Now that CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5 has been released, I’ve been bombarded by questions via phone and e-mail. As today is our designated “hardware” day for the blog, I’m going to focus on answering some questions related to the hardware requirements for CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5. If you have more questions on today’s topic, please post as a comment to the blog rather than e-mailing me. That way I can post a comment that answers the question for everyone. In the upcoming days, I’ll address other areas on days most appropriate to those topics. Let’s first look at the system requirements that Corel has listed for CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5.

  • Microsoft® Windows® 7, Windows Vista®, Windows® XP, with latest service packs installed (32-bit or 64-bit editions)
  • Intel® Pentium® 4, AMD Athlonâ„¢ 64 or AMD Opteronâ„¢
  • 512 MB RAM (1 GB recommended)
  • 750 MB hard disk space (1 GB for typical installation without content). Up to 6GB needed to install extra content
  • Mouse or tablet
  • 1024 x 768 screen resolution (768 x 1024 on a Tablet PC)
  • DVD drive
  • Microsoft® Internet Explorer® 7 or higher

Let’s start with the biggest hardware requirement. You need a PC. If you have a Mac, you will need to install Windows on it to run CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5. Mac users, I am simply the messenger so please don’t shoot me as I have nothing to do with this decision. If you do run it on a Mac, Corel won’t officially support it. That said, it does seem to work quite well using Boot Camp or Parallels to run Windows.

As I said, you must have Windows. Specifically it will run on Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. It will work on both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors of Windows. Corel does specify you need all of the latest service packs for Windows. While it isn’t spelled out, CorelDRAW does require the latest release of the .NET services which are part of more recent service packs.

CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5 is a 32-bit application and there is no native 64-bit version available. While that could certainly change, I wouldn’t expect to see a native 64-bit version until at least the next release since it is a major overhaul.

Next up is the processor. I’m guessing most of your couldn’t name what processor you have so this requirement is a bit of a mystery to you. Let’s forget the processors listed and let’s talk about the real requirement. You must have a processor that supports the SSE2 instruction set. If you don’t, you won’t even be allowed to install CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5. I told you how to find out if you had SSE2 in a post last weekend on the CPU-Z Processor Information Utility. Just so you know, these instructions have been available in processors for five years or more. Why is this a requirement? CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5 has supported for multiple threads. This means a feature can take advantage of multi-core processors or even hyperthreaded processors to perform a function much faster. A perfect example is the Save feature. As soon as you start saving a file, you can immediately start doing other things as the save is performed in the background. How many times in the past have you sat there staring at the screen waiting for a file to finish saving? I know it happened way too often for me. My computer (described in detail) has four cores each of which can run two separate threads. When CorelDRAW saves, it can now split the load in eight ways.

Next up, it says 512 MB of RAM is required and 1 GB is recommended. Sorry, those numbers are unrealistic. While they might technically be the minimum, I think you need a minimum of 2 GB to even consider using any graphics software these days. Personally I’d recommend any new computer to have a 64-bit operating system and as much memory as possible. For much on this subject, read my post Memory and CorelDRAW. In that post, you’ll notice I talk about the useless Memory setting in CorelDRAW X4. It has been removed and already a few users are concerned that it isn’t there. As I’ve said many times, it didn’t do anything!

As we move down the list, the requirements says you need a minimum of 750 GB of hard drive space. If you buy the boxed version, the full install takes around 7 GB of space. So while you can skimp, I sure hope you have a lot more space available.

You have to be able to point, so you need a mouse or tablet. Corel has added touch support though this is something very few users will be using in the near future since it is rare that someone has a computer with touch support. Just like CorelDRAW X4, you must have a DVD drive as the boxed version includes the software on a DVD. I can’t imagine a computer without a DVD drive, but I covered a very good (and inexpensive) Samsung DVD Drive recently.

The last requirement is Internet Explorer 7 and honestly this is something Corel shouldn’t require. Many users prefer other browsers, such as Firefox or Opera. Yet CorelDRAW relies upon Internet Explorer to load any Web content.

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I’ll answer one other question that isn’t related to hardware as I’ve been bombarded with questions about this. In the latest newsletter, I provided a coupon code (UNLEASHEDFEB) to save money on CorelDRAW X5. The code included does absolutely, positively work as shown in the newsletter. I have placed a test order myself. The folks at Corel who provided me with the coupon have also tested it. Make sure you type it in all caps, lowercase won’t work. Other than the letters, do not include quotes or parenthesis. Should you copy and paste, you might get an extra space. That will cause it to fail so make sure to remove anything other than the code itself. If you live outside of North America, it might not work. I honestly don’t know. If you live in North America and it isn’t working, the only suggestion I can give you is to make sure you entered it as described above and keep trying. Like I said, I tried it myself and I know it does work.

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