Recommended Personal Computer Specifications for Engineering Students

2018-19 Academic Year

 

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.edu.

 

Laptop PC vs. Mac
Some of our students prefer Mac over PC, and that is completely fine. In the College of Engineering, our environment consists almost entirely of 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. For information about software available to students, please see the section of this webpage entitled Engineering Software.
Processor Processor
Intel i5 or i7 processors or their AMD equivalents are recommended.
Memory
8GB are suggested for robust performance; more and more computers now ship with 16GB of memory, so go with more if that fits your budget.
Hard Drive
We have seen significant performance improvements when upgrading to solid state drives (SSDs) in our lab environments. These drives are recommended, though there is a size trade-off, so purchase the type of drive that makes the most sense for your storage needs.
Graphics Card
This will be dependent on your PC’s intended use, but generally speaking at least a 1GB card for a laptop or a 2GB card for a desktop are suggested.
Software
An office productivity suite is suggested. All Valpo students have access to the Microsoft Office suite free of charge.  See the Engineering Software page for details.

        

 

These specifications are specific to College of Engineering students. For non-program specific recommendations please visit the IT department’s Computer Specifications page.

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