Supported Computer Hardware/Software


Buffalo State College's Information Technology (IT) department maintains campus software libraries and computer hardware for students, faculty, and staff. In addition, BSC IT also provides desktop/laptop computing standards for the general-purpose needs of our campus, in the form of recommended specifications for those making personal purchases.

Please refer to the Technology Purchasing Information article for more information on requesting campus purchases via your department or IT.


Supported Operating Systems

Most computers come pre-installed with their Operating System (OS), so it's less a matter of choosing one over the other than it is a result of the specific computer you're choosing. Part of the responsibility of the IT department is to be sure necessary apps and computer infrastructure across campus is maintained, and our recommendations are based on a broad assessment of what might best fit those needs. As far as the user is concerned, the most important things to keep in mind are (1) to be sure the specific apps you plan to use are available for that platform, and (2) to maintain the available security updates for the OS, regardless of which you're using.

Mac OS Monterey (v. 12.6.1 or higher)
Windows 10 (v. 1909 or higher)


Minimum Computer Recommendations

These recommendations are for new computer purchases, with stat targets for each performance category that are reasonably forward-looking. None of these should be considered "hard" rules or deal-breakers, but it's good to know that a potential purchase would perform well for the foreseeable future.

The general goal when computer shopping is to avoid any notable "bottle-necks" to performance so you have a balanced system in line with your intended use. Keep in mind, plenty of current (or older) devices will perform perfectly well with most academic tasks, even well below some recommendations here.


Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 processor (5th generation or newer)
AMD Ryzen processor (2nd generation or newer)
Apple M1 chip (8-core)

RAM At least 8 GB DDR4
Storage At least 256 GB Solid State Drive (SSD): SATA, NVMe, or M.2
GPU/Graphics (not as important) Intel UHD Graphics (integrated)
Intel Iris (integrated)
AMD Vega Graphics (integrated)
AMD Radeon Graphics (integrated)
Monitor/Screen At least 1080p (1920x1080 pixels) resolution
Retina display (or better)

Supported Computer Hardware

Certain computer brands and product lines are officially deployed on campus, and these machines are directly supported by IT. Please visit the Hardware Pricing Page for more detailed info on the current expenses associated with standard PCs, Macs, iPads, printers, and scanners. These are the devices commonly used in computer labs, in the offices of faculty or professional staff, or by campus lending services. These machines are generally upgraded or replaced on a rolling basis, so the age and capability of any given device will vary.

Specialized computer systems are sometimes deployed to fulfill specific technical needs of a department, but these generally require their own budget allocations or outside funding. While support is not guaranteed in every special configuration scenario, we strive to find a solution that encompasses the requirements presented, as well as the need for future support. Hardware manufactured by unknown vendors will be supported on a case-by-case basis.

Dell Dell Optiplex 5000 series (desktop)
Dell Latitude 5000 series (laptop)
Dell Latitude 3100 series (lightweight laptop)
Dell Docking station (accessory)

iMac 21.5" (desktop)
Macbook Air 13" (lightweight laptop)

iPad 10.2" (tablet)
iPad Air 10.5" (tablet)
iPad Mini 7.9" (tablet)
iPad Pro 11" (tablet)
iPad Pro 12.9" (tablet)


Microsoft Surface Pro (lightweight laptop)


Supported Apps & Software

View the full list of officially supported software on the Standard Campus Software page. The Microsoft 365 ("Microsoft Office") apps are available to all students and faculty/staff using their campus Network credentials. Many common programs that would otherwise require an individual purchase have free alternatives which can be searched via the AlternativeTo site.



Article ID: 132580
Thu 5/20/21 1:51 PM
Thu 11/3/22 12:25 PM