CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X6 has been released and I’ve been bombarded by questions via every method imaginable. 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 X6. If you have more questions on today’s topic, please post as a comment to the blog or on the Graphics Unleashed Facebook page rather than e-mailing me. That way I can respond to your comment with an answer 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 X6.
- Microsoft® Windows® 7 (32-bit or 64-bit editions), Windows Vista® (32-bit or 64-bit editions), Windows® XP (32-bit only, with latest service packs installed
- While Windows XP is supported, this will probably be the last version of CorelDRAW to support an operating system that is more than ten years old. We highly recommend you consider updating to Windows 7 and we have suggested to you in Migrate Your Operating System to 64-bit. In order to run the 64-bit version of CorelDRAW X6, you do need to have a 64-bit operating system. Windows 8 is not officially supported with the initial release. Corel will add support for Windows 8 in a future service pack of CorelDRAW X6 once Windows 8 has been officially released.
- Intel® Pentium® 4, AMD Athlon® 64 or AMD Opteron®
- 1 GB RAM
- 1 GB hard disk space (for 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 X6. Mac users, I am simply the messenger so please don’t shoot me as I have nothing to do with this decision. The reasons Why You Shouldn’t Expect a Mac Version of CorelDRAW were covered last summer. 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. The 32-bit version of CorelDRAW X6 will work on both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors of Windows (note Windows XP 64-bit is not supported). As mentioned earlier, you need a 64-bit operating system to run the 64-bit version of CorelDRAW. 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.
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 X6. I told you how to find out if you had SSE2 in a post a couple of years ago on the CPU-Z Processor Information Utility. Just so you know, these instructions have been available in processors for seven years or more. Why is this a requirement? CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X6 has support 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. Multi-threading was added in CorelDRAW X5 and the number of functions that use multiple threads has been expanded in CorelDRAW X6.
Next up, it says 1 GB of RAM is required. Sorry, that number is 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 was removed in CorelDRAW X5 and a few users were concerned that it wasn’t there. As I’ve said many times, it didn’t do anything! With the 64-bit version of CorelDRAW, I’d suggest 4 GB of RAM to be the absolute minimum and I’d suggest you install as much memory as your computer will allow. The 64-bit version can use as much of the memory as needed and isn’t limited to 2 GB like 32-bit software.
As we move down the list, the requirements say you need a minimum of 1 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 added touch support in CorelDRAW X5 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 and X5, you must have a DVD drive as the boxed version includes the software on a DVD. I can’t imagine a computer these days without a DVD drive.
The last requirement is Internet Explorer 7 and honestly this is something Corel shouldn’t require. Many users prefer other browsers, such as Firefox, Chrome or Opera. Yet CorelDRAW relies upon Internet Explorer to load any Web content.
Remember we have a special offer if you purchase CorelDRAW X6 through our links. Get all the details of the offer. Also keep in mind that Corel has changed their upgrade policy. Users of all versions are eligible for the upgrade pricing through June 18, 2012. After that date, only users of CorelDRAW X4 and X5 will be eligible for upgrade pricing. Users of earlier versions will have to buy the full version after that date.
Foster D. Coburn III is author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences. His first Web site was built in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013.