Recommendations - Student PC Desktop | Office of Information Technology

Recommendations - Student PC Desktop

Last Updated: 04/17/2017


Both minimum requirements and high performance recommendations are listed below. Print out this list and take it with you when you go to buy your computer.

*Note: OIT recommends students purchase laptops in order to be portable around campus. If you need the improved performance of a desktop, follow the recommendations below.

Model Specifications

Type of Technology Minimum Recommendation High Performance
CPU Intel Core i5 Intel Core i7
RAM 8 GB 16 GB
Hard Drive Solid State Drive (256 GB or more) or 500 GB Hard Drive Solid State Drive (256 GB or more) or 1 TB Hard Drive
Video Card

Integrated Graphics Card

Dedicated Graphics Card


3 years parts and labor


Dual Band Wireless AC (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) is strongly recommended for best WiFi experience on campus.

Operating System, Software, and Additional Recommendations

Type of Technology Recommendation
Operating System
  • Windows 10, 64-bit
Productivity Tools
Web Browser
  • Internet Explorer
  • Edge
  • Chrome
  • Firefox
Email Programs
  • Outlook 2016
Video Conferencing/IM
Virus/Anti-spyware Protection
  • Windows Defender (Windows 8 and 10)
External Storage
Laptop Physical Security
  • OIT recommends that laptops are registered through the laptop registration program.
  • Laptop locks, which can be purchased at the CU Bookstore.
  • Learn more about OIT's campus printing locations
  • If you are bringing a printer to the residence halls and university apartments, OIT recommends USB wired printers. Wireless printers are not recommended.
Student PC Considerations

Besides the minimum recommendations above it is recommended that you consider the following:

Check with Your College or School

  • Check with your school or college to see if they have any special requirements or recommendations before purchasing.

Purchasing Computers and Software at Educational Prices

  • Computers and software meeting these recommendations can be purchased at the Buffalo Chip, inside the CU Bookstore for an educational discount.

Used Computers

Solid State Drives

  • Solid State Drives offer superior performance but less capacity.


  • It is encouraged that you backup your files to university provided cloud storage or an external hard drive.