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Suggested Minimum Personal Computer Features

A Reference for Prospective Engineering Students

The OSU College of Engineering does not require engineering students to have their own personal computer. The College does maintain a predominantly Windows PC environment with most computers using a version of Microsoft’s operating system. (Windows 7® or Windows 10® in most departments). Engineering students are provided access to certain College computers and software in support of their academic programs. However, the following computer related information is offered as a guideline for individuals who wish to obtain their own personal computer in anticipation of an academic career at The Ohio State University in the College of Engineering.


Minimum Personal Computer Features



Processor(s): 2.0 GHz, 1MB L2 Cache (each processor), with at least SSE2 support

Processor(s): 1.8 GHz, 512KB L2 Cache (each processor), with at least SSE2 support

4GB Main Memory

4GB Main Memory

Hard Drive with 80 GB available

Hard Drive with 80 GB available



128 MB, Direct3D 9 or 10, or OpenGL-capable graphics video card
(shared memory is okay if 4GB or more main memory)

128 MB, Direct3D 9 or 10, or OpenGL-capable graphics video
(shared memory is okay if 4GB or more main memory)

An LCD type monitor with 17 inch display

14 inch display

Ethernet Network Interface Card (NIC)*

Ethernet Network Interface (NIC)*

Wireless optional

Wireless Networking Adaptor (802.11 b/g)**

Note that the above suggestions are MINIMUMs.
The features are ‘driven’ by the assumed use of SolidWorks® software, and The MathWorks MATLAB® software as used in the OSU Department of Engineering Education courses. Also, once enrolled, students are eligible to purchase Microsoft Office and other software products at reduced pricing (details found at; and students also have access to the campus retail tech store techHUB (located at the Tuttle Parking Garage) and the laptop help service BUCKEYE BAR (two locations - Thompson Library and also at techHUB). Be advised that most engineering software is not compatible with netbook-type devices, nor with some tablet-or-slate-type devices, nor with 'smart' mobile devices.

* All campus dorm rooms have wired Internet access; dorm buildings have wireless access points.

** The OSU main campus has many wireless network access points, with more added regularly. So a wireless network feature on a notebook could be put to good use.