Recommended Hardware for GSD Students
For Fall 2015



Increasingly, instruction at the GSD requires meeting in locations and classrooms with WIFI-only  and actively using software in class, some of it is only compatible with Windows. So, ALL GSD STUDENTS ARE EXPECTED TO BRING TO SCHOOL A LAPTOP COMPUTER CAPABLE OF RUNNING WINDOWS. This requirement reflects the reality that students with only a desktop, or unable to run Windows, will not be able to fully participate in the diversity of educational opportunities and activities essential to today's design and planning education.

While a Mac running a dual-OS solution (i.e. bootcamp) and a separate copy Windows 7, 8 or 10 is an acceptable solution, in our experience this may require more expense and complication, since you will have two rather different operating systems and applications on your computer -- a PC Laptop (e.g. Dell or Lenovo) is often a simpler solution.

Here are some suggestions to help you choose a laptop for Design computing.  These are component specifications for meeting the most basic performance requirements.

RAM Memory: 8GB minimum

Processor: i5 or i7 processor 

A strong Graphics Card capable of displaying resolutions at or higher than 1280x720. 

An HDMI port (or an adapter) for connecting to projectors and electronic display screens found in various meeting spaces throughout the building.  

Some students find it useful to connect their laptop to a larger monitor (between 20-24 inch) for desktop computing.

Below you will find specific hardware requirements for some of the more popular software applications used at the GSD.
AutoCAD -
Rhino -
Adobe Creative Suite -
ArcGIS v10 -

With your email address, you are eligible for a discount from Dell and Lenovo, at the following two portals:


Resources: Computer Resources: Your Computer

Platform 8 Team
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