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I'm trying to decide between two computers that will be used for graphic design, heavy adobe usage - Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, etc, as well as some web design work as well. I have the Adobe Master Collection CS6 installed on my current computer. I have it narrowed down between these two computers:

ASUS ROG G751-DH71 MSI GS70 Stealth Pro-072 I'm having a hard time determining if one is better for graphic design, over the other, or if both would work equally as good. I'm getting conflicting stories from salesmen.

From what I can tell, ASUS has better video memory - 4GB GDDR5 vs 3GB GDDR5 on the MSI The ASUS also has Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M vs 970M on the MSI The video memory and graphics card specs I don't know anything about (I hate to admit), other than they're high numbers and higher numbers usually mean better.

The ASUS can be expanded to 32GB Ram, while the MSI Stealth maxes out at 16GB. I'm confused on this one. The salesmen at the stores are telling me that anything beyond 16gb ram is overkill, but when I look online, they say at least 24GB ram for graphic design. When I checked my ram usage, I had Illustrator running, Photoshop, virtualbox and opened a 1.4GB Photoshop file, while also trying to open a large Illustrator file and didn't go beyond 10GB ram usage.

The MSI Stealth has a 5th generation Intel processor, while the ASUS only has a 4th generation. My other main concern is the memory card reader, which I use quite often. The MSI supports SDXC, SD and SDHC, while the ASUS only supports SD and MMC I'm told the ASUS has a better screen - IPS - but looking at both of them in the store, they both seem equally as good. ASUS also has something called a Thunderbolt port? Since I don't know what this is, I'm guessing it's not a spec I need to worry about. ASUS CON

I read that the audio quality is bad. I couldn't really test the audio in the store.

Soft touch coating wears off?

MSI CON

No DVD drive. Despite what I'm being told, I still use the DVD drive, but this isn't a deal breaker, I could also get an external drive.

-- UPDATE-- The MSI is about $2000, the ASUS about $2200. The MSI comes with a 1TB HDD + 512GB SSD. The ASUS has a 1TB HDD + 256GB SSD. However, if I go with the ASUS, I was considering swapping the SSD for a 512 before even taking the computer home.

  • What are the prices for the devices? You have this question tagged with [ssd], but you dont mention anything about the storage device. If you could update your question with this information, I could tell you what I would buy in that situation. – Cfinley Oct 1 '15 at 17:55
  • Is this the ASUS and the MSI? The MSI link says it's refrebished, but I am just interested in the spec sheet. – Cfinley Oct 1 '15 at 18:18
  • Sorry, links must have auto generated, but here's the links from where I would actually buy from. These have the specs.frys.com/product/… – Brenda813 Oct 1 '15 at 18:25
  • Oops. Hit the wrong button. Here's the ASUS link. frys.com/product/8311217?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG I'm not worried about price. I'm more interested in what specs are better. – Brenda813 Oct 1 '15 at 18:28
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I would go with the ASUS laptop. It supports more memory, which allows you to have more programs open, and believe me, Adobe is horrible about memory management. While the graphics card is better in the ASUS, it doesn't really matter unless you are going to game or do 3D renders with it. According to the spec sheets from the links you gave me, they both use the same processor (the Intel Core™ i7-4710HQ processor).

When you are buying a new computer, focus on the things that you cannot fix, things like the processor, graphics, and max RAM. Things you can fix shouldn't count against it as heavily. While the ASUS might have bad audio, you can use headphones or other external speakers. If it doesn't support the memory cards that you want, you can get a USB card reader. The MSI laptop on the other hand doesn't have a CD drive, but as you said, you can get an external one. However, you cannot add more then 16GB of RAM if you need more.

The main difference between these laptops is the RAM, which is arguably the most important competent for graphic designers. That is why I recommend you go with the ASUS laptop.

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