It supports many advanced painting tools and a batch image processing system for creating digital art. Krita is mostly used for creating concept art, character designs, matte paintings, and textures for 3D models.
No matter what your skill level or specialty in digital painting, I can promise you that one tool you will always find on a digital artist’s workstation is Krita. Krita is open-source and comes with multiple features such as its pressure-sensitive brushes and other essential features that make it a must-have piece of software. It’s one of the most popular applications among open-source designers who rely on their PCs to get the job done. Because of this popularity, it’s not uncommon to hear new users complain about not being able to get started with Krita due to its finicky hardware requirements.
In order to help you navigate this confusing topic, I’ve decided to write a guide on what hardware is good for your Krita PC. There are many factors to consider when buying the right laptop for digital artists, which means there are many considerations for each subsection I’ve written about below.
My suggestion? Read everything!
- Krita is an essential tool for digital artists, whether they’re hobbyists or professionals
- It’s commonly heard that Krita’s hardware requirements are finicky, but this guide can help you navigate the confusing topic of choosing the right laptop for digital artists
Requirements for a Krita laptop
Major Deciding on a processor
Processor is on of the most important specs for Krita performance. A few extra bucks for a first-rate processor might be what keeps a laptop from choking on a full brush stroke.
The first thing to consider is how you plan to use Krita. If you’re an artist who mainly uses Krita for painting and sketching, then I recommend to get a 2.0GHz+ Quad-core CPU. If you plan to use video or animation tools like Blender, 3ds Max, Maya, After Effects, etc., then make sure your laptop has at least a 6th generation Core i5 CPU or Ryzen 5 CPU with 16GB of RAM or more.
I recommend Intel Core i7-10875H as the best CPU for Krita. Also, I recommend to choose a laptop with 16GB RAM and SSD storage for better performance and lower power consumption.
get a Core i7/Ryzen 7 or Core i9/Ryzen 9 processor if you want to work with video or animation tools in addition to painting and sketching in Krita
Major Choosing the right graphics card for Krita
We’re not looking for the cheapest card, or the most expensive. What we want is a card that meets Krita’s requirements. If you need to save money, you can buy a less expensive card and still be able to use Krita.
Krita is bit picky about the OpenGL requirement, so make sure your GPU supports OpenGL 3.0 or higher before purchasing.
Graphics card examples
There are many cards that meet Krita’s requirements, and we’re not recommending one over the other. The best choice is up to you.
If you’re looking for a graphics card that fits within your budget, here are some examples:
- GTX 1650
- RTX 3050
- RTX 2060
The GTX 1650 is the cheapest card that can be used with Krita. But even this card will work well with Krita. It might not be as fast as higher end cards, but it will still do the job.
Recommended professional graphics
For Krita, I recommend either RTX 3050 or RTX 2060. If you’re not sure which one to get, just go for the RTX 2060.
- if you want to use Krita, you need a graphics card that supports OpenGL 3.0 or higher
- if you want to save money, buy a less expensive card and still be able to use Krita
- for most people, GTX 1650 is the best choice for running Krita smoothly
Major Memory that will work optimally with Krita
Minimum (8 GB)
If you are on a tight budget, 8 GB should be more than enough for Krita. But what is the point of getting an expensive laptop if you are not going to maximize its potential? For this reason, I recommend that professionals with any type of serious work load consider 16 GB laptops for the best experience.
Recommended (16 GB)
At this price range, most laptops come with 16 GB of RAM. So, in order to get the best bang for your buck, this is the best option if you are working in Krita and need all of your RAM for it. Even though I am not sure how much ram Krita will take up in 2021, I am sure that 16 GB should be more than enough.
Best (32 GB)
For professional artists who want to run both Krita and Photoshop on their laptop at the same time – 32 GB is recommended. It’s true that there are options for upgrading RAM once you buy a laptop, but why spend extra money when it’s just sitting there unused? You can save it for other components that might break down or get outdated quicker.
The sweet spot is around $2000-2500 where 32GB laptops will be commonplace. Anything lower than that will only have 2 slots for upgrades and anything higher will make it very hard to stay within budget limits while still maximizing RAM capacity.
- 16 GB is the most popular choice for laptops used in Krita (professional artists who want to run both Krita and Photoshop on their laptop at the same time)
- 32 GB is recommended for professional artists who want to run both Krita and Photoshop on their laptop at the same time, or if you need all of your RAM for Krita (in 2021)
- 8 GB is recommended if you are on a tight budget (if you are not going to maximize its potential)
- anything lower than that will only have 2 slots for upgrades and anything higher will make it very hard to stay within budget limits while still maximizing RAM capacity.
