Department of Architecture Laptop Policy

The School of Architecture and Design requires all incoming undergraduate freshman and masters of architecture 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 that all our students acquire the highest level of expertise and knowledge required to perform competitively in the evolving architecture, design, and technology professions.

The School of Architecture and Design has coordinated with the university and Dell to offer a laptop model capable of lasting the duration of the student's time in the program, and that can be purchased at an educational discount. This option provides support from New York Institute of Technology's IT department and future software updates. Dell has optimized the laptop specifications to run the latest CAD, BIM, graphic design, and 3D modeling software. We strongly recommend that students consider purchasing the specified Dell XPS 15 laptop model through the link below.

Recommended Computer

DELL New 15" Precision 7560 – STUDENT PURCHASE LINK

Minimum Required Computer Specification

Processor 11th Gen Intel Core Processor i9-11950H (8 Core, 24MB Cache, 2.60GHz to 5.00GHz, 45W, vPro)
Operating System Windows 10 Pro, 64-bit, English Memory
Memory 32GB, 2X16GB, DDR4 3200Mhz Non-ECC Memory
LCD 15.6” UHD HDR 600, 3840x2160, Anti-Glare, Non-Touch, 100% Adobe, 600 Nits, IR Cam/Mic,WLAN
Hard Drive M.2 2280 1 TB, Gen 3 PCIe x4 NVMe, Solid State Drive
Wireless Intel® Wi-Fi 6E (6GHz) 2x2 and Bluetooth 5.2
Video Card NVIDIA RTX A3000 w/6 GB GDDR6
Warrenty 3 Year ProSupport (Accidental Damage Service upgrade available)
Insurance Insurance Theft and damage insurance (recommended)

*Students will use cloud computing as well

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 a Mac 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

Software Common to Architecture, Computational Technologies, M.S. Program:

Adobe Software (fee based - PC only)

  • Illustrator
  • Photoshop
  • InDesign
  • Acrobat Pro
  • Premiere Pro
  • After Effects
  • Dreamweaver

Autodesk Software

  • AutoCAD (free) – Windows only
  • Revit Architecture (free) – Windows only
  • Fusion 360
  • Slicer for Fusion 360
  • Maya 2020 (Python)
  • Autodesk CFD

Microsoft Software (free; New York Tech login required)

  • Word
  • PowerPoint
  • Excel

Rendering Platforms (fee-based)

Programming Languages

  • Python
  • JavaScript (TBC)

CAM Fabrication

  • Maker Bot Print
  • Nefabb
  • Pepakura
  • Octopuz ( [TBC]
  • Rhinoceros Grasshopper Robotics (Kuka PRc (KRL) + Robots in Architecture Membership TBC, TacoCAM)

Physical Computation

  • Arduino
  • Raspberry Pi
  • Mach3 CNC (Console Machine Controller Software, Optional CAM design)


  • ArGIS (PRO)
  • Google Earth Pro
  • Google Earth Engine

3D Modeling Platforms

  • MatLAB (free; New York Tech login required)
  • Wolfram Alpha (free; New York Tech login required)
  • Wolfram Mathematica 12 (free; New York Tech login required)
  • Rhinoceros 3d 6 (fee-based) – Windows only
  • Rhinoceros 3d 7 (WIP)
  • Rhinoceros 3d Grasshopper Plug Ins (GHPYTHON, Kangaroo Physics, Karamba, FireFly, Culebra, Volvox, Millipede, Rabbit, SandBoxTopology, tOpos, Cocoon, MinSurf, RemoteSlider, Slikworm, GHPython, kangaroo, Heliotrope, Parakeet, LyreBird -LadyBug, Paneling Tools, SmartForm, Wavebird-, Pufferfish, LunchBox, DoodleBug, Caterpillar, Animation for Grasshopper)
  • Rhinoceros 3d Plug Ins (RhinoCAM, RoboDK, Rhino Vault)
  • Processing (free)
  • Reality Capture (free, with PPI when exporting)
  • Unity 3d (Python)

Other Software, Platforms, Robotics to be installed depending on instructors. MS ACT will use mostly Python for scripting.

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 Program Dell laptop discounted price and IT Support plan will not apply to Mac or other alternative laptop model 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 to the 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.

New York Tech IT Computer Support

Please contact Service Central.

School of Architecture and Design Point of Contact

Long Island Campus – Marie Odile Baretsky
Workshop Supervisor
Education Hall Rm. 274

New York City Campus – Mauricio Tacoaman
Workshop Supervisor
Edward Guiliano Global Center Rm. 1010

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 performances to fulfill the assignments required in your 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 above 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 ust have a 512GB 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.