2016-17 Computer Recommended Specifications

These recommendations should serve as guidelines for new PC purchases, but are not absolute.  Purchase a desktop or laptop computer based on your needs and circumstances.  Feel free to send any questions you have to the Director of Engineering Information Systems at erik.kispert@valpo.

PC vs. Mac
Some of our students prefer Mac over PC, and that is completely fine.  In the College of Engineering, we have almost exclusively PCs, because the vast majority of engineering software is written for Windows.  There are some software vendors that offer free student versions, but many of them can only be used in the computer labs because they require the full institutional license.  If you want to run student versions on your own computer, a PC is recommended.

Processor
Intel i5 or i7 processors or their AMD equivalents are recommended.

Memory
4GB are a minimum requirement; 8GB or more are recommended.

Hard Drive
We have seen strong performance improvements when upgrading to solid state drives (SSDs) in our lab environments. These are recommended, though there is a size trade-off, so purchase the type of drive that makes the most sense for what you want to get out of your storage.

Graphics Card
This will be dependent on your PC’s intended use, but generally speaking a 1GB card is suggested.

Software
An office productivity suite is suggested.  All Valpo students have access to five Microsoft Office 365 licenses after they have enrolled.  These can be used on any type of device: PC, Mac, tablets, etc. and can be reassigned as needed.

 

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