Choosing a Mini PC for Graphic Design: Essential Features for Creatives

A mini PC for graphic design should fit the spatial constraints of your workspace. It also needs to pack a punch in terms of performance. Graphic designers need a system that can seamlessly run powerful design software.

mini pc for graphics design

Mini PCs have become increasingly popular among graphic designers due the power they can deliver. Balancing the processing capabilities with the hardware’s physical size. Memory, processor speed, graphics capabilities, and storage options are all critical factors. These are the factors that influence the performance of design software. Thus, they influence the workflow efficiency of a graphic designer.

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Affiliate, I may receive a commission from our purchases. It will not affect the price but helps to support this site.

Key Takeaways:

  • Mini PCs offer a powerful, space-saving solution for graphic designers’ computing needs.
  • The specification of a mini PC is crucial, including memory, processor speed, and graphics capabilities.
  • Choosing the right mini PC can significantly enhance a graphic designer’s workflow efficiency.

Why Mini PCs are Ideal for Graphics Designers

Mini PCs offer an optimal solution for graphics designers. They offer a blend of performance, portability, and affordability. These compact systems efficiently meet the demands of graphic design workflows.

Mini PCs are Portable

With their diminutive size and lightweight construction, mini PCs are exceptionally portable. This enables designers to easily transport their workstations. These devices are capable of fitting in a backpack or briefcase. This allows for a versatile working environment, be it in the office or on the go.

Mini PCs Can Handle Demanding Graphics Design Software

Despite their small stature, many mini PCs pack quite the punch. They house powerful processors and sufficient RAM to run graphics design software smoothly. Practices like video editing and animation require robust hardware. These can be found in selections like the KAMRUI AK2 Plus Mini PC or the Beelink Mini PC.

Mini PCs are Cost-Effective and Space Saving

Mini PCs tend to be more affordable than their full-sized counterparts. They also conserve valuable workspace. They don’t sacrifice performance for projects involving UX/UI design or the creation of complex graphics. Thus, illustrating their cost-effectiveness. Mini PCs like the Minisforum Venus UM690 Pro demonstrate that saving space does not mean compromising on quality or productivity.

Essential Software For a Mini PC for Graphic Design

Choosing the right software is crucial for a graphic designer. It ensures efficiency and a high-quality output that meets industry standards.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud Subscription

When selecting a mini PC for graphic design, it’s essential to consider the software requirements to ensure optimal performance and efficiency.

Adobe Creative Cloud is a very popular suite for graphic designers. It offers a range of powerful applications tailored to meet diverse creative needs. Photoshop, is ideal for editing raster graphics with precision and depth. Illustrator complements this by providing robust tools for creating scalable vector artwork. This is an essential feature for logos and branding materials.

For those working on publications or digital media, InDesign offers specialized features for sophisticated page layout and design.

Adobe Creative Cloud is considered an industry standard for design professionals. Ensure your mini PC can handle the suite’s demands. From my own research, this appear to be for a combination of Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign:

  • 16 GB RAM recommended, 8GB RAM minimum
  • Most any 64-bit processor (so an i5 or better)
  • Newer GPUs, at least 1 GB VRAM, 1.5 GB is better
  • 100 GB storage, at least 20 GB for photoshop

This setup will not only streamline your workflow but also enhance your creative output, allowing you to tackle any design challenge with confidence.


CorelDRAW Suite

Choosing a mini PC for graphic design also demands considering alternative software like CorelDRAW. This is a good option for vector graphic editing and design. Known for its comprehensive features, CorelDRAW caters to a wide spectrum of users, from beginners to seasoned professionals. The software is celebrated for its robust toolset. This toolset enables the creation of detailed, high-quality vector graphics. Its interface is designed to be intuitive. Thus, simplifying complex workflows and making intricate design tasks more accessible.

CorelDRAW’s appeal lies in its versatility and user-friendly environment. This can significantly influence the choice of hardware. For optimal performance with CorelDRAW on a mini PC you should have a minimum of the following:

  • A 64 bit CPU at least an i5 or equilvalent
  • At least 8GB RAM
  • A GPU with at least 3GB VRAM
  • At least 5.5 GB storage for installation; obviously a lot more storage to store the graphics you create

focus on systems with strong CPU performance and sufficient RAM to handle the software’s demands. Graphics capabilities should also be prioritized to ensure smooth rendering of designs and efficient processing of CorelDRAW’s advanced features. Selecting a mini PC that meets these specifications will ensure that designers can leverage CorelDRAW’s full potential to produce exceptional visual content efficiently.

Other Software For Digital Artists

There are other significant applications tailored for digital artists. Adobe Fresco is favored for its natural painting experience.

Adobe Fresco is designed specifically for digital artists and illustrators who use touch and stylus inputs to create raster and vector artwork. The software is optimized for intuitive use and incorporates sophisticated brush features that mimic traditional media with a digital twist.

