Our two main goals in establishing a standard software suite are to minimize software conflicts and to increase the quality of software support. To help achieve these goals, the Georgia Tech Office of Information Technology will only support the software in the standard software suite. If you decide to use something other than the standard software it is your responsibility to purchase, maintain, and support the software.
If you are living in a campus residence hall, you will need a computer and Ethernet cable for the network. The GT Technology Store has all the cabling and accessories you need for connecting your computer. More help for connecting in the residence halls can be found at http://resnet.gatech.edu.
This choice is dictated largely by your personal budget considerations. Many times increasing the RAM of your computer will provide enough of a performance boost to provide some extended life. We recommend buying as much RAM as you can afford as long as your computer still meets the minimum specs listed at http://sco.gatech.edu. If you need an evaluation of your computer and recommendations about whether or not to replace it please bring it by the Technology Support Center on Level 2 of the Clough Commons.
The best strategy is to purchase a relatively fast machine since it would have a longer usable life and would be able to meet your educational needs for most of your time at Georgia Tech. A good compromise between speed and cost is a processor one or two speeds slower than the fastest. A computer at the low-end of the speed scale will just adequately run the standard software and provide no room for expansion. While processor speed is important, increasing the RAM (memory) of the computer will greatly increase performance.