Design Studies: Laptop Guide for Students

Students in any design studies program or class need to be sure they have a computer capable of running the software necessary for the courses they are taking. Any questions about software or hardware please contact the technology team via email BITS@sohe.wisc.edu

Revised– May 2024

Starting fall 2021, all DS students will need a laptop that can run the software required by their classes.

  • Interior Architecture (IA) students cannot use any Mac product because Revit is not compatible with the MacOS operating system. IA students are required to purchase a Windows laptop with a video card (RTX 4060 or Radeon RX7700S minimum), and 16GB RAM.
  • Textiles & Fashion Design (TFD) students may use a Mac or Windows laptop. A Windows laptop must have a video card, a newer Macbook with an M1 processor is recommended.

  • The School of Human Ecology may provide need-based financial assistance to purchase school supplies for students who can demonstrate need. Email Assistant Dean, Patrick Jackson, Patrick.Jackson@wisc.edu for additional information and requests.

Choosing a computer that works with IA software:

  • If you are enrolled in the IA program you must choose a Windows laptop, because you will not be able to run Revit on any Mac computer which is required for your courses.
  • You will also need to make sure you choose a Windows laptop with a sufficiently powerful video card (also known as a GPU). While there are budget-oriented options for GPUs, more expensive/powerful GPUs will perform better and render faster in our IA applications.
  • We are recommending students get laptops with at least RTX 4060 GPUs or Radeon RX7700S GPUs.  Starting in 2023, students will also need at least 16GB of RAM as well, with 32GB of RAM recommended.
  • If you are unsure if your computer has the proper GPU, feel free to send us an email bits@sohe.wisc.edu

Laptop Recommendations for IA

These are three Windows laptop recommendations for Interior Architecture (IA) at different price points that will work, the prices may fluctuate:

Choosing a computer that works with TFD software:

Either a Macbook or Windows laptop will work if you are enrolled in the TFD program. If you prefer a Windows laptop then you must make sure it has a graphics card from Nvidia or Radeon (AMD). If choosing a Macbook, we recommend a model with the M1 processor or newer. I would recommend the following Macs: 

Pretty much any of the new Macbook line (M1 or greater) would be sufficient for TFD, as well as any of the Windows laptops in the IA list (however, they do not need to be as powerful as the IA laptops). If you have questions regarding if a specific laptop and whether it is appropriate for TFD, please reach out to us at bits@sohe.wisc.edu .

Ask us if you have any questions about computer hardware or vetting for specific laptops! Contact: BITS@sohe.wisc.edu



Keywordslaptop, computer, specifications, software   Doc ID111140
OwnerAshley S.GroupSchool of Human Ecology
Created2021-06-01 14:39:13Updated2024-05-30 13:16:45
SitesSchool of Human Ecology
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