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Recommended & Minimum Computer Configurations (Windows)

Our recommendations and minimum system requirements are meant to provide general guidelines on which computer configurations work best in the UMass Amherst computing environment. If you have declared a major, we recommend checking with the department to see if it requires specific computer configurations. Note: This online document is where you will find the most accurate recommendations. Any OIT print materials you have could be out-of-date.

Sustainability

OIT recommends models of computers that have at least an EPEAT Silver rating (preferably EPEAT Gold). These computers meet the latest ENERGY STAR specifications and are designed to be easily recycled. Learn more about the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT).

Laptop Computers

Recommended Configurations

We recommend systems that meet or exceed the following specifications:

Processor (CPU):

Intel Core i5-3XXX, 2.9 GHz or equivalent

Operating System:

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1 (free via Dreamspark. Restrictions may apply.)                   For touch-screen computers we recommend Windows 8

Memory:

4 GB RAM

Storage:

320 GB internal hard drive

CD-ROM:

DVD-RW/CD-RW

Monitor/Display:

14" LCD

Network Adapter: Dual-band WiFi-certified 802.11a/b/g/n - compliant adapter (3X3 Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 strongly recommended) and an Ethernet (wired) network port.

Other:

Internal or external Webcam, lock, carrying case

Minimum Requirements

We support the following minimum computer configurations which you can use to connect to the campus-wide network.

Note: The following lists minimum requirements that allow for network connectivity and other basic functions. If you are planning on purchasing a new computer, please use the recommended configurations above.

Processor (CPU):

Intel Core i3 2xx, 2.93 GHz or equivalent

Operating System:

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1 (free via Dreamspark. Restrictions may apply.)                    For touch-screen computers we recommend Windows 8

Memory:

4 GB RAM

Storage:

250 GB internal hard drive

CD-ROM:

DVD/CD-RW

Monitor/Display:

13" color monitor

Network Adapter: Dual-band 802.11a/g - compliant wireless network card; Ethernet network card

Other:

Lock, carrying case

Desktop Computers

Recommended Configurations

We recommend systems that meet or exceed the following specifications:

Processor (CPU):

Intel Core i5-3XXX, 2.9 GHz or equivalent

Operating System:

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1 (free via Dreamspark. Restrictions may apply.)

Memory:

4 GB RAM

Storage:

500 GB internal hard drive

Sustainability

EPEAT Silver rating (preferably EPEAT Gold)

CD-ROM:

DVD +/- RW

Monitor/Display:

21.5 " LCD monitor

Other:

Dual-band WiFi-certified 802.11 a/b/g/n - compliant adapter and an Ethernet (wired) network card

Minimum Requirements

We support the following minimum computer configurations.

Note: The following lists minimum requirements that allow for network connectivity and other basic functions. If you are planning on purchasing a new computer, please use the recommended configurations above.

Processor (CPU):

Intel Core i3 2xx, 2.93 GHz or equivalent

Operating System:

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1 (free via Dreamspark. Restrictions may apply.)

Memory:

4 GB RAM

Storage:

250 GB internal hard drive

CD-ROM:

DVD/CD-RW

Monitor/Display:

15" LCD monitor

Other:

Dual-band WiFi-certified 802.11 a/g - compliant adapter and an Ethernet (wired) network port.

Tablet & Netbook Computers

Tablets are a type of portable computer where a stylus pen and touchscreen are used as input. Tablets are of growing interest in the classroom environment and are an innovative method for note-taking. New tablet computers come with Windows 8, iOS or Android operating systems. Capabilities and the number of programs available depend on the operating system choice and the hardware of the device. Consult with your academic advisor if you are unsure about the need for a tablet in your field of study. Microsoft OneNote software for tablet computers is available for free through the Dreamspark program for Windows based tablets.

Netbook computers are relatively popular among students at UMass Amherst, although they don’t offer the same options as standard laptops. Netbooks are affordable, lightweight laptops that sacrifice standard features for increased portability and lower costs. If you have specific questions about tablet or netbook computer configurations please contact the Help Center.