Given the artistic focus of Adobe Fresco, a mini PC should be equipped with a high-resolution display to accurately represent colors and details, and support for touch or stylus input to take full advantage of Fresco’s interface. Performance-wise, a powerful CPU and a capable GPU are important for handling Fresco’s dynamic brushes and large canvases without lag. Additionally, ample RAM is necessary to manage multiple layers and high-resolution files effectively.

  • Windows 11 version 22000 or later / Windows 10 version 1903 or later
  • 8GB of RAM
  • 5GB of available disk space
  • 3GB required to install and run
  • Internet connection and registration for software activation and online services
  • Supported GPUs: Nvidia GeForce 900 /Titan series, GeForce 10 series, GeForce 16 series

Choosing a mini PC with these specifications will ensure that digital artists can use Adobe Fresco to its fullest, benefiting from its unique features for creating digital paintings and illustrations. This setup will enhance the creative process, providing a seamless and responsive experience that is crucial for artists working in digital mediums.

Clip Studio Paint is a popular choice for illustrators and comic artists due to its strong focus on drawing and painting features. Clip Studio Paint is a favored tool among illustrators and comic artists, known for its superior brush engine and extensive features supporting both raster and vector graphics. The software also offers advanced layering and 3D modeling tools, which are essential for detailed artwork creation.

To optimally run Clip Studio Paint, a mini PC should have a robust processor and a discrete graphics card to handle intensive graphic tasks and renderings swiftly. Sufficient RAM is also vital, ideally 16GB or more, to support the software’s multitasking capabilities and complex file management. Additionally, Clip Studio Paint benefits significantly from a high-resolution display to accurately visualize fine details and color nuances, enhancing the overall design accuracy.

  • Windows 10 or 11
  • Intel and AMD CPUs with SSE2 support
  • GPU with support for OpenGL 2.1 (which is almost everything made after 2020)
  • At least 3GB of free storage space

Ensuring that your mini PC meets these specifications will allow you to maximize the capabilities of Clip Studio Paint, providing a seamless experience when creating digital art and professional illustrations. This will enable artists to fully exploit the software’s detailed brush system and other creative features without performance constraints.

Essential Specifications for Graphic Design PCs

Certain hardware specifications are non-negotiable for smooth and efficient performance. One should prioritize processor capabilities, memory, storage, graphics, and connectivity features.

Processor Performance

The processor, or CPU, is the heart of any graphic design PC. For instance, vector graphics programs demand a robust CPU for seamless operation. At a minimum, designers should look for models featuring Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 processors. The higher-end Intel Core i9 or AMD Ryzen 9 CPUs are recommended for their superior multitasking and quick rendering abilities.

Memory and Storage Options

Graphic design professionals require substantial memory and storage. It is advisable to have at least 16GB of RAM for multitasking. For storage, combine a fast Solid-State Drive (SSD) for the operating system and frequently used applications, with a large capacity Hard Disk Drive (HDD) for archives. This provides both speed and space. Models with 512GB SSD and 1TB HDD are common selections.

Graphics Processing Unit

The Graphics Processing Unit, or GPU, is critical for rendering images and videos. A dedicated graphics card, such as NVIDIA GTX or RTX series, should be considered indispensable for demanding tasks. For detailed graphic work, mini PCs that include dedicated GPUs. This offers the necessary visual fidelity that graphic design entails.

Display Connectivity

Finally, the ability to connect to high-resolution displays is essential for a graphic designer. Mini PCs should feature a variety of ports. These ports include HDMI, DisplayPort, and Thunderbolt/USB-C.

This allows them to support multiple monitors and 4K resolution. Thus, providing ample workspace and crystal-clear visuals.

Recommendations for Mini PCs for Graphics Design

Choosing the right Mini PC for graphic design requires a thoughtful balance of performance, price, and specific functionalities tailored to different design tasks.

Pick for Budget PC For Graphics Design – Beelink S12 Pro

Beelink S12 Mini PC

For those prioritizing budget without significantly compromising performance, the Beelink S12 Pro is a cost-effective option. It’s equipped with a capable processor and sufficient memory to handle entry-level graphic design tasks. This mini pc comes in with an N100 processor, 8 GB RAM and 256 GB of Storage. The graphics are good for dual 4K@60 Hz displays, which is not great for high end but good for starters.

Pick For Mini PC for Digital Art Creation – Minisforum UM690S

Minisforum UM690S Mini PC for Gaming

Artists venturing into digital art creation will find the Minisforum UM690S to be a robust contender. Its graphics capabilities enable the smooth handling of intricate digital art projects. It has the speed, and the graphics to handle triple displays, including one at 8K.

