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Best 'Windows' Laptop for Graphic Design?


#1
If you were going to invest in a Windows laptop for graphic design, what would it be?
(Something that is reliable, future-proof and with good performance)

Budget: Below £1000
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
#2
What are you looking to do? Video, large format, books?

I can post some links to computers tomorrow. But take a look at pc specialist.
 
#3
Primarily the usual branding, marketing and website work. However I may jump into After Effects to create basic animated GIFs, but nothing complex like a full-blown motion graphics sequence.
 

@GCarlD

Well-Known Member
#4
(Something that is reliable, future-proof and with good performance)
After growing up with and being primarily a Windows PC user prior to 2014, I learnt that this does not exist when it comes to Windows OS.

If you really want 'Something that is reliable, future-proof and with good performance' A Mac is what you need. If you are an everyday computer user, like I'm sure we all are, your Windows Laptop will start off fantastic, be super quick and work like a dream, but after the first year you will clearly notice it is no longer the super computer it once was.

I bought my first Mac 15 months (spent just over a grand) and honestly, it still works just like I bought it yesterday. The only reason I am not as impressed with it's speed and efficiency, is because I have caught up with it, and i'm now used to doing everything at speed.

Why does it have to be a Windows laptop? But PC specialist is a good shout if you know what you want and want to build something custom made.
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
#5
I'm going to say here something that is really controversial. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a PC.

I had an excellent PC in my last job and I was there for 9 years working on PCs. I am now working on a Mac and I've to reboot the damn thing at least twice a day. That's not to say anything good about Mac vs PC - it comes down to hardware.

I don't particularly like the Mac OS, I prefer Windows OS, but that's operating system and if that's your preference then I have business telling you what type of cheese you like. Personally, I find Ubuntu a lovely operating system, but that's another story.

Adobe CC works multi-platform and there's no big swing over Windows vs Mac - it's down to preference.


My personal gripe with Macs is that they're overpriced for what they are. It's the same processor, same ram, same graphics card, it's just a different OS.


Processor (CPU)
Intel® Core™i7 Quad Core Processor i7-4790 (3.6GHz) 8MB Cache


Case
STYLISH PIANO BLACK ENIGMA MICRO-ATX CASE + 2 FRONT USB


Motherboard
ASUS® H81M-PLUS: Micro-ATX, LG1150, USB 3.0, SATA 6GBs


Memory (RAM)
8GB KINGSTON HYPER-X FURY DUAL-DDR3 1600MHz (1 x 8GB)


Graphics Card
1GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 750 - DVI, mHDMI, VGA - 3D Vision Ready


1st Hard Disk
250GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD, SATA 6Gb/s (upto 540MB/sR | 520MB/sW)


1st DVD/BLU-RAY Drive
24x DUAL LAYER DVD WRITER ±R/±RW/RAM


Memory Card Reader
INTERNAL 52 IN 1 CARD READER (XD, MS, CF, SD, etc) + 1 x USB 2.0 PORT


Power Supply
CORSAIR 350W VS SERIES™ VS-350 POWER SUPPLY


Processor Cooling
INTEL STANDARD CPU COOLER


Thermal Paste
STANDARD THERMAL PASTE FOR SUFFICIENT COOLING


Sound Card
ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)


Wireless/Wired Networking
10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT (Wi-Fi NOT INCLUDED)


USB Options
MIN. 2 x USB 3.0 & 4 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL + MIN. 2 FRONT PORTS


Power Cable
1 x 1 Metre UK Power Cable (Kettle Lead)


Operating System
Genuine Windows 8.1 64 Bit - inc DVD & Licence (€110)


Windows 10 Upgrade
FREE Upgrade to Windows 10 with all Windows 7 & Windows 8.1 Purchases*


Office Software
FREE 30 Day Trial of Microsoft® Office® 365


Anti-Virus
BULLGUARD INTERNET SECURITY - FREE 90 DAY TRIAL


Warranty
3 Year Standard Warranty (1 Month Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour)


Delivery
2 - 3 DAY DELIVERY TO REPUBLIC OF IRELAND (€27)


Build Time
Standard Build - Approximately 6 to 8 working days
Quantity 1

This was on PC specialist.

