Your Computer at NC State

Updated

  • Current for 2019-2020
  • Updated each springlaptop-users1
  • Available by New Student Orientation in late June

Contents

NC State student computer requirement?

  • NC State does not require you to have a computer, but your college or department may have a requirement or specific recommendation.
  • 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

  • Compare machine types:
    • Business class (recommended)
      More expensive but more durable, stable, standardized, & well-supported
    • Home use or consumer class
      Less expensive, may not hold up to rigorous academic use & transport
    • High performance or gamer class
      More expensive, with bleeding edge, sometimes poorly supported technology
    • 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 new computer system

 

Item PC Mac
Type of machine Business class
(See Compare machine types above.)
Any
Mobile device
(e.g., iPad Pro, tablet, Chromebook, Pixel Book)
Not recommended;
Cannot adequately substitute
for PC laptop or desktop
Not recommended;
Cannot adequately substitute
for Mac laptop or desktop
CPU Minimum: Intel i5 or i7, 7th generation

Recommended: Intel i5 or i7,  8th generation

Minimum: Quad-core i3 or dual-core i5

Recommended: Dual-core i5 or i7

 

RAM Minimum: 8 GB

Recommended: 16 GB

Minimum: 8 GB

Recommended: 16 GB

Storage 256 GB or greater SSD 256 GB or greater SSD
Operating System Windows 10 64-bit

Recommended: Pro or Educational

OS X Mojave
(v. 10.14)
Wireless 802.11ac 802.11ac
Camera & Microphone Yes Yes
Warranty Service
(very highly recommended)
3 or more years 3 or more years
Accidental Damage Coverage
(for drops and spills)
Yes Yes

 

Theft Coverage
(may be included in homeowner’s policy)
Yes Yes

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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
RAM 8 GB
Operating System MS Windows 10
Mac OS Sierra v. 10.13.6
Battery Life 2 hours or longer
Wireless 802.11n
Free Storage Space 80 GB

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Bring with your computer

  • Documentation
  • Warranty information
  • Software license codes
  • Personal printer, if desired (wireless printers are not recommended)
    NOTE: WolfPrint FollowMe Printing offers fee-based printing at many campus locations.
  • Other needed peripherals and adapters (e.g. USB-C to USB-A)

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Software

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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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