Student Computer Recommendations

Do I need a computer?

Most engineering students find having a personal computer convenient, but there is no requirement for one. If you do not have your own computer, there are plenty of computer labs available to use on campus or in the Driftmier engineering building.

Will I be doing a lot of schoolwork on a personal computer?

Yes. Expect to use some sort of computer technology in every academic course you take. You will likely use a computer to type papers, complete assignments, attend Zoom meetings, research using websites, and to communicate with peers and professors.

What computing facilities are available on campus?

The College of Engineering maintains Windows computers loaded with general and engineering specific software in the Driftmier engineering building as well as virtually through MyLAB. Other computer labs are located at the UGA Science Library and UGA vLab.

If I purchase a new computer, should I get Mac, Windows?

The choice of an operating system should primarily be determined by your personal preference. Most common software packages are generally available on all platforms, but for those that are not, the College of Engineering offers fully equipped computer labs.

Laptop, tablet, or desktop?

Most engineering students will be best served selecting a high-end laptop or tablet given their portability and the demand on resources that engineering apps require. Laptops are the most common and recommended choice but if selecting a tablet the high end options similar to a Microsoft Surface can work well. Please note that a standard tablet such as an iPad will not replace all of the needed computer functions and should only be used as an additional resource.

Desktops generally have higher performance than comparably priced laptops. If you plan to use your computer mostly in the dorm or at home then desktops can be a less expensive option.

Laptop/tablet features?

Engineering applications can be very demanding on computer resources which is why higher-end laptops and tablets typically are recommended. Typically these laptops and tablets should include a variety of input options such as keyboards, touch screens, and pen capability. In addition, almost all are equipped with high resolution cameras and noise-cancelling microphones.

Screen size and battery life are important but are personal preference. Larger display sizes reduce portability while increasing usability; similarly, battery life will dictate use.

What software will I need?

Many courses will require word processing and spreadsheet software. Microsoft Office 365 is available to UGA students at no cost.

Google Workspace is also available to UGA students at no cost.

Some engineering applications such as Autocad and Matlab are available to students as no cost via the instructions found here.

What are the recommended computer specifications?

Recommended Mac Desktop

ATTRIBUTESPECIFICATION
ProcessorIntel i7 or better – less than 3 years old
Memory16 GB RAM
Hard Drive1 TB
Operating SystemmacOS Catalina or later

Recommended Mac Laptop

ATTRIBUTESPECIFICATION
ProcessorIntel i7 or better – less than 3 years old
Memory16 GB RAM
Hard Drive1 TB
Monitor13″ LCD
Operating SystemmacOS Catalina or later
Special NotesMay require USB-C to HDMI adapter if connecting to classroom AV

Recommended PC Desktop

ATTRIBUTESPECIFICATION
ProcessorIntel Core i7 – less than 3 years old
Memory16 GB RAM
Hard Drive1 TB
Operating SystemWindows 10 – Current Build Version

Recommended PC Laptop

ATTRIBUTESPECIFICATION
ProcessorIntel Core i7 – less than 3 years old
Memory16 GB RAM
Hard Drive1 TB
ScreenAt least 1080P
Operating SystemWindows 10 – Current Build Version
Special NoteMay require HDMI adapter if connecting to classroom AV

How do I get computer help?

For hardware issues, we recommend you keep your machine under warranty, unless you have knowledge to do your own maintenance. Laptops especially can be difficult to get repaired in a timely manner.

For software issues, OIT has information on our website. For assistance fill out this form or visit their help desk located in Driftmier Engineering Center – Room 1360.