Hardware Recommendations for Students

College of Engineering Academic Computing Labs

There are nearly 100 computing labs across the College of Engineering that are managed by ETS. There is at least one lab in every Engineering building on campus. Computing labs are currently provided with systems meeting computational requirements of the undergraduate curriculum.  The ETS website has a list of lab locations, available software applications and different methods of access.

Personal Devices

All Engineering students are encouraged (not required) to purchase their own personal devices. For Autumn 2022, The Ohio State University will be shifting focus to technology solutions holistically centered around digital equity, skill building, and workforce development in providing digital access to all students.

This new focus features new benefits:

  • Anytime, anywhere access: Implementing virtual desktop services that allow students to use advanced computing resources from their own devices, minimizing the need to visit computer labs to use software requiring high-end CPU, memory, and graphics capabilities.    
  • Skills that set you apart: Valuable digital skills training, certification offerings, and integrated pathways to industry credentials for in-demand skills, supported advancement of non-credit, non-credit to credit, and stackable micro-credential offerings across the university 
  • Tools to become digital creators: University-wide access to Adobe Creative Cloud, which will allow students to build valuable professional productivity, creativity, and communication skills.   

The details on the University-wide virtual desktop solution are being worked out, but Engineering Technology Services already offers virtual access to software applications without the need to install on your own device.  However, not every application required for Engineering can be offered via the virtual desktop service, so for that reason the following specifications are recommended for incoming students wishing to purchase their own device.

Specifications for personal devices
Specification Minimum Ideal
Operating System

Windows 10 or 11 Professional

(Mac OS is not recommended at this time)

Disk 512GB SSD 1TB SSD
Memory 16GB 32GB
CPUs Intel i7; AMD Ryzen 7 Intel i7 or i9; AMD Ryzen 7 or 9
Graphics Dedicated Graphics Card w/ minimum 4GB memory

Dedicated Graphics Card w/ minimum 6GB memory

Note:  Knowlton School of Architecture students should look for an NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics card.

Screen Resolution 1920x1080 or better 1920x1080 or better
Audio/Visual Built-in Camera/Microphone/Speakers Built-in Camera/Microphone/Speakers
Network Wireless 802.11 ac dual band Wireless 802.11 ac dual band or better
Warranty 3 year warranty with accident coverage 4 year warranty with onsite/walk-in repairs and accident coverage

Apple computers running a Mac operating system are not well suited for a student pursuing an Engineering degree. Some of the software available to OSU Engineering students for personal use is not directly compatible with Mac OS (e.g., Solidworks). However, like iPads, they can be used to remotely connect to the ETS virtual desktop solution (a.k.a., Citrix) environment or remote computers in the academic computing labs.


While they are not conducive to many engineering applications, iPads can be used to remotely connect to the ETS virtual desktop solution (Citrix). ETS provides an article with information on connecting to Citrix via an iPad.

Contact Us

Phone: (614) 688-2828

Email: etshelp@osu.edu

Virtual Helpdesk: 
  ets.osu.edu/vhd (opens Zoom)
  M-F 9:00 A.M.-12:00 P.M.
  M-F 1:00 P.M.-4:00 P.M.

Service Desk Locations:
  1012 Smith Lab
  244 Hitchcock Hall

Business Hours:
  M-F 8:00 A.M.-5:00 P.M.

View My Tickets & Requests:
  go.osu.edu/etsportal (external site)

Looking for something specific?
Check our Service Catalog Quick Reference Guide