Student Handbook

Suggested Computer Specs

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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 high-performance 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 a minimum of 32GB of RAM for laptops used for media creation.

Apple Mac Laptops​

Apple Education Store Online

Standard Configuration
16-inch Macbook Pro
2.6GHz 6‐core 9th‐generation Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz
32GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory
AMD Radeon Pro 5300M with 4GB of GDDR6 memory
512GB SSD storage
16″ LED 3072×1920 Display, 720p FaceTime HD Camera
AppleCare+ 3-year warranty with accidental damage coverage

High-Performance Configuration
16-inch Macbook Pro
2.4GHz 8‐core 9th‐generation Intel Core i9 processor, Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz
64GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory
AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 8GB of GDDR6 memory
1TB SSD storage
16″ LED 3072×1920 Display, 720p FaceTime HD Camera
AppleCare+ 3-year warranty with accidental damage coverage

Windows Laptops

HP

Standard Configuration (not suitable for Virtual Reality work)
HP Zbook 15 G6
2.6GHz 6-core Intel Core i7-9750H processor
32GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory (Non-ECC)
NVidia Quadro T2000 with 4GB GDDR5
512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Class 40 SSD
15.6” Full HD (FHD) 1920×1080 display, 1080p webcam
Windows 10 Pro 64-bit OS
3-Year warranty with accidental damage coverage

High-Performance Configuration (suitable for Virtual Reality work)
HP Zbook 15 G6
2.3GHz 8-core Intel Core i9-9880 vPro processor
64GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory (Non-ECC)
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000 with 6GB GDDR6
512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe C40 Opal 2.0 SSD
15.6” Full HD (FHD) 1920×1080 display, 1080p webcam
Windows 10 Pro 64-bit OS
3-Year warranty with accidental damage coverage