Information Technology Services

Our Recommended Computer Specifications

Currently, ITS recommends that faculty, staff and students request the following specifications when buying new personal computers:

When ordering from the HP store ITS recommends purchasing from the EliteBook series for Laptops and from the EliteDesk series for Desktops. When purchasing from the Apple store ITS recommends purchasing from the MacBook Pro series for Laptops and from the Mac mini for Desktops.

  • Processor - dual core 2.4 GHz+ (i5 or i7 series Intel processor or equivalent AMD)
  • RAM - 8 GB
  • Hard Drive - 128 GB or larger solid state hard drive
  • Graphics Card - any with DVI support - desktop only
  • Wireless (for laptops) - 802.11ac (WPA2 support required)
  • Monitor - 23" widescreen LCD with DVI support - desktop only
  • Operating System - Windows 7 Home Premium or Professional with Service Pack 1 or Apple OS X 10.9.3
  • Warranty - 3 year warranty - desktop only
  • Warranty - 4 year warranty with accidental damage protection - laptop only
  • Backup Device - External hard drive, USB Flash Drive and/or DVD+/-RW drive
  • Please note: The extended warranties listed above must be added at the enhancement page when selecting your hardware for purchase.

Minimum Specifications

The current minimum computer specifications to ensure the ability to run the basic software most end users operate is:

  • Processor - dual core @ 2.4 GHz (Core Duo Intel processor or equivalent AMD)
  • RAM - 4 GB
  • Hard Drive - 160 GB
  • Wireless (for laptops) - 802.11g/n (WPA2 support required)
  • Monitor - 19" LCD - desktop only
  • Operating System - Windows Vista with Service Pack 2 or Apple OS X 10.7.5
  • Backup Device - External hard drive, USB Flash Drive and/or DVD+/-RW drive

Other Specifications

The majority of Clark's computing resources and backend systems are built on the Windows platform. Support is available for Apple's OS X operating system, but we currently do not provide support for the Windows operating system on an Apple computer. Since the choice between an Apple and a Windows system is usually a personal preference, we recommend that you come to campus with which ever operating system you are most comfortable with. If you have no preference, ITS recommends you contact the ITS Help Desk (helpdesk@clarku.edu) for purchasing advise. If you are coming to Clark with a particular program of study in mind, you may want to check with your academic department to see if they have a preferred computing platform.