Fast processor for crunching high quality graphics, large graphics and things like that.

8gb RAM -should be fine. It's cheap enough to upgrade anyway.

1gb Video/Graphics RAM (perfectly fine, you only need to move to 2gb for high intensity gaming etc., not even video editing uses the graphics card, it uses RAM, so you'd need to up the RAM if you wanted to edit videos too - this also applies to large graphics, like if you're working on billboard sized posters, or building wraps things like that).

SSD - Provides faster boot times, and for saving larger files it would be super quick.

It comes to £706 after VAT.

I guarantee if you were to get that spec in a Mac it would cost £2500 (and i haven't looked that up)
 
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#7
Why does it have to be a Windows laptop?...
To some extent, I agree with you that Mac provides a suitable option. However as hankscorpio mentioned the Mac computers are overpriced for what they are and the choice of operating systems comes down to hardware. I currently have an iMac which is 5 years old and it was expense, and the hardware is really outdated. A Windows laptop is the better option for me and meets my budget. Having said that, if I had no budget I would purchase the top spec MacBook Pro 15 Retina.
 
#9
Thank you hankscorpio, I'll keep your spec in mind. However I have noticed that most laptops on PC Specialist website has a 'matte' screen display - I would rather have a gloss screen display.
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
#11
Using the Apple mentioned (which is listed as £1999 on Apple UK) I've put together this on PC Specialist - £912

Cosmos Series: 15.6" Matte Full HD IPS LED Widescreen (1920x1080)

Processor (CPU)
Intel® Core™i7 Quad Core Mobile Processor i7-4710MQ (2.50GHz) 6MB

Memory (RAM)
16GB KINGSTON HYPER-X IMPACT 1600MHz SODIMM DDR3 (2 x 8GB)

Graphics Card
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 850M - 2.0GB DDR3 Video RAM - DirectX® 11

Memory - Hard Disk
250GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD, SATA 6Gb/s (upto 540MB/sR | 520MB/sW)

DVD/BLU-RAY Drive
8x SATA DVD±R/RW/Dual Layer (+ 24x CD-RW)

Memory Card Reader
Internal 9 in 1 Card Reader (MMC/RSMMC/SD: Mini, XC & HC/MS: Pro & Duo)

Thermal Paste
ARCTIC MX-4 EXTREME THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY COMPOUND (£9)

Sound Card
Intel 2 Channel High Definition Audio + MIC/Headphone Jack

Bluetooth & Wireless
GIGABIT LAN & WIRELESS 802.11N CARD + BT 3.0 (RTL8188CEBT)

USB Options
3 x USB 3.0 PORTS + 1 x USB 2.0 PORT AS STANDARD

Battery
Cosmos Series 6 Cell Lithium Ion Battery (48.84WH)
Probably should go 9 cell... hmmm

Power Lead & Adaptor
1 x UK Power Lead & 120W AC Adaptor


Operating System
Genuine Windows 8.1 Professional 64 Bit - inc DVD & Licence (£109)




Anti-Virus
NO ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE


Notebook Mouse
INTEGRATED 2 BUTTON TOUCHPAD MOUSE


Webcam
INTEGRATED 2.0 MEGAPIXEL WEBCAM


Warranty
3 Year Standard Warranty (1 Month Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour)


Delivery
2 - 3 DAY DELIVERY TO REPUBLIC OF IRELAND (£19)


Build Time
Standard Build - Approximately 6 to 8 working days
 

@GCarlD

Well-Known Member
#12
To some extent, I agree with you that Mac provides a suitable option. However as hankscorpio mentioned the Mac computers are overpriced for what they are and the choice of operating systems comes down to hardware. I currently have an iMac which is 5 years old and it was expense, and the hardware is really outdated. A Windows laptop is the better option for me and meets my budget. Having said that, if I had no budget I would purchase the top spec MacBook Pro 15 Retina.
Oh ok that's understandable.

