General Computer Buying Tips

Below are some general tips when purchasing computers. They are designed for use by all types of purchasers including parents, students, faculty & staff. These tips are not a representation of buying restrictions or policy at UIS but a compendium of our experience with what works best for our customers.


Processors – Intel, i5 or grearter

Operating System – Windows 10 or macOS

Memory – 8GB minimum, 16GB preferred and is best for running intensive applications for Graphic Arts, Computer Science, etc.

Storage 512GB minimum, Solid State Drive (SSD) recommended for much faster system performance

Optical Drive Many computers no longer come with an Optical Drive. If needed, external DVD drives can be purchased for as little as $40

Monitors Any monitor is fine. 19-21 inches standard minimum size. Laptop screens usually start around 13 inches and max out at around 17 inches.

Graphics Card Minimum 1GB graphics memory is recommended

Internet Security Software – Windows Defender, packaged with Windows 10


Microsoft Office Software
UIS students and employees can take advantage of Office 365 to download Office applications on their personally-owned devices, free for use while they are enrolled in courses/employed at UIS. Office 365 also includes use of the Office mobile apps, allowing you to create and edit Office documents on your mobile devices.