Architecture students have specific school needs. This is why buying a computer for architecture school will involve not just shopping around for the lowest prices but also researching about the specifications. Detailed here are the things that you should look for when buying a computer for architecture school.
1. Know first if the architecture school you will be attending requires that you have your own laptop.
Most architecture schools these days require each student to have a laptop. Since this is the case, then it would be smart to inquire first before you go about buying a computer for architecture school.
2. Know the basic hardware requirements of a computer ideal for architecture school.
Architecture students are required to learn specific industry-related software applications that render design and analyze data. Needless to say, these software applications will have to be installed on powerful computers. Since this is the case, then the computer you will need to buy should have 2 GHz or more of processor speed, at least 2 GB of RAM, at least 160 GB of hard drive space, and a fast and large capacity graphics card. Of course, a computer with wireless capability is a must these days to access the Internet anywhere. You should also look for a screen size of at least 15" especially if you are thinking of buying a laptop. Another practical add-on would be a DVD writer for backing up your architecture school files.
3. Know which computer operating system best suits your schooling requirements.
Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Geographic Information System (GIS) are just two of the more commonly used software applications in architecture school. CAD is employed to draft and render designs while GIS helps in analyzing data. Both of these software applications run on Microsoft platforms. Buying a computer running on an appropriate version of Windows would be a smart move then. If however you decide to purchase a Mac computer, you must have it installed with a specific software application. You can choose to have it installed either with VMware Fusion or Parallels Desktop for Mac to enable Windows-based CAD and GIS to run on your Mac computer.
4. Opt to purchase a removable storage device for your architecture school files.
The designs you make in architecture school will surely be large in terms of storage size. These large stored files could cause your computer to run slow. A removable storage device will be the best solution to this problem. Select one that is capable, not only of storing and reading files, but burning or copying of data as well.
Architecture schools do not sell computers, but they do have special deals with software developers. So you should check your architecture school for specially discounted prices for software applications that you will need for studying architecture.