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Computer Requirement

Published December 12, 2019

All Studio Art students will need to purchase a laptop computer. This allows students to work seamlessly on their own computer in studio classes and computer labs.

Computer Recommendations

Studio Art students are required to purchase a laptop. This page provides some recommendations to consider when choosing a computer. In general, purchasing a computer with a faster processor, more memory, and a better graphics card is worth the extra investment as it will extend the useful life of the machine. Consider purchasing a carrying case and AppleCare or an equivalent protection plan for your new computer.

Operating System

Choose a computer with the latest version of either macOS or Microsoft® Windows®.

When deciding whether to purchase a Windows or Mac computer, research the system recommendations for specific software that you intend to use. Some programs will run on only one operating system or the other. Others have specific requirements concerning graphic cards. Many applications for Linux can be run on macOS or via WSL on Windows.


  • Windows System Processor: Latest multi-Core Intel i-Series, Xeon®, or AMD® equivalent with 2.5 GHz minimum and 3GHz or higher processor is recommended
  • Apple System Processor: 64-bit Intel CPU or Apple M series CPU

Graphics Card (CPU)

If you intend to use the laptop for graphics-intensive applications – such as 3D animation, video editing, or photorealistic rendering – you should consider purchasing a laptop with a Class 1, 2, or 3 graphics card (GPU) as shown in this cross-reference list: Class 4 and lower cards found in lower-end Microsoft Surface and MacBook laptops are not suitable for graphics-intensive work.

If you intend to work in depth with AI and machine learning, 16GB of VRAM is recommended. Use the above comparison chart to determine how much VRAM is available on each graphics card.

Other Hardware

  • Memory: 16 GB minimum (32 GB or higher is recommended)
  • Hard Drive: SSD (Solid State Drive) storage of 512 GB is recommended.
  • Pointing Device: Three-button mouse
  • Backup Hard Drive: USB-C, USB 3.0, or Thunderbolt recommended
  • An adapter to allow you to connect to a projector via HDMI is highly recommended
  • Adapters to allow you to connect USB devices to your computer’s USB-C ports


  • A subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud is recommended
  • Autodesk provides free software for students, including Maya and Fusion 360
  • Microsoft Office 365 is available to all students for free
  • Cloud storage on Microsoft OneDrive is also available free of charge


Computers, software, and accessories can be purchased at a discount through the FSU bookstore on campus or via their website: