Computers & Software
Baseline Technology Recommendations
- Device: Laptop strongly recommended. Desktop computers, Chromebooks, and tablets are fine to bring, but may not meet your academic needs.
- Processor: Dual-core Intel i5/Ryzen 5 or higher (quad-core or higher recommended)
- System memory: 8GB required minimum; 16GB or more recommended. If you anticipate a computationally intensive course of study maximizing your memory will be incredibly helpful.
- Computer operating systems: macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 or newer; Windows 10 version 1909 or newer. ITS recommends enabling automatic updates to keep your operating system version current.
- Storage: 128GB minimum, 256GB or more recommended. Strongly recommend a solid-state hard drive (SSD).
- Battery: ITS recommends making sure that your laptop’s battery can hold a charge for several hours and/or investing in a backup battery/battery pack, as classrooms may not be equipped with adequate power outlets for charging during class.
- Webcam, Speakers and Microphone: Any of the following configurations (or any combination of microphone/speakers/webcam) will allow you to participate fully in computer-based activities:
- Built-in webcam, speakers, and microphone
- External webcam with a microphone and headphones/earbuds
- External webcam without a microphone and headset/earbuds with built-in microphone.
- Headset or Bluetooth earbuds
- Reliable high-speed internet access: When not on campus to use Macalester’s WiFi, you’ll need broadband internet access with good WiFi.
Purchasing a laptop?
We strongly recommend you bring your own laptop to campus. Review this information and recommendations before purchasing a new computer.
- Education discount program through Apple at www.apple.com/us-hed/shop
- Apple Certified Refurbished computers at www.apple.com/shop/browse/home/specialdeals
- Education discount program though Dell at www.dell.com/macalester. Macalester College Dell Member ID: US30732314.
- International students with a U.S. credit card billing address can order from Apple and Dell web stores.
- Macalester College does not provide repair services for personally owned equipment.