Recommended Technology

Technology in the School of Communication and Design

The major disciplines in the School of Media and Design all require working with digital media at some point. This may be video, audio, animation, graphics, or virtual reality data. The School of Communication and Design invests in higher end technology that is either too large or too expensive to be practical for a single individual to own.  This equipment is made avaiable as required by classes in each major.

In addition to technology provided by the school, there are some technology items that you will be required to purchase and there are others that you may wish to purchase to make it more convenient to accomplish your classwork.

What types of technology does the school provide?

Multiple Computer Labs

Google Drive Cloud Storage

Microsoft Office - Word, Excel, Power Point  (Available for install on your personal computer)

Adobe Creative Suite - (In Labs)

Avid Media Composer - (In Labs)

Avid Pro Tools - (In Labs)

High End Cameras and Lenses

Production Lights

Microphones

Audio Recorders

Virtual Reality Volumes

Production and Recording Studios

High Resolution Color Printers

3D Printers

Computerized (CNC) Blade and Plasma Cutting Tools

Powerful Computer Workstations 

Broadcasting/Switching Equipment

System Servers for News and Streaming

Network Infrastructure

Shared Mass Storage System

Specialized Media Software

Production Music and Sound Effects

Wood Shop

Metal Works Shop

Printmaking Shop

 

What types of technology might I need to purchase?

Required Based on Major

  • SD Memory Cards
  • External Portable Hard Drives for Production and Backup
  • Production Expendables (tape, gells, paper, pens, paints, inks)

Technology for Flexibility and Convenience

  • Personal Media Capable Laptop
  • Avid Media Composer
  • Avid Pro Tools
  • Adobe Creative Cloud Software
  • Cinema 4D
  • Final Draft
  • Celtix

Do I have to purchase a computer?

Purchse of a laptop computer is not required at this time, but it is highly recommended.   The school provides a number of computer labs that you can use to do your work.  Priority in the labs is given to scheduled classes, meaning that you will have to schedule your work around the scheduled classes.

You are going to do a lot of video and media work and you need a laptop computer if you want to do that work in your dorm or at your own pace.

You need to make sure that the computer that you purchase has enough memory (RAM), storage (Hard Drive), and power (CPU) to allow you to work with media without bogging down.  It must also be compatible with the software that is used in your courses. 

What type of laptop do I need for my major? 

Generally, the more media involved in your major the more you will benefit from a higer end computer.  The minimum specifications on this site will work for most majors, but if you are interested in Design or Film, the minimum requirements are higher, and you should consider getting the highest performing computer that your budget will allow.   A computer meeting the minimum specifications will not perform well in these majors.  If you are undecided in your major, but think you want to work with video, 3D, motion graphics, or large graphic images, you should opt for the highest performance you can afford in the event that you find you want to transfer into those majors.

Art

Generally, you will be able to use either an Apple Macintosh OS or Microsoft Windows based PC, but Apple Macintosh is the most frequently used. The more you plan to work with digital mediums, the higher the specifications you should purchase.   If you plan on taking design courses to complement your Art degree or if you think you may switch your major to Design, then you should push for a machine with the recommended specifications for Design. 

Recommended Machines:  Apple Mac Book Pro, Dell Precision 3530, HP Z Book Studio, Lenovo Think Pad

  • Operating System:
    • Mac OS 10.13 or Higher or Windows 10 Professional 64 Bit
  • CPU:  
    • Minimum Intel Core i5 4-core, 2.2GHz or higher,  
    • Recommended i7 6-core 2.6 GHz
  • RAM:
    • Minimum 8GB,
    • Recommended 16GB - 32GB
  • Hard Drive:
    • Minimum 256GB 7200 RPM,
    • Recommended 512Gb SSD (Solid State Drive)
  • GPU:
    • Minimum Intel HD or Iris Plus,
    • Recommended nVidia or AMD Radeon GPU with 4GB VRAM
  • Screen:
    • Minimum 13 inch 1920 x 1080
    • Recommended  15 inch, 1920 x 1080 Retina, Dream Color, Wide Gamut up to 4K.
Design

With respect to technology, Design is one of or most demanding degrees.  Work often involves the use of multiple types of media including video, 3D, motion graphics, vector, photo and VR simulaiton.  A laptop with a minimum of a 15 inch display will be required.  

Recommended Machines:  Apple Mac Book Pro, Dell Precision 3530, HP Z Book Studio, Lenovo Think Pad

  • Operating System:
    • Mac OS 10.13 or Higher or Windows 10 Professional 64 Bit
    • The dominant computer used in the Design department is the Apple Macintosh.  You can use a Windows based machine, but you may not be able to run all applications used in all classes.
  • CPU:  
    • Recommended i7 6-core 2.6 GHz  or faster
  • RAM:
    • Recommended 16GB - 32GB
  • Hard Drive:
    • Recommended 512Gb or larger SSD (Solid State Drive)
  • GPU:
    • Recommended nVidia or AMD Radeon GPU with 4GB VRAM
  • Screen:
    • Required 15 inch, 1920 x 1080 or higher resolution Retina, Dream Color, Wide Gamut up to 4K.
Film

Generally, you will be able to use either an Apple Macintosh OS or Microsoft Windows based PC.  The software and workflows used in the Film department are cross platform and work on both Mac and Windows. The minimum specifications here will work, but they are not ideal, and you will experience slower response running larger projects.   Minimum system will not support 4K video.  

