Listed below are general specification recommendations to consider when making a computer purchase.
Based on current hardware trends, we’ve taken a stab at providing computer hardware recommendations for students interested in purchasing a device that will perform well for at least four years. In terms of which platform to select (Windows or Mac), we recommend speaking with someone in the academic department in which you plan to study for suggestions.
Hardware needs can vary depending on the operating system (Mac OS or Windows 10 being the dominant consumer platforms), and individual student course selections. Apple devices streamline purchasing decisions by offering a limited selection of upgrades/options. Windows PCs offer a seemingly infinite array of configurations that can quickly get confusing. Fortunately, across the platforms, most basic guidelines remain relatively the same.
The majority of modern laptops are equipped with an SSD (Solid State Drive) rather than the older HDDs (Hard Disk Drive) that were predominant in the recent past. An SSD is far faster, and less apt to suffer failure due to the complete absence of moving parts within the drive. They are highly recommended for longevity and reliability.
The remaining specs listed below are in the mid-range, and are recommended but not required. Use this as a guideline depending upon your particular situation.
Recommended Hardware Specifications
|Intel Core i5; AMD Ryzen 5, Apple M2
|8 GB or larger, depending on need
|Windows 11 or macOS 13
|512GB or larger, depending on need (minimum of 128 GB)
|External Backup Drive
|1 TB or Larger
|Ethernet 10/100/1000 Base-T w/ RJ-45 connection
|Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax with WPA2 Enterprise)
Minimum Hardware Specifications
|Intel Core i3; AMD Athlon Silver Series, Apple M1
|Windows 10 or Mac OSX 12
|Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n with WPA2 Enterprise)
Some software purchased by Furman allows an installation on personal computers too. The university also purchases some software from vendors at discounted prices and those vendors sometimes extend discounts to Furman faculty, staff and students.
Below is a partial list of frequently used applications, the price and where to go for the installation. If you have questions about specific software availability telephone the Service Center, x 3277.
|Office 365 version
|Free while at Furman
|Microsoft 365 Subscription
| Security Essentials
|varies by app
|Office 365 version
|Free while Furman student
|Trend Micro Antivirus
Installed by FU