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Recommended Computer Specifications

These are the minimum & preferred specifications that we recommend for student systems.  If you have already chosen your major we recommend you contact your college or department to see if they have any additional recommendations. Please note that we do not recommend any specific brands and just give this information as helpful guidelines. 

You are NOT required to have a computer but we strongly encourage you to have one, if possible.  If not, you can check out laptops from the IT Geek Crabbe Library atrium location for 1-week at a time.

Consider these before buying:

  • Do not buy a Chromebook unless you plan on only using Google Apps and Apps you can get in the Google Play Store.  Will not work with EKU Cloud Printing, for example. 
  • Decide what your computer is going to be used for because a laptop for gaming or graphic design will have different requirements than one just being used for papers, social media, and surfing the web
  • Decide how much you want to spend.  You get what you pay for.
  • Choose the best quality on these components-RAM, HDD/SDD
  • Mac or Windows PC? - good question
  • Desktop or Laptop PC? - another good question

Windows PC

Feature Minimum-Level Recommendations Recommended-Level Top-Level Recommendations Rationale for Recommendations
Processor Core i5 (Windows)  |  1.6GHz or higher Core i5 (Windows) | 2.3GHz or higher Core i7 or i9 (Windows)  | 2.6GHz or higher

The Windows 10 operating system and applications written for it will require advanced processors to be used effectively.

A higher processor speed will allow your computer to do more at once and run faster.

RAM (also called memory) 8 GB or more 16 GB or more 32 GB or more Memory demands for Windows 10 will require at least 4 GB of memory just for the operating system.  The more money you can apply toward this, the better.

SSD (Solid State Drive) 

OR 

HDD (Hard Disk Drive)

500 GB HDD or more 500 GB SSD or more

1TB HDD ore more 

PLUS

500GB SDD

SSDs are faster than traditional HDDs.  If you can store larger files (e.g., movies, large pictures, CAD files) on a HDD and use the SDD for your OS and to run normal daily work, the faster your PC will be. 
Networking Build in LAN 10/100 (Ethernet) for all systems; wireless (Windows: 802.11b/g/n) Built-in LAN Gigabit (Ethernet) for all systems; wireless 802.11b/g/n) Built-in LAN Gigabit (Ethernet) for all systems; wireless 802.11b/g/n) Wireless is available in all residence halls.  Please do not bring any personal routers to campus as this will interfere with available wireless.  
Operating system Windows 10 64-bit, Windows 7 Ultimate, or Windows 8.1 Pro Windows 10 64-bit Windows 10 64-bit New Windows PCs will have Windows 10 installed
Graphics Card Integrated Graphics Dedicated Graphics Dedicated Graphics Integrated graphics are slower but cost less and are sufficient if not doing hardcore graphics intensive work or gaming.  Otherwise, you want a better graphics card.
Support & Protection Extended warranty plan, including accidental damage coverage, for the expected life of the machine and a laptop bag to protect your computer. Extended warranty plan, including accidental damage coverage, for the expected life of the machine and a laptop bag to protect your computer. Extended warranty plan, including accidental damage coverage, for the expected life of the machine and a laptop bag to protect your computer  
Software (FREE to EKU Students!) Microsoft Office &  Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (all FREE to EKU students!) Microsoft Office  & Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (all FREE to EKU students!)   You will need Microsoft Office for your courses at EKU and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
Other considerations you may want to consider  Camera, Microphone, optical drive, external hard drive for backups; USB 2.0 or 3.0 Camera, Microphone, optical drive, external hard drive for backups; USB 2.0 or 3.0 Camera, Microphone, optical drive, external hard drive for backups; USB 2.0 or 3.0  

Mac PC

Feature Mininium-Level Recommendations Recommended-Level Top-Level Recommendations Rationale for Recommendations
Processor Speed 1.8GHz Intel Core i5 or 2.2GHz Core i7  2.6GHz Intel Core i7 2.3GHz 8-core Intel or better A higher processor speed will allow your computer to do more at once and run faster.
RAM (also called memory) 16GB or more 16GB or more 64GB or more The more RAM will also allow you to run more applications concurrently without seeing a slowdown.
SSD (Solid State Drive)

 

512GB or more 1TB or more 4TB SSD is faster!
Networking Built-in LAN Gigabit (Ethernet) for all systems; wireless 802.11b/g/n) Built-in LAN Gigabit (Ethernet) for all systems; wireless 802.11b/g/n) Built-in LAN Gigabit (Ethernet) for all systems; wireless 802.11b/g/n)  
Operating System High Sierra or better Mojave (or newest one) Mojave (or newest one) Should always keep OS up-to-date
Graphics Card Radeon Pro 555X Radeon Pro 560X Radeon Pro Vega  
Support & Protection Extended warranty plan, including accidental damage coverage, for the expected life of the machine and a laptop bag to protect your computer. Extended warranty plan, including accidental damage coverage, for the expected life of the machine and a laptop bag to protect your computer. Extended warranty plan, including accidental damage coverage, for the expected life of the machine and a laptop bag to protect your computer.  
Software (FREE to EKU Students) Microsoft Office &  Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (all FREE to EKU students!) Microsoft Office &  Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (all FREE to EKU students!) Microsoft Office &  Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (all FREE to EKU students!)  
Other considerations you may want to consider Camera, Microphone, optical drive, external hard drive for backups; USB 2.0 or 3.0 Camera, Microphone, optical drive, external hard drive for backups; USB 2.0 or 3.0 Camera, Microphone, optical drive, external hard drive for backups; USB 2.0 or 3.0  

General Guidelines

  • Purchase what you are most comfortable with unless there is a reason to change
  • Check with your college to see if they have recommendations
  • What are you going to use the PC for?
  • We suggest purchasing an extended warranty, especially if you are getting a laptop.  IT Geeks are not permitted to work on hardware issues, except to troubleshoot issues.
  • Also, we suggest insurance in the event of accidents
  • Make sure whatever you purchase meets Energy Star Requirements
  • Purchase a computer with as much memory (RAM) and hard drive space (HDD/SSD) as you can comfortably afford

If you have any questions please email the EKU Geeks.

 

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