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Buying the Right Computer

The following is advice from Engineering Computing Services (ECS) on computer purchases for academic studies in engineering.

Windows-Based Systems

Windows 7 Ultimate is available from the ATLC in library for $10

Laptop – Standard User

  • Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium or better
  • Intel Core i5 or i7 processor or AMD A6 or A8 processor
  • 4GB memory or higher
  • 250GB or larger hard drive at 7200rpm or faster
  • 512MB dedicated memory graphics card or better
  • 8x CD/DVD Burner or Blu-Ray Combo Drive
  • 13" Widescreen or larger

Laptop – Power User

  • Windows 7 64-bit Professional or Ultimate
  • Intel Core i7 processor or AMD A8 processor
  • 6GB or 8GB memory
  • 500GB or larger hard drive at 7200rpm or 128GB or larger SSD hard drive
  • 1GB dedicated memory graphics card or better
  • 8x CD/DVD Burner or Blu-Ray Combo Drive
  • 15" Widescreen or larger

Macintosh OS Based Systems

Laptop – All Users

  • MacBook Pro or Higher
  • Mac OS X Lion
  • Intel Core i5 or i7
  • 4GB of memory
  • 500GB HDD or 128GB SSD
  • 384MB Graphics Memory Card

Software Compatibility

Some software required for certain courses may be available only for Windows systems. For these cases, we recommend using bootcamp or VMware Fusion which is available for Whitacre College of Engineering student use. Additionally, students can access the Whitacre College of Engineering Remote Lab to access software that cannot be installed on Mac OS.