The 2016-2017 Undergraduate Computer Requirements are listed below.

COMPUTER AND TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE (CTC)

INTRODUCTION

Laptops General: Students in the school buy either PC-Laptops with Windows or Apple Macbook Pro’s. SolidWorks is a Computer Aided Design program that only runs on Windows, so Mac users either use Bootcamp or a virtualization tool such as VirtualBox or Parallels to run Windows (without any problems).  Bootcamp provides the best performance, but if students who have very high-end Macs will often take the virtualization route for convenience.  Note that you must regularly update the video drivers on the Bootcamp (PC) side of the computer.

The studio facilities are wireless environments where students can access printers, internet and prototyping machines. The graphics intensive software applications used in the program requires well-configured computers. The school has therefore put together a list of minimum suggested hardware and software configurations.

LAPTOPS

The School of Industrial Design Computer and Technology Committee has researched the computer requirements particularly in regards to 3D CAD software (e.g. Solidworks, Rhino, Keyshots, etc.) which are used extensively in design projects.  Students should complement these guidelines with their own research and make their purchase decisions based on their own desires, budgets and requirements. These can be purchased from electronic warehouses or from online stores.  It is recommended that even if you are going to buy online, try to find one in store that you can go and try to make sure you find it comfortable to use.   Be sure to inquire about sufficient warranties.  The minimum system requirements listed below are typically sufficient for student oriented work.

CPU

  • Intel Core i5 or i7 4th Generation or newer (quad core or more).
  • AMD A-Series (quad core or more).
  • Budget processors such as Intel Core i3 / Core 2 or AMD Sempron are not recommended.

RAM

  • Minimum 8GB

HARD DRIVE

  • Minimum 250GB, 500 GB Recommended.
  • A Solid State Drive is recommended.

VIDEO

  • A 13” or larger display screen. 13 inches is enough and you’ll save money and weight) The Macbook Pro is mostly 13″
  • Laptops include either integrated or dedicated video cards. Whereas integrated video cards are less expensive, they can pose some limitation with high end graphics software . Students who are concerned about this may wish to research video card compatibility with Adobe Photoshop and Solidworks.
  • Laptops with a dedicated video card mandatory.

Please note that students are eligible for discounts through the Apple online store.

MACBOOK PRO

You MUST choose a MacBook Pro with a dedicated video processer option installed.  Again, either AMD or Nvidia chipsets are required.  Lower end models of Macbook Pros often only have Intel Integrated chipset   (also called ‘Intel Iris Graphics 6100′), which is not really sufficient for use with design software.   Macbook Airs and Macbooks are not recommended.

SolidWorks only runs on Windows, so Mac users must either use Bootcamp or a virtualization tool such as VirtualBox or Parallels to run Windows.  Bootcamp provides the best performance, but if students who have very high-end Macs will often take the virtualization route for convenience.  Note that you must regularly update the video drivers on the Bootcamp (PC) side of the computer.

Please note that students are eligible for discounts through the Apple online store.

OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Home or renters insurance (the University does not cover student property).
  • Laptop warranty, ideally for the length of time you will have it for your studies (usually has to be purchased when you buy the system).
  • A portable drive to backup all your work.
  • Wireless-N or a Wireless-GEthernet port (Gigabit / 1 Gb/s).
  • A short Ethernet cable to use if your wireless connection has issues.
  • Security cable (this is recommended).
  • A well padded case.

SOFTWARE CONFIGURATION (ALL SYSTEMS)

  • Solidworks (provided free to students).
  • Rhino3D (provided free to students).
  • Microsoft Office Suite (Student Edition)*.
    (APPLE INCLUDES FREE SOFTWARE SUITE THAT WORKS FINE)
  • Adobe Creative Suite (Student Edition)*.
  • Windows 7 (provided free to students if required)**.

* The Carleton Bookstore sells software at a discount through www.journeyed.ca.

** If you have more than 3.2 GB of memory (RAM), you will need to install a 64-bit version of the OS in order to use all of that memory. All Windows software (except MS Office Suite which is offered through the University’s cmail email account) is provided free of charge to SID students.

**To use the latest Solidworks software a 64-bit version of Windows is needed.

You are advised to avoid installing large numbers of 3rd party applications unrelated to your studies. Many pieces of software such as games and music software install background services that may over time significantly impair the performance of your system.

NOTES

  • Students are responsible for installation and service on their own computers.
  • Students are not allowed to leave computers in studios overnight.
  • Students need to supply security cables, etc. for locking laptops in studio during the day.
  • The SID takes no responsibility for hardware or software compliance.