Department of Architecture Laptop Policy

The School of Architecture and Design requires all incoming undergraduate freshman, Master of Architecture, and M.S students to purchase a personal laptop computer powerful enough to support the demanding video and computational requirements necessary for academic course work, as well as adequate storage to accommodate new and future software releases. It is crucial for SoAD to guarantee that all our students acquire the highest level of expertise and knowledge required to perform competitively in the evolving architecture, design, and technology professions.

SoAD has coordinated with ITS and Dell to offer a laptop model capable of lasting the duration of the student's time in the program and can be purchased at an educational discount. This option provides support from New York Tech's Information Technology Services and future software updates. Dell has optimized the laptop specifications to run the latest CAD, BIM, graphic design, and 3D modeling software. SoAD strongly recommends that students consider purchasing the specified Dell XPS laptop model through the link below. If you do not wish to purchase a Dell, you must have a machine that reflects the minimum specifications listed or above. We do not recommend students purchase Apple laptops as not all software is offered on the Mac platform. Please see the important note below for more information.

For B.S.A.T., B.Arch., Interior Design B.F.A., M.Arch., M.S.AHD, and M.S.AUD programs (View specific requirements for the M.S.ACT program):


Minimum Required Computer Specification

Processor i9-12900Hk (24 MB cache, 14 cores, 20 threads, up to 5.0 GHz Turbo) or Higher
Operating System Windows 11 Pro, English, French, Spanish
Memory 32 GB, 2 × 16 GB, DDR5, 4800 MHz, dual-channel
LCD 17.0" FHD+ (1920 × 1200) Infinity Edge Anti-Glare 500-Nit Display
Hard Drive 1 TB, M.2, PCIe NVMe, SSD
Wireless 6 1675 Bluetooth 5.2 Wireless Card
Video Card NVIDIA® GeForce RTX 3060, 6 GB GDDR6, 60 W, 3 DP, HDMI

Required Software

Students will have access to a computer software image provided by New York Tech for the computer labs. Students are required to purchase licenses and install in their laptops the following software. Be aware that if you plan on purchasing an Apple computer, the software is required to be purchased for Windows. Note that Google Drive is available for all New York Tech students as a storage and file backup.

New York Tech Software Downloads

Adobe Software (fee based - PC only)

  • Illustrator
  • Photoshop
  • InDesign
  • Acrobat Pro

Autodesk Software

Microsoft Software (free; New York Tech login required)

  • Word
  • PowerPoint
  • Excel

Rendering Platforms (fee-based)

CAM Fabrication

  • Cura
  • Pepakura


  • Google Earth Pro
  • Google Earth Engine

3D Modeling Platforms

  • Paneling Tools
  • SmartForm
  • Wavebird
  • Pufferfish
  • LunchBox
  • DoodleBug
  • Caterpillar
  • Animation for Grasshopper

New York Tech IT Computer Support

Please contact ITS for assistance.

School of Architecture and Design Point of Contact

Long Island Campus – Marie Odile Baretsky
Workshop Supervisor
Education Hall, Room 274

New York City Campus – Mauricio Tacoaman
Workshop Supervisor
Edward Guiliano Global Center, Room 1010

Important Note

Students who wish to purchase a Macbook Pro should be advised of the following issues related to owning and operating a Mac:

  • The School of Architecture and Design recommends only the highest end model of a Macbook Pro in order to support adequate 3D modeling and rendering software capabilities for all department academic coursework.
  • The New York Tech Dell laptop discounted price and IT support plan will not apply to Mac or other alternative laptop models purchased.
  • To purchase an adequate and properly equipped Macbook Pro will require additional initial and maintaining costs including purchase and download of Bootcamp or VM Ware, a copy of Windows 10x64, and increased or upgraded hardware for PC performance equivalency.
  • Purchasing a Mac laptop will not permit upgrades to any of the components in the future.
  • All required department software should be PC based. Most Mac format software does not allow the same functionality as PC.
  • The performance specification for the Mac will require 200% more power than the required PC. The Mac laptop will require a partition to run both Mac and PC. This splits the computers performance in half.

Common Concerns

We understand that the cost of the laptop seems high when compared to off-the-shelf models, but the specified model is planned to last the duration of the program, and to guarantee the right performance to fulfill the assignments required in courses. The text below will help clarify the reasons to purchase a well-equipped machine from the beginning. If you have additional questions please direct them to the point of contact listed for each campus location.

Some laptops do not allow aftermarket upgrades of memory, so it is necessary to purchase a computer which will perform well throughout the program, as software updates require more memory with updates and newer versions. Some laptop manufacturers split storage into a small initial partition, and a larger secondary partition. A laptop must have a 512 GB initial partition (the C: drive on Windows) to meet the computer requirements.

Laptops do not allow the addition of new video hardware. In order to run all of the required 3D modeling software programs, it is important to have a computer that has a video card that meets the minimum specifications.