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Computing Resources for Students

Computer Purchase Recommendations

Personal computers are not required by RIT for course work as all assignments and projects can be completed using the computer labs provided by the university. However, most students find having a computer while attending RIT beneficial for academic and personal use.  Additionally, laptops are the recommended style computer as students can bring them to class, to their labs and directly to the faculty for help.   However, if you choose a desktop follow the same basic hardware guidelines found below.

Scaled down tablet devices such as the Microsoft Surface, iPads, and Android tablets are not really sufficient if you wish to run the higher end CAD tools and Engineering software packages you will be working with in class. 

Recommended Manufacturers (not an exhaustive list):

•              Dell (standard laptops)

•              Lenovo (standard laptop and convertible tablet models)

•              Fujitsu  (convertible tablet models)

•              HP          (standard laptop and convertible tablets)

* While Apple makes terrific laptops and desktops, Solidworks and some of the other software packages students would be using only run under Windows.  Dual booting a Mac is an option for the advanced user, but users should be cautioned that they may have difficulties running the advanced CAD and drawing packages. *

Here are some specific laptop models that MMET faculty own that would work well with the software that students in MMET programs will be working with.  Some of these models are a couple years old but would work fine and may be found used for good deals:

Lenovo X201, X220T, X230T (these are touch screen tablet style convertible laptops)

Lenovo Thinkpad W520, Lenovo Thinkpad W530

Dell Precision Workstation Class laptops –Precision M4500, 4600, 4700 Precision M6500, M6600, M6700

Fujitsu Lifebook T902 (touch screen tablet style convertible laptops)

HP Elitebook 8570p, HP Elitebook Revolve 810 G1 (touch screen tablet style convertible laptop)

Operating System

Windows 7 or Windows 8 64 bit Operating System.

Hardware Recommendations

Processor At least Intel i5 Processor, i7 processor recommended.  Please see this link for laptop processor benchmarking information -

 RAM At least 8GB recommended, 16GB better.

Hard Drive:  At least 128GB Solid State Drive for the boot drive(hard drive with operating system and main applications), 256 GB Solid State Drive recommended.  External or secondary drive for additional storage can be 7200RPM Sata drives or better.  * Some server space is provided to students, see towards the bottom of the page.

Graphics Card:

At Least 1GB Memory that supports Open GL. 

Some examples are:  Nvidia GeForce GTX 760M, Nvidia Quadro K1000, Nvidia Quadro K2000, ATI FireProM7740, ATI FirePro M4000.

If possible, use the SolidWorks System/Graphics Card Requirements matrix to find recommended graphics when configuring a new PC – see link here for certified models.

Laptop screen size:

This is up to your preference, some models listed have 12.5 inch screens and some go up to 17 inch screens.  The 17” laptops can be quite cumbersome.  Most models have docking stations so that you could hook a larger monitor and standard keyboard and mouse in your rooms.  15” would be the suggested size.


It is strongly recommended to purchase at least a 3 year warranty that covers failed hardware.  Some vendors such as Dell also offer complete care which covers accidental damage from drops, liquid spills, etc.


An external hard drive or usb thumb drive large enough to backup your important files externally is recommended.   Additionally, cloud services such as dropbox and carbonite backup offer space off your computer to securely store important files.

Additional information

Almost all manufacturers have educational discounts ranging from 5% - 10% off. The manufacturer website will have an education section in the online store.


Software Recommendations

Microsoft Office 2010: Word, Excel, and PowerPoint An Academic priced version Microsoft Office can be purchased at the RIT Digital Den and other online retailers.

The Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance(MSDNAA) agreement with Microsoft provides the following operating systems and software packages to the students of MMET/PS:
Windows 7 Professional, Windows 8 Professional.  The latest versions of Microsoft Visual Studio, Microsoft Visio , Microsoft Project (2007 & 2010), MS SQL Server and many more. Students can access the using a RIT Computer Account to authenticate. 
CAST School of Engineering Technology - MSDNAA

SolidWorks 2012-2013 Student Version
All students registered for a current MMET course can download Solidworks for free at
See your course instructor for the serial number.

Autodesk software is available to students using RIT e-mail addresses to register for an account at

Department provided file share space for students:
All students in the MMET department are provided with private network storage for saving files related to course work. The file share can be accessed at \\\Students$\<username>Instructions to map a network drive:

If you need to access the share off campus you will need to use the RIT VPN client:

Academic Program specific software
Some software specific to an academic program is availabel for students to use on personal computers. These software packages can be downloaded in the Design Lab (GOL-1320). When logged in to a lab PC the software can be located in Course Materials (Q:) Software.