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Adobe creative cloud system requirements - users advise please

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Adobe creative cloud system requirements - users advise please

Hey all,

I was looking at the creative cloud system requirements hoping to get a more clear answer but the requirements are vague and just unclear of the hardware needed.

I have a family member who asked for a laptop for school to do graphic design, maybe some web page development. I was going to tell them to buy a laptop with an i5 1135G7 CPU with iris xe graphics but I am honest not even sure that it will do the job. I know the H series designations for intel are more powerful but those start costing a heck of a lot more money.

Those who do graphic design using adobe creative cloud, does everything run smoothly or are there slight hiccups? please mention the hardware you are running it on.

I don't need desktop specs, I care more about mobile.

Thanks
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Any serious graphic design is done on desktops. The problem with mobile processors is cooling. Even though they are fast on paper and when the laptop is cool, after some time the laptop won't be able to sustain the needed cooling and the processor will start to throttle. Having said that I think for school a laptop will be good enough. I am sure the requirements are vague because the creative cloud will run almost on anything but will be slow on slow computers. But i5-11 should be good. I would be looking for a laptop with good cooling. It probably won't be one of the smallest and lightest ones.
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Oct 19, 2008
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Any idea which tools they are going to primarily use? Different tools stress different pieces, some are CPU bound, some GPU etc. Also, since it's for school (not billable work) I presume that they are willing to trade some time/performance for a lower cost?
My wife lives in Creative Cloud.
From memory (I get it all second hand):
For work, lots of InDesign with some Illustrator, Photoshop and Premiere Pro (she works in communications doing marketing materials, signage, promo videos etc with some freelance Wordpress website development)
For sid-gig, she uses Lightroom, some Photoshop and PremierePro (she does freelance motorsports photography and video)

She uses a ThinkPad P52 with I7 w/ 64GB or RAM, Quadro GPU, dual NVME drives (one for running OS, one for working space for Adobe) and a large 3rd drive for archive/working files.
While you want balance, outside of the NVME drives (didn't try it without) the biggest difference for her has been RAM. Adobe seems to use all you will give it. She started with 32GB and noticed a significant improvement when she went to 64GB.

*Edit to add: Her laptop when being used for render work needs to live on a cooling pad or it seems to want to cook it's self.
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Oct 26, 2008
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Regardless of which machine you take, I’d also consider storage options.

I'd add Either cloud or an external drive for backup purposes. The last thing they'd want is to have an assignment due and the internal drive dies… knowing from experience — it’s not a situation you want to deal with…

As mentioned, if they're doing any heavy graphics work, it's typically done on a desktop. But you can certainly do it on a laptop.
Also, are they a Mac or PC person? As that'll determine which platform you look into.

If it doesn't break the bank, (At minimum) I'd shot for 32GB of ram (for PC) as that'll be enough to handle most things.

I'm a Mac guy myself, so I've been keeping an eye on the M1 Macbooks, and they've been pretty well-reviewed so far…
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Adobe CC will work on nearly any machine. For schoolwork they would need a mid-level laptop at most.

The high end specs and massive amounts of RAM are only needed when working with large files, eg 10K px X 10K px files for ad banner work etc.

Also, while some CC programs (e.g Premiere does to quite an extent, PS not so much) can use the GPU for certain things, they primarily use the CPU for most work.

Finally, RAM
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alpovs wrote: Any serious graphic design is done on desktops. The problem with mobile processors is cooling. Even though they are fast on paper and when the laptop is cool, after some time the laptop won't be able to sustain the needed cooling and the processor will start to throttle. Having said that I think for school a laptop will be good enough. I am sure the requirements are vague because the creative cloud will run almost on anything but will be slow on slow computers. But i5-11 should be good. I would be looking for a laptop with good cooling. It probably won't be one of the smallest and lightest ones.
I wouldn't consider an average one sufficient to be honest, but again since this is for school a portion of it will be introductary in using the program and semi advanced techniques at best. School sucks for getting very deep into programs like that. I would rather a desktop but if they want to do things while on break etc..laptop would be better, also no space for desktop with their current living situation.
Redshft wrote: Any idea which tools they are going to primarily use? Different tools stress different pieces, some are CPU bound, some GPU etc. Also, since it's for school (not billable work) I presume that they are willing to trade some time/performance for a lower cost?
My wife lives in Creative Cloud.
From memory (I get it all second hand):
For work, lots of InDesign with some Illustrator, Photoshop and Premiere Pro (she works in communications doing marketing materials, signage, promo videos etc with some freelance Wordpress website development)
For sid-gig, she uses Lightroom, some Photoshop and PremierePro (she does freelance motorsports photography and video)

