Recommendations for Student Computers

Macalester does not require students to have their own computers. If you plan to bring a computer to campus, it should meet or exceed these 'baseline' recommendations so that you can fully access all of Macalester's information resources:

  • System RAM: 4 GB (minimum); 8 GB or more is recommended.
  • Operating System: Apple Mac OSX 10.6 (minimum) or later; Microsoft Windows 7 (preferred) or Windows 8.
  • Wireless card for laptops: Must support 802.11g or 802.11n wireless and WPA2 authentication (most new laptops will work fine).
  • Master disks: Bring all the system CDs/DVDs that came with your computer, as well as for all of your software. These may be needed to repair problems.
  • Lock: Bring a security cable to lock your computer down.
  • Backup disk: Consider bringing an external hard drive in order to back up your data.  
  • Do not bring wireless printers, routers and other networking devices with you to campus. We do not support these, and we will block them from our network if they cause problems.