Student Recommendation

As a general rule, we recommend purchasing new hardware unless your current hardware meets the minimum specifications noted below.

A variety of laptop and desktop computers can be purchased at a student discount through the UTSA Campus Technology Store either online at http://campustechnologystore.com/campustechnologystore/ or in-store located on the 1604 Campus at the University Center Room 1.00.46 next to Starbucks. The store can also be reached by calling 210-458-1866.

 

APPLE HARDWARE – IMPORTANT INFORMATION

For those who currently own or are considering purchasing Apple Hardware, the following should be noted.

  • Since several applications used in the curriculum are only available on the Windows operating system, Apple users will be required to run Windows on their Apple hardware.
  • Apple's discreet video cards are not Autodesk certified.
  • Due to issues with using Boot Camp, we do not recommend Apple Hardware.
  • We strongly discourage virtualization software like VMWare Fusion or Parallels Desktop for use with intense design software.
  • Students who are technically savvy and opt for Apple hardware with Boot Camp and Windows despite these recommendations should anticipate investing additional time and energy in OS maintenance and application troubleshooting.
  • Students who choose to purchase Apple hardware despite these warnings should select the highest performing system possible.

 

MINIMUM/RECOMMENDED SPECIFICATIONS

The specific Minimum Requirements shown below constitute a computer system with an anticipated lifespan for students needs of 2 to 3 years while the Recommended Requirements constitute a computer system with an anticipated lifespan for student needs of 5 years.

In addition Dell Computer has worked with the college to offer preconfigured laptops to UTSA CACP students that meet the recommended configurations. To access these preconfigured laptops click the link to the Dell UTSA CACP webpage and selecting

If you have any additional questions please feel free to stop by the CACP-IT Service Desk at MNT 1.103B.1o located at the UTSA Downtown campus or just send an email to cacp.it@utsa.edu and we will respond.

We are excited to have you join us and look forward to seeing you soon.

Laptop Hardware for New Purchases

Hardware Component Minimum Recommended
Processor Intel i5 dual core or AMD equivalent Intel i7 quad core or AMD equivalent
Memory 8.0 GB 16.0 GB with expansion space or 32 GB
Hard Drive 250+ GB 7200RPM 256+ GB SSD
Video Card (1) 1 GB NVIDIA Quadro or AMD FirePro 2GB or more NVIDIA Quadro or AMD FirePro
Screen Size (2) 13 inch 14-17 inch
Networking (Wireless) 802.11 a/g/n 802.11 a/g/n
Networking (Wired) 10/100 Ethernet 10/100/1000 Ethernet
Peripheral Connectivity USB 2.0 USB 3.0
Warranty 3 year 5 year + accidental damage (# of years should match program length - minimum

Software

Many of the software packages you may be utilizing in your classes during your education with us can vary depending on which path you decide to follow. It may be best to wait to discuss with your professors what you will need unique to your program.

However, below is some basic information concerning various applications that may be part of all your programs.

Adobe

Option 1: Purchase a Creative Cloud subscription through the UTSA Campus Technology Store (https://store.hied.com/dept/view/299815) - Pricing currently $239.00 annually

Option 2: Purchase a Creative Cloud subscription directly from Adobe (http://www.adobe.com/creativecloud/buy/students.html) - Pricing currently $19.99 monthly

Autodesk (http://students.autodesk.com)

Autodesk is distributing free to students the latest educations versions of many of its software packages. It may be best to wait to discuss with your professors which version is best for your class needs.

Energy Plus

This suite of energy modeling applications for Windows or OS-X is available for download through the U.S. Department of Energy Plus Project website at http://energyplus.net/.

Esri ArcGIS

If you plan to use ArcGIS in conjunction with a class, the best option is to ask your faculty member to go to https://www.esri.com/industries/apps/education/offers/promo and request free 1-year student copies of ArcGIS for all the students in the class.

eQuest

The Quick Energy Simulatin Tool is available for download from the Department of Energy website at http://www.doe2.com/equest/.

Google Earth Pro

Google Earth Pro is free software that can be downloaded from http://www.google.com/intl/en/earth/download/gep/agree.html.

Although free, the software still requires a license key which can bet set using an email address and the key GEPFREE to sign in.

Grasshopper for Rhino

Grasshopper is a plugin which enables generative and parametric modeling in Rhinoceros 5. The most recent version is available for download at http://www.grasshopper3d.com/page/download-1.

Open Studio

This suite of energy modeling applications for Windows or OS-X is available for download through the U.S. Department of OpenStudio Project website at https://www.openstudio.net/.

Rhinoceros 5

Rhinoceros 5 3D software is available for download from http://www.rhino3d.com/download.

A 90-day evaluation version is available at which at time of expiration plug-ins will stop working.

A full single-user version is available for purchase by students for $195 at http://www.rhino3d.com/sales/north-america/United_States.