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Minimum computing requirements for distance learning

By Marcello Rodi

A computer with the following basic specs should be sufficient for online distance learning. Your department may have additional requirements, so please check with them also.

  • 500GB hard drive or higher (250GB+ SSD primary drive highly recommended)
  • 8GB RAM (16GB preferred)
  • 2.0 GHz Intel or AMD processor or higher
  • Windows 10 (21H1) or later/ MacOS 10.15 or later
  • Firefox and Chrome Browsers (latest versions)
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader 9.0 or later
  • Anti-virus program (updated regularly, free options)
  • Computer microphone and speakers or headphones
  • Web Camera
  • High-speed internet connection  (15Mbit/s download and 10Mbit/s upload) If several users are using the internet connection at the same time, a faster plan may be needed.
    Cable-based connections tend to be more stable than DSL. Consider smaller providers for added savings.
  • Wired ethernet connection from the computer to the router is preferable to WiFi.

For 3D work, a graphics card such as Nvidia 600 series and AMD HD 7000 series or newer

**We would recommend an Apple computer because it can also run Windows(This does not apply to M1/M2 powered computers) if there is some special software you absolutely need. It will also be better supported when you initiate a remote desktop connection to our lab machines since they are mostly Macs.

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