Specification buying tips for laptops

At the faculty of Engineering and Architecture some courses may be taught in laptop rooms. This implies that the students will have to bring their own laptop and UTP cable. If you want to buy a new laptop, we advise you to follow the guidelines below:


A) Standard configuration (for all programmes, except architecture)

memory minimum 8 GB RAM, 16 GB RAM can be useful in very few programmes
processor Intel Core i5 CPU or higher, i7 is even better (5e or 6e generation), or an AMD equivalent
GPU at the least a built-in graphics processor, type Intel HD graphics 5500 or higher
harddisk minimum 500GB, 750GB is better (SSD as extra, e.g., 250GB SSD combined with HDD)
display size 15" is advised (13” is too small, 17” may be too big to carry around)
display 1680x1024 or higher (1920x1080 can be preferred for some programmes)
network wireless but also wired Ethernet (possibly via extension)
firmware support for 64-bit virtualisation: BIOS should allow Intel Virtualization Technology and VT-d (or AMD-V) to be enabled
operating system

- a recent 64-bit Windows operating system will be sufficient, Linux can then easily be used in VMs on top of the host Windows

- Macbooks will require a Windows installation with Boot Camp and/or in VMs additional to the macOS (configuration problems cannot be ruled out)

- Linux PCs require an additional installation of Windows in VMs (configuration problems cannot be ruled out)


- preferably a numeric keypad integrated into the keyboard or an external numeric keypad

- using an external keyboard, external mouse, and / or external display when using your laptop at home can prevent health issues and is sometimes better for your productivity

software registered students can install MS Office for free on helpdesk.ugent.be/office365/en/


B) Extended configuration = standard configuration with external graphics card (for programmes in architecture)


external graphics card with 1 GB RAM or more (dedicated, not “shared memory”)

More information can be found on notebookcheck.net/Mobile-Graphics-Cards-Benchmark-List.844.0.html

Preferably a midrange class or higher card. NVIDIA Quadro is optimal for CAD, but a game card is also sufficient.

Rather NVIDIA than AMD (better support graphics packages by drivers).

The graphics card is the component that will most improve the smooth operation of CAD and 3D visualization software.