Your Computer at NC State


  • Current for 2017-2018
  • Updated each springlaptop-users1
  • Available by New Student Orientation in late June


NC State student computer requirement?

  • NC State does not require you to have a computer.
  • Most professors expect you to have access to a computer, either a personal one or a lab computer.
  • We strongly encourage you to have one.

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College or department requirement

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BEFORE you buy…

Purchasing considerations

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Recommendations for a new computer system

Item PC Mac
Type of machine Business class
(See Compare machine types above.)
Mobile device
(e.g., iPad Pro, tablet, Chromebook)
Not recommended;
Cannot adequately substitute
for PC laptop or desktop
Not recommended;
Cannot adequately substitute
for Mac laptop or desktop
CPU Intel i3, i5 or i7

6th generation or newer

Optical Drive Optional Optional
Storage 256 GB SSD or 500 GB HDD 256 GB
Operating System Windows 10 64-bit OS X High Sierra
(v. 10.13)
Wireless 802.11ac 802.11ac
Camera & Microphone Yes Yes
Warranty Service
(very highly recommended)
3-year 3-year
Accidental Damage Coverage
(for drops and spills)
Yes Yes

(available at the NC State Bookstores)

Theft Coverage
(may be included in homeowner’s policy)
Yes Yes
Antivirus Software (required) See NC State Antivirus Resources See NC State Antivirus Resources
Backup for Files See Backups See Backups

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 Alternate devices

Android, Chromebook, iPad, and iPad Pro devices cannot adequately substitute for a PC or Mac laptop or desktop.

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Recommendations for a laptop you already own

If your current laptop meets the following recommendations it MAY be sufficient for your first year or two.

Item Recommendation
Age Less than two years
Processor Intel i3, i5 or i7
Operating System MS Windows 7 or 8.1
Mac OS X v. 10.11
Battery Life 2 hours or longer
Wireless 802.11n
Antivirus Software (required) See NC State Antivirus Resources
Free Storage Space 50 GB
Backup for Files See Backups

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Bring with your computer

  • Documentation
  • Warranty information
  • Backup installation disks (for reinstallation or reconfiguration)
  • Software license codes
  • Personal printer, if desired.
    NOTE: WolfPrint FollowMe Printing offers fee-based printing at many campus locations.
  • Other needed peripherals

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Maintenance and repair

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Theft deterrence

  • Stay safe
    See Safe Computing at NC State.
  • Mark it
    The Wolf Guard ID Program can engrave your computer equipment with your driver’s license number.
    CAUTION: Do NOT engrave ANYTHING with your Social Security number.
  • Keep a record
    Keep a copy of your laptop’s serial number and your Ethernet and wireless card addresses in a safe place.

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