Optional requirements for a Krita laptop
Optional Picking a good storage
Different types of SSDs
There are many different types of SSDs, but the two main categories are SATA and NVMe. These two types of drives can be used in tandem in some laptops, but for the most part SATA drives are not up to the task of professional applications.
NVMe drives are faster, easier to upgrade, and much more affordable than SATA drives. But when picking out laptop recommendations for Krita, we’ve prioritized laptops with NVMe support.
Getting the right size
Storage requirements aren’t exceptionally high. You’d need at least 30 GB of free file storage space to install and run Krita. In theory, that even a basic 128 GB drive could match that. In practice, I recommend getting at least 256 GB to fit any additional software and leave some overhead for downloads and personal files. A laptop with 256 GB SSD would cost anywhere between $500 to $1,870. But in general, 256 GB SSDs should be only an option if you’re buying a laptop under $1,000.
For most, I’d recommend a 512 GB SSD (0.5 TB). Brand new laptops with 0.5 TB SSDs are typically found in the $650 – $2,340 range, with a median price of $1,400. That’s an excellent spot for a mid-range laptop. That’s also plenty of space for a typical Krita workload.
For professionals that know that they’ll need more – I’d recommend going up to 1 TB (or more, if finances are not an issue). On the other hand, if you’re working with multiple CAD and 3D modeling applications, then shelling out ~$2,200 for a brand new laptop with a 1 TB SSD shouldn’t shock you.
Usually professional laptops come with room for expansion via M2 slots or USB ports that allow you to add an external drive or flash stick. So upgrading isn’t too difficult or expensive if you need more space in the future!
- SSDs are divided into two main categories: SATA and NVMe
- NVMe drives are faster, easier to upgrade, and much more affordable than SATA drives
- For Krita, get at least 256 GB SSD if you’re buying a laptop under $1,000. For most, I’d recommend 512 GB SSD (0.5 TB). Professionals should go up to 1 TB (or more) if finances allow it.
Optional Display that will work optimally with Krita
Krita is a 2D painting application that benefits from an IPS panel with high contrast and brightness.
Best laptop display for Krita
This one is simple. A good screen for Krita should have an IPS panel with high contrast and brightness.
Panel types for Krita
The most popular panel type for laptops is TN. It’s not bad for work that does not require color accuracy, but it’s absolutely horrible for photo editing and painting. There are a few alternatives that might fit the bill – IPS, PLS, or AHVA. You can always go with an OLED display as well, but these are usually too expensive and still not as good as IPS.
The best laptop display for Krita should have an IPS panel with high contrast and brightness. The best laptop displays will also support HiDPI resolutions of up to QHD+ (5K).
- if you want to use Krita, look for an IPS display with high contrast and brightness
- avoid TN panels if you can afford it
- you can also look for PLS, AHVA, or OLED panels, but these are usually more expensive than IPS and offer no significant advantages over IPS in this case
5 Best Laptops for Krita
Pros and cons
- Adequate processor (i7-10750H)
- Awesome graphics card (GTX 1660 Ti)
- Heavy (4.8 lbs)
Pros and cons
- Superb processor (Ryzen 7 5800U)
- Terrific graphics card (RTX 3050 Ti)
- So-so memory amount (16GB)
Pros and cons
- Solid processor (Ryzen 7 5800H)
- Awesome graphics card (Radeon RX 6600M)
- Heavy (5.1 lbs)
- Solid processor (Ryzen 9 5900HX)
- Excellent graphics card (RTX 3070)
- Middle-of-the-road memory amount (16GB)
- Weighty (5.4 lbs)
- Great processor (Ryzen 7 5800H)
- Up to the mark memory amount (32GB)
- Not the best graphics card (RTX 3050 Ti)
- Bulky (5.4 lbs)
Pros and cons
- Sufficient processor (i5-11260H)
- Competent display (17.3 144Hz IPS G-Sync)
- So-so graphics card (RTX 3050)
Pros and cons
- Splendid graphics card (RTX 3080)
- Sufficient display (15.6 165Hz IPS)
- Middle-of-the-road processor (i7-11800H)
Table of Best Laptops for Krita
|HP Pavilion 16 PC||$740|
|Acer Swift X SFX14-41G-R1S6||$920|
|MSI Alpha 17 AMD||$1490|
|ASUS TUF High-Performance||$1800|