Recommended specifications for new personal 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: 11th, 12th or 13th Gen Intel Core i5, i7 or i9 Processor, Apple Silicon M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max, M1 Ultra or M2 Processor (CPU)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 or Windows 11 Home, Pro, Enterprise or Education version
macOS 11.X “Big Sur” or macOS 12.X “Monterey.”
Office Suite: Microsoft Office 365 for Windows or Macintosh. Microsoft Office 365 is available for no-cost download for all enrolled students. See the UDel Office 365 for Education services page for details.
Memory (RAM): 8-16 GB of RAM
Storage: 240 GB solid state drive, or larger.
Video/Graphics: Integrated or discrete graphics processor capable of 1440 X 900 resolution, or better (1920 X 1080 or 1200 ideal).
Monitor: for notebook: 13″ – 17″ display
for desktop: 24″ – 27″ widescreen flat-panel display
Mouse: Built-in or external trackpad, wireless and/or USB, 2-button, optical mouse
Sound: Built-in audio or soundcard, and speakers
Headphones: Headphones or earbuds, with built-in microphone
Webcam: Either external USB device or built-in
Network: 802.11ac (or better) Wi-Fi capability.
Warranty: 3 year on-site (better) or depot warranty, accidental damage service highly recommended.
Backup device/scheme: External USB or Thunderbolt drive with Time Machine (Mac) or Windows backup software and/or cloud backup service/subscription.
Recommended Accessories: Printer (wireless or USB connected w/USB 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 classroom projectors for presentation purposes should purchase VGA or HDMI adapters appropriate for their specific Macintosh computer model (MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, etc.) OR USB-C hub for multiple connections. 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: 8/31/2022