Recommended Computer Specifications and Minimum Requirements for Technology

A computer that meets these specifications is expected to last 3-4 years, with appropriate operating system updates and malware/virus protection. 



  • Both Windows-based and Macintosh computers are compatible with the campus network and online resources.
  • Chromebooks and tablets do not meet the minimum requirements and are not appropriate for college level for work
  • It is strongly recommended that students purchase laptops for mobility and ease of support.
  • If any student would like a consultation on what hardware to purchase, please click here and select Computer Consultation Meeting and we will answer all the questions you have about selecting the right computer and peripherals for your college journey.

Technology Discounts

Cedar Crest College has purchasing arrangements with several vendors. You may purchase a computer at a small discount (5-8%) from these vendors by looking for the link under Related Articles in the right column of this page.

We do recommend that you still visit a store to “test drive” a computer before buying it. It’s important that you be comfortable working on it, as you’ll be spending a lot of time using it.  If you are looking for online pricing at our negotiated discounts on computers, click here for a list of approved vendors.

Additionally, a purchasing agreement has been made with JourneyEd ( ) for discounts on academic versions of a variety of software.

Support for Student Owned Computers

Information Technology provides limited support to students with connectivity issues in Residence Halls and to the wireless network on campus.

  • If the problem is determined to be network related, our office will work to resolve the problem as swiftly as possible.
  • If the problem is determined to be hardware related, you will be referred to the vendor from whom you purchased your computer. If your computer is no longer under warranty, our office will provide a list of local computer repair vendors.
  • If the problem is related to software you purchased and installed on your computer, you will be referred to the software manufacturer.

Support for Smart Technology

Limited support for campus wireless connectivity and email configuration is available by appointment only for portable smart devices, such as iPads and phones.  All devices must be updated to the latest operating system patch to be supported.

Bringing an Older Computer

If bringing a computer you already own, it should not be more than two years old and at a minimum, have:

Windows Computers

  • Windows 10 (not in S mode)
  • Intel Core i3 Processor or better
  • 8 GB Memory (RAM), 16 GB recommended
  • 250 GB Hard Drive or higher
  • 100/1000 Ethernet Wired Network card
  • 802.11n Wireless Network card
  • Web Cam and Microphone
  • Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge browser installed (Firefox and Opera are unsupported browsers).

Macintosh Computers

  • OS X 10.15 (Mojave) or higher
  • Intel Core i5 Processor or better
  • 8 GB Memory (RAM), 16 GB recommended
  • 250 GB Hard Drive or higher
  • 100/1000 Ethernet Wired Network card
  • 802.11n Wireless Network card
  • Web Cam and Microphone
  • Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge browser installed (Safari, Opera, and Firefox are not supported browsers).

New Computer Recommendations


Windows-Based Computers

Mac Computers

Operating System

Windows 10 (22H2) or Windows 11
(not in S mode)

Mac OS 11 (Big Sur) or higher

Processor Speed

MINIMUM: Core i5 Processor

RECOMMENDED: Core i7 Processor

Memory (RAM)



Hard Drive/SSD Size


RECOMMENDED: 512 GB or higher Solid-State Drive

Wireless Card

MINIMUM: 802.11n (5GHZ capable)
RECOMMENDED: 802.11ac or better

Graphics Card

MINIMUM: 512 MB Video Memory


Other Recommended Hardware

  • Web Cam
  • Microphone
  • A surge protector to protect your computer equipment from electrical surges at home.
  • Flash Drive for class work and data storage. Students are responsible for their own data backup.
  • 14’ – 21’ CAT 5 network cable for wired connections on campus if your device has an Ethernet port. Recommended for gaming systems. (available at the college bookstore)
  • HDMI adaptor appropriate for your device (USB, mini-DV or USB-C), if your device doesn’t have an HDMI port. Recommended for use in collaborative classrooms. Available at the college bookstore.

Productivity Tools

Students should download Microsoft Office 365 applications.  They are available for free. Information is under New Student Information at the IT Support Center


4 year parts and labor
(on-site recommended)

3 year parts and labor AppleCare


  • Comprehensive breakage, theft, liquid spill, hazard (strongly recommended)
  • Students are responsible for having any and all insurance on their computers. Check with your insurance carrier for the specifics on your homeowner policy.

Virus & Spyware Protection Software

All computers must have malware protection software installed on their computer. Information and software recommendations are located on the New Student/Technology Software/AntiVirus links on

Unsupported Technology

Information Technology can NOT guarantee that the following systems and technologies will work with our network, applications or will be sufficient to complete class work..

  • Windows RT, XP, 2000, 7, 8, 8.1, or Windows in S Mode
  • ChromeOS (All Chromebooks are not supported)
  • UNIX / Linux
  • Macintosh OS 10.15 and lower
  • Wireless Routers/Airports & Network Routers/Hubs – To prevent problems you might cause with other users; these devices are not allowed in the Residence Halls without prior approval from the Office of Information Technology.  Our network will automatically disable any port that detects any such device.
  • Personal Wireless Printers: Wireless printing to a personal printer is not supported on the College’s wireless network. Personal printers can be used by connecting the printer and computer together via USB printer cable.


Article ID: 53983
Wed 5/16/18 9:50 AM
Mon 7/17/23 10:27 AM

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Information on discounts offered to the Cedar Crest community by third party technology vendors.