Landscape Architecture Computer and Software Recommendations

If you are considering purchasing a laptop or desktop computer for your landscape architecture course work at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture, please take the following information into consideration. The PC and Macintosh specifications below are for a laptop, and these specifications can also be applied to a desktop computer. We recommend a 24” monitor minimum (or two monitors) for a desktop computer.

These hardware and software recommendations will assist in acquiring the necessary tools to learn the technology skillsets in your academic courses, and which you will apply in your internships and professional careers.  

PC Laptop Specifications: 

  • Screen: 15” or 17” 
  • Processor: Multi-Core Intel i7 minimum; i9 recommended
  • RAM Memory: 16 GB minimum; 32 GB recommended; Hard Drive 1 TB SSD minimum; external hard drive recommended for data backup 
  • Graphics Card: 4 GB VRAM minimum; more memory and performance capability recommended; *must* support OpenGL version 2, shader version 1.2 (or better)
  • Wireless Card: Built-in default wireless 
  • Operating System: Latest version of Windows 10 Professional
  • System Type: 64-bit 

Mac Laptop Specifications:

  • Screen: 16” MacBook Pro Retina
  • Processor: Multi-Core Intel 2.6GHz -i7 minimum (i9 recommended)
  • RAM Memory: 16 GB minimum (32 or 64 GB recommended)
  • Internal Hard Drive: 1TB minimum; additional external hard drive recommended for data backup
  • Graphics Card: Radeon Pro 5300M with 4 GB video memory minimum (Radeon Pro 5300M w/8 GB RAM recommended)
  • Wireless Card: Default 
  • Operating System: Latest Mac OS version + latest version of Windows 10 Professional or Windows 10 Professional; Important note for Mac users: Some software is only available on a Windows operating system that will require the usage of the Bootcamp utility or the Parallels Desktop application.
  • System Type: 64-bit 

Suggested Vendors:

Students and faculty of Temple University are capable of receiving educational discounts through particular vendors.

Free Software: 

  • Adobe Creative Cloud: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Acrobat Pro is available here through Temple's office of Information Technology Services. 
  • ArcGIS: to get a free license, please email
  • AutoCAD is available for download here after registration with the Autodesk Education Community. 
  • Lumion is available from their website here. Note that the capabilities of your video card is very important to render in 3D. Information about recommended hardware, including the graphics card, can be found here.
  • Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint is available here through Temple's office of Information Technology Services. 
  • SketchUp Studio (Pro) can be downloaded here. Prices start at $55 per year.

Cloud Storage:

The University offers several types of cloud storage solutions. A comparison chart can be found here.


If you have any questions, please feel free to email Ambler ITS support at or call us at 267-468-8324.