MMA Recommended Equipment

Required Equipment

A USB Flash drive: Minimum of 32Gb capacity. This drive is to be used as back-up and storage for college files.

Recommendation: If you are using this drive on both, Windows and iOS (Apple) systems, I highly recommend purchasing two separate USB drives. Files can and have become corrupted using a single USB on both systems.

Recommended Equipment

It is not necessary to purchase any equipment, as the lab is equipped with the tools needed to complete the course. However, due to the nature of the course and the extraordinary amount of external work needed to complete projects, it would be beneficial to own your own equipment.

Equipment does not need to be purchased before the start of classes. The best option for pricing would be to wait until you have your student ID in order to take advantage of educational pricing.

Recommendation: The lab uses Apple computers for their dependability. This does not mean you have to use Apple products if you are not comfortable with them. If you choose to use a Windows computer, I recommend that you purchase a windows-based laptop, to use in class. The software itself is almost identical on either platform.

Final note about Windows-based computers: If you are using a Windows computer for college, you will also have to be your own IT person for potential problems.

Purchasing Considerations

  • The College’s book store has an online catalog with many of the software items needed for the class.
  • Computers (depending on the brand) have various ranges of capabilities and should be researched for best pricing.
  • Hardware items, like cameras, are not likely to have educational discounts.
  • Be wary of those “experts” in big box stores when purchasing computers. Retailers in general have sales goals they need to meet. Do your research before purchasing. Caveat emptor (BUYER BEWARE).
  • The most trusted places to buy audio/video equipment are and Locally, has been very good to us. These listed retailers are merely suggestions. Feel free to use any source of your choosing
  • Always ask about students discounts and use your student ID for possible savings.

Disclaimer: These recommendations should be used as a starting point for your purchasing decision. Lakes Region Community College, it’s faculty, staff and administration are not responsible for purchases made based on these recommendations. Defective or inadequate equipment that is incapable of performing necessary lab work for this course is the sole responsibility of the purchaser. It is imperative that you complete your research before buying and make the purchase that best suits your technical and financial needs.

System Requirements

For Graphics, the software that does the heaviest lifting is Photoshop. Below are Adobe’s system requirements for Photoshop CC (2014). Please consider Adobe’s recommendations, in parentheses, as the minimum requirements.

Base Windows System
Intel® Pentium® 4 or AMD Athlon® 64 processor (2 GHz or faster)
Microsoft® Windows® 7 with Service Pack 1, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1
2 GB of RAM (8 GB recommended)
2 GB of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on removable flash storage devices)
1024x768 display (1280x800 recommended) with 16-bit color and 512 MB of VRAM (1 GB recommended)**
OpenGL 2.0–capable system
Internet connection and registration are necessary for required software activation, validation of subscriptions, and access to online services.*

Base Mac OS System
Multicore Intel processor with 64-bit support
Mac OS X v10.7, v10.8, or v10.9
2 GB of RAM (8 GB recommended)
3.2 GB of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on a volume that uses a case-sensitive file system or on removable flash storage devices)
1024x768 display (1280x800 recommended) with 16-bit color and 512 MB of VRAM (1 GB recommended)**
OpenGL 2.0–capable system
Internet connection and registration are necessary for required software activation, membership validation, and access to online services.*

* Video features are not supported on 32-bit Windows systems.

* NOTE: Internet connection, Adobe ID, and acceptance of license agreement required to activate and use this product. This product may integrate with or allow access to certain Adobe or third-party hosted online services. Adobe services are available only to users 13 and older and require agreement to additional terms of use and the Adobe Privacy Policy. Applications and services may not be available in all countries or languages and may be subject to change or discontinuation without notice. Additional fees or membership charges may apply.

** 3D features are disabled and some Mercury Graphics Engine enhanced features may not work with less than 512 MB VRAM.

Desktop or Laptop?

Desktop computers, in general, are faster and better suited for moderate to pro design work and the price tag is usually a little more friendly. Unfortunately, they are not as mobile as laptops.

Laptop computers are powerful enough to take students through 2 to 4 years of college and should be looked at as a tool for completing college generated work for all their classes. If you are considering working with a Windows-based computer, it is recommended that you purchase a laptop for use in class. Transferring files between operating systems can produce corrupted data, rendering your files inoperable.

To put it into dollars, you are looking for a computer that is in the $1500 range (+/- $500 depending on OS, brand and added options). This is a considerable amount of money for a student’s computer, but a very good investment.


We are using the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription service (Adobe CC). This service gives users access to ALL Adobe products for a monthly fee (or one time yearly). Check with the bookstore for academic pricing.


Camera companies are coming out with new products every day. Because of that, it’s difficult to list a particular make and model. Here is a general description of what you will need for Digital Photography.

Click the link for examples of Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) with Manual functionality.

Recommendation: Look online for DSLR kits. Kits come with most of the start up equipment you will need, (lenses, SD cards, tripod, a carrying case, etc.).

Drawing Tablet
One of the most important tools for any Graphic Designer is a Digital Drawing Tablet. Wacom has a line of drawing tablets that range in price and performance. You can find out more at

Recommendation: If you have never worked with a drawing tablet, they do have a learning curve. Devices with small drawing areas can be frustrating for beginners. The Wacom, Intuos Pen & Touch Medium is the perfect entry level option for this devise. The drawing area is large enough to work comfortably without taking up the entire desk area.

Any questions, please email me.

Michael Place
Media Arts and Technology
Lakes Region Community College
379 Belmont Rd.
Laconia, NH 03246
(603) 524-3207 ext. 6605

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