Faculty/Staff Computer Specifications

Article updated: July 2020

While ITS offers support for a large and diverse desktop and laptop computing environment, at some point it becomes impractical to continue support for hardware or software which is beyond its reasonable life. Additionally, systems that are unsupported pose a significant security risk to the MSU IT environment because they are no longer eligible to receive routine security updates. For ITS to provide efficient, cost-effective, and secure desktop support for the campus community, certain minimum hardware and software configurations are required. The following specifications, updated periodically in response to the evolving desktop/laptop landscape, provide a general guideline for determining the supportability of a given laptop/desktop. If you have questions about the supportability of a specific system, please contact your ITS Desktop Support Specialist.


Minimum Faculty & Staff Computer Specifications

The following specifications should be considered as recommended minimums for any new departmental computer purchase.

Laptop Specifications

    Windows   Apple
Operating System Windows 10* macOS 10.15 - Catalina
Processor Intel Core i5 or equivalent Intel Core i5
Memory (RAM) 8GB 8GB
Storage 250GB Solid state drive(SSD) 250GB Solid state drive(SSD)
Network Connectivity

Wireless (Dual-band, 802.11a/g/n/ac)

Wired (Gigabit via dedicated port or via adapter)

Wireless (Dual-band, 802.11a/g/n/ac)

Wired (Gigabit via adapter)

Webcam/Microphone Integrated or external Integrated or external

*Windows upgrades are covered by the campus Microsoft agreement, so new computers should be purchased with the least expensive version of Windows possible.


Desktop Specifications

    Windows   Apple
Operating System Windows 10* macOS 10.15 - Catalina
Processor Intel Core i5 or equivalent Intel Core i5
Memory (RAM) 8GB 8GB
Storage 250GB Solid state drive(SSD) 250GB Solid state drive(SSD)
Network Connectivity

Wired (Gigabit ethernet)

Wired (Gigabit ethernet)

Webcam/Microphone Integrated or external Integrated or external

*Windows upgrades are covered by the campus Microsoft agreement, so new computers should be purchased with the least expensive version of Windows possible.

 


Operating System (OS) Requirements

Please be aware that not all software you may need to use at MSU is compatible with both Windows and macOS. Please review the ITS Software page to verify which ITS-provided software is compatible with your OS. If you do not see the specific software you'll need to run listed, please either verify the OS requirements with your Desktop Support Specialist or visit the software manufacturer's website to view the system requirements.

If you have purchased an Apple/macOS computer and need to run Windows-only software, you can either dual-boot Windows via BootCamp or you can run Windows in a virtual environment from within macOS using a product like Parallels or VirtualBox. Please note that either method will require you to have a valid license for Windows in order to activate the operating system. Also, while ITS does not provide support with installing a secondary operating system, there are many resources available online with instructions and information on doing so.

NOTE: ITS does NOT recommend using a Chromebook (Chrome OS) or a tablet running a mobile OS (iOS, Android, etc.) as your main computing device. These devices may not be able to properly access all MSU systems (including Canvas and Banner) and are not capable of running the software packages that may be required for your work. This includes the full installation of Microsoft Office, Respondus Lockdown Browser, SAS, SPSS, Autodesk products, and most other desktop software programs.


Brand/Purchasing Information

As with most other major purchases, it is good advice to choose a reputable brand from a reputable source. The Gartner Group, an independent provider of research and analysis on information technology, lists quality manufacturers of Windows compatible computers. The Gartner list contains brands such as Dell, Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard (HP). Although not on the Gartner list, Howard Computers, based in Laurel, Mississippi, is also worthy of consideration. If you plan on purchasing an Apple computer, the Gartner list does not apply since there is only one manufacturer.

EPLs

The Express Products Lists (EPLs) are lists of products that can be purchased at a reduced cost for educational entities. Numerous companies worked with ITS Jackson to create a contract on behalf of Mississippi educational entities. You can learn more about the EPL at https://www.its.ms.gov/Procurement/Pages/EPLs.aspx.


Extended Warranty

Many computer manufacturers provide extended warranties that cover problems beyond the normal warranty period. ITS strongly recommends that you purchase a three-year, onsite warranty along with your new computer. Details of these warranties will vary depending on the manufacturer.

Details

Article ID: 1194
Created
Fri 3/2/18 10:12 AM
Modified
Thu 7/16/20 2:56 PM