The following information is provided to assist you in making your purchase. Memory and CPU in these recommendations assume that a laptop needs to last a student four years. Lesser laptops will work for a student, but will not be as fast as the software demands change over time.

All OSU students have free access to Microsoft Office 365 to install on their personally owned computers (Mac and/or PC).

Virtually all the software you will need for your classes will be available to you either free or at a substantial discounts through campus channels. We do not recommend that you pay any extra money for bundled or shrink wrapped software such as Microsoft Office.

Laptop hardware specifications for new purchase

(if you have any questions, contact coe.support@oregonstate.edu)

Minimum Specifications
Recommended Specifications

PC:

  • Intel i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 CPU
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB SSD
  • Webcam with microphone

Mac: 

  • Intel i5 CPU
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB SSD

Note school specific notes on the right regarding graphics

ARM based CPUs such as M1 are not recommended.

PC: 

  • Intel i7 or AMD Ryzen 7 CPU
  • 16GB RAM
  • 512GB SSD or larger
  • Webcam with microphone

Mac:

  • Intel i7 CPU
  • 16GB RAM
  • 512GB SSD or larger

Note school specific notes on the right regarding graphics

ARM based CPUs such as M1 are not recommended.

Getting Software For Your Laptop

Note that many departments will require you to run software that is Microsoft Windows only! 

Students in Civil and Construction Engineering and Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering programs, will need to run Windows only software with heavier 3D graphics needs. We highly recommend that students purchase a native windows laptop if entering these programs. If you choose to purchase an Apple laptop, you will  need to run Windows software via virtualization software, or else, rely entirely on the College of Engineering's Citrix Virtual App or Virtual Desktop  (home internet speeds can affect Citrix performance). The college computer labs are another option but are limited in their capacity. A laptop with dedicated NVIDIA/Radeon RX/Vega graphics for these majors may aid in modeling software.

CCE:  Windows only, dedicated/discrete GPU
CBEE:  Windows or Mac
EECS:  Windows or Mac (CPU capable of hardware virtualization HIGHLY recommended)
MIME:  Windows only, dedicated/discrete GPU
NSE:  Windows or Mac 

Additional laptop considerations

  • Consider getting a 13-inch screen laptop for mobility and get a larger external monitor for home.
  • Consider extended/accidental warranties. Accidents happen.
  • Protect your laptop, get a good sleeve/case or a padded bag.

Other Laptop Purchase Options: