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Recommended PC Requirements

Things to keep in mind when purchasing a computer system:

Below are some suggestions for purchasing a new computer. The specific recommendations exceed the minimum requirements for connecting to the HoodNet.

  • Hood College does not require students to purchase a computer. Having your own computer system definitely comes in handy, but you can use the computer systems located in general and departmental computer lab spaces, the residence halls and in other campus public locations.
  • Spend as much money as you can realistically afford. The more money you invest, the longer your system will remain useful.
  • Technology is changing at an extremely rapid rate. Newer technology is always just around the corner. Do not let this keep you from buying the system you need today.
  • Unless you have specific needs and/or course requirements (particularly high-end graphics), there is no need to purchase the latest level of technology. On the other hand, saving a few dollars now by purchasing low end technology can and most likely will limit your future capabilities.
  • Make sure you are investing in quality components and a good warranty, and you are able to get service if needed. Keep in mind that the IT department does not repair personally owned computer systems.
  • You should think about the trade-offs you might need to make when deciding how much to spend on specific components.

Standard Computer Components

Processor (CPU) - Current computer systems use Intel or AMD processors.

Memory (RAM) - The amount of memory your computer has is one of the biggest factors in the computer's performance. The more memory your computer has the faster the software will run. Do not skimp on memory.

Hard disk space - The standard size of a hard drive is 40 gigabytes or greater. The size of your hard drive determines how many programs and files you can load on your computer.

Monitor - 17" CRT monitors are standard. The level of detail a screen will display is noted by the dot-pitch. The smaller the dot-pitch the better (.28 dot-pitch is standard). Flat-panel monitors cost more but are generally better and save space in the residence hall rooms.

CD or DVD-ROM drive - This is standard on all new computer systems and some are capable of burning discs.

Network card - Wired or Wireless Ethernet card (wireless capability on Laptops is recommended)

Miscellaneous components - You should consider purchasing a printer and a flash memory (USB) drive (portable storage device) when purchasing a computer system.


Recommended minimum computer configuration for Windows PCs


  • 1 GHz Intel or AMD CPU
  • 512MB of Random Access Memory (RAM) or more
  • 40 GB (gigabyte) hard drive or larger
  • 32x CD-ROM drive (or faster)
  • 17" LCD flat panel or CRT monitor (.28 dot pitch or smaller) (LCD flat panel monitors are more expensive, but save space in the dorms)
  • 64 MB video card (or greater)
  • CD-RW (CD "burner") which can be substituted for the CD-ROM above
  • Wired or Wireless Ethernet card (required to connect to ResNet)
  • Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Web Browser (Internet Explorer and Firefox are standard on campus but feel free to choose your own)

Recommended minimum computer configuration for Apple Macintosh


  • Any Intel CPU
  • OS X 10.5x or higher
  • 1 GB of Random Access Memory (RAM) or more
  • 80 GB (gigabyte) hard drive or larger
  • CD-RW Combo Drive (Super Drive preferred)
  • 17" LCD flat panel or CRT monitor minimum if using a Mac Pro tower
  • Wired or Wireless Ethernet card (required to connect to ResNet)
  • Microsoft Office Suite, Open Office or Neo Office
  • Web Browser (Internet Explorer and Firefox are standard on campus but feel free to choose your own)
  • Mac desktops and laptops are supported at Hood for access to ResNet