Personal Technology Purchases

Listed below are general specification recommendations to consider when making a computer purchase.


If you are planning to purchase a computer or tablet, consider Furman’s preferred pricing arrangements with Apple and Dell. In many cases these vendors allow you to buy at a substantial discount.

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.

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 upper range, and are recommended but not required. Use this as a guideline depending upon your particular situation.

Recommended Hardware Specifications

Hardware Specification
Processor Intel Core i5; AMD Ryzen 5
Memory 8 GB or larger, depending on need
Operating System Windows 10 or Mac OSX 10.15
Hard Drive 256 GB or Larger, depending on need (minimum of 128 GB)
External Backup Drive 1 TB or Larger
Networking Ethernet 10/100/1000 Base-T w/ RJ-45 connection
Wireless Networking 802.11ac 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.

Furman Employees

Product Installation Site Price
Mac Upgrade Apple Free
MS Office Office 365 version Free while at Furman
Microsoft 365 Subscription Microsoft 30% discount
AntiVirus Security Essentials
Sophos (Mac)
Adobe Adobe varies by app

Furman Students

Product Installation Site Price
Mac Upgrade Apple Free
MS Office Office 365 version Free while Furman student
AntiVirus Trend Micro Antivirus
Installed by FU
Adobe N/A