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Laptop Requirements for Interior Design

2019-2020 Academic Year

Interior design students entering the second year of study are required to have their own laptop computer that meets or exceeds required minimum specifications. Because the requirements are updated each year, we STRONGLY encourage students to delay purchase of laptops until their second year in order to have the most current technology when it is required.

Beginning with the 4th semester (in the 2nd year of study), the bulk of student work is computer based using software programs that demand higher amounts of memory and processor capacity. Computer upgrades may be necessary for the final year of study.

Computers purchased with the minimum requirements will require careful attention to regular systems maintenance, virus protection and general file management. Failure to adhere to regular computer maintenance will likely result in system errors and delayed processing time (and, therefore, frustration). It is extremely important that students read and understand their responsibilities for the maintenance of their equipment and digital files in this regard.

Where should I buy my laptop?

These specifications can be met through a variety of manufacturers. Students may purchase their equipment from any source they choose.

Can I purchase a Mac?

  • ID students will learn a variety of software programs. Some of the required software is only available for the Microsoft Windows operating system. While some of the programs are available in dual-platform versions (Microsoft Windows and Apple OS), the software may not be organized or set-up in the same way for both operating systems. ID courses will teach the software programs from the Microsoft Windows platform. Instructors do not have time to troubleshoot cross-platform problems. The Interior Design Program strongly encourages students to purchase a PC-based laptop running Microsoft Windows.
  • Should a student decide to purchase an Apple laptop, Apple's Bootcamp for dual-booting the computer must be installed. The hard drive should be partitioned with at least 50% dedicated for the PC. Windows 10 Home (64-bit) should be installed as an operating system. VMware Fusion or Parallels are not recommended substitutes to Bootcamp and partitioning the hard drive.
  • The Department of Apparel, Textiles, and Interior Design does not address software/hardware compatibility issues on any platform. If a student has issues with an Apple laptop, he or she will be responsible for locating outside technological support.

Laptop Maintenance

  • Technical support for all computer questions is available at Kansas State University's Information Technology Assistance Center (ITAC). There are numerous local retail outlets and private technical support services that can assist students as well.
  • Students will be responsible for resolving their own laptop technical issues. Therefore, an extended warranty or service agreement is recommended. Project deadlines will not be extended due to faulty equipment, slow processing, or other computer failures.

Minimum Computer Requirements of ID Students

These requirements exceed the minimum recommendations for general K-State students.

  • Processor: 7th Gen Inter CoreTM processor or higher
  • Memory: 16 GB memory minimum
  • Internal storage: 1TB or more (alternative option: solid state drive 500 GB or more)
  • Operating system: Windows 10 Home (64-bit)
  • Video/graphics: Nvidia® GTX 1080 with 4gb or Equivalent
  • Video Memory: 4 GB recommended
  • Wireless and wired network support (dual wireless card with 2.4 GHZ or higher)
  • 15-inch or larger built-in display
  • 3-year manufacturer warranty recommended (included: accidental warranty)
  • The laptop must meet K-State's minimum requirements for antivirus protection and networking access


  • External mouse with 3-buttons (an optical mouse is encouraged)
  • Minimum 2TB external hard drive for file backup (jump drives and thumb keys are NOT sufficient)

Required Applications (estimated costs)

  • Microsoft Office 365 - Free to K-State students
  • Adobe Creative Cloud (Windows + Mac) - $239.00 annual or $19.99 / Month subscription (This software should be purchased when directed by course instructors to avoid paying for extra months of service.)

Free Downloads Available Online

Note: These software programs are free downloads from manufacturers. The manufacturers release new versions on a regular basis. Students should not download the software until directed to do so by instructor(s).

  • Sketch-up
  • Autodesk: Revit Architecture
  • Autodesk: AutoCAD
  • Autodesk: 3Ds Max

K-State Network Prerequisites and Antivirus Software

To use the campus wireless or wired network, security programs must be installed and procedures followed. The instructions on the college's website outline the requirements.

Students are required to protect their laptops by installing antivirus software. The software is required for all computers that access the K-State network. The software is available for free to K-State students on the Information Technology Services website.