Laptop System Requirements for Undergraduates

Students entering Mechanical Engineering are required to have a laptop for use in course work. Laptops do not need to be brought to campus on a daily basis, but individual courses may require that a laptop be brought to class or lab sessions.

If you choose not to get a Windows-based PC, a Mac will require additional memory, drive capacity, and time/labor to run a Windows virtual environment

Hardware & OSAbsolute Minimum (and you may struggle with these specs)Preferred (and please exceed even these in order for performance to persist)
Operating System:  Windows 10 64-bit (required software for courses will NOT run under MacOS) Windows 10 64-bit (required software for courses will NOT run under MacOS)
Processor: Intel Core i5 (2.0GHz or faster) or corresponding AMD Intel Core i7 or corresponding AMD
Memory: 16GB RAM 32GB RAM
Hard Drive: 500GB 500GB Solid State Drive (SSD)
GPU (Video): Integrated Video Discrete graphics card (Nvidia or AMD)*
Display: 1920x1080 resolution 1920x1080 resolution or higher
Wireless:802.11acWi-Fi 6
Home Bandwidth:Sufficient for classes and online testingAt least 5/2 Mbps download/upload (double-digits preferred)
Camera/Conferencing: Front facing camera with mic and speakers Front facing HD camera with privacy shutter and headset with mic
Backup: Cloud file syncing service like Google Drive, Onedrive, or UT Box Cloud file syncing  service like Google DriveOnedrive, or UT Box
Warranty: An extended warranty with accidental damage coverage is HIGHLY recommended An extended warranty with accidental damage coverage is HIGHLY recommended
Mouse: A wired or wireless mouse with at least 2 buttons and a scroll wheel A wired or wireless mouse with at least 2 buttons and a scroll wheel

* A "discrete graphics" card is recommended if you plan to run Computer-Aided Design software. Discrete graphics models feature a dedicated graphics processor and memory to provide superior 3D performance for graphics-intensive applications. Examples of discrete graphics cards are:

  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
  • AMD Radeon HD 7970M
  • NVIDIA Quadro K500M

Recommended Software

All computers must have an active antivirus software installed before being connected to the campus network. Systems running Windows 8 or higher have the built-in Windows Defender. UT recommended anti-virus solutions are listed on the ITS Anti-Virus page.

Although most of the engineering software packages in the METER lab are available via remote access through the AppD (virtual desktop service), the following applications are recommended for local installation on your laptop.

PackageAvailabilty
Microsoft Office Instructions for access (Free for Students)
MATLAB Site license download (Free)
UTPrint Drivers Download from UTPrint page
Anti-Virus Download from ITS Anti-Virus page

Additionally the Cockrell School of Engineering provides access to various Microsoft products through the Azure Development Tools for Teaching program and to National Instruments' LabVIEW.

Financial Aid

Students that receive aid or are loan eligible may contact The Office of Student Financial Services to have their aid adjusted to include the cost of their laptop. Students not eligible for aid can apply for alternative or short-term loans through The Office of Student Financial Services.