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Graphic Design Computer Specifications

Graphic Design Computer Specifications

Graphic Design is a discipline dependent on up-to-date computer hardware and software which places a very large demand on the equipment. Digital design processes can take many hours to completely render even on the best computers. As students' progress through the program, their resulting work can become more complex and places further strains on aging hardware. As a result, the minimum requirements are based on recommendations of the most computer-intensive software and looking to the future when students will be required to do more complex presentations when their computers are 2~3 years old.

To facilitate student competency in top-rated software products demanded by industry professionals, SDSU requires students to purchase current versions of software packages from Adobe. It is imperative that students have the required computer hardware and software packages purchased and properly installed PRIOR to their first day of studio in their first year of the program (spring of freshman year).


HardwareMacApprox. Cost: $2899-$3899, depending on upgrade options
CPU2.4GHz 8-core: 8th-generation Intel Core i9 processor 
Display16" Full HD (1920p) Minimum 
RAM32GB 2666 MHz DDR4 memory 
Disk Storage1TB SSD storage 
Video Card/GraphicsAMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 8GB of GDDR6 memory 
Warranty3-Year Apple Care warranty is strongly recommended 
External MouseMagic Mouse 2 
External Hard DrivePortable Mac Use 4TB or above Hard Drive 
Flash Drive128GB or above Flash Drive 
Operating System10.15 (macOS CATALINA) OR above 
To Purchase:University Bookstore 


Software (Student Licenses)SystemCost
BusinessMICROSOFT OFFICE FOR MAC 2011 (FREE through SDSU - Jacks e-mail Office 365 to access)Typ. $149.99
DesignAdobe Creative Cloud$19.99/mo.


Students may be asked to purchase additional software, such as Sketch, Webflow and/or InVision in conjunction with additional coursework. Any additional software purchases will be disclosed prior to students’ class registration.


Students with questions or needing clarification should contact School of Design Questions about the installation process should contact the SDSU Support Desk via email or via phone at 605-688-6776.


  1. SDSU and the School of Design at SDSU prohibits the use of pirated software. Students who have pirated software on their computers will not be serviced and can be reported. Students are expected to maintain proof of ownership for all software, and will be expected to maintain a file cataloging of all software license numbers, serial numbers, etc.

  2. Be advised that it takes 2-6 weeks for laptops with custom specifications to be received after purchase. Students should plan ahead accordingly to ensure their computer has been received, software loaded and full functionality ensured prior to the first day of class in their first year (spring of the freshman year).

  3. Direct sales of specific software packages may be required.