Student on laptop

Computer Requirements

Students can use any brand computer to connect to the Penn State Network connection in their room; however, only one wired connection for a computer or gaming device per student is supported.

Minimum PC Configuration

  • Pentium 4 class
  • 1 Gigahertz processor or faster
  • at least 512 MB of RAM
  • 40 GB hard drive
  • Wireless for UP campus residence halls
  • CD-ROM/DVD-ROM drive
  • Windows Vista or newer
  • Antivirus Program

Optional for UP campus but necessary for Commonwealth campuses:
An Ethernet port or USB Ethernet adapter for a wired network connection and a 25' CAT 5 Ethernet cable

Minimum MAC configuration

  • PowerPC G3, G4, or G5 processor
  • at least 256 MB of RAM
  • 10 GB hard drive
  • DVD-ROM drive
  • Wireless for UP campus residence halls
  • OSX 10.3 or higher
  • Antivirus Program

Optional for UP campus but necessary for Commonwealth campuses:
An Ethernet port or USB Ethernet adapter for a wired network connection and a 25' CAT 5 Ethernet cable

What your computer needs:

  • All program and restore CDs and CD keys
  • A CD or DVD burner to backup data or to install software and equipment drivers when not available for download. Some students use an external hard drive for backup. Have a plan for personal data backup already worked out ahead of time.
  • Warranty information for your system
  • A power strip with a built-in surge protector
  • If you own a laptop make sure you bring all the manufacturer hardware and software that came with your computer.
  • Computer access passwords
  • Cables: Power, printer, audio, etc.

Note: A computer that does not meet this recommendation may work fine, but it will take longer to get connected or repair in case of problems over the semester.