Laptop Requirements

Please note that there are items in these requirements that are listed as desirable or recommended. These recommended configuration options are not required. They are recommended because they will make your laptop more powerful and versatile, with a longer effective lifespan, but a laptop that meets the minimum requirements will be sufficient.

Hardware Minimum requirements
CPU
  • Quad Core (not counting hyper-threading) 2.4Ghz, Intel VT or AMD V (Intel i5 or better)
  • Virtual box/VMware supported
  • Intel is preferred over AMD for linux support
  • Intel 6th Gen i7 is recommended
Memory
  • 8GB
  • The ability to install more memory is desirable
  • 16GB is recommended
Disk
  • 1 TB 5400 RPM OR 128 GB SSD
  • 500 GB 5400 RPM is acceptable
  • 256 GB SSD is recommended
Graphics
  • Accelerated, Gaming Support
  • Nvidia is preferred over AMD
  • 1920 * 1080 resolution is recommended (at least on an external port)
  • At least 1280 by 1024 resolution
  • HDMI output recommend (perhaps with an adapter)
Sound
  • Mic in/Headphone out (either analog or two free usb ports)
Mouse
  • An external mouse (USB or Bluetooth) is desirable
USB
  • USB 3.0 desirable for an external disk
  • Other USB ports may be needed for: mouse, printer, mic-in and headphones-out, depending on how these are connected
Wireless
  • 802.11 n required
  • 802.11 ac is recommended
External monitor
  • A 23” HDMI monitor is recommended, with reasonable resolution
Apple
  • Macbook Pros can be used
Software
OS
  • Windows 10 and Linux (Ubuntu 16.04) dual booting should be well supported (help on this is available).
  • You might google your chosen system for serious linux support problems. We can make linux run on most systems. A few manufactures (Sony ..) sometimes use non-standard hardware configurations, making this a challenge.
  • Note: The Microsoft Surface does not support dual booting and does not meet our requirements.
Microsoft Office
  • Significant discount prices are available through TotalTECH for WMU students.
  • Most students use the free OpenOffice distribution instead.
Development software
  • Provided by the Department of Computer Science at no additional cost to the student (many Microsoft and open- source tools).
Service
  • Extended warranty recommended

To Orientation Students

The Department of Computer Science has established a laptop requirement for its majors, which is included in the WMU Catalog. The chart above lists minimal requirements for a laptop that should suffice for your needs during four years of study in computer science. 

Packages may be purchased through Follett's WMU Bookstore, located in the WMU Bookstore. You may choose to wait until fall or spring term to make a laptop purchase. Some sessions of computer science I may require a laptop. The Department of Computer Science also provides assistance with software installation and through the Microsoft Development Network provides considerable development software (including operating systems) at no additional cost to you.

Sincerely,

Computer Science Hardware Committee