Computer Requirements

Beginning in the Fall 2014 semester, the CAED will begin phasing in the following computer and software purchasing guidelines for students in the Architecture and Interior Design programs.  This policy was established to aid in the planning of computer purchase(s) throughout the completion of the Architecture and Interior Design programs. 

The college highly recommends that students entering the Architecture and Interior Design programs have a mid-range consumer-grade laptop.  Students should consider using a laptop that is already owned or another existing computer if possible. If you do not have access to a laptop already and must purchase a new one we have some recommendations below. Again, please note that if you already have a laptop it does not need to meet the specifications below. These specifications are only for people who don't already have access to a laptop and must purchase a new one.  Some courses in the university may require a more robust system, so be sure to verify any class/software requirements before making a purchase.  The College will update these specifications on an annual or biannual basis to match advances in software and hardware requirements. Limited computer lab usage will also be available to students. There is a paragraph at the end of this document regarding Apple Computers. Please review it carefully before purchasing an Apple Computer.

 

Computer Requirements for the Architecture Programs

1st - 3rd Year:

The college highly recommends that students entering the Architecture programs have a mid-range consumer-grade laptop.  Students should consider using a laptop that is already owned or another existing computer if possible.  Some courses in the university may require a more robust system, so be sure to verify any class/software requirements before making a purchase.  The College will update these specifications on an annual or biannual basis to match advances in software and hardware requirements. Limited computer lab usage will also be available to students.

Example minimum specs for 2013/2014:
Intel® Core™ i5 – 3rd (Ivy Bridge) or 4th (Haswell) (4 cores recommended)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Core_i5 
4GB - 8GB Memory
500GB Hard Drive
15.6" HD Widescreen LED Display
DVD±RW Drive
Dedicated ATI or nVidia video adapter
Wireless Network Adapter

4th Year and Graduate Students:

Students entering 4th year Architecture will begin rendering and using other resource intensive applications.  The college requires the purchase of a high-end desktop computer.  Many students choose to have these systems custom built to better fit their needs.  

Example minimum specs for 2013/2014:
Intel® Core™ i7 – 3rd (Ivy Bridge) or 4th Generation (Haswell)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Core_i7
12 GB+ Memory
2TB Hard Drive
Dual 20"+ monitors
DVD±RW Drive
Dedicated ATI or nVidia video adapter with at least 1-2GB memory
Wireless Network Adapter

Note: Autodesk provides a free online tool that recommends Graphics Hardware based on software you intend to run on your system.
Please go to: http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/syscert?siteID=123112&id=18844534&l... and run the tool with the following settings:

1. Graphics Hardware
2. Autodesk Revit 2013
3. Windows 7 64-bit

Click find and it will recommend a list of graphics cards Autodesk recommends for both laptops and desktops.

Software Resources:

1.    AutoCAD Architecture 2013 (or latest edition) Academic Version (Free download when you join the student community at students.autodesk.com)
    
2.    Adobe Creative Suites CS5 (or latest edition) Design Standard  www.journeyed.com or it can be purchased at the or KSU bookstore
    
3.    Microsoft Office Products (Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, etc) http://www.kent.edu/is/helpdesk/microsoft.cfm
    
4.    Google Sketchup (FREE - sketchup.google.com)
    
5.    Revit Architecture 2013  (Free download when you join the student community at students.autodesk.com)
    
6.    Virus and Spy/Malware Protection – Microsoft Security Essentials (Free - click the download link at http://support.kent.edu)



Additional Software:

The following and other software may be required for certain classes.
   
″    Adobe Premier & After Affects
   
″    Rhino 3d
   
″    Autodesk Max Design
   
″    Autodesk Maya

File sharing of copyrighted content is illegal.  Using peer-to-peer services such as Limewire and bit-torrent services can not only get you into legal trouble, but can also cause your computer to run poorly – sometimes requiring you to reload Windows from scratch.  These costly headaches can be avoided by simply not using peer-to-peer services.    

Please note - free downloads are offered by the respective software developers and not Kent State. These free promotions are subject to change or end at any time without notice. Most downloads are not perpetual, and expire after a set amount of time.  

Computer Requirements for the Interior Design Programs

The information listed below are the Interior Design laptop specs that will be required for 2nd year Interior Design Students.  It is highly recommended that you wait until the 2nd year of the Interior Design program to purchase a laptop.  You should consider using a laptop that you already own or another existing computer for your 1st year of the program.  Limited computer lab usage will also be available to students. 

Processor and Memory
A minimum of 4GB (32 bit) or 8GB (64 bit) of memory is required.
A minimum of an Intel i7 or high end i5  processor is required.

Display and Video
A minimum of a 15” display is required – 17” is recommended.
An external monitor is recommend for added desktop space.
A minimum of a 512MB - 1GB dedicated ATI or NVIDIA video/graphics card is required.

Communication
10/100 integrated network card (usually a standard option) is required for wired network connectivity.
wireless network card is required for wireless network connectivity.
A FireWire port is optional, but may be needed if you own a camcorder that requires one to transfer video.  Please check any devices that you own or plan to purchase in the future to see if this port is required.
An integrated web cam is recommended for students wishing to use Skype or other video chat applications.

Storage
A minimum of a 500GB - 1TB hard drive is required.
CDRW/DVD drive is recommended for software installation and data storage.
8-16 GB jump drive is required (Put your name on it!).
1TB or larger external hard drive is highly recommended.

Software
    1.    AutoCAD Architecture 2012 (or latest edition) Academic Version (Free download when you join the student community atstudents.autodesk.com)
    2.    Adobe Creative Suites CS5 (or latest edition) Design Standard www.journeyed.com or it can be purchased at the or KSU bookstore
    3.    Microsoft Office Products (Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, etc) http://www.kent.edu/is/helpdesk/microsoft.cfm
    4.    Google Sketchup (FREE - sketchup.google.com)
    5.    Revit Architecture 2012 (Free download when you join the student community at students.autodesk.com)
    6.    Virus and Spy/Malware Protection – Microsoft Security Essentials (Free - click the download link at http://support.kent.edu)

Optional Software
This and other software may be required for certain classes.
    •    Adobe Premier & After Affects
    •    Rhino 3d
    •    Autodesk Max Design
    •    Autodesk Maya

File sharing of copyrighted content is illegal.  Using peer-to-peer services such as Limewire and bit-torrent services can not only get you into legal trouble, but can also cause your computer to run poorly – sometimes requiring you to reload Windows from scratch.  These costly headaches can be avoided by simply not using peer-to-peer services.    

Please note - free downloads are offered by the respective software developers and not Kent State. These free promotions are subject to change or end at any time without notice. Most downloads are not perpetual, and expire after a set amount of time.  

Note about Macintosh Computers

In previous years, Macintosh computers were not recommended because the software packages and college print drivers used were only compatible with the Windows operating system. Apple has since started using Intel processors in the Macintosh product, allowing Windows and other operating systems to be run.  These operating systems can run exclusively, or in a "virtual" environment simultaneously with the Mac OS.  Because of the resources required to run certain software packages and the variance between a PC and a Mac, we are still not recommending the purchase of a Mac computer for school use. Keep in mind that if you have a Mac, we cannot support it or guarantee its compatibility with the required software packages, college print drivers, or classroom lectures.