She uses a ThinkPad P52 with I7 w/ 64GB or RAM, Quadro GPU, dual NVME drives (one for running OS, one for working space for Adobe) and a large 3rd drive for archive/working files.
While you want balance, outside of the NVME drives (didn't try it without) the biggest difference for her has been RAM. Adobe seems to use all you will give it. She started with 32GB and noticed a significant improvement when she went to 64GB.

*Edit to add: Her laptop when being used for render work needs to live on a cooling pad or it seems to want to cook it's self.
My guess would be generally every graphic designers choice of work which is photoshop, indesign and illustrator. I don't know if lightroom will be used but I can't imagine it being that intensive as something like photoshop or illustrator.
Starmax wrote: Regardless of which machine you take, I’d also consider storage options.

I'd add Either cloud or an external drive for backup purposes. The last thing they'd want is to have an assignment due and the internal drive dies… knowing from experience — it’s not a situation you want to deal with…

As mentioned, if they're doing any heavy graphics work, it's typically done on a desktop. But you can certainly do it on a laptop.
Also, are they a Mac or PC person? As that'll determine which platform you look into.

If it doesn't break the bank, (At minimum) I'd shot for 32GB of ram (for PC) as that'll be enough to handle most things.

I'm a Mac guy myself, so I've been keeping an eye on the M1 Macbooks, and they've been pretty well-reviewed so far…
Storage isn't a big deal, that can be easily dealt with using external drives or simply cloning the SSD to a larger one and expanding it or adding a second one into the machine if it can accomodate one (more than likely nvme) these days. Then there is cloud storage too.
kramer1 wrote: Adobe CC will work on nearly any machine. For schoolwork they would need a mid-level laptop at most.

The high end specs and massive amounts of RAM are only needed when working with large files, eg 10K px X 10K px files for ad banner work etc.

Also, while some CC programs (e.g Premiere does to quite an extent, PS not so much) can use the GPU for certain things, they primarily use the CPU for most work.

Finally, RAM
I was starting to come to this conclusion once i saw the requirements, i think im going to settle on the chip in my OP and focus on making it with 16GB of ram. Will explore and see if it can take additional built in storage or if an external one is required.
While I know this would actually suffice I am not a fan of the inspiron line up. I have access to a dell sales rep who can discount anything for me because of where I work and I may just use that to maybe get access to a Latitude laptop at a cheaper rate or something. At least then repairability should something go wrong is easier than these trash consumer grade products.

Appreciate the advice everyone, open to more if there is something I haven't considered yet.
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Zero1 wrote: While I know this would actually suffice I am not a fan of the inspiron line up ... these trash consumer grade products.
I don't understand why you think Inspiron is trash. My kids are now using and abusing two one-year old Inspiron laptops. So far so good. We have two Inspirons 700m from I think 2005 lying around still in working condition but too slow for anything but Linux servers I guess. Those Inspirons traveled everywhere for conference presentations etc. before their retirement. IMHO Inspirons are not trash.
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Zero1 wrote: I wouldn't consider an average one sufficient to be honest, but again since this is for school a portion of it will be introductary in using the program and semi advanced techniques at best. School sucks for getting very deep into programs like that. I would rather a desktop but if they want to do things while on break etc..laptop would be better, also no space for desktop with their current living situation.
In school no one is working with PS files that are gigabytes in size. That is normally done in the advertising/print media/creative industries.

Those people need powerful machines, as those files will take ages to even scroll on a slow machine. I know this as I have extensive experience in those fields.

Print Media is especially demanding as everything needs to be a minimum of 300-600dpi, CMYK & at insanely large resolutions. Plus the number of effects on each layer of those files is quite high, as you often are working with the source files.
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