Recommendations - Faculty and Staff PC Desktop

Last Updated: 07/30/2014


Both minimum requirements and high performance recommendations are listed below. Print out this list and take it with you when you go to buy your computer.

Model Specifications

Type of Technology Minimum Recommendation High Performance
Model Recommendation Dell Optiplex 9020 i5 through the University of Colorado Dell contract Dell Optiplex 9020 i7 through the University of Colorado Dell contract
CPU Intel Core i5 Intel Core i7
RAM 4 GB 16 GB
Hard Drive 500 GB or Solid State Drive 1 TB or Solid State Drive
Video Card

Integrated Graphics Card

*Graphics Card w/ 1 GB

  • USB 3.0
Network Access
  • 10/100/1000 Network Card
Remote Management
  • 3 years parts and labor, or more depending on your renewal and replacement cycle.

Operating System, Software, and Additional Recommendations

Type of Technology Recommendation
Operating System
  • Windows 8 Enterprise, 64-bit. Learn how to upgrade to Enterprise.
Productivity Tools
Web Browser
  • Internet Explorer
  • Chrome
  • Firefox
Email Programs
Virus/Anti-spyware Protection
External Storage Devices
  • Flash drive
  • External hard drive (minimum size double to your internal drive)
Laptop Physical Security
  • OIT recommends that laptops are registered with the CU-Boulder police department. Click here to learn more.
  • Laptop locks, which can be purchased at the CU Bookstore.
  • For faculty members with gradebooks or other private data files on their laptops, OIT strongly recommends whole disk encryption software called PGP.


Faculty and Staff PC Considerations

Besides the minimum recommendations above it is recommended that you consider the following:

  • Purchasing Computers and Software at Educational Prices
    • Visit the Dell Contract page to learn more about the University of Colorado's special arrangement with Dell.
    • Computers and software meeting these recommendations can be purchased at the Buffalo Chip, inside the CU Bookstore for an educational discount.
    • Faculty purchasing computers should learn more about the Faculty Computer Purchase Program.
  • Used Computers
  • 64-bit Operating Systems
    • Please note that some older applications and drivers might be incompatible with 64-bit operating systems.
  • Solid State Drives
    • Solid State Drives offer superior performance but less capacity.
  • Tablets and High Portability Laptops
    • The list above is not intended for tablets or high portability laptops. This list was developed for computers that will last three to four years, so that faculty and staff can maximize their purchase.
  • Extras
    • If you're purchasing a laptop, you may want to purchase a monitor as well for high performance use.
    • It is strongly encouraged that you backup your files to an external hard drive.