Technical Requirements

These are the minimum technical requirements for the program. Individual courses may have additional requirements, but the ones listed below are common across all OMSCS courses.

All students should should have a computer with the following minimum requirements:

Form Factor

Notebook or desktop computer (a netbook or tablet should not be used as the primary computing device*). A minimum of 6 hours of battery life is recommended.

Processor

64-bit multi-core processor or better.*

Memory

8 GB or more. For best performance, we recommend that you install as much memory as affordable at the time of purchase.

Operating System

The latest versions of Windows (10 or better) or MacOS (10.12.5 or better). We recommend updating to the latest versions for better protection against cyber security risks. We suggest turning on automatic update, for peace of mind. Before applying software and hardware updates, it is generally a good practice to back up your computer (see below), and to check that the updates would work with your existing applications.

Browser

The recommended browsers for web-based browsing would be the latest version of Internet Explorer/Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome. Note that courses with proctored exams may require you to use Google Chrome to take the exam.

Primary Hard Drive

500 GB minimum. The larger the better, as you may work with large datasets. Solid-state drives (SSDs) are recommended, as they are much faster than hard disk drives (HDDs).

Backup Device or Service

Having a quality backup of your important files is vital to your success as a student. Windows and MacOS have built-in backup support (e.g., via Time Machine on MacOS). We have negotiated a discount for Crashplan for our students available at crashplan.com/gtstudent. You are not required to use Crashplan. Utilizing OneDrive provided by GT at no charge is a great solution as well.

Free GitHub Repositories

Git is an industry-standard way for collaborative coding and version control. Many companies now expect git familiarity from employees. As a Georgia Tech student, you can create unlimited repositories, which are great for group projects. Always create a repository as PRIVATE (instead of public), and never put any sensitive information (e.g., passwords, AWS keys) in repositories. Bad people scan public repositories for such information for profit and can lead to huge financial loss from victims (e.g., use your credentials to run AWS jobs).

Networking

Dual-band (2.4 GHz/5 GHz) Wireless 802.11n enabled computer and a reliable, fast network connection is required.

System Options

A laptop or desktop with a webcam and microphone is required (built-in or external). A headset with a microphone for clear communication while on video conference sessions is strongly recommended.

* Note that most netbooks and tablets (e.g., Apple iPad, Galaxy Tab, and others that run on an operating system designed specifically for the device) do NOT meet the minimum hardware requirements above. While they may initially provide sufficient performance for basic tasks such as web browsing or simple word processing, use of technical software in courses may not be possible.