Students at the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design are required to have a personal laptop computer available for use in class. The following are recommendations for laptops that meet the minimum memory and operating standards required for the software used in the school’s courses.
Students may purchase any brand, make or model of laptop as long as it meets the recommended hardware specifications. Indiana University has discount agreements with some vendors including Apple, CDW-G, Dell, GovConnection, and Microsoft.
If a student would like a Mac, it is recommended to purchase the laptop computer through the IU Bookstore. Please note: Interior Design and Comprehensive Design Students must purchase a PC, not a Mac.
We expect all Interior Design and Comprehensive Design students have a personal laptop computer powerful enough to support the demanding video and computational requirements necessary for course work, as well as adequate storage to accommodate new software releases.
Students are strongly encouraged to purchase a PC as the software programs used in Interior Design and Comprehensive Design are PC-based, and computer courses teach only the PC version of the software. Students are expected to maintain their computer, operating system, and software. Any problems arising from installing, formatting, or running programs on Windows for Macintosh (and subsequent interfaces such as Boot Camp or Parallels) are solely the responsibility of the student. Some software plug-ins will not run on a Mac computer even with Windows for Macintosh running in Boot Camp or Parallels.
Interior Design and Comprehensive Design students should refer to the specifications outlined on this page before buying a laptop.
Students should not download or activate free educational licenses for design software until directed to do so by course instructors.
Students are advised that software (and computer processing) requirements may change during the time they are completing their degrees. A basic or minimum-level computer may not meet their needs for the four years of their education.
PC Laptop requirements (updated April 2022)
Three computer options are referenced below. While these options refer to Dell laptops available for purchase through IU’s educational discount program, students may purchase a laptop from any retailer. We encourage students to consider reliability, performance, and cost as they make a decision about which computer to purchase. These options are provided as examples and to simplify the comparison process.
Model / Screen Size
Dell G15 Gaming Laptop
15.6” Screen 240Hz
Alienware x15 R2
15.6” Screen 165Hz
Alienware X17 R2
17.3” Screen 165Hz
12th gen Intel i7-12700H
12th gen Intel i9-12900H
12th gen Intel i9-12900HK
Memory / RAM
32GB RAM DDR5
32GB RAM LPDDR5
64GB RAM DDR5
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti w/ 8GB Dedicated RAM
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti w/ 16GB Dedicated RAM
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti w/ 16GB Dedicated RAM
** The Minimum laptop will not handle large or complex 3D models without delay or lag time. This computer will be 10-12% slower than the Better option. The size and complexity of models increases significantly as students progress through the curriculum.
All laptops must run the most recent Windows® 10 (64-bit) operating system or higher.
Operating most design software requires an external mouse (wired or wireless). The trackpad will not enable a student to use all features of the software. A mouse is required.
Many students prefer to work with an external monitor to support a two-screen work station. The purchase of an external monitor is optional, but recommended.
Students will have access to university-provided, cloud-based storage systems for creating back-up copies of their work. They may also prefer to have an external solid-state drive for backing up work.
Refer to the system requirements for the most recent version of Revit software available on the Autodesk website.
As an IU student, there are multiple free software packages available to you. These software packages have already been paid for by Indiana University and can be downloaded at IUware. Students are welcome to purchase any necessary software packages for courses from any vendor of their choice.
Purchasing a computer and financial aid
If you require additional information on this subject, please contact Student Central: Financial Aid by phone at 812-855-6500, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Student Central website.
A limited number of loaner laptops will be available for student use during class sessions.
Hardware and software support
It is the student’s responsibility to maintain their laptop in good working order for use in the classroom. Any damage and associated repairs, loss, or operating problems that may occur will be the sole responsibility of the student. Students must have their laptop repaired as needed at their own expense, or secure another unit meeting minimum hardware and software requirements on which they can work.
Late work, lost data, and other such problems due to any incident associated with a student’s laptop will not be accepted by instructors. Students are advised to backup their digital files in multiple formats so all data can easily be transferred to another computer if needed.
Students are also advised to purchase laptops only from reputable vendors with good warranty programs and a proven record of quality service. We recommend that students strongly consider purchasing extended warranty and service plans.
Indiana University does not offer any university-wide hardware repair service and students must visit repair shops off campus.