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SPU does not recommend a specific brand or system for use on campus. The University is generally a Microsoft campus, but resources are equally accessible from an Apple (Mac) or Windows PC.

Recommended Minimum Specifications

  • Processor - 2.3 - 2.6Ghz (Intel 13-2350m or AMD A4-3305M)
  • RAM (memory) - 4GB minimum
  • Storage - 250 - 500GB hard drive or larger
  • Operating System - Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium or Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard)

Recommended Accessories

  • External Hard Drive for backup (500GB min)
  • Cat-5 Ethernet Cable
  • USB Connected Printer
  • USB Flash Drive


SPU students can access some Microsoft titles through our Campus License Agreement. For more information about software on campus see Software Distribution.

Note: non-matriculated, part-time and former students are not covered under the software license agreement.

Should I purchase a x32 or x64 Windows Operating System?

With Windows systems, you may receive either a x64 (64-bit) or x32 (32-bit) OS with most new systems containing x64. SPU resources can be accessed from both types of OS. To learn more about the differences go to 32-bit and 64-bit Windows: frequently asked questions.

Where to Buy It:

Educational Discounts

Dell and Apple provide educational discounts on computers. Other manufacturers (see Reviews and Other Vendors) also have discounts available through their retail stores.


By going to you can obtain a discount off all Dell Catalog Items.


Apple sells their their full hardware line with standard educational institution discounts. These products are available at Apple stores with a valid ID card or through their Apple Store for Education website.

See Also:

Purchasing a Warranty

Laptops generally have a 3 year life span so you may want to look into replacing the laptop in 3 years instead or purchasing a warranty.

Reviews and Other Vendors

The following sites are commonly used references for reviews and vendors. Reviews units at these sites are generally provided by the vendor and should not be considered completely objective.

Review Sites:
Tom's Hardware
Other Manufacturers:
Other Retailers:
New Egg
Best Buy

See Also:
Maintaining Your Computer (keep your system running and up-to-date)
Connecting to the Campus Network (how to connect)
Software Distribution (Microsoft and Anti-virus software for faculty, staff and students)

Last Updated: 6/20/2012