12 Replies Latest reply on Aug 25, 2014 12:52 PM by Herbert2001

    recommended screen size


      What is recommended for a successful professional working with inDesign?

      a) screen size

      b) screen resolution

      c) RAM size (4/8 GB)

      d) CPU type (dual/quad core)

      e) CPU speed


      Thank you

        • 1. Re: recommended screen size
          BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          For screens, only you can answer that.


          My Windows 8.1 setup is a Core i7 with 16GB RAM and I would certainly

          recommend a solid state drive.


          My MacBook is a Core i5 with 8GB RAM.


          Hope that helps.

          • 2. Re: recommended screen size
            WholesomeBill Level 1

            Many thanks Bob. Your answers as to CPU and RAM noted with interest.

            Why are you so definite about a SSD? Does this software require constant data transfer?


            My screen question centres around the fact that I have to buy one.

            Suppose I start with 13" and find it too small?

            I had thought a 23" would be a suitable start point. Even rotatable through 90 degrees?


            I should explain that I have never used inDesign so all hardware related help is extremely useful to me.


            Thanks again. Much appreciated.

            • 3. Re: recommended screen size
              BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

              The SSD is for the operating system and the applications. Data can be stored anywhere.




              For reference, I have a 256 GB SSD and three standard one TB drives for data.




              Go to staples and look at the monitors. Bigger may not be better. I’m a fan of two monitors instead of one big one.




              I like the Dell UtraSharp line for best bang for the buck.

              • 4. Re: recommended screen size
                Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                My main workstation is about two or three years old with a 6-core AMD processor that's every bit as fast as the i7 in my laptop -- probably faster -- and has run every Adobe app I've thrown at it just fine. Also 16 gb of ram, and 2 gb of video ram on a Radeon-based video card. I use SATA III drives.


                I have aging eyes and just replace my old 1920 x 1200 27" monitor with a 30" @ 2560 x 1600 (cost more than the components to build the workstation).

                • 5. Re: recommended screen size
                  WholesomeBill Level 1

                  I am so glad I asked the question!

                  My original idea of a 13" standard laptop for working with inDesign is obviously completely hopeless.


                  However, the setups described so far, are too expensive for me at this stage.


                  Will probably settle for:


                  Screen: 23"

                  RAM: 4GB

                  CPU: Dual core; i5

                  500 GB HDD (i.e. not SSD)


                  What do you think about this? Am I going to be frustrated by slow processing and lack of screen definition (45 year old eyes in this case)?


                  Anyway - your comments are much appreciated. Thank you.

                  • 6. Re: recommended screen size
                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                    ID will run, but you did say "for a professional," and for a pro, time is money. I'd expect to see that sort of configuration on a secretarial workstation where the user was also doubling *** the in-house designer, but has no real training and only uses ID occasionally.


                    I'd add more RAM, myself, as the most cost-effective productivity boost to that configuration.

                    • 7. Re: recommended screen size
                      BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                      What is your budget?

                      • 8. Re: recommended screen size
                        WholesomeBill Level 1

                        Thank you both, Bob & Peter, for your useful comments.


                        Of course, I should have stated my start-up budget earlier. Else my questions become somewhat open ended. Obviously, the more you spend, the easier becomes the working day.

                        What I really wanted to know, I now realise, is the minimum hardware configuration for a professional just starting out with inDesign.


                        I live in Denmark, and my max budget is kr8000 - as a beginning.

                        If all goes well, money becomes available for upping the hardware quality.

                        To put the above in perspective a 13" MacBook Pro costs around kr8000 here.

                        I can also get a Dell 23" screen for around kr1500 and a Dell OptiPlex 3020 micro PC for around kr3000 or a Dell OptiPlex 3030 all-in-one for around kr5000

                        A Dell inspiron 3646 plus Dell 23" screen can be had for kr3000. In all cases prices are for a basic configuration.


                        Additional cash will be spent as necessary on increasing RAM to 8GB, increasing CPU capabilities and increasing HDD size.


                        These are the sort of hardware costs I was looking at but from your comments, I think I have been hopelessly naive.


                        Before I close this thread as "answered", I would very much appreciate your final comments on the above.

