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College of Design

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mac or PC... The great debate!

When you begin to search for a personal computer to use to complete your coursework one question always comes up. "I'm going into design, does that mean I need to buy a Mac or PC?" My most objective answer is to look at the programs you will be running (adobe creative suite, AutoCAD, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), SketchUP, etc etc) and see what their running requirements are. mac vs pc.jpgThen go to the store of your choosing and find the computer that meets the required specs. Many programs will tell you that you need a minimum of 2gb of RAM to run the program but 2gb will often leave you hitting your head against your desk waiting for the programs to run, do yourself a favor and purchase a computer with 4gb of RAM if at all possible.

Also very important is to purchase an external hard drive to back your work up with. The last thing you want to have happen is to work day in and day out on a project just to have your hard drive crash the day before your set to present (knock on wood i've avoided this but I know a handful of friends who haven't.) So take the advice up front, you may just be really glad you did one day.

Take advantage of the College of Design computer labs in your first few years here at the U of M as all of their computers are updated each year with the newest versions of the programs you need saving you a lot of money in purchasing program licenses. When the time does come where you deem it necessary to purchase the program for yourself be sure to buy the program from the U of M Bookstore as they have student rates resulting in GREATLY REDUCED software prices. Also, AutoCAD is free as long as your a student from the AutoDesk website.

Happy Shopping!

Eric Maass
- Accelerated Bachelor of Environmental Design 2011
- Masters of Landscape Architecture Candidate 2013