Computer Requirements

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:

Precision 15 5000 Series $1,809.00
Nvidia® Quadro® M1000M w/2GB GDDR5 (graphics card)
256GB Class 20 Solid State Drive (SSD upgrade) $310.00
Other Company Recommendation with similar spec would be Asus, Lenovo, MSI
Subtotal $2119.00
Tax (13%) $275.47
Total $2394.47

Example of an alternative good graphics oriented computer:

ASUS K501UW-AB78 15.6-inch $1520.42
Intel Quad-Core i7-6500U
NVIDIA GeForce GTX960M 2GB GDDR5 (graphics card)
Tax (13%) $197.6546
Total $1718.07


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 systems listed above.

Apple Computer
Recommended Apple Computer:

MacBook Pro 15-inch Base $3199
512 SSD Option (need extra space for bootcamp/parallels)  $240
 Subtotal $3439.00
 Tax (13%) $447.67
 USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter  $89
 Tax (13%)  $11.57
 Total $3986.64

Alternative Apple Computer:

MacBook 13-inch Base $1979
16GB 1866MHz memory upgrade $240
512 SSD Option (need extra space for bootcamp/parallels) $250
Subtotal $2469
Tax (13%) $320.97
USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter $89
Tax (13%) $11.57
Total $2890.54

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 7 is provided for free if necessary