OS X or Windows?

It is up to you, but be aware that the chosen Digital Audio Workstation software (Logic X) only runs on Apple OS X. Adobe Creative Cloud runs on both systems. There is no question that the Macbook Pro will be ideal for nearly everything in the program, including the Adobe Creative Cloud package. AET labs have iMacs and, in some cases, Windows computers.

The MSI laptop may prove more suitable for those pursuing the Game Development and Design Program and for certain aspects of Performance, Lighting and Interactivity (PLAI). A large majority of the software used in classes runs on both machines, but you may encounter a preference for Windows-based PCs in the upper-division courses.

Apple Macbook Pro ($2,400)

  • 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor
  • Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz
  • 16GB 2133MHz memory
  • 256GB PCIe-based SSD1
  • Radeon Pro 450 with 2GB memory
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID

Windows 10 Pro

  • MSI GT62VR Dominator Pro ($1,900) (or equivalent)
  • Core i7 7700HQ / 2.8 GHz
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 256 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD
  • 15.6″ 1920 x 1080 (Full HD)
  • GF GTX 1070 (or better)
  • 802.11ac

For those intending to pursue mostly graphics and animation, you may wish to consider a professional level drawing tablet/computer combination. We recommend the following (other configurations are available):

Wacom MobileStudio Pro 13 ($1,999)

  • Intel® Core™ i7
  • 256GB SSD
  • Wacom offers a 3 year financing plan + warranty


The College of Fine Arts (COFA) has secured a licensing agreement with Adobe. This will permit all UT students to license the full Creative Cloud for substantially less than the commercial version.  The price for 2017-18 is $74.99 from the Campus Computer Store. This is an annual license.

Additional Course Specific Requirements:

  • For AET 305: M-Audio Oxygen 25 ($199) – or equivalent – and Logic X
  • For AET 306: Wacom Graphic Tablet


  • Macbook Air models are not appropriately configured for the tasks.
  • Windows running on Apple hardware is also not ideal for advanced programming applications due to lower end GPU’s.
  • Tablets do not support the teaching resources and are not acceptable.

It is recommended that the user enable Filevault 2 encryption after purchasing the laptop. The Solid State Drive’s speed is barely affected by encryption.

To connect to projectors or other displays, the Campus Computer Store will have adapters available or can order them upon request.

Once new students have been issued their official UT Austin student identification cards, they are eligible to purchase computers for educational discounts. Students with paid tuition and fees receipts for the semester are eligible to purchase software.

Back to top