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Computer Purchase Info for Students

In order for students to be successful in an analytics-driven business environment, it is important that they have access to a fairly new laptop computer. Below are our recommendations for students in the Poole College of Management.


CPUIntel i5 or i7 processor or Apple M1
MemoryMinimum: 8GB
Recommended 16GB or higher
Storage (hard disk)Minimum: 256GB
Recommended: 512GB or larger Solid State Drive (SSD)
Operating SystemsWindows 10 (64 bit), macOS BigSur 11.2 (previously called OSX)
AccessoriesWebcam and Microphone (built-in or separate)
Warranty3 years or more
PrinterPrinter or access to a printer

Chromebooks, Tablets and Ipads: 

These devices are not recommended as the primary computer for students in PCOM because they are unable to natively run key applications such as Microsoft Excel.  

Mac OS vs Windows: 

A few applications used in PCOM courses are only compatible with Windows-based computers, in particular in the areas of accounting, IT, and analytics.   

Windows on Mac Laptops:

Older models of Mac computers offer Boot Camp that will allow you to partition your hard drive and install Windows on your Mac.  However, the new Apple models with the M1 chip currently don’t support Windows software, although this may change.

Alternatives that exist for Mac users to access Windows software include running virtual machines on their laptops, using the virtual computer lab (VCL), and accessing cloud-based solutions. However, these alternatives tend to be slower and less convenient than native applications. Students can also use the university libraries to access this software in most cases.

Daily usage: 

For many courses in Poole, and particularly in IT and Analytics, you will need to bring a laptop computer to class each day.


We do not have student accessible printers in the Poole College of Management, therefore students should make arrangements to have access to printers for printing reports/papers etc.

NC State Bookstore Purchases

If a laptop is purchased through the NC State Bookstore, students can receive computer support at the OIT Walk-In Center that includes these areas:

  • Operating System
  • Software
  • Network Connectivity
  • Warranty and hardware repair


  • Central Campus
  • West Dunn Building, Room 101
  • 2901 Thurman Drive at intersection with Dan Allen Drive
  • Raleigh, NC 27695


Microsoft Office 365, including full downloadable versions of Office products, is available free for NC State students from the NC State Office 365 website.


NC State University requires the use of an approved and up-to-date antivirus program for all computers connected to the NC State network. Anti-virus software recommendations are available at Antivirus Products.