few important changes.
To name a few, the bezels on either side of the 23.5-inch screen are now thinner, and a 1080p webcam has been provided.
For graphics designers that want to use Adobe Illustrator, Apple iMac is an excellent choice too.
This variant has got the M1 chip, along with the 8-core GPU, 8 GB of unified memory, and 512 GB of SSD storage.
The software now has a version dedicated to the M1 systems, and it is claimed to run multiple times faster.
And while the exact numbers may not be true, you can expect better performance than any other AIO, and even most older iMacs themselves.
And not just graphic designers, the overall design makes it a very suitable desktop for any creative professional, and it already has the performance to back it up.
5. HP Pavilion TP01 Desktop – Ideal for a Beginner
Bottom Line: At a quite pocket-friendly price tag is this Ryzen powered HP Pavilion desktop that you can choose for Illustrator. If you need better graphics, then you may add a dedicated GPU as well in the future for better performance.
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 3400G
- Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 11
- OS: Windows 10
- RAM: 12 GB
- Storage: 512 GB SSD
- Sleek design
- Good entry-level performance overall
- Decent Upgradability
- Integrated graphics is not meant for graphics-intensive tasks
- PSU is of a very small capacity
- Mid-range performance only
The most pocket-friendly machine that you would find here is the Pavilion desktop from HP.
The specs it has would be ideal if you are a beginner, or only have entry-level designing to do.
The chassis comes in silver color and is compact making sure your desk is never short on space.
The desktop is not run by a CPU, and rather an APU, as AMD has named them so.
The quad-core Ryzen 5 3400G processor has the Radeon Vega 11 graphics present onboard, and both the CPU and GPU share the 12 GB of RAM available.
Even though there isn’t a separate video memory, the PC works just fine.
The graphics performance is not as good as a dedicated GPU would provide, but HP Pavilion TP01 is good enough for simple designing operations on Illustrator.
You can upgrade the GPU, but only after upgrading the 180W power supply.
The RAM can be upgraded to 32 GB and you may also add another hard drive or an SSD to increase the storage space. It is thus fairly upgradeable.
Now for a price tag and configuration like this, the PC has obvious limitations.
But there are advantages to buying it too, and the most prominent among them are the good connectivity and upgradability.
How to Choose a Best Desktop for Adobe Illustrator?
At the end of our collection, we have included this buyer’s guide too that is aimed to guide your way when you buy some other PC for the said purpose or build one.
Many features can be useful for a designer, and we have talked about each of them so that things are made very simple for our readers.
The very purpose of this buyer’s guide is to summarize the things you should know when choosing a desktop for the given purpose.
One thing that you must know prior is what sort of work would you be doing on it.
Also, whether the PC would be used for different tasks, say gaming, other than illustrating purposes.
Adobe Illustrator itself has very nominal requirements, any modern CPU, a decent GPU, some solid amount of RAM is all that you need as per the official recommendations.
But a designer, depending on his experience and expertise in the profession, requires much better specifications than that.
As far as hardware specifications are concerned, you are going to get all the help that is needed from here.
The requirements one has for graphics designing purposes as a whole or just to run Adobe’s Illustrator software, this guide covers most of it.
We have talked about a few of the additional things too, so make sure you read this guide till the end.
Is a Touchscreen Desktop Worth It?
Depending on how you intend to use the PC, a touch screen desktop has some benefits of its own. In this case, too, there are a few of such that could prove useful to you.
For example, using a stylus while drawing or marking is much more convenient than doing so with a mouse.
But a touch-screen desktop is often an All-in-One desktop, and if you are a budget buyer then things get more difficult.
You would hardly find a touch screen option in a lower budget range that would also be powerful enough.
In a trade-off between performance and touch display, the second one is better sacrificed, at least if Illustrator is your primary software.
If you specifically need to use a stylus and are also on a budget, using a laptop or a convertible for that matter would be better.
How good is an AIO for Adobe Illustrator?
As long as the AIO is rightly priced and has decent performance, you can use it.
Many powerful desktops, like the most popular iMacs, are AIOs, so you know that with the right expense, finding a good AIO to run Illustrator is not all that difficult.
There are AIOs that come with peripherals, and nice ones too.
If you think of that way, with some more expense you get everything you need for using the PC, along with the added usefulness of an All-in-One desktop.
That can be better cable management, lesser space requirement, and so on.
However, things like upgradability and average graphics remain to be a concern. Also, it isn’t always convenient for the usual buyer to afford a pricey AIO desktop.
You might expect that software like Adobe Illustrator would need multiple cores on the processor for you to work on it. But that is not so, and in reality, it is just the opposite.
Illustrator is one of those applications that require only a single core, and the performance of each core singularly is thus more important than all of them combined.
This is why you must choose a processor that has got a good single-core performance, and thus any decent AMD or Intel CPU would do.
A quad-core CPU would be sufficient for most, but you can also go for a Hexa or an octa-core CPU.
This would ensure that you get smooth and fast renderings, and the system would not slow down even under the workload.
But if only one core is needed for Illustrator, what’s the point of spending so much extra for more cores?
The answer to this is multitasking. It is natural that while working on Illustrator, you would also be running other software in the background.
That is only possible when there are enough cores present.
There is another thing that directly requires CPU performance, and that is rasterization.
What it means is the portrayal of the contents on the monitor of your PC, after changing it into a raster format from the vector format.
