Graphic design series – post 2 – how to choose a processor

Not all processors are created equal – learn how to choose the right processor for your graphic design PC

So you have decided you want to build your own or have a store build you a custom graphic design machine. You have gone out looking for recommended specs and you generally have no idea what you should choose, this is a little bit of a guide to help you understand what you should look for in a processor for graphic design. Later on we will talk about all of the other components but this is just for the processor.

If you are using the Adobe suite or similar for graphic design you are going to need a processor that has a good balance of multi-threaded performance and single threaded performance. Now that might sound complicated but it isnt!.

A processor has cores and threads. The “core” is what does the work – it’s like an engine. A thread is like a lane or conveyer belt that supplies the core with work.

Some software is very good at balancing its work load out over many threads, so you can utilize most of the raw horsepower of a processor. However, some software struggles with that and relies on a single thread to get its work done.

The Adobe suite is pretty good at utilizing multiple threads however there are some things like the warp stabilizer function that are highly single threaded, so this is why you need to get a good balance.

You want to use a processor like the Intel 8700k that has a relatively high thread count but still maintains a high core speed.

What you don’t want is a very high thread count but low core speed.

The processors that we recommend are the higher end desktop i5 or any of the desktop i7 or i9 processors from Intel. These typically have a good balance of threads and core speed.

If you are sticking with primarily graphic design, we recommend you lean to more core speed than threads like the Intel Core i7 8700k.

If you are doing video editing as well a processor with more cores will help, something like the Intel Core i9 7960X.