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Recommended specifications for new computer purchases

If you are planning on buying a computer to use for the next three or more years, we would recommend that the computer you select fall within the following specifications:

Component Specification
Processor: 4th or 5th Gen Intel Core i5 or Core i7, 1.4 GHz Processor or better
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate,
Microsoft Windows 8.1, 8.1 Pro or Enterprise.
Macintosh OS X 10.10.X “Yosemite.”
Office Suite: Microsoft Office 365 for Windows or Macintosh. Microsoft Office 365 is available for no-cost download for all enrolled students. See http://www.udel.edu/it/help/office365/ for details.
Memory (RAM): 8-16 GB of RAM
Storage: 500 GB conventional hard disk or 240 GB solid state drive, or larger.
Monitor: for notebook: 13′ – 17″ display
for desktop: 19″ widescreen flat-panel display
Mouse: USB, 2-button, optical mouse
Sound: Sound card or built-in audio, and speakers
Network: 10/100/1000Base-T ethernet networking capability (built-in, or an add-in adapter) and,
a 25′ CAT-5 network cable
[sometimes called “patch cable or station cable”]
Warranty: 3 year on-site (better) or depot warranty, accidental damage protection (“CompleteCare”) highly recommended.
Backup device/scheme: External USB, Firewire or Thunderbolt drive with Time Machine or Windows Backup software (either included with respective OS) or a commercial program like CrashPlan or Carbonite for local or cloud backup.
Recommended Accessories: USB Printer, USB A to B Cable, USB Flash Memory Drive (“USB key” or “thumb drive”), surge suppressor, carrying case for notebooks. Mac users wishing to connect their notebook computers to projectors for presentation purposes should purchase VGA adapters appropriate for their specific Macintosh computer model (MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, etc.). Optional: optical drive (recordable DVD or Blu-Ray drive).

See computer systems with pricing from the vendors the University of Delaware has agreements with on our Buy Personal page.

Last updated: May 12, 2015