All students should own a computer with these minimum requirements:
Form Factor: Notebook or desktop computer (a netbook or tablet should not be used as the primary computing device*.) A minimum of 6 hours of battery life is recommended.
Processor: 64-bit multi-core (quad-core or higher) Intel or AMD processor or better.
Memory: 16 GB or more. For best performance, install as much memory as affordable at the time of purchase.
Operating System: The newest version of Windows (10 or better) or MacOS (10.15 or better). As you progress through the degree program, continue updating to the newest version for better protection against cyber security risks; turning on automatic update can help with this. Before applying software and hardware updates, back up your computer (see below) and ensure the updates will work with your existing applications.
Browser: The newest version of Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.
Primary Hard Drive: 256 GB minimum. You may work with large datasets, so the larger, the better. Solid-state drives (SSDs) are ideal because they’re much faster than hard-disk drives (HDDs).
Backup Device or Service: Having a quality backup of your important files is vital to your success as a student. Windows and MacOS have an optional built-in backup support (e.g., via Time Machine on MacOS). For students who would like to take advantage of it, we’ve negotiated a student discount for Crashplan (details at crashplan.com/gtstudent). OneDrive, provided by GT at no charge, is a great solution as well.
Free GitHub Repositories: Git is an industry-standard way for collaborative coding and version control; many companies now expect git familiarity from employees. As a Georgia Tech student, you can create unlimited repositories, which are great for group projects. Always set up repositories to be private (instead of public), and never put any sensitive information (e.g., passwords, AWS keys) in them. Criminals scan public repositories for such information and when they find it, it can lead to huge financial loss for victims. Therefore, use your credentials to run AWS jobs.
Networking: Wired connection via Ethernet NIC (1Gbe RJ45/Cat5e or better) or a Dual-Band (2.4 GHz/5 GHz) Wireless 802.11 ac-enabled computer and a reliable, fast network connection (recommended minimum 10Mbps down/4Mbps up).
Accessories: A laptop or desktop with a webcam and microphone (built-in or external). Also, although you aren’t required to use a headset with a microphone, they often help students communicate more clearly during video-conference sessions.
*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. They tend to provide sufficient performance for basic tasks, such as web browsing or simple word processing; however, using courses’ technical software may not be possible.