The actual and potential impact of computers on design education is an issue of growing concern for students, faculty, and practitioners. The assessment ranges from very positive to negative. (On first sight, the complexity of reasons for and against computers in design seems overwhelming. This paper attempts to isolate reasons for the various attitudes and find a method to judge the impact of computers on design education rationally by identifying goals and comparing them to reality.  Part One establishes facts: the human and financial investment that universities have made in CAD, based on results from publications and a national ACADIA survey, and the investment of architectural firms in CAD, based on recent national and regional in-depth studies.  Part Two examines goals of the use of CAD in the design studio. For better analysis, goals are divided into two extreme categories: tool independent and tool dependent. Tool independent goals are born out of the need to improve the existing design education, independent from technological development. Tool dependent goals are tailored to the alleged capabilities of new software and hardware and to pressure from the professional community. The actual definition of goals for design education will lie somewhere in between.  Part three examines the reality in the design studio. It tries to determine the place of the computer in the design process from a student's view, and an educator's view. The last section is dedicated to the testing of the developed theory against actual studios.