Students and faculty looking at work on a large LED screen with tech worker in the foreground, working on the projection.

Laptop and Technology Requirements

Interior Architecture and Design and Product Design are professional programs requiring technology that can use high-end software. Below is an outline of required hardware and software, university-provided software, plus accessories, content management practices, and warranty suggestions for use in both RIDI design programs:

Hardware [minimum requirements] 

MacBook Pro 14-inch w/M3 chip - 1 TB SSD Model ($1799)

  • 8-core CPU with 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores
  • 10-core GPU
  • Hardware-accelerated ray tracing
  • 16-core Neural Engine
  • 100GB/s memory bandwidth

Media Engine

  • Hardware-accelerated H.264, HEVC, ProRes, and ProRes RAW
  • Video decode engine
  • Video encode engine
  • ProRes encode and decode engine
  • AV1 decode
Dell XPS 15” Laptop ($1899)
  • 13th Gen Intel Core i7-13700H
  • Windows Pro
  • NVIIA GeForce RTX 4060
  • 32GB: 2x16 GB DDR5, 4800 MT/s
  • 1 T, M.2, PCle NVMe, SSD

Design majors may want to consider higher-performing laptops for high-resolution rendering. An example of the hardware specifications for high-resolution rendering.

The University will provide access to 24” Wacom Cintiq Pros for a secondary display. You will need to purchase additional cables to connect your laptop to the Cintiq 24” monitors. You are advised to buy HDMI, USB, DisplayPort (per your laptop specs) and USB-C cables to give yourself connectivity options

Laptop Software

Directions will be provided to access university-supported software and other suggested software options at significantly reduced rates. Due to industry partnerships, RID+I is able to offer university-supported software that can be used throughout your design studies. They include:

Autodesk Suite
Microsoft Office Suite
Keyshot Network Rendering

Students may wish to purchase or download additional software such as SketchUp, Twinmotion or Unreal. Please refer to a particular software site for details.

When off-campus, students will need to use the university VPN to access supported software on their laptop.   While on-campus a standard WIFI connection is all that is required (WMU Secure). Your design faculty will provide additional information on software installation at the appropriate course level. All laptops must be registered on the campus network

Other services and applications provided by the University are available.

Student Purchased Software

Students will need to purchase Adobe Creative Suite for Students. The cost for the first year will be an introductory price. In subsequent years the student price may increase.  See terms as outlined by Adobe.

Enscape - Interior Design students will need to purchase a floating license to accompany REVIT. Please check the Enscape site for current pricing.

If students wish to purchase a MacBook Pro instead of the preferred Dell, running native Windows OS, students need to purchase Parallels.

Additional Devices and Services

If a Mac Pro is purchased the student should also include AppleCare.

Each student should purchase an external hard drive at least 2TB or more. In addition, the student should have Cloud backup, such as iCloud, Dropbox, One Drive, or Google Drive. Students will need to purchase a suite of cables: HDMI, USB, DisplayPort, and USB-C cable to connect laptops to the Wacom tablets. 

It is also suggested students purchase a USB 2.0 drive with at least 16GB of storage to transfer digital models between laptops and 3D printers.

On Campus RID+I Computer Labs

RID+I will provide a limited number of desktops for student use, however, students should rely on their personal laptops as their main devices.

Technology and Content Management Practices

Students should keep all hardware and software up-to-date with the latest versions. In addition, students should make it a daily practice to back up their work on an external hard drive, cloud service, or both.

Financial Aid for Required RID+I Technology

For information or questions regarding financial aid, please visit, email, call (269) 387-6000 or visit us for drop-in assistance in the Faunce Student Services building.