Recommended computer configurations for new students for 2014-15

UC Davis expects students to have their own computers. Each spring, the Information and Educational Technology department works with a number campus organizations to develop a usable set of minimum computer specifications for UC Davis' computing environment. Students new to UC Davis should use these guidelines as they choose a computer to bring to campus for the 2014-2015 academic year. To the degree that technology can be predicted, a system that meets these recommendations should support students' basic needs for two to four years.

Generally, UC Davis recommends:

  • Using a laptop rather than a desktop computer. Laptops make work and studies portable.
  • If choosing a computer with a Windows operating system, use Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. Please check with your particular school or college to learn if it has specific recommendations.
  • We strongly recommend against using only a tablet or other small mobile device for your work. Computers smaller than a laptop cannot comfortably perform all the functions you are likely to need or want when accessing computing resources at UC Davis. While iPads, Slates and Chromebooks are advancing rapidly, relying on operating systems and input interfaces primarily designed for mobile devices is likely to lead to frustration.

FOR STUDENTS MOVING INTO ON-CAMPUS HOUSING: Pre-arrival advice from IT Express for new students who will live in the dorms, plus the related letter for 2014 on "How to prepare your computer to use the campus network"

Obsolete computer systems

These computer systems might not be able to 1) run current software needed for daily computing, or 2) use specific file formats required for classes. Vendors usually do not support them.

UC Davis Stores' TechHub

The TechHub, located in the UC Davis Bookstore in the Memorial Union on campus, offers computer systems designed to meet or exceed the minimum campus performance standards.

Tech support

The IT Express Service Desk can help you answer questions and solve problems involving campus technology, including software, campus Internet access, activating and accessing your UC Davis email and computing accounts, and more. IT Express is open weekdays, except holidays, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 530-754-HELP (4357) or email

TechHub offers Apple-authorized repairs, repairs to out-of-warranty PCs, and additional services. See its computer repair page.