ComputerGuide: Deals by vendor, recommendations, and common questions

On this page:

Before you begin

  • Do not unnecessarily order software from vendor sites when purchasing hardware, as many products are available as free downloads to IU students, faculty, and staff via IUware or Microsoft 365 at IU. See the software section of this page.
  • For information about placing departmental hardware orders, see IU Purchasing.
  • Be sure to check with your school or department for any specific recommendations.
  • For mobile device (for example, smartphones and tablets) recommendations, see MobileGuide: Recommendations and common questions.

Hardware deals by vendor

Each vendor link below will take you to an online store that is not managed by Indiana University. IU is not responsible for commercial activities on non-IU sites.

Some of these sites require authentication with your University account.

Vendor Description
Apple IU and Apple have teamed up to create a custom Apple Store where you can buy systems at a significant discount.
CDW-G For information about the prices CDW-G offers to those affiliated with IU, see Indiana University FSS Purchasing.
Dell IU and Dell have teamed up to offer Dell computers, electronics, and accessories at a discount to all IU students, faculty, and staff. Visit Dell's IU Store.
GovConnection IU students, faculty, and staff qualify for special pricing for IT products from GovConnection.
Microsoft To learn about pricing for Microsoft products used in education, see the Microsoft Store's Education page.

Supported operating systems


Windows 11 and Windows 10 are the preferred Windows operating systems at IU. UITS does not support operating systems that are no longer supported by the vendor.


UITS recommends updating to the most recent version of macOS, and strongly discourages use of older versions (OS X), as they may have compatibility issues with some university online resources.


Numerous community-based distributions, such as Ubuntu Linux and Fedora Core, may prove suitable, as they tend to offer more recent hardware drivers. For more about Linux distributions, see

UITS also mirrors many popular Linux distributions.

New computer hardware minimum recommendations

  • Check with your school or department for any specific recommendations.
  • For details about Chromebooks, see About Chromebooks at IU. Tools such as Respondus may not function on Chromebooks.
  • Some computing devices will not function on the wireless network IU provides for media devices and game consoles; see Incompatible devices.

To use all the technology services available at IU, UITS suggests the following minimum hardware components for a new purchase. IU students, faculty, and staff can take advantage of special computer deals; see the Deals by vendor section. Also, on this page, see What about networking hardware?

Laptops and desktops

New Windows laptop or desktop New Mac laptop or desktop
Any current-generation x64-based processor of over 2 GHz and at least 2 cores

Any currently shipping Apple Intel laptop or desktop (MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac mini, or Mac Pro)

Apple computers with Apple (non-Intel) processors do not have the ability to run Windows via Boot Camp. Check with your school or department to determine if this functionality is required.
Memory (RAM): 8 GB or more
Hard drive:
320 GB or more (SSD: 120 GB or more)
Network card:

Wireless 802.11g/n (dual band)

Make sure the wireless card supports 802.11n in both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.

Operating system:
Windows 11 or Windows 10 64-bit

Minimum requirements for existing hardware (a computer you already own)

If you plan to bring a computer you own to campus, it should meet certain hardware requirements to function effectively within the IU computing environment. Do not use these specifications for a new computer purchase; instead, see the New computer hardware recommendations above.

  • Minimum requirements for Windows computers: In general, Windows computers built within the last five years should be sufficient for lightweight computer use at IU.
  • Minimum requirements for Apple computers: In general, Apple computers capable of running macOS 11 (Big Sur) or higher should be sufficient for lightweight computer use at IU.
  • Minimum requirements for Chromebooks: Since most app functionality works online, the primary consideration is whether or not the Chromebook can support your app requirements; see About Chromebooks at IU. Additional considerations would be the amount of internal storage, as well as whether or not the model of Chromebook supports Android apps.

If you use an older computer, it may become sluggish when running graphically intense applications or when running more than one application. If you need only to check email and do simple word processing, you may find the performance is adequate. Bear in mind, however, that an older computer means a higher risk of breakdown or losing important work.

Software at IU

As an IU student, you are eligible for free downloads of Microsoft 365, Adobe Creative Cloud, and antivirus products. Visit IUware to view other software available to you.

Additionally, students can use IUanyWare to run Windows software virtually (without downloading or installing) on Windows, macOS, Chromebook, iOS, and Android devices.

IU has software licensing agreements with different software companies, allowing IU to distribute software at a discounted educational price.

Windows, macOS, or Chromebook?

Both Windows and macOS operating systems are supported at IU. The most commonly used applications (word processing, spreadsheet, communication software, and web browsers) look similar and perform well on both platforms. Some academic programs that rely heavily on business-oriented software are better served by the Windows platform, but some programs that rely heavily on graphics and multimedia software may be better served by the macOS platform.

Chromebooks may suit your needs; be sure to refer to About Chromebooks at IU.

Consult your department for recommendations. IU has a diverse environment; choose the computer you prefer, or the one that best fits your budget. Make sure to consider the New computer hardware minimum recommendations when making a purchase.

Kelley School of Business

Kelley School of Business (KSOB) students are required to use Microsoft Access, which is available only for Windows. If you have a Mac, you have several options:

  • Use IUanyWare
  • Use Access on any Windows computer in the STCs (Student Technology Centers)
  • Create Windows 10 install media and install it on your Mac using Boot Camp.
    Apple computers with Apple (non-Intel) processors do not have the ability to run Windows via Boot Camp.

Printers in the residence halls

You do not need to bring a printer to campus; printers are available in the residence halls and Student Technology Centers (STCs). You cannot print wirelessly via IU networks to personal printers at IU; however, Bluetooth printing will work fine if your devices support it. If you do not have a Bluetooth printer and a Bluetooth-capable device, you will need to bring a printer cable if you bring a printer.

Networking hardware

If you live on campus, you can use your computer's Ethernet or wireless card to connect to the campus network. Wired Ethernet connections tend to be faster and more stable than wireless connections. Each room in campus residence halls have one active phone jack and one active Ethernet jack.

If you live off campus, you may have a choice between using a network connection offered by your leasing agent or subscribing to a cable modem or DSL service. Contact your leasing office to ask about available internet connections. To set up cable modem service, contact a local cable company; to set up DSL service, contact a local phone company.

Wireless protocols

802.11n (in 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands) is generally available at IU. 802.11b/g also is available in 2.4 GHz.

The 802.11n network provides a more stable wireless connection, especially in 5 GHz. The 802.11b/g/n 2.4 GHz client space is generally more congested and traditionally has more sources of interference (for example, cordless phones, Bluetooth devices, game controllers, and microwave ovens) than the 5 GHz space. Additionally, there are more channels available for 802.11n in the 5 GHz space. For those clients that can take advantage of them, the extra channels allow for additional 802.11n access points in congested areas.

UITS recommends using devices that support 802.11a/b/g/n, supporting both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz (dual-band) for 802.11n.

Ethernet switches

Routers are allowed only in selected areas on campus. Ethernet hubs, repeaters, and unmanaged switches are cost-effective ways to provide network connectivity to multiple devices via a single data jack. Unfortunately, improperly implemented switches can cause network problems for an entire building or, in rare cases, an entire campus.

Computer delivery to residence halls

Indiana University will take all reasonable precautions but cannot assume liability for your personal possessions, including computers shipped to the residence halls. To have your computer shipped to your campus residence, specify the appropriate delivery address listed in Have your new computer shipped to your IU campus residence.

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Last modified on 2024-04-29 15:31:06.