Computer Recommendations-School of Architecture - Carnegie Mellon University

Computing in the School of Architecture involves the use of leading edge technology and software.

Ownership of a computer is not required by the School of Architecture. All software needed to complete required course work is provided on university and departmental computers.

It is difficult to recommend a computer that will serve a student well through all five years of our undergraduate degree program. The following specifications are to be used as a guideline. If you decide to purchase a new computer, we suggest purchase of the fastest processor and the most memory your budget can bear.

SoArch has 22" monitors with articulated arms available for checkout to all of our students at no charge.


Keep in mind these are minimum recommendations. If a faster processor, more memory, or a larger hard drive fit your budget you may find it useful to go beyond these recommendations.

Operating System: Windows 7, 64 bit; Macintosh OS X 10.6 or higher
Screen: 13"
Sound: Any
Processor: 2.4Ghz Dual or Quad Core
Memory: 6GB
Video Memory: 256MB
Hard Drive: 320GB 7200rpm or SSD
Optical Drive: DVD+/-RW
Internal Networking: Gigabit
Wireless Networking: G or higher
Warranty: 3 Year (Macintosh: 1 year + AppleCare=3 years); Accidental Damage, if offered.


We are currently recommending Dell for their superior reliability and warranty. For Apple we recommend the Macbook Pro line.

For specific computing questions, more detailed information, or questions about Desktop computers please email our computing facilities staff at: