Student Computer Specifications

Revised on 04/14/2016

If you are a student at Mississippi State University considering a computer purchase, we encourage you to read this page carefully.

Some departments and colleges require or recommend specific hardware and/or software that may vary from the university baseline specifications. If you are a student in one of these academic units, you should follow these computer guidelines:

For students not in one of these colleges or departments, the following specifications should be considered as recommended minimums for any new computer purchase.

Minimum Student Laptop Computer Specifications:

  • Processor: Intel or AMD 2.5 GHz
  • Memory: 8 gigabytes
  • Disk storage: 250 gigabyte hard disk drive
  • Video: 1280 X 800 resolution Active Matrix (TFT) LCD with 256 MB dedicated video memory
  • Network Connectivity: 10/100/1000 Base T Ethernet and/or 802.11 g/n wireless
  • Other External Ports: USB
  • Warranty: 3 year on-site manufacturer's warranty 
  • Operating System (64 bit): Microsoft Windows 7 Pro or MacOS X 10.9

Minimum Student Desktop Computer Specifications:

  • Processor: Intel 2.5 GHz
  • Memory: 8 gigabyte
  • Disk storage: 500 gigabyte hard disk drive and combo DVD-RW/CD-RW drive
  • Video: 256 MB dedicated video RAM & 1280 X 800 resolution LCD monitor
  • Network Connectivity: 10/100/1000 Base T Ethernet
  • Warranty: 3 year on-site manufacturer's warranty
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Pro, or MacOS X 10.9


As with most other major purchases, it is good advice to choose a reputable brand from a reputable source. The Gartner Group, an independent provider of research and analysis on information technology, lists quality manufacturers of Windows compatible computers. The Gartner list contains brands such as Dell, IBM and Hewlett-Packard. Although not on the Gartner list, Howard Computers, based in Laurel, Mississippi, is also worthy of consideration. If you plan on purchasing an Apple computer, the Gartner list does not apply since there is only one manufacturer.

Extended Warranty

Many computer manufacturers provide extended warranties that cover problems beyond the normal warranty period. ITS strongly recommends that you purchase a three-year onsite warranty along with your new computer. Details of these warranties will vary depending on the manufacturer.