I had to start this year by adding to the range of equipment I will be using to design eLearning content. I have recently had to replace my laptop (I went for MacBook Pro 13′) and decided that I need a desktop pc with the bigger screen. It also needed to be a budget purchase – I can’t afford more than 900 euro. As usual, I started researching online but being completely honest, and there was not much I could find. Because of that, I decided to write a post about the parameters of computers for e-learning design.
There are lots of post comparing computers and laptops for graphic design, but nothing strictly focusing on eLearning Design and the price range was usually 1000-5000 so way above my budget.
Having done my research, I don’t think the technical specification of the instructional design desktop has to be as sophisticated as that of graphic design. I made a few assumptions. I will be doing some graphic design. I will be creating video and animations using online packages. I will be producing lots of Articulate Storyline content.
I usually also have 10 – 30 tabs open at the same time, and often work with a split-screen or use two monitors.Here are a few basic criteria that need to be considered when choosing the computer for eLearning design.
SSD versus HDD
HDD is cheaper ut less reliable and considerably slower.
Having a PC with main drive HDD can significantly impact your workflow.
All Macs, use SSDs in all their modern systems but if you look at Windows or Android, that’s different. Good news is that some websites and brands allow you to customise the equipment you buy and choose the type of fist and second drive and even swap it around.
Here we have to consider capacity and speed
Capacity: Most comparisons stated that the minimum for graphic design is 8GB but advised to go for 16GB. It is also essential to check if the installed memory allows for upgrades in the future. I went for 8GB for starters, but the machine can be upgraded to 32 if needed or the memory requirements will increase over time.
As far as the speed goes, 2133MHz is passable, considering that’s about as fast as entry-level DDR4. Still, I’d prefer a bump if possible. Apple’s received a lot of ire on this choice.
The CPU is vital for improving ender times for audio and video. Your choice should depend on how heavily on the multimedia side of things you are.
Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
This spec is more closely tied to the supporting applications you use in conjunction with the development platform you use. Having additional GPU power (Nvidia with CUDA namely) improves rendering 3D graphics. Also, the performance in Adobe applications, like Photoshop, After Effects and Premiere can be better.
Operating System (Environment)
This is something that needs to be considered – can you more effectively work with a Mac or Windows? There are plenty of ways to handle cross-platform workflows but try and get familiar with both.