Skip to main content

Recommended Mac Laptop 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.

Laptop — 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 13" MacBook Air
Processor 1.6GHz dual-core Intel i5
Memory 4 GB RAM 
Storage 128GB PCI-e based flash storage
Graphics Intel Graphics HD 6000
Network 802.1ac, Bluetooth 4.0, USB Ethernet (sold separately)
Operating system Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite
Warranty AppleCare Protection Plan

Back to Top


Laptop — 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 15" MacBook Pro with Retina
Processor 2.2GHz quad-core Intel i7
Memory 8 or 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 
Storage 512GB PCI-e based flash storage
Graphics Intel Iris Pro
Network 802.1ac, Bluetooth 4.0, USB Ethernet (sold separately)
Operating system Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite
Warranty AppleCare Protection Plan

Back to Top

Last Updated: 6 September 2017

Get Help Back to top