                        • 9. Re: recommended screen size
                          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                          When my eyse were younger, I used a 21" Sony Artisan monitor (best color monitor I ever owned, and I'd gladly have it back if it would still calibrate, but CRTs are now a part of the past). If you can see what you need to see on a 20-24" monitor @1920 x 1080, go for it and spend a bit more fro the high-end in that size range rather than buying a larger low-end monitor. Your screen is going to be far more important to your work than the box that drives it.


                          I'd also not worry much about hard drives. I use a removable bay with a dedicated drive for system and programs and one for data, which makes backup and recovery pretty easy for me in event of disaster (and OS upgrades too, since I never have to move my data), but it certainly isn't required. A dedicated drive for Photoshop scratch space, if you do a lot of image work, will drastically increase performance, though. I'd spend on a processor upgrade before looking at increasing hard drive space if you have at least 500 gb standard (and you can probably live with a lot less starting out). Drives are cheap upgrades later.

                          • 10. Re: recommended screen size
                            BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                            Keep in mind that the MacBook Pro will be very difficult to upgrade.




                            I work on both Mac and Windows and can tell you without reservation that InDesign works identically on both platforms. If you can save money by going with a Windows machine, then by all means do so.

                            • 11. Re: recommended screen size
                              WholesomeBill Level 1

                              Once again, thank you both (Bob & Peter) for your most useful comments.


                              I believe I now have enough info. to make a sensible decision.

                              It was obviously a good thing I asked the question before I started spending any money.


                              I will now close this thread.

                              • 12. Re: recommended screen size
                                Herbert2001 Level 4

                                My advice would be to not even think about adding less than 8GB of ram to your machine - 4GB is insufficient for a smooth workflow in InDesign and General graphic design. In Windows 8GB is also a minimum for anything but Office work.


                                16GB is preferred.


                                As for those systems you mentioned:


                                - Dell OptiPlex 3030 All-in-One: AVOID! Just a bad idea. Not suitable for InDesign work. Screen res is too low, and expandability is zero. This machine is meant for classroom use, not for real work. And with "classroom use" I mean classes in Office products, or for secondary school use.


                                - Dell OptiPlex 3020 micro PC: AVOID! Those machines only support up to 4GB, and are again hard to expand. These are typical Office machines.


                                - Dell inspiron 3646: Again AVOID! Again this machine cannot be upgraded to 8GB, and only supports up to 4gb.


                                Also, all of these machines sport an Intel HD graphics chip that leeches valuable system memory, which results in even less memory for the OS and InDesign. These systems are all wrong for InDesign, and cannot be expanded or improved easily in the future.


                                8000kr means you have about 1100 dollars to spend. For that kind of money you can do much better.


                                I built a system for you at http://www.misco.se/


                                Intel Core i5-4670K, 3.4GHz, Box, 6MB, S-1150: 2074

                                sapphire Radeon R7 250 1GB: 763

                                ASUS B85-PRO GAMER - motherboard - ATX - LGA1150 Socket: 976

                                Crucial memory - 8 GB - DIMM 240-pin - DDR3: 709

                                Cooler Master Thunder 600W - nätaggregat - 600 Watt: 489

                                Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 7200rpm - 1 TB - SATA-600: 574

                                case: Coolermaster haf nine one two: 768


                                Microsoft Windows 8.1 64-bit OEM DVD Swedish: 943


                                Dell P2014H - LED-skärm - 20" – IPS-panel 1600x900: 1124


                                total: kr8420


                                It is slightly over budget, but still manageable, I think. This is a fast machine, with ample space and expandability - FAR beyond the aforementioned machines. A future-proof setup that will last you long - investing less money in a sub-standard machine (like the ones you mentioned above) is generally a very bad idea, since that hardware will only last you a short time. I chose high quality components. Later you could expand this system with more hard drives, an SSD, and so on.


                                InDesign will work very well on this. As will Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.


                                This setup includes a high-quality pivot-able IPS screen (IPS is the minimum for a quality graphic design screen) - not too big, but you mentioned you will have more money later, which you could invest in a second larger IPS screen, and connect to this rig, so you will have two monitors to work on - something you would NOT be able to do with those other cheap rigs.


                                The only caveat: you would either have to build the machine yourself, or get someone to build it for you. Misco might also do that, but at extra expense. Perhaps ask a nephew or other family member who knows his/her way around computer hardware? ;-)


                                PS the forum chokes on the number nine one two?