Buying Guidelines

Students: The information on these pages can be used to aid in purchasing decisions, however you should consult your academic department for any specific computer hardware or software you may need for your academic work.

Computing technology changes a lot, and ITS makes every effort to keep these recommendations up to date. Check back often for the latest information. These recommendations are for new computers only — please call us for advice before upgrading an existing machine. ITS generally advises that an office computer be replaced after 3 to 5 years of service. With the cost of new equipment constantly declining, upgrades are generally not cost-effective after a machine becomes four or five years old.  The following guidelines were developed for typical office use. In most cases, this includes word processing, spreadsheets, e-mail, and Web browsing.

Hardware Standards:
Any new computer purchased with PSU funds, including grant funding, must meet or exceed the following hardware specifications.

Desktop Models:

Dell Desktop running Windows  7 or Windows 8  OR Apple Imac Desktop running OS X 10.8 or 10.9
• Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor
• Energy Star rated
• 8 GB RAM
• 250 GB+ Solid State drive or a 500GB Serial Drive
• 16X DVD+/-RW Optical Drive
• Integrated sound and video
• 19” Flat panel monitor
• 4-year standard warranty

Laptop Models:

Dell Laptop running Vista or Windows 7 or Windows 8 OR Apple 13” MacBook Pro running OS 10.8, 10.9
• Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor
• Energy Star rated
• 8 GB RAM
• 250GB+ Solid State drive or a 500GB Optical Drive
• 8X DVD+/-RW Optical Drive
• Integrated sound and video
• Dell wireless 802.11b/g/n mini card
• 4-year standard warranty
• Complete care- accident protection – Available on Dell only
• 3-year replacement warranty on battery Available on Dell only

Hardware Guidelines

ITS has limited ability to support systems which are no longer under a manufacturer’s warranty.  Therefore, the anticipated lowest supported model of Dell desktop for FY14 is the Optiplex GX360; the anticipated lowest supported model of Dell laptop is the Latitude E6410/6510. For more information,  please see the ITS Supported Model grid.  Costs for out-of-warranty parts/labor for repair or upgrades will need to be funded by the users’ department. ITS strongly recommends that any machine no longer under warranty not be reallocated through the trickledown process as will they will not be fully supported.

As the campus continues to transition to a mobile computing environment, emphasis has been placed on reducing the number of systems users have in their office. The University provides one computer per full-time employee.  Part-time employees and adjuncts may be required to share a computer based upon the number of hours worked and/or number of credits taught per semester. Exceptions to this policy will only be made in cases of demonstrated need and must be approved by both the department head and the appropriate PA. This policy affects not only institutional purchased systems but also any systems purchased through grant funding.

System Status

All ITS systems Operational

July 7th, 2014 by Jo-Ann

All ITS systems are operational. If you have any questions, please contact the Help Desk at or (603) 535-2929.

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