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    Computer Requirements and Recommendations

    You will need an up-to-date computer to ensure functionality with PCHS information systems. These are our current requirements and recommendations for each computer operating system:

    Windows

    Recommended Computer Specifications

    The following configuration is recommended for students who intend to keep a computer for four years without a major upgrade:


    Desktop Computer Laptop Computer
    Monitor 24 inch LCD, 1080p Personal Preference
    Operating System Windows 10, 64-bit, Home or higher, fully updated with firewall enabled Windows 10, 64-bit, Home or higher, fully updated with firewall enabled
    Processor/CPU Eighth Generation Intel i5-8600 or AMD Ryzen 5 2600 Current generation Intel Core i5 mobile processor or AMD Ryzen 5 APU
    Graphics/GPU AMD Radeon R7 570 or Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti or higher Integrated graphics
    RAM 16 GB 16 GB
    Hard Drive 256 GB solid state drive (SSD) with internal/external 1TB Storage Hard Drive 256 GB solid state drive (SSD) with 1TB External Storage Hard Drive
    Networking Hardware 802.11ac wireless adapter 802.11ac wireless adapter
    Software Office 365 (Free - Login with your PCHS credentials @ http://portal.office.com/) Office 365 (Free - Login with your PCHS credentials @ http://portal.office.com/)

    *A solid state drive is a storage drive that does not use "traditional" hard drive technology of recording data on magnetic disks, meaning it has no moving parts. This makes them more reliable, faster, and less prone to data loss from dropping / carrying a laptop around. The downside is solid state technology is still more expensive than "traditional" hard drive technology, and space is still a limiting factor. If a solid state drive is purchased, we recommend also purchasing an external hard drive for data storage. 

    Minimum Computer Requirements

    Below are the minimum required specifications for any Windows computer to be used on the network. It is not recommended to use a computer on campus that does not meet these specifications. Computers that do not meet these minimum requirements will receive limited support.

    • Operating System: Windows 8. Please note that Windows 7, Vista, and XP are no longer supported and are not allowed on the network.
    • Processor: Intel Pentium dual-core or AMD A4 APU
    • Memory: 2GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 80 GB Hard Drive with at least 15% free space
    • Networking Hardware: 802.11n or higher WiFi adapter
    • Current firewall program
    • Current anti-virus software 
    • Current internet web browser

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What version of Windows 10 should I purchase?

    • First, check to see if you're eligible to upgrade for free. If not, or if you're building a new computer, there are two editions of Windows 10 currently offered to consumers:
      • Windows 10 Home – The base version of Windows 10
      • Windows 10 Pro – Contains all of the features of Windows 10, as well as the following features:
        • Remote Desktop Host – Ability to remotely control the computer from another Windows or Mac computer
        • BitLocker & EFS Encryption
        • Ability to join Windows Domains
        • System Virtualization – Full Hyper-V virtualization on 64-bit versions with compatible CPUs
    • Using the home Windows 10 edition will meet the academic needs for most students. 

    Should I get the 64-bit or 32-bit version of Windows 10?

    • Any new computer purchased after around 2006 should be capable of running a 64-bit operating system. PCHS recommends the 64-bit version in order to take full advantage of your system's processing power and to increase RAM capacity, which is limited to 3.5 GB under the 32-bit operating system.
    • Essentially, using the 64-bit OS will allow you access to extra features and performance. All your 32-bit applications will run fine under the 64-bit operating system.

    Mac

    Recommended Computer Specifications

    The following configuration is recommended for students who intend to keep a computer for four years without a major upgrade:


    Desktop Computer Laptop Computer
    Computer 21.5" iMac with Intel Core i5 processor MacBook Pro 13", 15" (Personal preference)
    Operating System macOS (latest version), fully updated with firewall enabled macOS (latest version), fully updated with firewall enabled
    RAM 16 GB  16 GB 
    Hard Drive 1TB Fusion Drive with 1+ TB External Time Machine Backup Drive 256 GB SSD with 1+ TB External Time Machine Backup Drive
    Networking Hardware 802.11ac wireless adapter 802.11ac wireless adapter
    Software Office 365 (Free - Login with your PCHS credentials @ http://portal.office.com/) Office 365 (Free - Login with your PCHS credentials @ http://portal.office.com/)

     

    Mac Memory Upgrade Information

    Current Mac offerings do not feature user-replaceable / upgradeable memory. If you purchase a Mac, you will not be able to upgrade or replace your memory after your purchase. PCHS recommends maximizing your memory configuration prior to purchase.

    Minimum Computer Requirements

    Below are the minimum required specifications for any Mac computer to be used on the network. It is not recommended to use a computer on campus that does not meet these specifications. Computers that do not meet these minimum requirements will receive limited support and may be blocked from the network.

    • Operating System: macOS 10.13 High Sierra or higher with the latest software updates
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo
    • Memory: 2GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 80 GB Hard Drive with at least 15% free space
    • Networking Hardware: 802.11n or higher WiFi adapter
    • Current firewall program
    • Current anti-virus software package from this list
    • Current internet web browser

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How can I update from my current macOS version?

    • Updates for macOS can be found in the app store. Using your Apple ID, you should be able to upgrade your operating system to the latest version at no additional charge. 

    If you encountered any problems during this process, contact our tech support team for assistance. You can reach them by Clicking Here

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