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Recommended Hardware

Screen Shot 2021-05-18 at 10.32.18



Other information that could be relevant: 

Recommended hardware depends on what your focus will be. If you want to focus on 2D animation, drawing, concept work, design, texturing, etc then a MacBook Pro with a Cintiq or Huion, SurfacePro or Wacom Mobile Studio Pro would be the way to go.  


Do you want to be a 3D animator, modeler, animator, effects artist? There are other parts of the pipeline, including lighting and compositing, that could also need different specs.  In order to run Maya, Houdini, Nuke or any other industry-standard software, you will generally need a lot of processing ability.


I would look for something with an i7 or i9 processor (4core) (or 64-bit Intel® or AMD® multi-core processor with SSE4.2 instruction set), 32gb or more of RAM, 1tb or more of hard drive space SSD preferable (you can get away with 512 for an SSD and use and external hard drive for storage); and one of the following graphics cards that are certified to run Maya


A desktop computer would be more powerful and be able to hold a higher-level graphics card at a lower price than a laptop. If you have no idea what you wants to specialize in, this would be the first question to answer.


UCF has partnerships with both Dell and Apple. Many of our MFA and BFA students build their own computer from parts ordered from Amazon or New Egg. They help each other out with this so you could talk to the existing students if this may be an option.


When selecting a laptop, students should research a “gaming ready or VR ready” device. These laptops typically contain fast
processors, high-end graphics cards (AMD or NVIDIA) and over 16 GB of ram.


Sample Devices:

MacBook Pro 

  • 2.6GHz 6-core Intel Core i7 or higher

  • Radeon Pro 555X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory and automatic graphics switching or higher

  • 16GB+ of RAM


MSI GL Series GL63 Gaming Laptop or equivalent

  • 15.6″ 120 Hz Intel Core i7 8th Gen 8750H (2.20 GHz) 

  • AMD or NVIDIA graphics card

  • 16 GB+ Memory 

  • 512 GB NVMe SSD 

  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit 


Students should avoid purchasing the following computers if their intention is high-end graphics use.

  • Tablet like computers with no graphics card

  • Laptops with no graphics card and under 8GB of RAM

  • IPads

  • Chromebooks

  • Surface tablets

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