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M. Arch Computer Specifications

Technology requirements

The School of Architecture requires all incoming students in the M.Arch. programs to own and maintain a computer on their desktop, for the duration of their enrollment, as part of the basic equipment necessary for the education of an architect. Student computers must meet minimum requirements as outlined below.

These specification requirements apply only to M. Arch students, but can be considered as general guidelines for undergraduates in the School of Architecture who wish to use their own computers for design work.

  Minimum (~$1700) Preferred (~$2500)
Intel Core 2 Duo or Dual Core Xeon (or better)
Hard Drive
160 GB SATA or better
128 MB RAM, AGP OpenGL compliant 256 MB RAM, AGP OpenGL compliant (or better); 1394 IEEE FireWire Card
Monitor 19 inch SVGA capable of 1024 x 768 display (or better)
Printer Optional
Network Adapter 10/100 PCI Ethernet (or better)
Sound Optional (purchase headphones)
Removable Storage 16X DVD+/-RW Add a 2 GB USB 2.0 Micro-Drive
Operating System Microsoft Windows XP Pro (Vista if XP is not an option)
Warranty Warranty and Service Contract must cover the length of time you will be at Princeton University

The School strongly recommends that students purchase a desktop PC. A notebook or laptop computer’s hardware may be below standard for some of the higher-end applications (3DMax, AutoCAD, etc.) used at the School. If you do decide to purchase a notebook computer for use at the School, we highly-recommend visiting the University Student Computing Initiative website as you will receive a considerable discount on Dell and Apple notebooks. In addition, it is generally considered poor practice to design on the small displays provided by notebook computers. Therefore the School is recommending that you purchase a separate, 19” or larger display to keep in the studio.

In addition, students are required to purchase a warranty that will cover service for their computer for the period of time they are enrolled at the School. The School takes no responsibility for computer equipment that is damaged, defective, or stolen while in the building. Students are highly encouraged to use a cable lock to secure their computer equipment to their desks.