Older Computer Recommendations

(Updated March 2019)

This chart provides minimum recommendations for students bringing older computers to campus.

Please read the College’s Student Computing Requirements Information page for general information before spending money on computer hardware or software.

Depending on your needs, you should expect an older computer to be useful for no more than a year. If you plan to bring an older computer to campus, it should meet or, preferably, exceed these minimum recommendations. Contact your department office for specific hardware and software requirements for coursework.

Minimum Recommendations for Older Computers

Components Windows Desktop or Laptop Macintosh Desktop or Laptop
CPU (Processor) or Model Minimum: Any model using Intel Core i5 or later processors. Minimum: Any Intel processor iMac, Mac Mini, Mac Pro or MacBook Pro
System RAM 8 GB minimum, more preferred 8 GB minimum, more preferred
Hard Drive (Storage) 250 GB remaining space minimum, more preferred 250 GB remaining space minimum, more preferred
Monitor/Display 14″ or larger (second external monitor optional) 14″ or larger (second external monitor optional)
Video Adapter (Graphics Card) 1 GB VRAM or more
(Integrated graphics processors are OK for First Year Experience students.)
Operating System Windows 7 Professional (Not “Home” version) Windows 10 Professional preferred Mac OS X 10.13 or later
Audio Most computers include audio capabilities.
Network Adapters Wi-Fi and Wired ethernet adapter are normally included. CAT 6 ethernet cable recommended for faster connections in studio. Wi-Fi is included. Wired ethernet adapter and CAT 6 ethernet cable recommended for faster connections in studio. Adapter may be required.
External Hard Drive for Back-ups An external drive at least as large as your computer’s internal drive for backing up your computer
Warranty Service Minimum 3-year onsite parts and labor (OK if warranty has expired)
Software
Be sure to check for educational discounts through the College of Design or NCSU Bookstores.
Please review your department’s recommendations for software. Please review your department’s recommendations for software.

Questions?

The College’s Information Technology staff will be glad to go over purchase choices or answer any related questions. You can send an email to design_help@ncsu.edu or use this form to contact the College Information Technology staff with specific information about your problem.