The designer's guide to hardware

The engine room of the modern design studio is its hardware set-up. No matter how creative your ideas might be, you won’t be able to produce the work and deliver it to your clients without the necessary computing equipment. For smaller graphic design and digital studios, a modest Mac or PC set-up is, for most work, adequate. For video production and motion graphics work, you’ll need a slightly more beefy system, where solid state hard drives and dedicated graphics cards help stabilise and accelerate your workflow; while for 3D rendering and compositing, you’ll need a heavyweight system that packs a RAM and SSD heavy punch.  

What follows is an expert selection of the best hardware kit for a variety of creative outputs. From a print-only work flow, to heavyweight 3D compositing and rendering, we’ve selected and highlighted the cream of computing and creative hardware. These are all base models, however, and depending on your creative specialism, will benefit from add-ons and upgrades specific to your studio’s needs.

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Tom Dennis

Tom Dennis is a journalist, editor and content director with more than a decade’s experience working on international magazines, newspapers, and websites. While Tom is an expert on all things tech, having previously edited sister Future sites T3 and Computer Arts and picked up a PPA award for being a 'Digital Native', he still has a soft spot for the printed word. Tom has since moved into digital content marketing.