All Interior Design students not owning a laptop computer with the specifications listed below will need to purchase one by the Fall semester of the second year (once accepted into the program following First Year Review). This allows students to work on their own computer in studio classes. It is strongly advised students NOT purchase a new computer ahead of the recommended time, as requirements constantly change with software and technology upgrades. Our current advice for laptop purchases includes the following minimum requirements:
Intel Quad Core i5 or i7 (i7 preferred)
1 GB of VRAM (Video Card RAM) (2 GB preferred)
8 GB of RAM (16GB preferred)
250GB+ Hard Drive. (512 SSD Hard Drive preferred) Note: 3D files and Images can take a considerable amount of space, 250Gb HD might not be enough.
15″ screen or larger
1,280 x 1,024 display resolution with true color (1920×1080 or higher preferred)
External mouse with at least 3 buttons
MAC vs. PC: With the current state of software the Department recommends purchasing a PC computer. This is largely due to the fact that Autodesk Revit does not yet run on a MAC operating system. This means that students who choose to purchase a MAC will need to purchase additional Bootcamp or Parallel Software.
We understand that despite this recommendation some student’s may still prefer a MAC laptop, however please consider the following when making this purchase:
1. Price: The current specifications for a PC would incur a price of approx. $1400 or $1900 (depending on the computer’s profile), the MAC equivalent is $2300 (not including the additional software Bootcamp software).
2. Speed: When Revit is operating through Parallels our IT staff has equated its operation to about ½ the speed of the similar PC because it’s sharing a processor. In addtion, if students wish to run Adobe programs on their MAC concurrently they’ll need to restart the machine each time they want to go back and forth.
3. Instability: If Parallels/Bootcamp were to crash (which can happen) and student’s haven’t backed up their work they will lose it.
4. Current standard: Currently most interior design and architecture firms maintain PCs.
The decision is ultimately each student’s own to make, but if purchasing a MAC the students will be responsible for insuring they are purchasing the equivalent specifications and installing and setting up Bootcamp and/or Parallels per Autodesk Revit requirements, which can be located on the Autodesk website. The faculty will not be able to trouble-shoot your MAC.
We advise students not to purchase software required by the Department until fully accepted into the program (after a successful First Year Review). Students should have computers purchased prior to enrollment in Studio I (or during the first few weeks of the semester). Students will be expected to purchase the latest release of Adobe Creative Suite during Studio I. Students will need to pay for the Adobe Creative Suite, but student discounts are available. Autodesk products (AutoCAD, Revit, etc.), which will be used in CAD I and beyond can be downloaded from the Autodesk Student Community web site for free. Your CAD faculty will give you more details in class. We do not recommend downloading this software prior to taking these classes, as software upgrades are frequent.
Students are strongly advised to purchase a color printer.