Computer Requirements

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While owning your own laptop computer is not a requirement for the iMedia program, you may want to consider purchasing one. If you already have a laptop, and it's less than 3 years old, you are encouraged to bring it to class. You may discover that you need a faster one, or a newer one.

If you don't need a computer but want to learn about our recommended accessories like external storage and more, head over to our Equipment List.

So, if buying/upgrading a computer, aim for these specifications.

Specifications

  • A Mac
    • We use Macs. If you have a PC laptop and you're a ninja on it, no worries. If you're on an older PC laptop and don't understand it, don't use it.
  • A solid-state internal hard drive
    • Size is less important, as we'll be using external hard drives for much of our content. All new Macs come with the option of a solid-state drive.
  • Ample RAM
    • 8GB is ok, 16 is better. Right now, new Macs have the RAM soldered on, so you cannot upgrade / remove. Also, there should be a new 'family' of Mac laptops coming out in the next year or two that will have much, much faster RAM.
  • Optional Upgrades
    • You can get a faster processor and upgrade the video card, but these are of minimal benefit unless you're doing a lot of video or 3D work in Premiere, After Effects, and/or Unity. If you plan to do a lot of video, gaming, VR, or 3D editing on your machine, then upgrade to a faster processor and video card!

Notes

  • You are eligible for an academic discount, worth 10% off all Mac products. Follow this link:

https://wiki.elon.edu/display/TECH/Apple+Student+Discount+Opportunity;jsessionid=7E55723571E0DE8274E2FE76EB3F9676

  • Each year, Apple has a summer special that lets students get some free junk along with a purchase:

https://www.macrumors.com/2017/07/07/apple-back-to-school-dates-2017/

  • Macs have not seen significant upgrades in the past couple of years.
    • The processor and RAM options have NOT changed in 3 years on a Mac.
    • If you cannot afford a new one, get an old one!
    • If you want to wait a year to get a better Mac with more expandable RAM, that may be a good idea.