Interior Design Laptop Requirements

The Interior Design Program's Studio/Lab provides each student access to a workstation that features an
architectural drafting table, a computer monitor, and a docking station. Students are expected to bring their own
laptops for work in design classes and will be able to connect to the monitors in the ID Studio using the provided
docking stations. After starting their studies in the design program, students will be advised when to buy a
subscription for the Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop and InDesign) and how to download free student versions of
some drafting/design software (AutoCAD and Revit). Students must have a personal laptop computer powerful
enough to support the demanding video and computational requirements necessary for course work, as well as
adequate storage to accommodate new software releases. In addition to completing design course work, most
students will use their laptops to build digital portfolios and use various rendering programs, in addition to writing
papers and emails. The ID Program strongly recommends buying a PC (Windows) compatible laptop because the
most important drafting programs we teach are designed for PC (Windows) and are not readily available for Mac
OS. It is highly recommended for students to begin their studies in the Interior Design Program with a laptop that is
powerful enough to serve them throughout the entire four years of their education.

General Recommendations

Operating System:
Windows 10 x64 (Macs are highly discouraged)
Processor: Intel i7 minimum, 10th generation or higher; i9 recommended (much more powerful and will last longer).
RAM: 16GB Minimum. Consider 32GB if possible. Such a machine will serve you longer.
Video Processor: Nvidia Quadro, Nvidia GeForce RTX, Nvidia GeForce 960 M, 1060 M, 1660 M, 2060 M, AMD Radeon Pro 5300M/5500M, AMD FirePro M4000 Mobility Pro.
Dedicated Graphics card is very important.
Hard Drive: 500GB Minimum, 1 or mor TB recommended (SSD hard drive preferred). Dedicated Graphics card is very important.
Screen Size: 15” minimum.
External Hard Drive/ Flash Drive: Recommended to have an external hard drive for backing up; flash drive required for most classes.  
Accessories: A mouse is required for use with most design software. Wireless mouse is recommended.
Programs/Software: Autodesk Revit, Autodesk AutoCAD, SketchUp, 3DS Max, Adobe Creative Suite
(Photoshop and InDesign), Microsoft Office. Most of the Autodesk programs recommended above provide students with a free student license so there is no need to purchase these programs before you obtain student credentials and download free student versions or purchase at student discounted rate. Students will be advised when/how to
purchase or acquire software as needed for each course.
Recommendations: Three-year warranty
Theft and damage insurance highly recommended
Full number pad integrated into laptop keyboard preferred
Note: The recommended specs are based on running required programs at minimum requirements such as Autodesk Revit, Autodesk AutoCAD, SketchUp, 3DSmax, Adobe Creative Suite, etc. The majority of students who choose to purchase a MacBook Pro regret the decision. They find themselves working in the Windows side the majority of the time and are left with non-upgradeable and slower computers (after four years) than
students who purchase a more flexible, Windows-based laptop.

Laptop Recommendations

(see General Recommendations above when selecting specific model)


Acer Nitro 5

  • 10th or 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor
  • 16 GB RAM
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX
Better: MSI Stealth 15M:
§ 10th or 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor
§ 32 GB RAM
§ Nvidia GeForce RTX
MSI GS66 Stealth:
§ Intel Core i9 processor
§ 16 GB RAM
§ Nvidia GeForce RTX

Lenovo Legion 7i

  • Intel Core i9 processor
  • 32 GB RAM
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX

Alienware Gaming Laptops (multiple models available)

  • Intel Core i9 processor
  • 32 GB RAM
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX

Dell XPS 15

  • Intel Core i9 processor
  • 32 GB RAM
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX

Updated: 02/22/2024 02:09PM