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Recommended Mac Desktop Hardware

Northwestern Information Technology (IT) establishes minimum hardware guidelines to assist in purchasing a computer for use at Northwestern. Check with your individual school for additional requirements.

Desktop — Minimum

Expect to use the computer for basic productivity, running multiple applications such as e-mail, web browsing, word processing, music and video players, and photo organization.

Category Description
Model Mac Mini
Processor 2.6 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
Memory 8GB 1,600MHz LPDDR SDRAM 
Storage 256GB Solid state disk (SSD)
Graphics Intel Iris graphics
Network Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0
Operating system Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite
Warranty AppleCare Protection Plan

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Desktop — Power User

In addition to the tasks above, expect to resource intensive programs for audio/video editing, graphic design, running multiple operating systems, storing large multimedia files and playing games.

Category Description
Model iMac 27" with Retina 5K
Processor 3.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i5
Memory 16GB 1,600MHz DDR3 SDRAM 
Storage 1TB Solid state disk (SSD)
Graphics AMD Radeon R9 M290 with 2GB of GDDR5 memory
Network Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0
Operating system Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite
Warranty AppleCare Protection Plan

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Last Updated: 19 September 2017

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