Computer Specifications

Computer Specifications Required for students entering UNL Fall 2013– Spring 2014

The Art & Art History computer requirements are currently under review. This page will be updated by November 22, 2013.

Studio Art majors

Studio majors, including Graphic Design and New Genres, are required to own a laptop computer that meets or exceeds the requirements below.

Art History majors

For students majoring in Art History, there is no computer requirement for hardware or software. If you are interested in purchasing a computer, consider the specifications below for “Studio Art (except Graphic Design/New Genres)” as a starting point.

Operating System

You may select a computer running either Microsoft Windows 7 or 8, or Apple's Mac OS X 10.7 or higher. Students are successful with both. We make no specific recommendation. Note: All university computers used in Art Department classrooms are Apple Mac products.

Use of Existing Laptops

You may use your existing computer equipment as long as it meets the required specifications. Foe questions contact the Hixson-Lied College’s Information Technology Services office at 402-472-5831 or cfpahelp@unl.edu.

Where to Buy

You may purchase a computer from any vendor or store. The UNL Computer Store can advise you on appropriate models that will meet the specifications below. They also offer excellent academic pricing on software, including $20 for Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint). The UNL Computer Store has 2 locations, in the Nebraska Union lower level, and in the 501 Building on Stadium Drive. Contact: 402-472-5785 or UNL Marketplace.

Specifications

Intensive use of graphic design and digital arts software places high demands on computer hardware. For this reason, the requirement is divided between medium-level specifications for most Studio Art students, and high-level specifications for Graphic Design and New Genres students.

Studio Art (except Graphic Design/New Genres)
Hardware Specification for Mac/Windows

  • CPU: Intel Core i5, i7 or AMD X4; 2.0 GHz or faster
  • Display: 13 in. or larger, min. 1280 x 800 pixels
  • RAM: 4 GB minimum; 6 or 8 GB is better
  • Video Card:
    • Good: built-in video with shared RAM in most models will be adequate
    • Better: built-in Intel HD 4000 included with Intel Core i5 and i7 CPUs
    • Best: A discrete video card with dedicated RAM is best for video and 3D work.
    • Examples: AMD Radeon HD 5500 series or higherNVidia GeForce GT600 series or higher, GTS450 series or higher, GTX or Quadro Disk
  • Storage: 250GB minimum
  • Optical Drive: (optional) DVD +/- R/RW
  • Wireless card: 802.11n

Studio Art: Graphic Design/New Genres
Hardware Specification for Mac/Windows

  • CPU: Intel Core i5, i7 (dual or quad) or AMD X4; 2.0 GHz or faster
  • Display: 15 in., 1440 x 900 pixels, minimum
  • RAM: 4 GB minimum; 6 or 8 GB is better
  • Video Card: A discrete video card with dedicated RAM (512MB min.)
    • Examples: AMD Radeon HD 5500 series or higher NVidia GeForce GT600 series or higher, GTS450 series or higher, GTX or Quadro
  • Storage: 500GB minimum
  • Optical Drive: (optional) DVD +/- R/RW
  • Wireless card: 802.11n

Software for All Studio Art majors

All software listed is available from multiple vendors. The UNL Computer Store carries each at substantial academic discounts, at http://sales.unl.edu/.

The standards of software may change during your time at UNL and additional software may be required for certain courses. The Department of Art understands that additional expenses can be a burden for students and makes all efforts to minimize additional costs. No software, other than what is listed below, will be needed for courses required for graduation, only for studio electives.

Software by Area of Study

Graphic Design/New Genres students: Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection
All other Studio Art areas: Adobe Creative Suite Design Standard

Note:: In addition to purchasing through the campus store, Adobe also offers the Master Collection through its “Creative Cloud” subscription. An annual subscription is required; current pricing is $29.95 per month. A one-year subscription is less expensive than purchasing one version of Master Collection; however, two years of a subscription is more expensive.

Software for All Students

Image library and editing: Adobe Lightroom
Writing/Presentation: Microsoft Office 2010 or 2013 (Win), or 2011 (Mac). - Available through UNL’s Microsoft campus agreement for $20 at the UNL Computer Store

Antivirus: Symantec Antivirus is provided free by UNL. Download at the ITS website, or take a blank CD to the UNL Computer Help Center in Rm 128, 501 Building, City Campus

Additions to consider

  1. Extended Warranty: 3 years
  2. Data backup: An external hard drive or/and a subscription to an online backup service. Some students choose both options for further security. Your computer’s hard drive will fail at some point. It’s essential to maintain an up-to-date backup of your data.
    External Hard drive: create a backup using the backup software bundled with your computer: Time Machine (Mac) or Windows Backup and Restore (Windows 7) The size of the external hard drive should be 2-3 times the capacity of the computer’s internal hard drive. Cost: $90-$150.
    Online Backup Service: commercial web-based services begin at $5 per month.
  3. File transfer: a USB Flash drive, 4GB-8GB. Cost: $7-15
  4. Macintosh computers can run both Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows operating systems. To run Windows-only software on a Mac: purchase a version of Windows 8 for $17 at the UNL Computer Store. Windows can be installed by the student for no additional cost, using Apple’s free Boot Camp software. For an additional fee, the UNL Computer Help Center will install Windows. The UNL Computer Store can advise you on available options at (402) 472-5787. Note: Windows 8 can be installed on all MacBook Pro laptop models “Early 2011” or newer, and on 15” and 17” MacBook Pros “Mid 2010”. For older models, you will need to purchase a copy of Windows 7, or search the web for methods to install Windows 8.

For additional questions, please contact Art Chair Peter Pinnell at 402-472-5522 or ppinnell1@unl.edu.

(Last Updated April 22, 2013)