Recommended Computer Specifications
Faculty and staff: Read Purchasing a Computer for Use at Duke to learn about the Duke Computer Purchasing Program, which offers standardized computer models to get better pricing and extended warranties through ours preferred vendors, Dell, Lenovo and Apple.
Students: Read Purchasing a Computer for Use at Duke to learn about the Duke Computer Care Coverage program, which offers computers selected and configured to mesh seamlessly with the Duke's on-line environment and take advantage of Duke's extensive IT resources. If you decide to bring a computer to Duke instead of purchasing a system through Duke Computer Care Coverage program, we strongly recommend that your system meet the following minimum specifications.
|Feature||Minimum Recommended||Preferred (if applicable)||Rationale for Recommendation|
||i5 (Windows/Mac)||The Windows 7 operating system and applications written for it will require advanced processors to be used effectively.|
|Memory||4 GB||6 GB
||Memory demands for Windows 7 will require at least 2 gigabyte (GB) of memory.|
|Hard disk||300 GB||500 GB||An increasing number of Duke courses use multimedia content, which greatly increases storage needs on personal computers.|
(burns/reads CDs and DVDs)
(burns/reads CDs and DVDs)
|Recordable DVDs are more capable for backing up and transporting today’s larger computer files.|
|Networking||Built-in LAN 10/100 (Ethernet) for all systems; wireless for laptops (Windows: 802.11b/g/n; Mac: Airport Extreme)||Built-in LAN Gigabit (Ethernet) for all systems; wireless for laptops (Windows: 802.11n; Mac: Airport Extreme)||Wireless (802.11 N) is available in all residence halls. Please do not bring any personal routers to campus as this will interfere with available wireless.|
|Video RAM||256 MB||512 MB||Windows 7 and associated software will require a minimum of 256 MB video ram for multitasking functionality.|
|Operating system||Windows 7 Ultimate (available for students @ comp store for $15), OS 10.7 (Lion)||Windows 7 Ultimate (available for students @ comp store for $15), OS 10.7 (Lion)||Windows 7 offers advanced operational and networking features.|
|Support & protection||Extended warranty plan, including accidental damage coverage, for expected life of machine and a laptop bag to protect your computer.||* See note below.
The Duke Computer Care Coverage program offers extended coverage for students, including software support. The Duke Computer Care Coverage warranty also covers breaks and spills, a feature not available with most laptop warranties. The cost to repair a laptop increases greatly over time because of the limited availability of parts from manufacturers. Units with limited warranties or warranties shorter than three years that also do not include software support and a break and spill warranty can cost more in the long run because of the high cost of repair if the machine malfunctions.
Duke Computer Repair Average Costs for the Most Commonly Replaced Components
|LCD screen||$300 - $750||$100/hour|
|Laptop motherboard||$300 - $750||$100/hour|
|Hard drive||$89 - $150||$100/hour|
As shown by the cost of replacement parts and labor, purchasing a computer through the Duke Computer Care Coverage program can pay for itself many times over. In fact, if a computer requires a new LCD screen or a motherboard, the price for that part alone often can be higher than the price of an entire bargain laptop.