Academic Technology Services
New Computer Recommendations

The three most important features to look for in a new computer are (1) RAM, (2) CPU speed, and (3) disk storage. Please consult the table below for our recommended optimal specifications for a new computer purchase (we encourage you to exceed these specifications):


Windows Apple

Processor Speed

3 ghz or Faster Intel® i5 or i7 Processor

Operating System

Windows 8.1 64-bit

Mac OS X


4 GB (with ability to upgrade if possible)

Hard Disk (storage)

500 GB or larger recommended

Internet & Network

Wireless highly recommended
along with Gigabit

Productivity Software

Microsoft Office 2013

Microsoft Office 2011

Virus & Malware Protection

Microsoft Security Essentials

Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition

last updated on 05.01.2014

HP Online Store
Dell Online Store
Apple Online Store


We highly recommend purchasing an extended warranty with your computer. Depending on the system, this may be a 3-year or 4-year warranty.

All computers should have some type of removable media drive for data backups and storage. We recommend an external usb hard drive or a CD-R/RW or DVD-R/RW drive.

Wireless computing is currently supported in many University buildings. A current listing of all University Wireless access points can be found at We currently have wireless access that supports 802.11g/n and newer equipment.

Most Macintosh and Windows based PCs also come with Gigabit ethernet which is compatable with our network. You must supply your own ethernet cable if you wish to plug in. (It is easier to bring one than purchase it locally. We recommend a 25' cable.)

With any new computer purchase we strongly suggest that you also purchase a UPS (uninterruptible power supply). Power sags, spikes, and brownouts are sometimes responsible for loss of equipment and data. The power supply to residential halls is often less stable than you would find in your home or in an office.

You do not need to bring your own printer, but you may do so if you like. Every computer lab on campus has at least one printer in it and so do many of the classrooms and other areas. Most of them are accessible 24/7 and you can print directly to many of these from your own computer or from any of the lab computers.