Computer Specification

All design students at Becker College are required to have a computer on campus. While no specific computer brand or model is required, a general specification and examples of suitable machines are provided.

Basic minimum specifications (Revised May 2016, pdc)

1.  Either a desktop or a laptop is acceptable. Most students choose a laptop for portability. Most professional game developers have laptops, since they value portability and collaborative activity very highly. Laptops are also very convenient for use in the Game Studio and Live Studio classes. Lastly, Becker has more than 130 high-performance desktop computers for student use, so a laptop is most likely your best option.

2.  Both PC and Mac computers are acceptable. Game programmers and producers typically prefer PCs. Game artists prefer Macs. Game Designers are split and can go either way.

3.  If you choose a laptop, here are the must-have features:

  • Intel i7 or i5 6th generation
  • 8 GB RAM (min)
  • Discrete graphics card (not integrated,  preferably NViDia)
  • 15” screen ok (we have big monitors in our labs, and 17” laptops are bulky)
  • A 1/2 TB hard drive is fine, you can always get an external USB drive
  • Breakage protection plan
  • Don’t get Microsoft Office until you get your Becker username and password — then you get up to 5 copies for free, also included free is 1TB of OneDrive Cloud Storage
  • Don’t get Adobe Creative Cloud until you get on campus – can get a student discount once you have a Becker email
  • Get a good, comfortable, backpack to carry your computer in

4.  Don’t break the bank; you will want to upgrade your machine in two years.

5.  Get a few USB thumb drives – you’ll need them (16 GB or larger)

6.  For PC laptops, HP and Dell are popular brands; students also like Toshiba, Lenovo and Asus.

7.  Look for deals from BestBuy, Staples, Newegg.com, Tigerdirect.com, Amazon.com, and Dell.com.

8.  Watch out for Alienware, and other machines which are marketed as  “gaming computers” – you often are just paying for the name – shop for the specification instead.

9.  You should be able to get a nice machine (PC) for about $800 and a new  15” Macbook will cost about $2000. You should also check out refurbished deals.

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