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Let ITaP help guide your computer purchases

Choosing a new computer for your college student can be a daunting task as the choice of vendor, specifications and accessories can seem endless. Whether you chose to buy a new computer or bring one from home, ITaP has a few guidelines to help you.

Purdue welcomes both Apple and PC computers on campus as most central information technology services are web-based and can be accessed from either platform. If you are concerned about special requirements for your student’s area of study, please contact someone in their program for additional information.

Newly purchased computers should have any current-generation processor of over 2 GHz and at least two cores, 4 GB of RAM or more, 320 GB of storage, a wireless card compatible with 802.11 a/b/g/n and running the latest operating system, which is Windows 7 for PC or Mac OS X Mountain Lion. Also, when purchasing a new computer, your student is eligible for discounts through ITaP Shopping.

If you choose to bring a machine that is not newly purchased, certain requirements will enable it to function effectively within the Purdue computing environment. Windows-based computers should have been built within the last five years and be running at least Windows XP Service Pack 3. ITaP Shopping currently has copies of Windows 7 Ultimate Upgrade Select (32 and 64-bit) available at a discount for students to purchase while supplies last, if you wish to upgrade. Apple computers should be capable of running Mac OS 10.6, Snow Leopard, or higher. This should be sufficient for lightweight computer usage.

Please keep in mind, however, that older computers might run slowly when attempting to use graphically intense applications or when running more than one application. For students who will use the computer for word processing or checking email, the performance should be adequate. Also, older computers might be out of warranty, leaving you to foot the bill if the computer breaks.

Students also should consider having Microsoft Office installed on their computer. Microsoft Office University can be purchased directly from Microsoft for $99.95. This fall students will have the ability to purchase software online at a discount, including Microsoft Office, through e-academy and ITaP Shopping. Check out the ITaP Shopping website this fall to purchase.

Writer: Jade Case, IT technical writer, ITaP, (765) 496-3152, cloudj@purdue.edu

Last updated: July 30, 2012