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Ideal Laptop for Architecture students

BobF13BobF13 Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
edited June 2011 in Auburn University
My son will be in Architecture foundation unit this fall, and I know he needs to have a laptop and a lot of expensive software (thankfully his scholarship includes $1500 technology allowance). The CADC undergraduate handbook that we received at Camp War Eagle has a list of minimum requirements for laptops for architecture students, so that's a good starting point. My son and I are debating whether to max out processor speed, memory, video card, etc. now, or get a more basic laptop and replace it in a couple years with something more powerful once he has a better idea exactly what is needed. Also curious whether 15" display is sufficient or should he go up to 17". I'd appreciate hearing from any other architecture parents regarding what route they took.

Post edited by BobF13 on

Replies to: Ideal Laptop for Architecture students

  • mw4hskmw4hsk Registered User Posts: 108 Junior Member
    Here is some info from a question I asked on the arch forum which may help. I will tell you she used hers some 2nd quarter, butnthey also use the computers in the lab a lot too. I am also searching for info we got this spring which was the updated specs of what they need and will post it when I find.
    Good luck to your son and as a parent of an arch student be prepared for hearingmthem question what they are doing. The program is very conceptual the first year with very little drafting.
  • mw4hskmw4hsk Registered User Posts: 108 Junior Member
    Here is a link to the updated requirements (that book may have last years specs in it and theynhave changed them). They also now recommend a digital camera. I would say our daughter used her camera as much as the computer in the spring. They worked a lotmwith photoshop and making stop motion films. Shenhas a nikon d90 with an 18mm-200mm lens. This allows her to use one lens since she gets the wide angle and the zoom with that lens.
    CADC - College of Architecture, Design and Construction
  • audellmomaudellmom Registered User Posts: 381 Member
    Though I'm not a parent of a past or future architecture student, I do use Photoshop and vector-based design application(s) on a daily basis. If you don't mind the cost difference, go with the 17" monitor. Your son will need the "screen real estate" for all the palettes within these applications. The bigger monitor will also make it easier for him to work on larger scale projects.
  • mw4hskmw4hsk Registered User Posts: 108 Junior Member
    Our daughter got the 15" monitor for her Macbook pro and has a larger monitor she also uses attached so she can work simultaneously with photoshop and other programs. She did not want to lug a 17" in her backpack daily. Call the IT Dept in CADC - the person in charge can offer so many answers. I cannot remember his name at this time.
  • audellmomaudellmom Registered User Posts: 381 Member
    Backpack issue is a good point -- 17" Macbook may require an individual laptop bag. An extra standalone monitor is an inexpensive way to work more efficiently within design or video apps -- all those palettes can be moved to one monitor, and work area on the other.
  • BobF13BobF13 Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    mw4hsk, thanks for the link, that is the same list we got at CWE. I'm curious how much of the listed architecture software apps did your daughter use during her first year? My son is under the impression that he needs to buy all of the software now, so he's wanting to not spend as much on the laptop to save money for software. But other than MS office, I'm thinking that he probably won't be using the CAD software until he's in the professional program so doesn't need to scrimp on the hardware right now.
  • BobF13BobF13 Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    FYI, we found a great deal on an HP Pavilion dv6 laptop at Sam's that should be more than sufficient for at least several years. It has an i7 quad core processor, 15.6" display, 8GB RAM, 1TB hard drive, Radeon HD video card with 1GB memory, and BluRay player. All this for $999, which is a real bargain.
  • gojackgojack Registered User Posts: 430 Member
    Try this: ASUS U36JC-B1
    Nvidia switchblade graphics card, i5 for much better battery life

    BTW; For a windows laptop, get a Asus or a Toshiba - HP has the worst reliability http://www.engadget.com/2009/11/17/laptop-reliability-survey-asus-and-toshiba-win-hp-fails/
This discussion has been closed.