Student-Owned Computing: Buying a New Computer/Laptop

The College of Engineering recommends that all incoming students own a desktop, laptop, or similarly powerful tablet. If you are planning to purchase one, we’d like to offer the following advice and guidance.

Recommended Specs for New Computers/Laptops

CPU Intel i5 or i7 processor 10th generation and newer (Or AMD equivalent)

Apple M1 processor

Minimum RAM 8 GB
Recommended RAM At least 16GB
Optical Drive Optional
Minimum Storage 256 GB Solid State Drive (SSD)
Recommended Storage 512 GB or Larger Solid State Drive (SSD)
Operating System Windows 10 (64-bit)

*macOS 11 Big Sur or newer

Wireless 802.11ac
Warranty 3 years or more

*Many applications used by COE students are only compatible with Windows.  Older models of Mac devices offer Boot Camp that will allow you to partition your hard drive and install Windows on a Mac. We advise using the Windows Virtual Desktop environment in order to access Windows exclusive applications on MacOS

**Note for Civil, Industrial, Mechanical, Aerospace, and Chemical Engineering Students: It is recommended to have a computer equipped with a discrete graphics card either from AMD or Nvidia with minimum 4GB VRAM

Warranty Information

We recommend warranties that are backed by the manufacturers themselves (as opposed to third-party warranties offered by retailers) so you can get service no matter where you are when a problem occurs.

There are repair technicians on-campus at the OIT Walk-In Center who can provide hardware repairs for computers and laptops from Dell, Apple, and Lenovo that are under manufacturer warranty or CPS warranty.

If you purchase a device well above the recommended specifications, you might consider a 4-year warranty, and/or accidental damage coverage and theft coverage.