We recommend that you purchase a computer with an i5 processor of speeds of 2ghz or better and is a dual core. If you are unsure about whether to buy a MAC or a PC, talk to us. The applications that you would like to use and purpose of the computer are a factor in this decision. Processor speed is only one factor that affects how fast a computer runs.
For PC's 4GB of RAM is the minimum you should purchase and 6GB is recommended as current software and operating systems can require a lot of memory. If you are buying a desktop or laptop and you have the option to upgrade to 8GB of RAM we recommend doing so if your budget allows. Please note, if you choose 4GB of RAM or more, the operating system needs to be 64-bit.
Today a normal hard drive would be about 500 Gigabytes for a desktop computer, and typically larger hard drives are found on desktops, ranging from 750GB - 2000GB. If you work a lot with video and audio the larger hard drives are recommended. A typical hard drive size for a laptop is also now around 500GB. However new technology called Solid State Drives have came out which allows for a faster loading time, however those range from 120-160GB and are much more expensive. We recommend using a 500GB hard drive. If you need more space, an external hard drive can be bought to backup data.
If you live off Campus you may have a couple of options for internet connection. To get a faster and more reliable connection you may want to consider DSL or cable modem services. UW-Whitewater also provides free wireless internet access around campus.
If you use home wifi, unless you desire mobility or have multiple computers, a wired connection is recommend. Wired connections are faster and more secure compared to wireless connections.
A printer is necessary if you want to print at home. Inkjet and laser printers are the two main choices today. Inkjet technology is almost equal to that of laser printers, and they have color capability with a lower price. When choosing a printer make sure that it is compatible with your computer, and that the necessary cables are included.
The 4U Program is run through the iCIT program here on campus. It allows students, faculty, and staff to purchase computers and accessories through major manufacturers for a discounted price. Specifically, Dell and Apple have teamed up with UW-Whitewater to provide these discounts. Some other places that also offer discounted higher education prices are Hewlett-Packard and IBM.