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Personal Computing Information for Students 

Recommended Hardware

The School does not specify any particular brand of computer to purchase. We do recommend a PC laptop for compatibility with architectural software packages, and recommend against Apple products.

At a minimum, a new purchase should have 16GB of RAM, an Intel i7 (6thor 7thgen.) CPU, 500GB – 1TB solid state main hard drive (SSD), and a dedicated graphics card with 4GB of video memory.

Check the technical specifications for a dedicated video card like Nvidia Quadro or AMD FirePro. These are workstation-class graphics cards and differ from ‘gaming’ cards. Do not settle for a laptop with only built-in Intel HD-type graphics.

For screen size, we recommend an approximately 15” screen for good viewing area/battery life/portability compromise. Stay away from the 4k and higher resolution screens, 1080p FHD actually works better with a lot of the software.

We also recommend having an external hard drive several TB in size for backing up files, and one or more (they get lost easily) 16 - 32GB flash drives for immediate file transfers.


Recommended Software

This is a starting point. You may be asked to purchase or download other titles as well.

Sophos Anti-virus: Available free to students through the University of Kansas (http://technology.ku.edu/software).

Microsoft Office Suite: Don't buy online or as a package deal. Students may download MS Office for free through Office365 and the University of Kansas (http://technology.ku.edu/software).

Adobe Creative Suite AKA Adobe Creative Cloud: Available by monthly or yearly subscription from Adobe (http://www.adobe.com– look for student pricing plan).

AutoDesk Suite: Free 3-year renewable license, available to students from Autodesk. Revit and AutoCad to start, other titles in the suite may be required later (http://autodesk.com/education).

Sketchup: SketchUp Make is the free version available from Trimble. SketchUp Pro is also available, but not free (http://www.sketchup.com).

Rhinoceros AKA Rhino 3D: Not free but is discounted to students (http://www.rhino3d.com).

Grasshopper for RhinoAn essential add-on for Rhino 3D – free and included with Rhino 6, separate download, but still free, for Rhino 5 (http://www.grasshopper3d.com).


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