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Selecting a Laptop Computer for NQSC Majors

Today, NQSC majors are just as likely to encounter PCs and Macs in the classroom and the workplace. The choice to buy a PC or Mac should depend on the student’s major, which will determine what software the student will use on a regular basis. Computer labs in the School of Communication make all instructional software available to students but some may choose to purchase software to install on a laptop for personal use.

When a PC or Mac is a good choice:

  • Event Management
  • Hospitality Management
  • Popular Culture and Media Production
  • Sport Management
  • Strategic Communication

When the primary needs of the work place revolve around writing well, either platform is a good option. Use of business applications and the ability to blog and create podcasts play important roles in the workplace.

Recommended Configuration:

PC or Mac Laptop Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 or higher or latest OS Processor: Multicore Intel or AMD processor. 64 bit. RAM Memory: 4GB+
Hard Drive: 100GB+

Recommended Software:

Word processor of your choice (Microsoft Office, Apple Pages, Google Docs, Libre Office)
Optional Software: Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, Celtx

When a PC is the better option:

  • Game Design

PCs are generally used by programmers, game designers and developers, and 3D modelers, animators and digital artists working in the game industry.

Recommended Configuration:

PC Laptop Operating System: Windows 7 or higher
Processor: Multicore Intel or AMD processor. 64 bit.
GPU: Nvidia Geforce GTX 650 or higher
RAM Memory: 16GB
Hard Drive: 500GB+

Recommended Software:

Word processor (Microsoft Office, Google Docs, Libre Office), Celtx
Optional Software (Games): Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite (3ds Max Preferred)*, Blender, Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, video game creation software (Unreal Engine, GameMaker, Gamebryo, Game Salad), video game recording software (Action or Fraps), Steam Account

*Autodesk provides free 3-year educational licenses to users with .edu email accounts.

When a Mac is the better option

  •  Media Production and Entrepreneurship
  •  Strategic Communication (Graphic Design and Creative Production)
  •  Journalism
  • Social Media and Digital Communication.

The Mac platform is the computer of choice for producers, directors, writers, and editors in television and film and for creative teams at work in ad agencies.

Recommended Configuration:

Apple MacBook Pro Laptop
Operating System: latest version of OS
Processor: Multicore Intel processor with 64-bit support
RAM Memory: 16GB Drive space: 256+
Additional: 16GB class 10 SDHC memory card (For ELM and Journalism)

Recommended Hardware for MPE:

Lacie or G-Drive external hard drive with Thunderbolt or Firewire 800 support. (Prepare to pay in the $200 range)

Recommended Software:

Word processor (Microsoft Office, Apple Pages, Google Docs, Libre Office), Celtx, Adobe Creative Cloud Suite (not needed until you start coursework)

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