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 macOS systems. Please note that any Apple product should be ordered online as the in-store systems might not have enough memory.

Windows Computer

Example of a recommended and certified Solidworks compliant computer:

Dell Precision 5470 Series Workstation $3,689.00
Processor: 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12800H, vPro
Video Card: NVIDIA® RTX™ A1000, 4 GB GDDR6
Memory: 32 GB, DDR5, 5200 MHz, integrated
Hard Drive: 512 GB, M.2 2280, Gen 4 PCIe x4 NVMe, SSD
Other Company Recommendations with similar specs would be Asus, Lenovo, HP, MSI
Tax (13%) $479.57
Total $4,168.57

Example of an alternative good graphics-oriented computer:

DELL XPS 15 Laptop $2,299.99
Processor: 11th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-11800H
Video Card: NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 3050 Ti, 4 GB GDDR6, 45 W
Memory: 16 GB, 2 x 8 GB, DDR4, 3200 MHz
Hard Drive: 512 GB, M.2, PCIe NVMe, SSD
Tax (13%) $299.00
Total $2,598.99


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 $2,899.00
Processor: Apple M1 Pro with 10-core CPU, 16-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine
Video Card: Integrated
Memory: 32GB unified memory
Hard Drive: 1TB SSD storage
Tax (13%)  $376.87
Total $3,275.87

Alternative Apple Computer:

MacBook Air with M2 chip $1,899.00
Processor: Apple M2 chip with 8‑core CPU, 10‑core GPU, 16‑core Neural Engine
Video Card: Integrated  
Memory: 24GB unified memory
Hard Drive: 512GB SSD storage
Tax (13%) $246.87
Total $2,145.87


Neither of the Apple MacBook systems above are fully Solidworks compliant and certified. Many students and faculty run MacBook Pros of similar configurations with no issues and Apple offers many other benefits including ease of use and reliability. Solidworks requires that you also install Windows on the computer using Parallels software (again this is common and Windows 10/Windows 11 Education edition is provided for free).