If you’re into computer hardware, you’ve probably heard of the chip shortages that have been plaguing the computer industry and driving up the prices of some hardware. For digital artists, having the right tools is crucial, if not extremely valuable in terms of quality of life improvements. This is especially true for Daz Studio users and artists who want to make the best out of features, like the Iray Render Engine, and would prefer to not run their computer for hours just to make a single render.
Not every user has the know-how or the budget to build a custom desktop, and some also want the freedom that laptops provide. That’s why we’ve created this list of some of the best affordable desktop computers for digital art we could find on the market. Please note, these are not the absolute best solutions on the market, rather, they represent some of the most affordable computer solutions for digital art you’ll find on the market in 2022.
Also worthy of note: any links are provided only for convenience. Daz 3D is not affiliated or sponsored by any of these companies or products, and we do not receive anything for any purchases you make.
Affordable Desktops for Digital Art
This Desktop is perfect for users who want to stay on the affordable side while still acquiring enough power where it counts. The 9th gen i5-9400 processor and 16GB of memory won’t disappoint most hobbyist and intermediate level users.
While priced higher than the previous option, this is a mid-range PC that has everything you’ll need for digital art, 3D modeling, and rendering. Not only does the tower feature an awesome RGB design, but it also shows up with great hardware, including NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 2070 Super 8GB graphics card, which notably, will fit right in with Daz Studio and the Iray Render Engine.
This particular HP is another reasonably priced choice that would cover all your digital art needs with typical 2D art programs and would offer enough performance to get someone started with 3D rendering and modeling. This build contains an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD for storage.
While this particular model exceeds the price limitation of being considered “affordable,” it is just too impressive to leave off a list of desktops for digital art. As an all-in-one, the computer will have a low profile on your desk, creating less clutter and more room for you to create comfortably. The anti-glare 34” monitor will offer creative pros ample space to do their thing, while also offering plenty of power and functionality. As an Editor’s Choice of PC Magazine, this is an excellent solution for any digital artist.
Affordable Laptops for Digital Art
For Macbook fans looking for an affordable alternative, this laptop is a great entry point with an affordable price point as well. With 8GB of RAM and a decent Intel Processor, you should be able to run most digital art programs whenever you need with the low profile benefits of a laptop.
If you’re looking for a powerful laptop under $1000 USD, then this is another great choice for any digital artist. The laptop has a 15.6” screen, a powerful i7 processor, and 16GB of RAM. HP reports a strong battery life and a fast charge feature, which could prove invaluable for digital artists who always find themselves on the move.
Acer is well-known for its high-performance laptops and this one is no exception to that reputation. You will be hard-pressed to find another option that delivers as much performance on such a tight budget. Equipped with the latest Intel Core i7 processor and an NVIDIA RTX 3060 graphics card you’ll be able to enjoy all the best features of Daz Studio and handle any other digital art-related programs with ease. While the laptop is bulky, the performance it offers will go a long way.
Important Benchmarks to Look For
Don’t see a PC or laptop that you like on our list? That’s okay, with this info, you’ll know exactly what to look for in the specs of any desktop or laptop to decide whether or not it’s suitable for your digital art needs.
RAM stands for random access memory and is one of the most important components in computer performance. RAM handles your computer’s short-term memory needs. The more applications you are running, or the more intensive those applications are, such as generating a 3D render, the more RAM is required to keep things running quickly and smoothly.
For professional levels of 3D design, 16GB to 32GB is highly recommended for the best performance. On a budget, 8GB may suffice, though performance may be slow at times.
The computer processing unit (CPU) is the brain behind the basic processes a computer needs to run to function and is responsible for interpreting most computer commands. When a program tells the computer to do something, the CPU fetches those instructions, processes them, then executes them as instructed.
Most 3D and digital art programs are designed to utilize multi-core processors, so take that into consideration when you evaluate what CPU a computer build is utilizing.
Graphics Card (GPU)
The graphics processing unit (GPU) is invaluable in 3D rendering and countless other applications. The GPU works alongside your CPU to boost performance, and provide faster, better graphics.
There are a variety of GPUs to choose from covering a variety of price points, but if you’re using Daz Studio and want to take advantage of the Iray Render Engine, you’ll need a supported NVIDIA GPU with Iray drivers to make the most out of this feature.
This component doesn’t impact performance, however, as a digital artist, it can impact quality of life. Digital art can take up a lot of storage space on your computer, and if you run out, you won’t be able to install new programs or store additional pieces of your work on your computer.
While it’s always recommended to have backups, it may still be of value to ensure that you find a computer that meets your storage needs. These days, the average laptop offers anywhere from 16 to 512 GB; however, storage just doesn’t go as far as it used to with even one movie averaging between 1 and 2 GB.
You can find the complete list of Daz Studio’s recommended system requirements here.
Now You’ve Got the Hardware, Test It Out With Daz Studio!
With the recent release of Daz Studio 4.20, there’s no time like today to put your new computer or laptop to the test and start creating high-quality 3D renders. Daz Studio makes creating 3D art a cinch.
Explore everything Daz Studio can offer and get started for free today!
Featured image: “Hilda Das Hacker” by TeaLuxe in the Daz Gallery.