Modern monitors use pixels to show this content, and rasterization is also used in printers. GPU rasterization is also possible, but CPUs are better equipped to do it.
If you are a web designer or blogger, then you might also have to work with videos, and high-quality video rendering requires multiple cores.
Or if you are a student, then software like AutoCAD or such would also need multi-core performance.
Hence, the type of your usage would define the number of cores that you need on the processor, and how costly it would be.
The next most important thing that Illustrator requires is a good GPU, but this doesn’t mean that you have to buy the most expensive options available.
A large part of the graphics requirement depends on the type of work you do, and those who work on simple projects can make do with an entry-level GPU or even integrated graphics.
A PC that has any modern GPU should be able to run the software smoothly. Illustrator is not extremely GPU intensive, and for nominal work, you should not have to worry about having a special GPU.
For the majority, a GPU with 2-4 GB of VRAM should be more than sufficient.
But 3D renderings and other complex processing would use up a lot of the video memory available. While RTX capabilities are not needed in this instance, you could always use some extra Video memory.
Hence, those with 6-8 GB of VRAM like NVIDIA’s GTX 1660 Ti, RTX 3070, and AMD’s Radeon 5700 XT, etc, would be the best performers.
The benefit of having a good GPU is large because it can speed up graphics rendering, and the overall experience is smooth. Even if your GPU does not support Illustrator, it would just be disabled.
In that case, the integrated graphics would step in. But the chances of that happening with any current GPU is next to none.
If you are interested in using a dedicated GPU, make sure that the latest GPU drivers are installed on the PC. Also, OpenGL 4.0 and greater should be supported by the desktop.
This is a very important aspect that all sorts of designers must tend to. Illustrator is available in two formats, one in the 32bit and the other in the 64 bit.
For the first one, a minimum of 1 GB of free RAM is necessary, so using at least 8 GB of it would be preferred.
For those of you who would be using the 64-bit version, you’d have to keep a minimum of 2 GB of free RAM. Hence, it would be best if you have 16 GB of RAM installed in the system.
The reason Illustrator requires so much RAM is that even though the use of GPU in it has increased over the years, the software is still largely CPU intensive.
There are certain cases where the Video memory is insufficient, and hence the system memory is used up.
Also, things like rasterization require both the CPU and RAM and thus arises the need for more RAM.
The RAM frequency, or how many modules you use are not very significant here.
As long as the average frequency for DDR4 RAM is maintained, the rest is at your discretion and convenience.
For storage, an SSD would always be preferred over a sluggish hard drive.
But the price per GB of space on these is not the most budget-friendly, and so for an average buyer, a hard drive is inseparable.
You can use external ones too, and bulk storage would be required over the years anyway.
For Windows, Illustrator requires at least 2 GB of space while installation, and some more additionally after the installation is finished.
Based on the size of other software and files you have stored on your desktop you can make storage arrangements accordingly.
And yes, along with the right hardware, what’s also necessary is the right connectivity features.
While any desktop today has all the necessary USB ports that one needs, make sure to look out for USB Type-C ports.
Those can be very useful while importing files from other devices, so that you may work on Illustrator.
Another type is the Thunderbolt ones, and they are already present in an Apple desktop. Windows PCs also have these but are extremely rare.
What’s most important is that you have an internet connection and an Ethernet port for the same.
If you rely on Wireless connectivity more, then you might want to have the latest WIFI 6 that offers much better bandwidth than its predecessor.
Along with this, you’d also need Bluetooth, and it would be better if the PC already has adapters for these installed.
To use Adobe Illustrator and design graphics therein, merely a machine to run it would not be enough. You are also going to need a display that can display the results.
Serious editors are going to need color accuracy and things like that, but not all of you need to be bothered by those.
You might as well invest in better monitors if you want to, like the QHD or 4K ones but those would be slightly costly. But having a better resolution on the monitor is an advantage when dealing with high-quality designs and logos.
The main peripherals to complete your desktop include the mouse, keyboard, and a stylus (if you are using a touchscreen desktop).
The mouse must be accurate and of the right size as per your palm, as you are going to need precision while drawing or marking.
Intricate and minute designs on Illustrator are going to need the most accuracy, and that would not be possible without decent peripherals.
If graphics designing is your profession, you are also going to need a decent photo printer to supply your clients with their orders.
Nothing special here and those all-in-one printers with added functionalities are also not going to be of much use.
You can look for some older ones rather, as those are dedicated to printing pictures.
Questions & Answers:
Do graphic designers use a PC or Mac?
The choice of the Operating System for any graphic designer is more of personal discretion. Some prefer Windows, while others are more comfortable with the Mac. As for Illustrator, it runs on both.
Each has its advantages and drawbacks, and so you can choose either depending on your budget and preferences.
Is 16GB RAM enough for Illustrator?
Yes, for the average Illustrator user 16 GB of RAM is good enough. Your computer should be able to handle a great deal of workload with it, though you might be able to make do with even lower than that.
Although, for the most intensive usage or multi-tasking, some professionals use 32 GB of RAM as well.
Being a designer no matter what rank, you would always want to choose the best deal that you get. The tasks on Adobe Illustrator may not require high specs initially, but over the years as the designs get complex the need for a good PC would be imminent.
We hope that the article was able to provide you with all the relevant info that you were looking for.