Computer Requirements

Recommendation for student computer purchase 2020-2021

Remote and Online requirements for students the recent pandemic has added additional requirements to our students. To participate in online classes students need to be able to access both Zoom meetings and D2L. Most smart phones with a data plan can be used to access D2L and join Zoom meetings with a camera. Students will also need access to a computer that meets the minimum requirements of your program (see below), have access to the internet and, preferably, a webcam. We have made our computer labs available remotely for student use so they have access to necessary software. More information can be found at https://capla.arizona.edu/re-entry.

First-Year Architecture Students Due to restrictions put in place by Covid-19 it is recommended that you have a laptop, but are NOT advised to purchase a computer specifically for the program until you are admitted to the CORE phase in the 2nd Year.  It is generally recommended to bring the computer that you already possess. Your computer should meet the minimum specifications below or be able to run Microsoft Remote Desktop or access the UA’s Virtual computer lab.

Laptop versus Desktop:
Desktop computers have several advantages over laptops.  A desktop has better performance for the price and they are more upgradable.  Typically, they last longer due to lower internal temperatures.  On the other hand, laptops are flexible, you have them with you at all time, do not need to have one computer in school and another at home.

The School of Architecture recommends desktops along with a locking cable to keep the computer and monitor securely in your studio space for professional stage and graduate students.

The School of Landscape Architecture and Planning recommend laptops for their students.

Macintosh versus Windows:
It should be noted that some software that you need will not run on Macintosh OS X.  If you decide to get an Apple computer, you will need Windows 7 or 10 to install on the Mac using the free Boot Camp utility.

Minimum Desktop:

Processor: Intel® Core i5 6th generation or AMD Equivalent
Operating System: Windows® 10 or Windows® 7 64-Bit
Memory: 8GB DDR3 SDRAM
Hard Drive: 500GB SATA hard drive (7200RPM)
Graphics Card: 4GB gaming graphics card Open GL 3.0 Graphics Card Pixel Shader 3.0 or greater; Direct3D®-capable
Display: 22-24” Display with 1920x1080 Resolution
Wireless Network: 802.11b/g/n
Battery: N/A

Recommended Desktop:

Processor: Intel® Core i7 8th generation (minimum 3.20GHz, 8MB cache, 4 cores)
Operating System: Windows® 10 or Windows® 7 64-Bit
Memory: 16GB DDR3 SDRAM
Hard Drive: 500 GB+ Solid State hard drive
Graphics Card: 8 GB gaming graphics card Open GL 3.0 Graphics Card Pixel Shader 3.0 or greater; Direct3D®-capable
Display: 27” Display with minimum 1920x1080 Resolution
Optical Drive: DVD R/W combo
Wireless Network: 802.11b/g/n
Battery: N/A

Minimum Laptop:

Processor: Intel® Core i5 6th generation or AMD Equivalent
Operating System: Windows® 10 or Windows® 7 64-Bit
Memory: 8GB DDR3L SDRAM
Hard Drive: 500GB SATA hard drive (5400RPM)
Graphics Card: 2 GB HD graphics card or better Open GL 3.0 Graphics Card Pixel Shader 3.0 or greater; Direct3D®-capable
Display: 14” Display with minimum 1920x1080 Resolution
Wireless Network: 802.11b/g/n
Battery: 58 WHr 4-6 cell Lithium-Ion Primary Battery

Recommended Laptop:

Processor: Intel® Core i7 7th generation (minimum 3.20GHz, 8MB cache, 4 cores)
Operating System: Windows® 10 or Windows® 7 64-Bit
Memory: 12-16 GB DDR3 SDRAM
Hard Drive: 512GB Solid State hard drive
Graphics Card: 6+ GB gaming graphics card Open GL 3.0 Graphics Card  Pixel Shader 3.0 or greater; Direct3D®-capable
Display: 15-17” Display with minimum 1920x1080 Resolution
Optical Drive: DVD R/W combo (optional)
Wireless Network: 802.11b/g/n
Battery: 88 WHr 6-12 cell Lithium-Ion Primary Battery

Software:

Additional Software you may need:

Important NOTE:
The University is in partnership with Dell, Apple, Lenovo, and HP computers and you can get educational discounts through CATS (Computer and Technology Store) for both hardware and software.

For more information about software availability for students and to see what is currently installed on our lab computers, go to our Student Software Page.