Students entering Engineering are required to have a laptop for use in course work, to include testing scenarios. 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.

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The Microsoft Windows 10 Operating System, 64-bit, is the de facto standard

Hardware Absolute Minimum Recommended
CPU Processor Intel Core i5 Intel Core i7
Screen Resolution 1920 x 1080 Resolution much higher than 1920 x 1080
RAM, Memory 8GB 16GB or more
Hard Drive 300GB (100GB free for coursework) 500GB or larger, ideally Solid State Drive (SSD)
GPU (video) Integrated Discrete graphics card, examples:
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
  • AMD Radeon HD 7970M
  • NVIDIA Quadro K500M
Wireless 802.11ac or better 802.11ac or better, i.e. 6e
Ports 1 free USB more than 1 free USB
Navigation 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 (needed for classes using CAD software), Touch-screen/Pad, Stylus
Video Conferencing Front-facing SD camera with mic and speakers Front-facing HD camera with privacy shutter, headset with mic, IR camera for facial login

Please anticipate classes via Zoom and online testing too, possible using Proctorio and/or other tools

An extended warranty with accidential damage coverage is highly recommended.

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.

Apple Macintosh Notes

  • Some required software for courses will NOT run under MacOS
  • 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
  • Macs, using dual-boot Bootcamp, may suffice at significantly more hardware and effort cost, which the Student may choose to bear.
  • Virtual Environments for Macs may also work in many situations, yet not all and not in some required scenarios.
  • Not recommended due to likely required use of Proctorio, SolidWorks and other Windows-only applications. And hardware and/or licensing requirements that will not work in a virtualized environment

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.

Package Availabilty
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.

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