College Services

Tech Buyer's Guide: Choosing a Computer

Incoming freshmen students are required to bring a computer that meets or exceeds the system requirements to support the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite software. You may already have a laptop that meets these requirements (see the Adobe website for these requirements).

A Note about This Computer

Any laptop computer you may already have or will purchase now for your Freshman year will likely seem slow by the time you are working on more complex projects in your Junior and Senior years. In addition, the major field of study you select may use different software or operating system than your original computer will support. So you may need to replace this computer once during your four years at CCAD.

If you're purchasing a new laptop for your first year, we recommend a basic Mac or Windows laptop with an extended warranty. For example, an Apple MacBook Air with 4 GB of RAM and a 3 Year Extended Warranty is available with student discount for less than $1,200. Education Discounts on hardware are available from both Apple and Dell; more information can be found here.

Which Platform: Macintosh or Windows?

Adobe Creative Cloud applications are virtually the same for both platforms, so whether you choose to bring a Windows or Macintosh laptop is a matter of personal choice. CCAD has about the same number of Windows and Macintosh systems on campus, and you will find our classrooms and labs equipped for specific uses. Macintosh systems are used in Ad & Graphic Design, Fine Arts, Illustration, Photography, and Video; Windows workstations are provided in Industrial & Interior Design, and 2- and 3-D Animation labs to support specific software. But students don't always need to purchase the same platform used in the classrooms — talk to your friends and instructors to determine the best fit for your personal needs