Now you've explained that it is probably not worth mentioning but, my mac has better spec (double the RAM for example) than that of those PC Specialist posted, and I didn't spend anywhere near £2000, I couldn't afford to, thats car money lol. Yes iOS are over priced in comparison to Windows, back in the day it used to be the other way round! In a way, with that overpricing you are paying for 'reliability, future-proof and superb performance.'

PS. Windows 8 is absolutely dreadful. It is only bearable with touch screens, to which it was made for I might add.
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
#13
Oh ok that's understandable.

Now you've explained that it is probably not worth mentioning but, my mac has better spec (double the RAM for example) than that of those PC Specialist posted, and I didn't spend anywhere near £2000, I couldn't afford to, thats car money lol. Yes iOS are over priced in comparison to Windows, back in the day it used to be the other way round! In a way, with that overpricing you are paying for 'reliability, future-proof and superb performance.'

PS. Windows 8 is absolutely dreadful. It is only bearable with touch screens, to which it was made for I might add.

That's your opinion. With Windows 8 on desktop you can revert to the "Old Way" and not use the new OS large buttons. It takes getting used to, but it's not dreadful.

If this was 15 years ago I'd agree with you on Macs being ideal for graphic design, with no other choice. PCs back then were very generic and sold to the office generation needing word processing and excel sheets, and databases.

In the last 10 years PCs have come on leaps and bounds in terms of quality and build. Of course there are unreputable companies putting out any old crap for a very expensive price.

I know PC Specialist very well and they come highly recommended with very good builds.

You can build a PC Laptop for a lot less money with superior parts than a Mac, even with Windows 7 if you prefer over 8 or Windows 10 (to be announced).


=======================
puts on mod hat
Enough of Mac vs PC Debate.

OP wants PC
=======================

You're going to need a good processor - don't skimp on that as it increases longevity.

RAM - go with 8 to keep costs down, RAM can be added at a later date, and 8 is enough for most tasks, except large photographic work or video editing, then upgrade to 16 or even 32.

Graphics Card - you don't need anything exceptional for what you're doing - again 1gb video ram is more than enough. 2gb video ram is a sales gimmick, not even video editing requires 2gb - it requires more RAM.

Hope that helps
 
#14
Thanks again hankscorpio.

--

Windows 8 is what you make out of it. At first I wasn't a big fan, particularly coming from a heavy Mac user but I tweaked it to function like Windows 7.

We can debate about "Mac vs PC" based on graphic design on another topic.
 

@GCarlD

Well-Known Member
#15
A Mac vs PC debate would be a frivolous topic. This wasn't a Mac vs PC debate on my part, I was just giving my two cents, lending my experience, facts, and opinions, which is what forums are all about. As I said, your explanation of 'if you had the budget you'd get a MacBook Pro' is perfectly understandable. It is only logical to try and buy the best you can get for your buck. The fact that most people tweak Windows 8 to function like Windows 7 says it all. My whole thing was just me commenting on your requirements; I have just never experienced or met anyone who can honestly say that after a year or so that their Windows laptop is still as 'reliable, future-proof and performing as well as it was 12 months ago that's all. There are several reasons for this that I obviously won't get into.

That's the last thing I will say on this matter.

Either way, you won't go wrong with PC Specialist if you want to build something custom made, and your budget will get you everything you need with them.

Now this thread has come to it's conclusion, I'm off to poke my nose in another thread. *Walks out & Closes door (thread) behind him* :icon_smile:
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
#16
Grand just didn't want it spiralling in that direction.

You've just the first person then with a laptop that has lasted nine years and runs Photoshop InDesign and illustrator daily for production work.

funny the Mac I also work on crashes at least twice a day. And I have literally had to rebuild Macs use disk utility frequently and loads of other things I don't have to do on my laptop.

It's my experience from 1998 to today. Well about 2005 my opinion on Macs changed.