First and foremost; starting your courses at the TU Delft does not necessarily mean that you need to buy a new computer. If you already own a laptop you can always contact us via this form, email or the chat icon in the bottom right and we’ll help you find out whether your current computer is sufficient.

Choosing which laptop or computer to use for Architecture education at the TU Delft is not straightforward. Students are required to bring their own laptop, but to ensure you can use all software you’re going to need without problems, you must choose a computer that meets specific requirements.

On this page, we’ll take you through the main choices. We also provide links to pages with more in-depth information.

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Main options

You are required to bring your own laptop when you study Architecture. Considering you will rely on it for most of your studies, you must buy a robust model with the capacity to run all software that you will use.

On this page, we’ll assume you’re a student starting the Bachelor of Architecture or switching to Architecture from previous education (schakelsemester). If you’re a Master student, typically the same advice applies, although there may be some exceptions with regards to the graphics requirements for professional 3D software. Contact us if you think that is the case, and you have any questions.

Taking into account the hardware of your laptop needs to meet specific requirements to be truly suitable for the software that you’ll be using at the faculty of Architecture, we usually advise students to buy a laptop from the laptop project of TU Delft.

Read more about the TU Delft Laptopproject


Apple MacBook

We see that some students prefer to use Apple. However, the workload and professional 3D applications for Architecture require a powerful dedicated graphics adapter. Currently, only the top model MacBook Pro has a dedicated graphics adapter, which can be bought for about €2.400,-.

If you’re interested in buying a MacBook, keep in mind that not all the Architecture required software is available for MacOS. This means that we often advise students to install Windows 10 as a second operating system.

Read more about Apple MacBook in the Architecture study


Other laptops

We can imagine there are reasons to look for another option. Maybe you find the TU Laptop a bit heavy or a MacBook too expensive. But whichever reason, you may be tempted to look for another solution. With all the options out there, it’s impossible to give a single advice in this overview.

To assist you, we do provide more technical background that may help you to make a choice.

Read more on choosing another Laptop for Architecture


A closer look at laptop requirements

As an Architecture student, your computer is an important tool that you will rely on to get work done. Throughout your studies and your future career you are going to be using specialized CAD- and graphics software, such as Autodesk Revit, AutoCADMayaArcGISMcNeel RhinoAdobe Creative Suite, etc.

These programs require a lot of graphical and processing power. So you need powerful hardware. In particular, the graphics adapter should be a high-performance model, designed for professional 3D applications. As these adapters use more power, a lot of laptops are fitted with more power-efficient integrated graphics solutions which are not suitable for the software you’ll be working with.

You will be using your laptop in workshop environments and might be travelling with it quite a lot. This means you need a robust and durable laptop. Laptops designed for home users probably won’t last long.

Last but not least you should think about the warranty and support: what happens if your computer breaks down? How long will it take to fix the issue? Can you get a replacement laptop in the meanwhile? We recommend at least three years warranty, preferably next business day on-site or better to minimize the time it takes to get your laptop back in working order.


Desktop

If you are interested in buying or building your own desktop, take a look at the following page, to make sure it is suitable for you Architecture Study.

Read more on building/buying a desktop


Conclusion

The selection of a computer or laptop is personal: you must decide yourself what features and preferences are important to you. There is no single ‘best solution’. We do, however, emphasize that it is important to take specific requirements into account.

The TU Delft Laptop Project high-performance laptop is specially selected to meet the most important requirements for Architecture students. It’s, therefore, highly recommended. Other options are viable but require special attention.

The software we use at the faculty of Architecture is unique, and the workload is atypical. Most computer re-sellers don’t take these specifics into account, which may lead to incomplete advice and in the end disappointment. So before you buy a laptop, you can check that you haven’t overlooked something obvious.


If you didn’t find the information you need here, please take a look at our Laptop check before you buy or contact us: SID-Adhok@tudelft.nl