A student's computer should effectively run the standard software suite. The computer should be fast enough and have enough memory and disk space to provide satisfactory performance over a usable life of at least two to three years.
Georgia Tech students may take advantage of special pricing on Apple, Dell, and Lenovo products by visiting Barnes and Noble @ Georgia Tech online.
The following are minimum hardware requirements for students entering Georgia Tech in Summer & Fall 2012. For full details on these requirements, and additional recommendations, please see the complete Student Computer Ownership Guide.
All student computers should have the following components:
Form Factor: Notebook. (A netbook or tablet should not be used as the primary computing device.*) A minimum of 2 hours of battery life is required.
Processor: 64 bit Multi-core processor or better.**
Memory: 4 - 8 GB or more. For best performance, we recommend that you install as much memory as affordable at the time of purchase.
Primary Hard Drive: 128GB solid state drive or 250GB hard disk drive or larger.
Backup Device or Service: For local backup, an external hard drive with double the size of the internal hard drive or a subscription to a cloud based backup solution like Crashplan is highly recommended.
Networking: Wireless 802.11n capable.
Recovery options: It is highly recommended that all computers include a recovery partition or recovery utility that allows quick restoration of the factory image should a re-installation be necessary. If the system does not have a recovery partition, then students should have their software media with them in the event a re-installation is necessary. If you have questions, check at the point of purchase or at the Technology Support Center.
- An external DVD writer
- USB flash drive
- Ethernet cable
- Laptop anti-theft cable lock
- An external webcam may also be useful for some applications, as well as a USB microphone and headphones
- Dongles for connecting to an external display or projection device may also be required
- Typical connectivity to a projection system is VGA, but newer rooms have DVI and/or HDMI connections. Video adapters for notebooks, tablets or other mobile devices are not provided by the Institute.
*Note that most netbooks and tablets (e.g. Apple iPad, Galaxy Tab and others that run on an operating system designed specifically for the device) do NOT meet the minimum hardware requirements above. While they may initially provide sufficient performance for basic tasks such as web browsing or simple word processing, use of technical software in courses may not be possible.
**The use of VLab (a Virtual Lab that provides GT students a way to access 'virtual machines' on campus and use software such as MATLAB and AutoCAD from any computer with Internet access) does not diminish these requirements. Your system will still need to independently support the required software.
Warranty: Extended warranties (three years, in general) are highly recommended. These warranties normally cover hardware problems as well as system troubleshooting via phone or email. (Additional accidental damage coverage should be considered, if available.) The Bell Techlogix service at Barnes & Noble @ Georgia Tech serves as a third party hardware repair center for all vendors.
Third Party Resources: The Barnes & Noble computer store offers in-store purchasing in addition to an online order site. Visit http://techstuff.gatech.edu for exclusive discount pricing for the Georgia Tech community on hardware, software and accessories. All students who have been accepted to Georgia Tech should already be assigned a GT account, which is required for access to this special pricing. To access the techstuff.gatech.edu site fully before your FASET orientation session, go to https://www.passport.gatech.edu to activate your GT account and to change your password. Instructions for this activation can be found at http://faq.oit.gatech.edu/content/how-do-I-activate-my-gt-account-students.