I’ve worked in many companies in my career and I always got a hard time when I asked for an upgrade or better computer. It seems to me that programmers have more computational power available than designers. Yet I would have thought a computer handling graphics needs more computational power than one that handles code?

Can someone please enlighten me?

  • Welcome to Graphic Design SE. I assumed that by power you mean computational power and that by developer you mean programmer and edited your question accordingly. Please check whether it still fits your intentions.
    – Wrzlprmft
    May 27, 2015 at 8:56
  • You could have a beautiful powerhouse with a terrible graphics card, and it would still be pretty useless for a graphic designer, but probably decent for a programmer (that isn't working with graphics). You want to find a good balance between processor, RAM, and GPU, such that they can all keep up with each other and not create any data bottlenecks anywhere. That doesn't mean the best in each category though, just a balanced system with decent components.
    – Dom
    May 28, 2015 at 15:07

1 Answer 1


The answer is a big it depends.

Most design and coding work can probably easily be done on a five-years-old computer, in particular if you do not need fancily looking operating systems or similar stuff with no direct relation to the work.

However, in both professions you can reach the point where computational power begins to limit your capabilities. For example, if a programmer regularly needs to recompile large chunks of code or runs intensive tests or data analyses or if a graphic designer needs to intensively apply complicated filters, works with 3D software or does a lot of batch processing.

So, even if one profession needs more computational power than the other on average, the ranges of the actual needs are very big and overlapping. Therefore this would not allow you do make any general claims such as you are looking for as you need to look at the individual situation.

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