Recommendations for Departments are here.
Systems for Students
Computer ownership is not a mandatory requirement for attendance at Mason. However, technology plays a very large role in education, learning and in everyday personal lifestyles. Every computer we offer meets the minimum system requirements at Mason. Performance and ease of use are personal perceptions. Everyone uses their computer differently. So, if what you have works for you and meets the minimums below, we don’t recommend you buy a new one. If you do decide to buy a new one, buy the best that you can reasonably afford.
Bringing a System you already own
Obviously, new computers are much more robust but if you find your current computer works for you it’s probably ok. Understand that Mason is a dynamic environment with upgrades and new technology coming on line at a very fast pace.
Given the above, people running systems older than Windows 7 or Mac OS X 10.3.9 may run into compatibility issues. Remember, there are computers in the library and in the labs should you need to perform a task your system can’t do and you simply can’t afford a new one.
What to buy?
Windows or Mac – For the most part, this is now an irrelevant issue. The Apple computer is the only system currently on the market capable of running Windows, OS X and Linux. Today both PC and Apple machines are fully capable of running most of the software any one given student might need. There are of course exceptions to this, if your major requires you to use programs such as AutoCad or Access, natively in the Windows environment then you may need additional software for your Mac. If you do not have to run natively, there are many fantastic alternatives.