Digital design has come a long way. With the mass adoption of lush 3D immersive online worlds and brilliant CGI-driven films of the consumer world, we’ve entered a new era of design. As a result, innovative design tools are a crucial part of the equation.
2D, 3D, and development needs are driving the surge of this technology. Whether you’re designing 2D memes or creating full-blown immersive environments, there are a ton of design tools from which you can choose. But what exactly is a design computer? What should a designer (from amateur to professional) look for in a design computer? How do design computers differ from regular computers?
This article aims to clarify what a design computer is and point designers in the direction of a solution that’s right for them.
When we discuss “design” as a concept, what we’re really referring to is the creation of assets by 2D designers, 3D designers, web developers, artists, graphic designers, animators, and the like. A “design computer” is essentially any computer on which any of the previously mentioned designers create their work. While any computer can serve as a design computer, there are a few capabilities and functions that need to be present for the optimization of pure design performance.
There are many options for 2D, 3D, and development design needs and for this article, we’ll focus on design under these criteria. Some designers prefer desktops while others prefer laptops. The top-performing design machines require powerful hardware. When designers look for the right computer for the job, they consider the processor power (CPU), graphics card, RAM, disk storage, and the display. With a properly powered design computer, the designer will have a speedy machine, high-quality graphics, plenty of storage, and a display that offers a true-to-life design.
Why do design computers need powerful hardware? The most intensive designing requires a lot of resources from a computer. Running the most advanced 3D design programs requires the most advanced computers. But not everyone needs this much power. It’s important to consider, as a designer, how much computing power you really need, what kind of design work you’ll be doing, and how your current specifications will hold up against the future of designing demands.
Every designer needs a fast machine, a seamless workflow, the ability to multitask, and plenty of storage for large files. But what do the most demanding designers need out of their machines? Here’s what to consider when you’re looking for the best design-focused computer or trying to better understand design computing differentiators.
Processor power (CPU): This is the primary consideration for how powerful your design computer will end up being. To run everything smoothly (and this part cannot be understated), you’ll need a CPU that runs at least 1Ghz. However, the faster, the better. How much faster will depend on what programs designers will be running.
Graphics card: Designers require the highest quality graphics cards to handle the demands of their work. As a designer, you’ll find yourself rendering animations, editing huge video files, and more. The graphics card is an important consideration to help you handle the graphically intensive work that a designer finds themselves immersed in.
RAM: To multitask effectively, you’ll need to think seriously about how much RAM you have. This is especially important if you’re running multiple programs all demanding lots of resources. Luckily, this metric is easily upgradeable and is often one of the first things that computer enthusiasts look at upgrading to increase performance. Upgrading RAM will also deliver a performance upgrade more effectively than adding a faster processor, given that you’re already at a certain CPU speed. 8Gb of RAM is the bare minimum for doing heavy design work while 16 or 32Gb RAM will handle even the most complex designing tasks.
Disk storage: Today’s design files are massive. With many designers working on present and future projects while keeping past project files within arm’s length, the storage burden often measures in multiple terabytes. As with RAM, more is better. But raw storage is not everything. There are two types of hard drives: Hard Disk Drives (HDD) and Solid State Drives (SSD). SSDs are faster but HDDs are cheaper when comparing between two options with the same storage capacity. Designers need to take into consideration what’s more important for their design computer: price or speed?
Display: Because the monitor is your visual window into your creative design world, this is an important consideration. For anyone looking for the best design tool, what you want to seek out is the biggest, highest resolution, and most color-accurate monitor you can afford. It’s imperative that what a designer creates is true to how it will look at its end destination. So in addition to getting the biggest monitor so you can work in intense detail, color accuracy is important. Designers should look for a computer display that features In-Plane Switching (IPS) to ensure vivid, true-to-life color reproduction.
It’s up to the designer whether you want a desktop or a laptop. What are the benefits of a laptop for design? It’s simple. If you plan on remaining mobile while you design, stick to a laptop. These will offer the mobility you desire while getting close enough to the design capabilities of a less mobile desktop.
What are the benefits of a desktop for design? With desktops, it comes down to function and power. Go with a desktop if you demand the most power you can possibly get. Desktop design computers are perfect for working in an office or studio.
To address blossoming design demands, Acer has released the ConceptD line of products.
What is ConceptD? It’s Acer’s novel approach to computing that overcomes the barriers between people and technology and enables creators to unleash their full potential. Acer’s ConceptD product line is computing with design at the forefront of it. All ConceptD devices are created to power the finest creative work, whether that’s graphic rendering, web design, video editing, or product rendering.
For 2D designers, ConceptD devices provide a combination of features that help professionals see on the screen what will be reproduced in print.
For 3D designers, ConceptD devices contain the hardware needed for designs that are becoming more complex, visual effects that are growing in size, complexity, and scope, and the seemingly limitless power demands required to produce something amazing today.
ConceptD devices, with their powerful processors, specific GPUs, and large amounts of memory and storage, have been designed to rise to and exceed the demands many developers have.
In May of 2022, Acer hosted its annual Global Press Conference and further cemented its role as an innovator in the design space with the announcement of its plans and new product launches to come in the future.
Complete with powerful hardware, eye-tracking cameras, AI technology, and a beautiful 15.6” screen, the ConceptD 7 SpatialLabs Edition laptop allows visual artists and engineers to get early previews of their work without needing to render and empowers 3D animators, developers, CAD designers, and more with the ability to see their projects come to life.
The attractive and stylish ConceptD 500 desktop computer delivers reliable computing performance for all your creative projects so you can handle any complex design project.
The ConceptD 7 Ezel & ConceptD 7 Ezel Pro laptops are one-stop high-performance laptops for all your creative needs. Equipped with the patented Ezel™ Hinge, Intel processor, NVIDIA® graphics, and PANTONE® Validated 4K UHD display, these laptops were made for designers who need the speed and responsiveness of a desktop in a highly portable format to demonstrate and correct their creations in real-time.
About Alex Clark: Alex is a contributing writer for Acer. Alex is a Texas-based writer and B2B email marketing strategist specializing in helping technology brands connect to their customers. He has lived all over Asia and has consulted with business clients in numerous industries to grow their brands.