1st May 2024

What laptop spec do I need for graphic design?

Understanding what laptop specs you need for graphic design is crucial to ensuring your chosen device adequately meets your needs.

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to laptops for design, as your needs can range from having a device capable of running standard Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator programs to more advanced 3D modelling and video editing software.

Here, we’ll explore different laptop specifications so you can understand their purpose and confidently choose the right model for your design work.

Central Processing Unit (CPU)

The CPU is one of the crucial elements of any good laptop for graphic design.

This element is responsible for executing tasks and helping applications run smoothly.

For graphic design work, the best laptops come equipped with high-performance processors such as Apple’s M2 and M3 chips used in all new MacBooks.

These processors provide exceptional performance value and ensure your laptop can facilitate complex projects.

Random Access Memory (RAM)

RAM plays a vital role in allowing you to multitask and run all the applications you need for your workflow.

We always recommend you aim for a minimum of 16GB of RAM for any graphic design work to avoid bottlenecking your laptop after opening a handful of applications.

For Apple products that use a SoC chip and unified RAM technology, the RAM is closer to the CPU, which means you need less RAM as it does not have to travel as far and is more efficient.

This means that having a 16GB RAM MacBook Pro is more than sufficient for even complex design work, which is why Apple is often the brand of choice for creatives.

Graphics Card (GPU)

The GPU allows your laptop to quickly process and render graphics in motion.

The CPU is not built to handle much graphical computation, pushes it instead to the GPU, and whether you’re displaying graphics on your screen or working in a program, the GPU ensures everything processes efficiently.

We recommend designers look for laptops with dedicated graphics cards from AMD or NVIDIA with at least 4GB of VRAM (Video Random Access Memory) to ensure smooth performance when working on complex projects.

Apple’s custom-built M2 and M3 chips represent a significant jump in GPU performance, with its 8- and 10-core GPUs delivering significantly faster graphic performance than previous models with Intel processors.


Sufficient storage is another essential component in any good graphic design laptop for storing design files, software applications and important project assets.

You may have heard of traditional hard disk drives (HDD), which provide a good amount of storage space at low costs, but more modern design-focused laptops opt for solid state drives (SSD).

SSDs deliver much faster data access speeds and are more reliable, which is why Apple has chosen to use SSDs exclusively to align with its philosophy on performance and reliability.

We recommend opting for SSD-based laptops such as the Macbook Pro, which comes with a minimum of 512GB of storage to accommodate your design needs.

In need of a laptop for graphic design?

We hope this short guide has given you an idea of what laptop specs you need for graphic design and the different specs that are important to consider when choosing a laptop.

If you are considering leasing an Apple Macbook for your graphic design needs and would like to learn more about our range of Macbook Pro and Macbook Air models, don’t hesitate to get in touch today by calling us on 01952 876928, or you can fill in a contact form and a team member will get straight back to you.