Recommendations - Faculty and Staff Mac Desktop

Last Updated: 07/25/2014


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.

*Note: iMacs cannot have additional RAM added after purchase

Model Specifications

Type of Technology Minimum Recommendation High Performance
Model Recommendation
  • iMac with i5
  • iMac with i7
  • 8GB
  • 16GB
Video Card
  • Built-in Intel
  • Graphics Card w/ 1 GB
Hard Drive
  • 1TB any type or flash storage
  • USB 3.0
  • Thunderbolt
  • 3 years, AppleCare

Operating System, Software, and Additional Recommendations

Type of Technology Recommendation
Operating System
  • Mac OS X 10.9
Productivity Tools
Web Browser
  • Safari
  • Firefox
  • Chrome
Email Programs
  • Outlook 2011
  • Exchange Outlook Web App
  • Google Mail
  • Apple Mail
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. Learn more at the CU Police website.
  • 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 Mac Considerations

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

  • Purchasing Computers and Software at Educational Prices
  • Used Computers
  • AppleCare
    • When purchasing an Apple product, it is highly recommended that you purchase AppleCare. AppleCare not only provides extended warranty protection, but also provides help with software questions or problems.
  • 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.