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Computer Requirements

    Computer Requirements

    Often times students and parents contact us with the question "What type of computer should I purchase?" Though the answer depends on your needs and preferences, you may find the information below useful.

    Keep in mind a large number of computer labs are available for student use on campus. Labs are equipped with the the latest high end visual workstations, peripherals, and software. With few exceptions, the time and needed resources will already be available. Given the high cost of specific tools used in certain classes, it may be unreasonble to purchase every single software package. We suggest that if duplication of lab resources is desired at home, it is best to purchase the general packages that are used again and again in a variety of classes.

    We recognize that technology changes quickly. On average, Institutional Technology replaces hardware in academic labs at least every two-three years in order to keep up with demand for workstation performance and software requirements of the student artists on campus. Keep this in mind when planning for your personal workstation upgrades over the next few years.

    The gear you purchase as a Freshman will be sluggish at best by the time you are a junior and senior so you may not want to bring the latest new computer to college with you! If you already own a computer at home, bring that one to campus and then see what you need. Since you'll want to upgrade at least once throughout your career at Ringling College, if you won't be able to get the latest high end gear twice, get the best resources when you will really be pushing the limits during your Junior and Senior years.

    We can't stress enough that even though you may have a workstation and the required software at home, you should still work in the computer labs. Working in Ringling College computer labs with your peers is a valuable experience. You learn from your fellow students and receive feedback on assignments as you are working on them. The equipment and software in the labs is top notch and the experience will enrich your Ringling College growth as an artist.

    So, if you are ready to purchase a computer, what can we suggest?

    • In general, the more memory, faster processors, and disk space you can afford, the better.
    • A CD or DVD burner for archiving current work is also a good way to go.
    • Most of the general software used at Ringling College is available for both Windows and Macintosh platforms. Choose the platform you are most comfortable using and maintaining.
    • Should you decide to purchase your own software, look for student discounts.
    • Campus housing has high speed network connections (10/100 Ethernet).  Internet Service Providers in the area offer off campus students dialup, cable modem, and/or DSL service.

    Below you will find the specifications of laboratory computers as of Spring 2008:

    Windows Workstations*

    Mac Pro
    2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
    8 GB 800 MHz RAM

    2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    4 GB 800 MHz RAM

    2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    3GB 667 MHz RAM

    MacBook Pro
    Class of 2010, 2011, 2012 

    Class of 2013

    Fall 2009 Windows workstation configurations

    Computer Animation / Game Art
    HP z800
    Nvidia quadro FX 4800
    SAS hard disk
    12GB of RAM
    Dual Intel X5550 2.67 processors
    DVD +/- DL burner with lightscribe

    xw9400 listed below also in production in CA/GA

    Interior Design
    HP XW9400, featuring
    Nvidia quadro4 fx3500
    SAS hard disk
    4GB of RAM
    Dual Dual-Core AMD Opteron 2218 processors
    DVD +/- DL burner with lightscribe

     * Computer Animation students keep in mind that although home computing is not a supported, the major animation tool, Autodesk Maya does have qualification charts for supported hardware platforms and video cards. While others will work, take a look at the qualification charts when considering a hardware purchase.

    Qualification charts are also available for Interior Design software products from Autodesk for Revit Architecture, AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD, and 3DS Max Design.

    Institutional Technology

    Support Hours

    Monday - Friday: 8:30am - 4:30pm


    After Hours and Weekend Phone Support

    Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm

    Saturday and Sunday:  9:00am - 10:00pm

    phone: (941)359-7633 (includes after hours)

    fax: (941)359-7615

    online support requests (for current students, faculty, and staff): support@ringling.edu