•    Processor: Minimum of Intel Core i7 or equivalent AMD processor
•    Memory: At least 16 GB RAM
•    Hard Drive: 500+ GB (preferably SSD)
•    Video Card: Screen resolution of 1024x768 or greater (NVidia)
•    Network: Wireless card capable of supporting high-speed Internet access
•    Peripherals: 2+ USB Ports
•    Operating System: Windows 10, Apple Mac OS, or Linux (Ubuntu or SUSE)
•    Display: 15 inch or greater

The College of Engineering allows students to remotely connect to a virtual Windows machine to use the majority of the software that is required for their courses. Some of the software you encounter during your undergraduate career here that is installable on personal machines will be windows only. However you can use the College supplied virtual desktop environment or a local virtual machine to handle this situation if you choose to purchase a Mac.

Once you have the minimums, optimize first for storage space, then for memory, and worry about the processor last. You might also want to consider an external monitor for your dorm room or apartment to give yourself more working area. One thing all engineering applications use a lot of is screen space. The day after students are registered for classes, they can go to www.its.uiowa.edu and download Microsoft Windows Operating Systems and Microsoft Office 365 at no cost. 

If you have any questions about Engineering Computer Services, feel free to send me an email.

Sarah Williams
Engineering Helpdesk Manager
Engineering Computer Services
College of Engineering
The University of Iowa
1256 Seamans Center
Iowa City, IA 52242