Recommended Machines:  Apple Mac Book Pro, Dell Precision 3530, HP Z Book Studio, Lenovo  Think Pad

  • Operating System:
    • Mac OS 10.13 or Higher or Windows 10 Professional 64 Bit
  • CPU:  
    • Minimum Intel Core i7 4-core, 2.2GHz or higher,  
    • Recommended i7 6-core 2.6 GHz
  • RAM:
    • Minimum 8GB,
    • Recommended 16GB - 32GB
  • Hard Drive:
    • Minimum 256GB 7200 RPM,
    • Recommended 512Gb SSD (Solid State Drive)
  • GPU:
    • Minimum Intel HD or Iris Plus,
    • Recommended nVidia or AMD Radeon GPU with 4GB VRAM
  • Screen:
    • Required 15 inch, 1920 x 1080 Retina, Dream Color, Wide Gamut up to 4K.
Journalism

Generally, you will be able to use either an Apple Macintosh OS or Microsoft Windows based PC, but Apple Macintosh is the most frequently used. You will be required to work with some media creating photoshop graphics, and editing news packages. The minimum specifications will work for this degree. If you know that you like working with media and think you will want to specialize in video or graphics, then you should push for a machine closer to the recommended specifications.  

Recommended Machines:  Apple Mac Book Pro, Dell Precision 3530, HP Z Book Studio, Lenovo Think Pad

  • Operating System:
    • Mac OS 10.13 or Higher or Windows 10 Professional 64 Bit
  • CPU:  
    • Minimum Intel Core i5 4-core, 2.2GHz or higher,  
    • Recommended i7 6-core 2.6 GHz
  • RAM:
    • Minimum 8GB,
    • Recommended 16GB - 32GB
  • Hard Drive:
    • Minimum 256GB 7200 RPM,
    • Recommended 512Gb SSD (Solid State Drive)
  • GPU:
    • Minimum Intel HD or Iris Plus,
    • Recommended nVidia or AMD Radeon GPU with 4GB VRAM
  • Screen:
    • Minimum 13 inch, 1920 x 1080
    • Recommended 15 inch, 1920 x 1080 Retina, Dream Color, Wide Gamut up to 4K.
Strategic Communication

Generally, you will be able to use either an Apple Macintosh OS or Microsoft Windows based PC, but Apple Macintosh is the most frequently used. You will be required to work with some media creating Photoshop graphics, In Design Layouts, and editing news packages. The minimum specifications will work for this degree. If you know that you like working with media and think you will want to specialize in video or graphics, then you should push for a machine closer to the recommended specifications.  

Recommended Machines:  Apple Mac Book Pro, Dell Precision 3530, HP Z Book Studio, Lenovo Think Pad

  • Operating System:
    • Mac OS 10.13 or Higher or Windows 10 Professional 64 Bit
  • CPU:  
    • Minimum Intel Core i5 4-core, 2.2GHz or higher,  
    • Recommended i7 6-core 2.6 GHz
  • RAM:
    • Minimum 8GB,
    • Recommended 16GB - 32GB
  • Hard Drive:
    • Minimum 256GB 7200 RPM,
    • Recommended 512Gb SSD (Solid State Drive)
  • GPU:
    • Minimum Intel HD or Iris Plus,
    • Recommended nVidia or AMD Radeon GPU with 4GB VRAM
  • Screen:
    • Minimum 13 inch, 1920 x 1080
    • Recommended 15 inch, 1920 x 1080 Retina, Dream Color, Wide Gamut up to 4K.
I need a more technical explanation. Why is meeting these more expensive specifications important when working with media?

The major disciplines in the School of Media and Design all require working with digital media at some point. This may be video, audio, animation, graphics, or virtual reality data. You will be required to use a laptop to participate fully in many classes. Having a laptop computer will also allow you work in your dorm or other locations and at times that are convenient to you to complete outside assignments. The alternative will be to use one of the school's shared computer labs when classes are not in session.

You need to make sure that the computer that you purchase has enough memory (RAM), storage (Hard Drive), and power (CPU) to allow you to work with media without bogging down. It must also be compatible with the software that is used in your courses.

OPERATING SYSTEM: Windows 10 or Mac OS 10.14

The operating system of your computer is very important for ensuring compatibility with software that you will need to run. It is recommended that you install one of the operating systems below to ensure compatibility. Microsoft and Apple frequently release updates to their operating systems and often recommend that you upgrade. HOWEVER...We recommend that you check this website before updating your operating system to ensure that the upgrade does not create a compatibility issue with software that we use in the school. There are many instances where a major operating system upgrade can cause existing software not to run or to crash frequently. We work to test operating systems before we upgrade our lab computers, and you should verify compatibility before upgrading.

