Important COVID-19 Notes

  • If you already have a desktop computer with specifications similar to the ones listed below, you don’t need to purchase an additional laptop during this time of online courses.
  • When purchasing a laptop online, please consider shipping time. As the COVID-19 situation has affected supply chains around the globe, some major computer brands (e.g. Dell, Asus, HP, Lenovo) may ship your order in one month or later.
  • Please pay attention to your internet connection speed. As you will be required to download and install software (Microsoft Office, Solidworks, KeyShot) and use video conferencing software (Microsoft Teams, Zoom), a reliable internet connection with the speed of at least 10 Mbps (Megabits per second) is required. You can check the internet connection speed here.
  • Please let our computer technician Roman Minakov ( know if you have more specific questions.

The School of Industrial Design requires that students coming into the school have adequate tools to fulfill program requirements.

Below we have provided examples of recommended (high end) versus adequate laptops to show a range of configurations for both Windows and Apple MacBook Pro systems. Please note that any Apple product should be ordered online as the in-store systems do not have enough memory.

Windows Computer

Example of a recommended and certified Solidworks compliant computer:

Dell Precision 15 5000 Series (5540 Mobile Workstation) $2,689.00
Processor: Intel Core Processor i7-9750H (6 Core, 12MB Cache, 2.60GHz up to 4.5GHz Turbo)
Video Card: NVIDIA Quadro T1000 4GB
Memory: 16GB, 1x16GB, DDR4 2666MHz Non-ECC Memory
Hard Drive: M.2 512GB PCIe NVMe Class 40 Solid State Drive
Other Company Recommendation with similar spec would be Asus, Lenovo, HP, MSI
Tax (13%) $349.57
Total $3,038.57

Example of an alternative good graphics-oriented computer:

ASUS Zenbook 15.6″ Laptop (Model: UX534FT-BB71-CB) $1,529.99
Processor: Intel Core i7-8565U (4 Core, 8MB Cache, 1.8GHz up to 4.6GHz Turbo)
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX1650 4GB
Memory: 16 GB
Hard Drive: 512 GB Solid State Drive
Tax (13%) $198.77
Total $1,728.76


The recommended computer has a graphics card that is certified by Solidworks. The alternative computer has a very good graphics card that simply has not been tested by Solidworks, which is less of an issue for students (since they tend to work on smaller assemblies and files) and saves money. Solidworks lists all certified graphics cards at

When selecting a Windows computer, please make sure it has specifications equal to or higher than either system listed above.

Apple Computer
Recommended Apple Computer:

MacBook Pro 16-inch Base $3,499.00
Processor: Intel 2.3GHz 8-core 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.8GHz
Video Card: AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 4GB of GDDR6 memory
Memory: 16GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory
Hard Drive: 1TB SSD storage
USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter  $85.00
Tax (13%)  $465.92
Total $4,049.92

Alternative Apple Computer:

MacBook Pro 13-inch Base $1,949.00
Processor: 1.4GHz quad-core 8th‑generation Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
Video Card: Integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645  
Memory: 16GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory $125.00
Hard Drive: 512GB SSD storage
USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter $85.00
Tax (13%) $280.67
Total $2,439.67

All MacBook Pro models must be ordered online; the Apple store will not have these models instore as these computers are made on order. These upgrades are necessary for both models (13-inch or 15-inch) because once a MacBook is purchased, it CANNOT be upgraded afterwards.

It is recommended when buying an Apple computer to also buy an adapter as the new MacBook Pro computers do not have the ports necessary to connect to other devices.

Neither of the Apple MacBook systems above are fully Solidworks compliant and certified. Many students and faculty run MacBook Pros of similar configurations without problem and Apple offers many other benefits including ease of use and reliability. Solidworks requires that you also install Windows on the computer on BootCamp or Parallels (again this is a common and Windows 10 Education edition is provided for free if necessary).