General Specifications

Many computer resources are available for general use by the campus community. IT staff will be available to incoming students during FOCUS and over the summer to answer questions regarding computer hardware/software and assist you in making a more informed computer purchase.

The best computer for you is ultimately based on several variables including budget, usage, and your field of study. Systems less than these suggested specifications will work on the network. We recommend buying the best configuration you can afford to maximize its lifespan.

Looking to save a little money when purchasing your computing equipment? Check out our Available Discounts webpage.

Main System Components

  • Intel Core i5 processor or better
  • 4GB RAM or more
  • 1TB hard drive space for desktop computers; solid-state hard drive for laptops
  • Windows OS: 8 or newer
  • Mac OS: 10.7 (Lion) or newer
  • 802.11 N wireless card or above (5GHz or faster recommended)
  • 100mbps network card or faster, with RJ-45 cable (optional, for wired connections)

Service & Support

You should purchase a support and/or damage plan for your equipment. We recommend a three or four year agreement for the best coverage. Due to liabilities and warranty restrictions, IT staff members are not permitted to perform hardware repair work on personally-owned equipment.

Anti-Virus Software

Up to date anti-virus software should be installed on your personal computer, configured to automatically update, and scheduled to run regular scans. You are welcome to install either a free or subscription-based anti-virus suite.

NOTE: You should not run multiple anti-virus programs concurrently on the same machine.

It is a good idea to have anti-malware / anti-spyware software, or use a security suite which provides both anti-virus and anti-malware in one software package. Enable your computer’s firewall for additional protection.

Peripherals & Accessories

When deciding on peripheral devices such as printers, speakers, docks, external hard drives, etc, take your residence hall desk space into account.

Personal printers should plug directly into your computer via USB connection. Wireless printing is not permitted due to interference with the campus wifi network.

Productivity Software

Microsoft Office 2013 Professional is available on all public computer lab workstations. Office 365 is available free of charge to all students, faculty, and staff on up to five computers and up to five tablets. If you choose to purchase Office for your personal computer it should be version 2010 or newer for Windows; for Macs, 2011 or newer.

Additionally, all students are provided with a lifelong Gmail@Valpo account which includes the full suite of Google Apps and Google Drive functionality.

College / Program Requirements

Some programs, such as the College of Engineering or other academic programs, may offer their own suggestions of machine capabilities or system requirements for the specific work being done in those programs. Please consult your program for these specifications.

Need More Help?

Contact the IT Help Desk for further consultation online at, via email at, or via phone at 219.464.5678.

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