Either Macintosh or Windows is acceptable for Landscape Architecture students.
Apple Macintosh computers allow both Macintosh and Windows software to run on the same computer using a dual-boot system. Other options for running Windows applications on a Macintosh using virtualization software are available. We consider the dual-boot method the better option for our students because dual-boot provides better performance. Some of our students are choosing to use dual-boot on their own computers. Students interested in running Windows on a Macintosh computer are encouraged to speak with the College of Design Information Technology staff. Please note the cost of Windows operating system and Windows software will be in addition to Macintosh software.
Each department in the College of Design has different computer requirements. Please read the College’s Student Computing Requirements Information page for general information before spending money on computer hardware or software.
We recommend that your computer meet or exceed the specifications below. A computer with greater capability (processor speed, RAM, disk capacity) and expandability will be more likely to continue to run required software in later years of college.
This chart provides minimum recommendations for students purchasing new computers. Software requirements are listed at the bottom of the chart. Additional specialized software may be required in other courses, as determined by the instructor. Students may consider the purchase of other software to support their particular goals and learning styles.
Windows ComputersWindows Laptop
|CPU (Processor) or Model||Any model using Intel Core i7 or newer processors.|
|System RAM||16 GB minimum, more preferred|
|Hard Drive (Storage)||512 GB SSD or 750 GB/7200 RPM minimum, more preferred|
|Monitor/Display||18″ or larger||14″ or larger (second external monitor optional, but recommended)|
|Video Adapter (Graphics Card)||512 MB VRAM or more|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Pro Edition (Not “Home” version)|
|Audio||100% Windows compliant sound card|
|Network Adapters||Wired ethernet adapter normally included. A CAT 5 or 6 ethernet cable required for faster connections in studio.||Wi-Fi normally included. Wired ethernet adapter and CAT 5 or 6 ethernet cable recommended for faster connections in studio.|
|External Hard Drive for Back-ups||An external drive at least as large as your computer’s internal drive for backing up your computer|
|Warranty Service||minimum 3-year onsite parts and labor or third-party loss/damage coverage|
Additional software may be required for certain courses.
|• Microsoft Office 365 (free for NCSU students)
• Autodesk AutoCAD 2016 or later
• Adobe Creative Cloud
Macintosh ComputersMacintosh Laptop
|iMac or Mac Pro, any current model||MacBook Pro, any current 15″ model|
|18″ or larger (Monitors from other vendors will work with Apple computers.) iMacs include a built-in monitor.||15″ (second external monitor optional, but recommended) Monitors from other vendors will work with Apple computers.|
|Mac OS X version 10.11 or later|
|Standard on Macintosh|
|Wi-Fi and Wired ethernet adapter included. CAT 5 or 6 ethernet cable recommended for faster connections in studio.||Wi-Fi is included. Wired ethernet adapter and ethernet cable recommended for faster connections in studio.|
|3-year AppleCare Protection Plan or third-party loss/damage coverage|
|Software||• Microsoft Office 365 (free for NCSU students)
If you want to run both Mac OS X and Windows on a Mac, you will also need:
• Microsoft Windows 10 Pro Edition (in addition to Mac OS X) and Windows compatible software of your choosing. (You do not need to have the same software applications for both operating systems.)
Autodesk AutoCAD for Mac is available, but may not have all the features of AutoCAD for Windows.