Student Handbook

Suggested Computer Specs

Last Updated: August 30, 2019
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Below are suggested computer specs for media creation (e.g. video editing, animation, image editing). If you only need a laptop for general computing (e.g. web browsing, email, writing) then you could purchase a lower spec laptop that would be less expensive than the laptops listed below.

Should I buy an Apple computer or a Windows computer?

While CalArts computer labs are currently comprised primarily of Apple Mac workstations, we also have a few Windows workstations. A student’s personal computer can be either an Apple or Windows computer. However, for students pursuing interactive projects such as game design and virtual reality may want to consider a Windows computer with an NVidia graphics card.

How much SSD storage space does my laptop need?

We suggest that your laptop has, at minimum, 500GB of storage (SSD) space. However, you could opt for a larger SSD (for example, a 1TB SSD).

How much RAM does my laptop need?

We suggest 32GB of RAM for laptops used for media creation.

Apple Mac Laptops​

Apple Education Store Online

Standard Configuration
15-inch Macbook Pro
2.6GHz 6‐core 9th‐generation Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz
32GB 2400MHz DDR4 memory
Radeon Pro 560X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory
512GB SSD storage
With AppleCare+ 3 year warranty

High-Performance Configuration
15-inch Macbook Pro
2.3GHz 8‐core 9th‐generation Intel Core i9 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.8GHz
32GB 2400MHz DDR4 memory
Radeon Pro Vega 20 with 4GB of HBM2 memory
512GB SSD storage
With AppleCare+ 3 year warranty

Windows Laptops

Dell

Standard Configuration (not suitable for Virtual Reality work)
15-inch Dell Precision 5540 (Mobile Workstation)
Intel Core Processor i7-9750H, 6 Core, 12M Cache, 2.60GHz up to 4.5GHz Turbo, 45W
Windows 10 Pro 64bit English
Nvidia Quadro T2000 w/4GB GDDR5
32GB,2x16GB, 2666MHz DDR4 Non-ECC
M.2 512GB PCIe NVMe Class 40 Solid State Drive
With 3 Years Hardware Service with OnSite/In-Home Service After Remote Diagnosis

High-Performance Configuration (suitable for Virtual Reality work)
15-inch Dell Precision 7540 (Mobile Workstation)
Intel Core Processor i7-9750H, 6 Core, 12M Cache, 2.60GHz up to 4.5GHz Turbo, 45W
Windows 10 Pro 64bit English, French, Spanish
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000 w/6GB GDDR6
32GB, (2X16GB) 2666MHz DDR4 Non-ECC
M.2 512GB PCIe NVMe C40 Opal 2.0 SED
With 3 Years Hardware Service with OnSite Service After Remote Diagnosis