Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning Computer Requirements

(Updated March 2021)

NOTE: ALL departments require students to have a computer with minimum specifications listed below. Computers that do not meet minimum specifications may prevent students from completing course assignments. 
Please read this page AND the general information before spending money on computer hardware and software.

EACH DEPARTMENT HAS DIFFERENT REQUIREMENTS!

Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning graduate students must have their own computer by the Fall Semester of their first year.

The Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning requires all students to own a computer that, at a minimum, meets the specifications listed below. We strongly recommend students purchase a Windows computer and Windows-associated hardware.

Each department in the College of Design has different computer requirements. Please read the College’s Student Computing Requirements General Information page for general information before spending money on computer hardware or software.

We recommend that your computer meet or exceed the specifications below. A computer with greater capability (processor speed, RAM, disk capacity) and expandability will be more likely to continue to run required software in later years of college.

This chart provides minimum recommendations for students purchasing new computers. Software requirements are listed at the bottom of the chart. Additional specialized software may be required in other courses, as determined by the instructor. Students may consider the purchase of other software to support their particular goals and learning styles.

Windows Computers

Components Windows Desktop Windows Laptop
CPU (Processor) or Model Any model using Intel Core i7 or newer processors.
Should meet current Lumion system requirements.
System RAM 16 GB minimum. Students who intend to pursue coursework in advanced GIS or 3D modeling courses should upgrade to 32 GB minimum
Hard Drive (Storage) 512 GB SSD minimum, more preferred (multiple drives are fine)
Monitor/Display 21″ or larger, 1920×1080 resolution or better 15″ or larger (second external monitor recommended)
Graphics Processor Unit (GPU) Should have a discrete GPU. Should meet current Lumion system requirements.
6GB video memory or more. No integrated graphics processors.
Operating System

Information for obtaining a free student license of Windows 10 Education is available here.

Windows 10 Home or Pro
Audio Standard on PCs
Network Adapters Wi-Fi card or adapter
Backup External Drive – Windows Backup & Restore (external drive needs to be at least twice the computer’s storage capacity)

Cloud Backup Services – Google Backup & Sync (using NCSU Google account with “unlimited” storage) or another backup service

Warranty Service Minimum 3-year onsite parts and labor or third-party loss/damage coverage
Software

Be sure to check for educational discounts through the College of Design or Wolfpack Outfitters.

Many Autodesk products are available free through Autodesk’s Education Community.

Additional software may be required for certain courses.

Microsoft Office 365 (free for NCSU students)

• Autodesk AutoCAD 2020 or later

• Adobe Creative Cloud

Macintosh Computers

Components Macintosh Desktop Macintosh Laptop
CPU (Processor) or Model iMac, iMac Pro, or Mac Pro, any current model MacBook Pro, any current 15″ or 16″ model
System RAM 16 GB minimum, more preferred
Hard Drive (Storage) 512 GB SSD minimum, more preferred (multiple drives are fine)
Monitor/Display 21″ or larger (Monitors from other vendors will work with Apple computers.) iMacs include a built-in 5K monitor 15″ or 16″ (second external monitor optional, but recommended) Monitors from other vendors will work with Apple computers
Graphics Processor Unit (GPU) Should have a discrete GPU. 6 GB VRAM or more. Avoid integrated graphics processors
Operating System Mac OS X version 10.14 or later
Audio Standard on Macs
Network Adapters Wi-Fi card or adapter
Backup External Drive – Time Machine (external drive needs to be at least twice the computer’s storage capacity)

Cloud Backup Services – Google Backup & Sync (using NCSU Google account with “unlimited” storage) or another backup service

Warranty Service 3-year AppleCare Protection Plan or third-party loss/damage coverage
Software

Be sure to check for educational discounts through the College of Design or Wolfpack Outfitters.

Many Autodesk products are available free through Autodesk’s Education Community.

Additional software may be required for certain courses.

Microsoft Office 365 (free for NCSU students)

• Adobe Creative Cloud

• Autodesk AutoCAD 2020 or later

Autodesk AutoCAD for Mac is available, but does not have all the features of AutoCAD for Windows.

Questions?

The College’s Information Technology staff will be glad to go over purchase choices or answer any related questions. You can send an email to design_help@ncsu.edu or use this form to contact the College Information Technology staff with specific information about your problem.