The Laptop requirements for the 2020-2021 school year have been announced!

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Laptop Requirements and purchase links are now found in the Technology Store.

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Laptop requirement 2020-2021 Academic Year

Cleveland Institute of Art Laptop Policy

All CIA students are required to have a laptop. At a minimum, this laptop should support Adobe Creative Cloud*. Specifications for laptops suitable for Adobe Creative Cloud can be found here:


Adobe Creative Cloud

Minimum Hardware Specifications

Operating System Recommendation

Adobe CC System requirements webpage:

  • 13” HD display
  • 16GB RAM
  • 256GB drive or more (solid state recommended)
  • 3-year warranty

macOS or Windows

 

The majority of first-year digital work is centered around Adobe Creative Cloud*. Once students enter their sophomore year, they are expected to own a laptop which meets major-specific requirements, outlined in the table below.

* All CIA students are provided with FULL Adobe Creative Cloud subscriptions. Students do not need to purchase subscriptions.  Information will be distributed to incoming students before the start of the semester.

Major

Minimum Hardware Specifications

Operating System Recommendation

Animation

  • 15” HD display (UHD recommended)
  • i7 processor
  • 16GB RAM 
  • 512GB drive (solid state preferred)
  • 3-year warranty

Windows

Ceramics

  • 13” HD display
  • 16GB RAM
  • 256GB drive or more (solid state recommended)
  • 3-year warranty

macOS or Windows

Drawing

  • 13” HD display
  • 16GB RAM
  • 256GB drive or more (solid state recommended)
  • 3-year warranty

macOS or Windows

Game Design

  • 15” HD display (UHD recommended)
  • i7 processor
  • 16GB RAM
  • 1TB drive (solid state preferred)
  • nVidia GeForce GTX 1060 or better graphics card
  • 3-year warranty

Windows

Graphic Design

  • 13” HD display
  • 16GB RAM
  • 256GB drive or more (solid state recommended)
  • 3-year warranty

macOS or Windows

Glass

  • 13” HD display
  • 16GB RAM
  • 256GB drive or more (solid state recommended)
  • 3-year warranty

macOS or Windows

Illustration

  • 13” HD display
  • 16GB RAM
  • 256GB drive or more (solid state recommended)
  • 3-year warranty

macOS or Windows

Industrial Design

  • 15” HD display (UHD recommended)
  • i7 processor
  • 16GB RAM 
  • 512GB drive (solid state preferred)
  • nVidia GeForce GTX 1060 or better graphics card
    (for Windows)
  • 3-year warranty

macOS* or Windows

Interior Architecture

  • 13” HD display
  • 16GB RAM
  • 256GB drive or more (solid state recommended)
  • 3-year warranty

macOS or Windows

Life Sciences Illustration

  • 15” HD display (UHD recommended)
  • Quad Core i5
  • 16GB RAM 
  • 512GB drive (solid state preferred)
  • 3-year warranty

macOS or Windows

Jewelry + Metals

  • 13” HD display
  • 16GB RAM
  • 256GB drive or more (solid state recommended)
  • 3-year warranty

macOS or Windows

Painting

  • 13” HD display
  • 16GB RAM
  • 256GB drive or more (solid state recommended)
  • 3-year warranty

macOS or Windows

Photography + Video

  • 15” HD display (UHD recommended)
  • Quad Core i5
  • 16GB RAM 
  • 512GB drive (solid state preferred)
  • 3-year warranty

macOS or Windows

Printmaking

  • 13” HD display
  • 16GB RAM
  • 256GB drive or more (solid state recommended)
  • 3-year warranty

macOS or Windows

Sculpture + Expanded Media 

  • 13” HD display
  • 16GB RAM
  • 256GB drive or more (solid state recommended)
  • 3-year warranty

macOS or Windows

 

Some students may already own laptops that meet these minimum requirements. Students may continue to use these laptops for as long the device continues to support their curricular needs. In this scenario, students accept the risk that their laptop may not be able to address their needs for their last year(s) at CIA.

The student should select the laptop based on their curricular needs, individual preferences between macOS and Windows, and budget.

Support, and substitutions for the standard recommendations

Personally-owned devices will not be supported by CIA Information Technology, beyond a limited assessment. Hardware issues will need to be supported by the manufacturer, which is why every standard includes a 3-year warranty as part of the requirement. Questions related to how to run software are handled either through faculty or technical specialists, or through online support from vendors.

The Equipment Checkout will continue to provide a limited number of laptops for short term loans. These laptops are not a substitution for students owning their own laptop.

If a student has a question about whether a specific laptop will be suitable for their curricular needs, they are encouraged to check the requirements webpage for the software that they expect to use most heavily. All students should plan to have a laptop that supports the Adobe Creative Cloud suite, at minimum.

View requirements for commonly used software:

Software System Requirements

Operating System

Adobe Creative Cloud

macOS or Windows

Autodesk (includes Maya)

macOS or Windows

Microsoft Office

macOS or Windows

Rhino

macOS or Windows

Solid Works

Windows

Substance Painter

macOS or Windows

Toon Boom

macOS or Windows

Unity

macOS or Windows

Please note that this is not a comprehensive list of all software packages used at CIA. In addition, some features or plugins for the above-mentioned software may only run on macOS or Windows, respectively. As of June 2020, Apple supports Boot Camp Assistant, which allows users to run Windows on their Mac.

 

*updated on Jun 24, 2020

 

If you have any questions, please contact Matthew McKenna, Director of Information Technology, at mkmckenna@cia.edu