It has the fast memory for almost any application with 32 GB of DDR5 (the latest technology) memory. This particular model has a 1TB SSD which should be more than adequate for many projects. However, there are variations where you can increase memory to 64GB and disk to 512GB. You can also buy a barebones unit and install storage and memory yourself.

Pick For Mini PC for Video Editing – GMKTec Mini PC AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS

GMKTec Ryzen 9

Video editors looking for a compact powerhouse can turn to the GMKTec Mini Gaming PC AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS. Its high-end CPU and GPU are optimized for demanding video editing software and rendering tasks. This has most of the same features as the Minisforum UM690S, but comes with a larger 2 TB drive and a little faster memory. That combination makes it better for video editing.

Pick For Mini PC for Client Presentations – Beelink SER5 Mini PC

Beelink SER5 Mini PC

The Beelink SER5 Mini PC stands out for client presentations. It offers impressive display outputs and the reliability needed for high-stakes meetings. It’s not as powerful as the GMKTec Mini or the Minisforum UM690S, though it does have more (and less) expensive options. The one we are recommending for this application is the mid-range Ryzen 7 with 16 GB RAM and 1 TB of storage.

This unit is small at about 4″x4.5″ x1.65″ and it weighs a little over 2 pounds. But it still supports three displays. Unlike the other two we just mentioned, the faster display is 4K@120Hz instead of 8K. If that is a problem, then spend the extra money on the Minisforum UM690S.

Pick For Portable Mini PC for Graphics Designers – GMKtec Mini PC Windows 11 Pro Intel N5105

GMKtec n5105 Mini PC

Graphic designers requiring portability may opt for the GMKtec Mini PC Windows 11 Pro Intel N5105. Compact and light, it is ideal for designers on the move, ensuring they can work from any location. This thing is… tiny! The graphics aren’t powerful. It only has 8 GB of RAM and is light on storage (but you can add up to a 512 GB SD card for a few dollars). Even so, it still handles dual 4K@60Hz displays. It’s not anywhere near as powerful as the others. But it can still work with a lot of the graphics applications. With a price close to $100, you can throw a portable monitor in your backpack and work anywhere there is power without straining your back or your wallet!

Pick For 3D Design and Rendering – MINISFORUM Venus UM790 Pro Mini PC AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS

Minisforum UM790

For 3D design and rendering, the MINISFORUM Venus UM790 Pro Mini PC AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS emerges as the top choice. Its potent processing power is geared towards handling resource-intensive 3D software with ease. The model we are recommending comes with 64 GB of fast memory, 1 TB of storage and a Radeon 780M graphics card. This combination allows it to handle up to 4 screens, 2 of which are 8K. This graphics power gives you what you need for most any task, including 3D or Video Rendering.

How Can a Mini PC fit into your Workflow?

Selecting a mini PC for graphic design tasks requires understanding how it aligns with specific professional needs and workflow efficiencies.

Advantages of using a mini pc for graphics design

  • Space Efficiency: The compact form factor allows more room for a clutter-free workspace. This is essential for a designer’s environment.
  • Portability: Easy to transport from office to home. It can fit into his lifestyle without the hassle of a bulky setup.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: There is a balance between performance and affordability.
  • Energy Consumption: Lower power requirements lead to reduced energy bills and a smaller carbon footprint. This is a detail not missed by the environmentally-conscious designer.
  • Versatility: A mini PC can adapt seamlessly to diverse graphic design applications. This is something that is valued for its broad project scope.
  • Silent Operation: Many models offer a silent work environment. This can be is crucial when concentrating on intricate designs.

By weighing these advantages, a designer can effectively integrate a mini PC into their creative workflow, ensuring productivity and performance are enhanced.

Questions? We Have Answers.

Get answers to a list of the most Frequently Asked Questions.

For professional graphic design, individuals should seek mini PCs with a high-performance CPU, substantial RAM (at least 16GB), and a solid-state drive for quick access to large files. Also, ample connectivity options for peripherals are a must.

Yes, a mini PC can handle graphic design software like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, provided it has a powerful processor, enough RAM, and a dedicated GPU to manage large files and complex operations.

A mini PC can rival a full-size desktop in performance with the right components. However, a desktop may offer better cooling and more potential for upgrades. Mini PCs are designed for space efficiency but can still pack formidable processing power for graphic design tasks.

For graphic designers on a budget, the KAMRUI AK2 Plus Mini PC stands out as an affordable option. It is important to balance cost with the essential features required for graphic design work.

The GPU is very important in a mini PC for graphic design as it accelerates rendering tasks, allowing for smoother performance when using design software, especially in 3D modeling and animation. A capable GPU is crucial for designers looking to work with high-resolution images and video.

Graphic design professionals often recommend mini PCs from reputable brands that offer reliability and performance, such as the Intel® NUC for Content Creation or models from MSI and HP that are tailored for productivity and multitasking.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *