Laptop Recommendations for Architecture and Interior Architecture Students

Students entering the Master of Architecture or Bachelor of Science in Interior Architecture programs will need to have a PC (Windows-enabled) laptop for compatibility with architectural software packages used in various required courses.

At a minimum, the laptop should have:

   • 16 GB of system RAM

   • Intel i7 or i9 (11th gen or later) processor

   • 500 GB to 1 TB M.2 SSD drive

   • NVidia RTX 4050, RTX A1000 or better graphics card with minimum 4GB dedicated video memory.


We do not recommend any laptop with only the built-in Intel HD-type GPU. Some rendering software and CAD applications will not run without the additional dedicated GPU. For screen size, we recommend a 15" screen or larger for good viewing area, battery life and portability compromise.

There are many options available, but the following small sample of currently available systems fit these specifications and can be used as a guide for your ultimate purchase:

ASUS Vivobook Pro 16

Dell XPS 15

HP Omen 16

MSI CreatorPro M15 A11UIS-843

The following software packages may be needed:

  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Autodesk 3D Studio Max
  • Autodesk Revit
  • Rhinoceros (Rhino 3D)
  • Sketchup
  • MS Office

This is not meant to be a complete list of software, always check with your studio professors before making major software purchases. MS office products are provided free to KU students and AutoDesk products are free for students.

The School of Architecture & Design also has several labs available to students. The Bridge Computer Lab computers have many of the software programs required to do coursework and is available to students, staff and faculty via passcode access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.