Information Technology Services

Our Recommended Computer Specifications

Currently, ITS recommends that faculty, staff and students request the following specifications when buying new personal computers:

When ordering from the HP store ITS recommends purchasing from the EliteBook series for Laptops and from the EliteDesk series for Desktops. When purchasing from the Apple store ITS recommends purchasing from the MacBook Pro series for Laptops and from the Mac mini for Desktops.

  • Processor - dual core 2.4 GHz+ (i5 or i7 series Intel processor or equivalent AMD)
  • RAM - 8 GB
  • Hard Drive - 256 GB or larger solid state hard drive
  • Graphics Card - any with DisplayPort/HDMI or DVI support - desktop only
  • Wireless (for laptops) - 802.11ac (WPA2 support required)
  • Monitor - 23" widescreen LCD with DisplayPort/HDMI or DVI support - desktop only
  • Operating System - Windows 10 or 7 with Service Pack 1, Home or Professional editions, or Apple OS X 10.11.5
  • Warranty - 3 year warranty - desktop only
  • Warranty - 4 year warranty with accidental damage protection - laptop only
  • Backup Device - External hard drive, USB Flash Drive, and/or DVD+/-RW drive
  • Please note: The extended warranties listed above must be added at the enhancement page when selecting your hardware for purchase.

Minimum Specifications

The current minimum computer specifications to ensure the ability to run the basic software most end users operate is:

  • Processor - dual core @ 2.4 GHz (i5 or i7 Intel processor or equivalent AMD)
  • RAM - 4 GB
  • Hard Drive - 320 GB 5400 RPM hard drive
  • Wireless (for laptops) - 802.11g/n (WPA2 support required)
  • Monitor - 19" LCD - desktop only
  • Operating System - Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 or Apple OS X 10.9
  • Backup Device - External hard drive, USB Flash Drive, and/or DVD+/-RW drive

Other Specifications

The majority of Clark's computing resources and backend systems are built on the Windows platform. Support is available for Apple's OS X operating system, but we currently do not provide support for the Windows operating system on an Apple computer. Since the choice between an Apple and a Windows system is usually a personal preference, we recommend that you come to campus with which ever operating system you are most comfortable with. If you have no preference, ITS recommends you contact the ITS Help Desk (helpdesk@clarku.edu) for purchasing advise. If you are coming to Clark with a particular program of study in mind, you may want to check with your academic department to see if they have a preferred computing platform.