Laptop or desktop? What specs? How much RAM? What CPU? What GPU? What storage device? How can I choose the best computer for architecture school? Which computer do I buy? There are so many variations of computers that architecture students can choose from. Purchasing a computer can be quite overwhelming.
In today’s episode of the Successful Architecture Student’s Podcast, I explain whether you should buy a desktop PC or Laptop for architecture school and which computer is the best. I also explain how you can decide what hardware you need and the difference your RAM, CPU Processor, GPU Processor and Storage Devices have on how fast and reliable your architecture computer is.
Prefer listening/reading? Check out the show notes:
Find out whether you NEED a laptop or computer for architecture school: https://youtu.be/3Wcw0LnJcm4
Check out my FREE online course for architecture students:
▼ 70 Hacks for Architecture Students▼
→ https://successfularchistudent.com/ ←
When buying a laptop or computer for architecture school, there are 4 general rules of thumb to follow.
1) Your computer needs at least 16GB of RAM (computer memory). RAM is what is used when working on architectural programs such as Photoshop and rendering programs such as 3DS Max, VRAY and Lumion. If your computer has less than 16GB of memory, it will struggle with these programs.
2) Your desktop or laptop computer should have at the least an i7 processor/CPU. This is what limits how fast your computer can render 3D models.
3) Your architecture computer should have a 1TB SSD (minimum) as your main storage device. Alternatively, you can use a smaller sized SSD and use a Hard Drive to store your files. This is a cheaper option for architecture students.
4) Your computer’s Graphics Card, or GPU, determines how quickly and error-free you can view your 3D models in the workspace. A better GPU will allow your computer to work more efficiently when modelling and creating things in post-render architecture programs such as Photoshop.
Before buying a computer for architecture school, I suggest you benchmark the RAM, CPU, SSD OR GPU that you want to buy to find the best one. This will give you an indication of it’s ability compared to other hardware out there. You can use sites such as Passmark for this. Just google “CPU benchmark”, for example.
I’ve been getting asked a lot of questions about what laptop or desktop computer you should use as an architecture student.
I’m sure there’s a lot of videos out there already explaining and covering what computer you should buy and what is the best laptop for architecture students. That made me think, why do I still have so many people ask me this question if there’s already so many resources out there for you to figure it out?
It’s because these videos are all 10 to 15 minutes long and promoting affiliate products, which they make money from. They don’t necessarily care about giving the best information to the architecture student, they’re just trying to sell computers to architecture students.
That makes me just want to make a quick video about this topic to try and clear up this idea of what is the best computer for architecture, how you can choose the right one to buy and whether you need a laptop or a desktop for architecture school.
For me, I personally didn’t use a laptop all throughout high school and my first two years of architecture school. Some people thought I was crazy. 95% of architecture students have a laptop or computer of some sort.
It’s because I’ve got a desktop PC. Desktop PCs are a lot more reliable and more efficient because they are bigger and can have better features and hardware. The only downside is that you can’t bring it to your university campus. However, I understand that not everyone can study from home university and they might want a laptop instead.
However, when I get asked this question, what I usually recommend is that having a PC is a lot better for working on architecture programs and software such as doing renderings and 3D modelling because it’s a lot quicker, you’re not going to have as much crashing like you do with laptops and it’s going to be a lot more pleasant experience working on a desktop.
Nevertheless, this video applies to those buying a laptop OR desktop, as the rules are universal.
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