2201 Hardware and Software Recommendations 


School of Design - Graphic Design
Fall 2020-2021 Equipment Information

The SOD - Graphic Design Hardware list is available for download here: CAD_SOD_NMDE_BFA_Supply_List_2020.pdf

Welcome to Graphic Design at RIT! 

Although our labs are fully equipped with high-end Apple and PC computers, a personal computer (Mac or PC with appropriate software) will allow you to complete much of the necessary course work at home.  There are numerous labs with extended hours for computer use with all the appropriate software. But we know, based on questions for students and their families, that some choose to make a purchase so students have more mobility to work in their rooms, the library, lounges, cafes, and other spaces.   If you are looking to make a purchase, the following will give you an idea about the most appropriate hardware, based on processors, memory and other needs. 

Please refer the campus resources in your welcome letter for the Digital Den at Barnes & Noble @ RIT (educational discounts), and our contact information.  We are happy to help as needed!

LAPTOPS

Currently the MacBook Pro available through Apple is the high-end laptop computer. This is the most powerful laptop at this time. It has high processing power which will be helpful as a student progresses through the program. There is an education discount for students.

Some things that might help when considering which version is best:

  • The laptops with the most GHzs are going to run the fastest. These numbers have stayed around the same amount over the years so if your student is certain that they are going to be a Graphic Design major going with the most powerful model will be beneficial.
  • Storage is always great too but it is REALLY important that your student has 3 places they are saving their work to: the laptop, an external hard drive (not a thumb drive) and a “cloud system”. This guarantees that if anything goes wrong with their laptop their work is saved. We discuss this with them in their classes.
  • The Thunderbolt ports are the new USB’s. They are now USB-C and this just allows your student to plug into more things. (ie: have a scanner, printer and monitor plugged in at once.) You can also buy adapters if you need more ports.
  • A Desktop is also an option and I have listed 2 below. The downside is they can’t “travel” around with them.


OPTION ONE: 15” Macbook Pro (2 versions)

1. 15” Macbook Pro - $2,799.00 (estimate)
Touch Bar and Touch ID
2.6GHz 6-core Processor 
512GB Storage

  • 2.6GHz 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor
  • Turbo Boost up to 4.3GHz
  • Radeon Pro 560X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory
  • 16GB 2400MHz DDR4 memory
  • 512GB SSD storage1
  • Retina display with True Tone
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 ports


2. 15” Macbook Pro - $2,399.00 (estimate)
Touch Bar and Touch ID
2.2GHz 6-Core Processor 
256GB Storage

  • 2GHz 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor
  • Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz
  • Radeon Pro 555X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory
  • 16GB 2400MHz DDR4 memory
  • 256GB SSD storage
  • Retina display with True Tone
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 ports

 

OPTION TWO: 13” Macbook Pro (3 versions)
The down-side of a 13” screen is the size. BUT it is still a powerful machine. Many students and designers will also have a large monitor at home that they can use and hook up their laptop to. This helps to see things larger and they can be purchased separately.

1. 13” Macbook Pro - $1,999.00 (estimate)
Touch Bar and Touch ID
2.3GHz Quad-Core Processor 
512GB Storage

  • 3GHz quad-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor
  • Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655
  • 8GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory
  • 512GB SSD storage1
  • Retina display with True Tone
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 ports

2. 13” Macbook Pro - $1,799.00 (estimate)
Touch Bar and Touch ID
2.3GHz Quad-Core Processor 
256GB Storage

  • 3GHz quad-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor
  • Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655
  • 8GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory
  • 256GB SSD storage1
  • Retina display with True Tone
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 ports

 

3. 13” Macbook Pro - $1,499.00 (estimate)
3GHz Dual-Core Processor 
256GB Storage

  • 3GHz dual-core 7th-generation Intel Core i5 processor
  • Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
  • 8GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory
  • 256GB SSD storage1
  • Retina display
  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports

 

OPTION THREE: DESKTOPS
(We have listed 4 versions below,but there are 2 in-between versions you can check www.apple.com for those).
The iMac is a great machine and you can get the same power (or more) with a desktop than you can with a laptop. There is a choice between 21.5” and 27” screens.

You will notice that these machines have a little more processing power and more harddrive storage space.


1.   27” iMac - $2,299.00 (Estimated)
Retina 5K Display
3.8GHz Processor 
2TB Storage

  • 8GHz quad-core 7th-generation Intel Core i5 processor
  • Turbo Boost up to 4.2GHz
  • 8GB 2400MHz memory, configurable up to 64GB
  • 2TB Fusion Drive1
  • Radeon Pro 580 with 8GB video memory
  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Retina 5K 5120-by-2880 P3 display


2.   27” iMac - $1,799.00 (Estimated)
Retina 5K Display
3.4GHz Processor 
1TB Storage

  • 4GHz quad-core 7th-generation Intel Core i5 processor
  • Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz
  • 8GB 2400MHz memory, configurable up to 32GB
  • 1TB Fusion Drive1
  • Radeon Pro 570 with 4GB video memory
  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Retina 5K 5120-by-2880 P3 display

 

3.   21.5” iMac - $1,499.00 (Estimated)
Retina 4K Display
3.4GHz Processor 
1TB Storage

  • 4GHz quad-core 7th-generation Intel Core i5 processor
  • Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz
  • 8GB 2400MHz memory, configurable up to 32GB
  • 1TB Fusion Drive1
  • Radeon Pro 560 with 4GB video memory
  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Retina 4K 4096-by-2304 P3 display


 4. 21.5” iMac - $1,099.00 (Estimated)
2.3GHz Processor 
1TB Storage

  • 3GHz dual-core 7th-generation Intel Core i5 processor
  • Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
  • 8GB 2133MHz memory, configurable to 16GB
  • 1TB hard drive1
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • 1920-by-1080 sRGB display


Adobe Creative Suite: Creative Cloud for students

A membership that gives you access to all of Adobe’s photography, design, video, and web apps on all your desktop and mobile devices. If you're a student, it is $19.99/month. This also includes the flexibility of having your software updated as things change without having to pay upgrading fees. The cloud also allows your student to save things to an external “cloud” hard drive and avoid losing files/work.

See www.adobecreativecloud.com for more details.



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2201 Hardware and Software Recommendations