Also, to avoid data loss or major delays in finishing your work, you should never upgrade your operating system in the middle of work on a major production project.

  • Windows 10: Windows 10 Professional Edition 64 Bit - Many personal computers come with Windows 10 Home edition. In order to be fully compatible with all of the software used in the school and with the network systems used in some of the media classes, you need to make sure you get Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit. (the 32 Bit version of Windows 10 will not work)
  • Mac OS - Mac OS 10.12, 10.13, or 10.14 - Currently the school's macintosh computers are running Mac OS 10.14.2 and all software is compatible. We cannot guarantee that versions earlier than 10.12 or any future versions will be compatible. ** Do not move to a future version until we have had a chance to test it and approve it here.

NOT SUPPORTED - Linux, Android, Chrome, and iOS based computers, tablets, and devices are not supported by the software applications used in the school, and they will not allow you to meet the requirements of your classes.

 

CPU (Central Processing Unit):

  • Recommended: Intel Core i7 2.3GHz 4-core or Higher - When working with media, computers are often required to decode and process multiple streams of audio and video at one time. The processor on your machine does the heavy calculations to decode, manipulate and render images and sound. Four or six cores or more will ensure that your computer can work on multiple tasks at one time and playback basic video, audio, and animation without skipping, hesitating, or dropping frames. When rendering or exporting, the faster processor will reduce the time you have to wait to view your final output.
  • Minimum: Intel Core i5 2.2 GHz 4-core with Hyper Threading - An i5 processor does not have the level of hyper threading that is on an i7. An i5 4-core will work for basic media, and if you are certain that you will mainly be writing and working with spreadsheets and powerpoint, an i5 will work. You will be able to do basic video editing and playback, but the machine will bog down with HD video, large complex video timelines, and animation done in majors like Design and Filmmaking.

RAM: (Random Access Memory)

  • Recommended: 16GB RAM - Media programs require a significant amount of memory to cache images and sound for smooth playback and processing. for HD video, motion graphics, and multiple channels of audio 16GB or higher will give you the best performance and allow you to work without your computer bogging down.
  • Minimum: 8GB RAM - Your computer must have a minimum of 8 GB of Random Access Memory. Some of the programs used in the school will not even launch with less than 8GB.

INTERNAL HARD DRIVE:

  • Recommended: 512GB or Larger, SSD (Solid State Drive) - You will be generating a lot of data. Video and audio take up a lot of space. If you want to work with multiple projects at once without having to delete files and manage space, then 512 GB or greater will best meet your needs.
  • Minimum: 256 GB, 7200 RPM Drive - Drives that are not solid state have a rotational speed (RPM) that determines how quickly they load and store data. Many economy laptops use a 5400 RPM drive. Better laptops have a 7200 RPM drive which is more responsive, makes the computer boot faster and load projects and large files faster. Anything less that 7200 RPM will leave you waiting for files and projects to load.

EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE: (Required)

  • One or more 512GB or Larger External Portable USB 3.0 Hard Drives - You will find that you need to transfer files between your laptop and department computers and also between you and your fellow students as you collaborate on projects. You will also need to backup files to protect against loss or hardware failure. It is reqired for production classes that you purchase one or more portable hard drives to serve as a backup device and to allow you to easily transfer files. This hard drive should also be a minimum of 7200 RPM, and, if possible, SSD which will greatly speed up file transfers.

GPU (Graphics Processing Unit):

  • Recommended: nVidia or AMD Radeon GPU with 4GB or More of Graphics RAM - Video decoding, effects, 3D rendering, and virtual reality all require significant processing. A GPU, or graphics processing unit, is equipped with memory and a processor that are dedicated to this work. A GPU will accelerate the processing of these tasks and greatly enhance the performance of your machine. Most software manufacturers test their software with nVidia and AMD GPU's and recommend a GPU with at least 4GB of graphics RAM.
  • Minimum: Intel HD Graphics or Iris Plus Graphics - Intel HD and Iris Plus Graphics use system RAM to do the work of graphics processing. Most of the software used in the school is compatible with Intel HD Graphics, but it does not provide the performance boost of a dedicated GPU.

SCREEN SIZE:

  • Recommended: 15 inch diagonal 1920x1080 Pixels or Greater - The video and graphics applications used in the curriculum have a lot of buttons and windows that work best when you have a larger screen to layout the interface. A 4K display is a very useful upgrade, especially if you go with a 17 inch screen.
  • Minimum: 13 inch diagonal 1920x1080 Pixels or Greater - This will work as a bare minimum, but you will not have a good time editing video, or doing effects on a 13 inch screen and your eyes will get strained if you work for long periods of time.

 

This is confusing! 
Is there an easy way to purchase a qualified computer with an educational discount?

Loyola has partnered with CDW (Computer Discount Warehouse) to offer a convenient way to purchase computers that meet the schools requirements. This site has all of the recommended computers from Apple, HP and Dell and allows you to take advantage of the educational discounts offered to Loyola University.

You are not reqired to purchase from CDW.  This service is offered as a convenient way for you to purchase a computer that will work for your major.

Visit the Loyola Technolgy Store at Computer Discount Warehouse