Laptop Computer Requirement for MID Programs

All students entering a degree or certificate programs in the Multimedia Information Design department are required to own a laptop computer (Apple Macintosh or Windows PC) that meets the minimum standards established by the academic and technology leadership of the College.

Students also must own software subscriptions, and other tools and materials.

The programs with these requirements are:

  • Audio/Video Production
  • Graphic Design
  • Graphic Imaging Technology
  • Web & Multimedia Design

Students are responsible for proper setup, software installation, and maintenance of their personal computer systems.

Laptop Computer Specifications (revised Nov. 2021)

If you are purchasing a new computer, two options are recommended:

Option A – MacBook Pro 14-inch

Display14-inch Liquid Retina XDR display
ProcessorApple M1 Pro with 10-core CPU, 16-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine
Memory32 GB Unified Memory
Storage1 TB solid-state drive (SSD) internal storage

If you wish to increase your processing power at the time of purchase (with added cost), you can configure your Option A computer as follows:

Display14-inch Liquid Retina XDR display
ProcessorApple M1 MAX with 10-core CPU, 24-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine
Memory64 GB Unified Memory
Storage1 TB solid-state drive (SSD) internal storage

Option B – MacBook Air 13-inch

DisplayRetina display with True Tone
ProcessorApple M1 chip with 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine
Memory16 GB Unified Memory
Storage1 TB solid-state drive (SSD) internal storage

Note: Although Option B meets minimum technical requirements, students who choose this option may experience productivity challenges for some technical tasks, such as video rendering, due to reduced processing power.

Other Computer Considerations

If you already own an Apple or PC (Windows 10 operating system) laptop computer that meets or exceeds the College’s standards, you may use that computer.

If your current laptop does not meet the recommended specification but is within the minimum specification below, you may use it at your own risk and you may experience productivity issues. You also will need to purchase required software subscriptions and additional tools and materials listed below. 

Minimum Computer Specifications

Display12-inch retina display or greater
ProcessorIntel Core i7 or greater
Memory16 GB RAM or greater (32 GB highly recommended)
Storage512 GB or greater boot drive

Required Software and Equipment – Graphic Design, Graphic Imaging, Web & Multimedia Design

  • Annual Subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud – Get price information
  • Computer Adapters for Ethernet, HDMI and USB (individual or hub)
  • Cables for HDMI and Ethernet
  • USB Thumb Drive (32 GB or larger)

Highly Recommended – Graphic Design, Graphic Imaging, Web & Multimedia Design

  • External Media Drive (1 TB or larger SSD or 7200 rpm – USB3/USB-C)
  • A USB or wireless 2-button mouse with scroll

Required Software and Equipment – Audio/Video Production

  • Beginning of Semester 1 (students enrolled in AVP 100)
    • Annual Subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud – Get price information
    • Annual Subscription to AVID Pro Tools – Get price information
    • Computer Adapters for Ethernet, HDMI, USB, and SDHC devices (individual or hub)
    • Cables for HDMI and Ethernet
    • External Media Drive (1 TB or larger SSD or 7200 rpm – USB3/USB-C)
    • USB Thumb Drive (32 GB or larger)
    • Studio Headphones (1/4” and 1/8” connectivity)
    • Recommended: A USB or wireless 2-button mouse with scroll
  • Beginning of Semester 2 (students enrolled in AVP 110)
    • Minimum of 2 SDHC cards (Class 10)
    • Grip Tools (Leather Work Gloves, Multi-tool Pliers, Small LED Flashlight)   
  • NOTE: AVID Pro Tools requires iLok software authorization to open and run.
    • iLok cloud authorization can be set up for free at www.ilok.com. Users also must install the latest version of iLok License Manager so they can manage their authorization and activate an iLok Cloud session. For this option the user must be online with a stable connection when using the software.
    • A USB hardware iLok dongle is available for an additional $49.00. The physical iLok is recommended.
    • This information is on the AVID Pro Tools website (see link above) under System Requirements.


Estimated Costs

Estimated costs for a laptop, annual software subscriptions, and other required materials are below (updated Nov. 2021). This does not include the cost of course textbooks or the cost of the software subscriptions for year two and beyond.

Laptop & Extended Protection Plan:

  • Laptop Option A: $2,659 (add $249 for Apple Care+ Extended Protection Plan)
  • Laptop Option B: $1,509 (add $179 for Apple Care+ Extended Protection Plan)

Software Subscriptions:

  • Adobe Creative Cloud (Student): $19.99/month for first year, then $29.99/month
  • Avid ProTools (Audio/Video Production majors only):
    • 1-year subscription to software download: $99.00 (Educational pricing. Get 2 months free when you pay for 12 months upfront)
    • Month-by-month subscription to software download: $9.99/month (Educational pricing. This price applies to a 1-year subscription that is paid for each month.)

Financial Aid

If you are using or planning to use financial aid to help pay your Cincinnati State costs, ask a Financial Aid Advisor if your financial aid award includes funds you could use for a computer.

Depending on the type and amount of financial aid you are awarded, you may be able to use “excess” financial aid funding (after your tuition and fees have been paid) to cover all or part of the cost of a laptop computer and required software.

Technical Support

Students are responsible for proper setup, software installation, and maintenance of their personal computer systems. Technical support is not provided on campus.

AppleCare Protection Plan is strongly recommended (or comparable insurance for Windows PC) to ensure that students have access to technical support, assistance, and warranty repair services.

 
Rationale for the Laptop Requirement

Computer technology is essential to all multimedia information design professions. A personal laptop computer gives students a powerful learning and production tool that can be used in the classroom and in other settings where learning takes place.

Owning a computer also gives students flexibility to work on projects at home, on campus, or for “in the field” production when needed.