Facebook Pixel Computer Requirements | Western Kentucky University

Computer Requirements

(all majors except Mechanical Engineering)

Systems that do not meet the minimum requirements may be slower. These computers are not to be substituted to run advanced software used in some courses and disciplines.

  Minimum Requirement: Recommendation:
OS Windows 10, 64-Bit Windows 10, 64-Bit
Processor Intel 8th Gen i5 or i7 Intel 9th Gen i7
Memory 8 or 16 GB RAM 16 GB RAM
Hard Drive 1 TB Hard Disk Drive (HDD) 1TB + 250 GB or larger Solid State Drive (SSD)
Wireless 802.11 a/c dual band 802.11 a/c dual band
Warranty 3-Year with accident protection 4-Year with accident protection
Input Tool   Integrated Active Stylus (Wacom or N-trig)
Graphics Card Onboard/built-in Discrete/dedicated (such as NVIDIA or AMD)



The Mechanical Engineering program has a required laptop initiative beginning in ME 180: Freshman Design II. Course fees are applied in this course and some subsequent courses to provide software and other resources for student use in class. See TopNet for specific course fees. The Mechanical Engineering program recognizes most incoming students purchase laptops for use inside and outside of class. WKU has an easily accessible wireless environment that makes laptops an attractive choice over a desktop computer. However, not all laptops are suitable for use with engineering software. Mac laptops WILL NOT WORK for Mechanical Engineering software such as SolidWorks and Mathcad, even with the ability to boot in Windows. A laptop running native Windows is required to run most engineering software such as AutoCAD, Solidworks, Mathcad, etc. Students are highly advised to purchase a repair and service plan to cover their computer systems. Due to the nature of their usage environment, laptops might need a damage protection plan as well.

Operating System
  • Microsoft Windows 10 (Windows 10 Pro preferred)
  • Mac laptops will NOT work for ME software
RAM Memory
  • At least 8 GB of RAM required
  • 16 GB of RAM preferred for best performance with engineering software
Graphics Card
  • Integrated graphics WILL NOT WORK with engineering software
  • Discrete dedicated graphics card preferred for maximum performance
  • NVIDIA graphics card preferred, 3 BG or more of video card memory (Quadro cards are superior but hard to find; GeForce cards are acceptable)
  • Avoid very high-resolution displays such as UHD (these are not supported by engineering software)
Hard Drive
  • 500 GB of storage minimum
  • Solid State Drives preferred
Optical Media
  • DVD reader/burner required (external USB version is acceptable)
Default Software
  • Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, Powerpoint (available for free to all WKU students)
Security Software
  • Integrated Windows Defender required
  • Packages such as Norton, McAfee or Webroot must be uninstalled to run engineering software
Pointing Device
  • External mouse is required
  • Logitech Trackball M570 is preferred and recommended)


Please contact Dr. Joel Lenoir (joel.lenoir@wku.edu) or the ME 180 instructor (see course listing in TopNet) if you have questions. The WKU Bookstore stocks a Dell laptop for engineering students that is capable of running engineering software. Most of the lower-priced machines that meet the requirements are about $1,000 - $1,300 and higher-end machines start at around $1,800.

Some of the links on this page may require additional software to view.

 Last Modified 10/27/22