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:



Engineering (two year master)
architecture (*) B
civil (building) B
other programmes A
Engineering Technology (one year master)
civil, land survey, industrial design, machine and production automation B
other programmes A+
 (*) For the study programme in Engineering: Architecture, MacBooks are not recommended because of problems in certain courses with installing software that runs only on a Windows operating system.

A) Standard configuration

main memory minimum 8 GB RAM, 16 GB RAM is strongly advised
processor Intel Core i5 CPU or higher, i7 is even better (5th or 6th generation), or an AMD equivalent. CPU has at least 4 cores, 8 or more is advised. ARM-based processors such as Apple M1 can cause problems because there is no support of virtualisations of Windows VMs
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). An extra display 21" may be handy for work at home.
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)

cooling system

active cooling is necessary since strictly passive cooling may limit the computing capacity


- 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/

A+) Standard configuration A + external graphics card


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

B) Extended configuration = standard configuration A with extra requirements

main memory

minimum 16 GB RAM, 32 GB RAM can be useful for some programmes


CPU with minimal PassMark score of 8000, see www.cpubenchmark.net/


external graphics card (NVIDIA or AMD GPU) with 4 GB RAM or more and at least 700 vertex/pixel shaders (midrange class or higher)

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

display min FULL HD (1920x1080)