Computer Recommendations

The Gordon and Jill Bourns College of Engineering at California Baptist University has computer labs/classrooms available for student use, so owning a computer is not required. However, students find the ability to do work outside the computer lab beneficial. If you use the school’s computers, you will need a USB Flash drive (pen/thumb drive) to transfer your files.

Mac vs. PC

Currently, all of the engineering computer labs are PC based. In addition, some engineering software (SolidWorks and some EE simulation software in particular) only run on a PC. AutoCAD and Excel both have applications for the Mac, but the menu structure is different than the tutorials for these programs. With the Intel based Macs it is possible to install an independent Microsoft Windows operating system on them (dual boot), and run the software, but you will have to reboot to access your Mac software. For this reason it is recommend to use a PC based system. Both Dell and Apple offer educational discounts to CBU students, though we do not make any specific computer brand recommendations.

Desktop vs. Laptop

Laptops are great for portability and will run most of today’s computer applications. CBU has a wireless network covering the academic buildings, the library, dorm lobbies, and all campus residences.

Desktops give you more power for the money, and are more reliable. They generally have a faster CPU, and are capable of more internal devices. They are also more upgradeable. It is really a personal choice.

Hardware Recommendations

  • 7th Generation Intel© Core™ i7 processor
  • 16GB RAM (more is faster)
  • 1TB 5400 rpm Hard Drive or 1TB SSD Drive (SSD is better)

General Software 

Specific Software 

Other engineering school’s recommendations:
Auburn University
University of Iowa

For any questions, please contact Ron Raghoo at or (951) 552-8664.