Buying the Right Computer

One of the biggest questions students and parents have when coming to college is what kind of computer should I bring? 

During the first two years of college a low cost, light-weight laptop should be sufficient. Then as program demands increase, depending on major, students can elect to purchase a more powerful laptop later on.

Basic Laptop – Windows

This laptop would be good for note-taking, Office programs, and web browsing, but may be slow or unable to run engineering or programming software. After the first two years, you could still use this for casual browsing, note-taking, or other occasions where the heavier power laptop isn't needed.

  • 64-bit Windows 10, Professional preferred
  • Intel Core i5 processor or AMD A6 processor (2 GHz or higher)
  • 8GB memory
  • 250 GB - 2TB hard drive or 128-500 GB Solid State Drive (SSD)
  • 512 MB dedicated memory graphics card or better
  • CD/DVD drive (optional)
  • 13" Widescreen or larger
Power Laptop – Windows

Engineering: This laptop will be able to run engineering software, including simulations, SolidWorks, and numeric calculations you will encounter in the later parts of your degree. A free student version of SolidWorks is available for engineering majors.

Computer Science: This laptop will be able to run computer science software, including visual studio C++ and Python.

  • Windows 7 or 10, 64-bit, Professional or better
  • Intel Core i7 processor or AMD A8 processor (3 GHz or higher)
  • 16 GB or more RAM. (the more the better)
  • 500GB or larger hard drive or 256GB or larger SSD hard drive
  • 1GB dedicated memory graphics card or better 
  • DirectX 9-capable video card running (computer science majors)
  • 14" Widescreen or larger