The Technology Store provides assistance to students in the purchasing of personal computers, devices, and accessories, and also offers technical support throughout their time at Ball State.

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Shop our selection of Apple and Dell computers and devices, all available at educational discounts to Ball State students and employees.

Computer Recommendations

Not sure which device is right for you? See our general recommendations and recommendations from each academic college below to find the perfect fit for you.

Please note: Google Chromebooks and Chrome OS are not supported and will not work with many enterprise software applications and services required at Ball State. 

General Recommendations

If your college or program did not specify computer requirements, our general recommendations below can be used as a guide in purchasing one.

Our hardware considerations break down the critical components of a computer and provide minimum and preferred recommendations for them. And our recommendations based on usage can help you identify a suitable device based on how you plan to use it — both for coursework and personal use.

Already own a computer? Make sure it meets at least the minimum specifications to maximize its use in and out of the classroom.

Hardware Considerations

Minimum

Preferred

Processor

A faster processor means faster operating speed for your computer.

Intel i5 or equivalent

Apple M1

Intel i7, equivalent, or higher

Apple M1 Pro

Storage

A solid-state drive (SSD) provides fast performance and allows for the installation of programs and storage of documents or files on your computer.

256 GB SSD

General use, light storage of documents and files. May need to rely on cloud storage.

512 GB SSD or higher

General use and storage of large files or installation of large software packages.

Memory (RAM)

Additional random-access memory (RAM) will improve performance and may be necessary for some applications or if operating multiple applications at once.

8GB

Adequate for basic office applications, web browsing, and video conferencing.

16GB or higher

Offers the ability to run multiple applications at the same time or to utilize resource intensive applications.

Graphics

Integrated graphics are built into the computer's existing processor. A dedicated graphics card is separate from the computer's processor and has its own dedicated memory.


An integrated graphics card is adequate for most general computer use.

A dedicated graphics card provides better graphics quality and is necessary for tasks like video editing, graphic design, and other graphics-heavy applications.

Operating System


Windows 10 OR macOS Mojave

Windows 10 64-bit or newer OR macOS Big Sur or newer
Recommendations Based on Usage

How You'll Use It

Minimum Specifications

Device Recommendations


OK

  • web browsing and research
  • Microsoft Office products
  • video conferencing
  • social media
  • video and music streaming
  • Intel i3 processor
  • 4GB memory
  • 128GB SSD
  • integrated graphics
  • camera
  • current Windows or macOS
  • 1-year warranty

Good

All OK uses plus:

  • multiple applications running at once
  • use a wider-range of applications
  • faster computing capabilities
  • Intel i5 dual-core processor
  • 8GB memory
  • 256GB SSD
  • integrated graphics
  • camera
  • current Windows or macOS
  • 3- to 4-year warranty

Better

All Good uses plus:

  • one Adobe Creative Cloud application
  • light video, music, and sound editing
  • light gaming
  • Intel i5 quad-core processor
  • 8GB or 16GB memory
  • 512GB SSD
  • integrated graphics
  • camera
  • current Windows or macOS
  • 3- to 4-year warranty

Best

All Better uses plus:

  • multiple Adobe Creative Cloud applications
  • advanced video, music, and sound editing
  • gaming
  • computer-aided design
  • extra storage
  • Intel i7 six-core processor or newer
  • 16GB memory or higher
  • 512GB to 1TB SSD
  • 4GB Radeon or NVIDIA Graphics
  • 15-inch display or larger
  • camera
  • current Windows or macOS
  • 3- to 4-year warranty

Computer recommendations for programs are made in partnership with each academic college. Some departments have specific computer recommendations based on your major. Select your college below to review those recommendations.

Don't see your program? Check out our general recommendations to see what will work best for you.

Department of Architecture

It's recommended that students not purchase a computer until Fall of their sophomore year. A Windows-based computer is encouraged.

Minimum Specifications

  • Intel Core i7 processor (multi-core)
  • 16GB random-access memory (RAM)
  • 1TB solid-state drive (SSD)
  • 4GB NVIDIA discrete graphics (must support latest OpenGL)
  • WiFi connectivity that supports 2.4GHz and 5GHz
  • integrated webcam
  • 15- to 17-inch display size
  • 3- to 4-year warranty

Recommended Accessories and Software

  • external hard drive for backup
  • adapters to convert to HDMI or VGA for connection to monitors
  • Microsoft Office
  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Rhino 7.0 Educational Version
  • VLC media player
  • antivirus software

Department of Construction Management and Interior Design

Windows-based computers are best recommended. Apple Macs will work but will require more effort in the long run such as patches so that the computer works. Under Recommendations Based on Usage refer to the Better or Best  with additional memory

Minimum Specifications

  • 16GB RAM
  • 512GB SSD

Preferred Specifications

  • 32GB RAM
  • 1TB SSD

Recommended Accessories and Software

  • AutoCAD
  • Autodesk's Revit
  • Navisworks

Department of Landscape Architecture

It's recommended that students not purchase a computer until Fall of their sophomore year. A Windows-based computer is encouraged.

Minimum Specifications

  • Intel Core i7-3770K or AMD Ryzen 5 1500x processor or better
  • 16GB random-access memory (RAM)
  • 4GB discrete graphics (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, Quadro K6000, AMD Radeon RX 470 or better)
  • 512GB solid-state drive (SSD)
  • integrated webcam
  • 3- to 4-year warranty

Recommended Accessories and Software

  • Microsoft Office (available through BSU)
  • ESRI ArcGIS (available through BSU)
  • Adobe Creative Cloud (available through BSU)
  • CAD software (AutoCAD and Revit, available FREE through Autodesk.com)
  • 3D-modeling software (SketchUp, Rhino, Lumion; educational pricing available online)
  • antivirus software
  • 256GB flash drive USB 3.0
  • 1TB external solid-state drive (SSD)
  • HDMI to USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 adapter

Department of Urban Planning

It's recommended that students not purchase a computer until Fall of their sophomore year. A Windows-based computer is encouraged, but Apple is acceptable as long as Windows is installed via Boot Camp.

Minimum Specifications

  • Intel Core 64-bit processor
  • 16GB random-access memory (RAM)
  • 512GB solid-state drive (SSD)
  • 1920 X 1080 display resolution
  • 4GB NVIDIA discrete graphics
  • 3- to 4-year warranty

Recommended Accessories and Software

  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • antivirus software
  • ESRI ArcGIS
  • 1TB external hard drive
  • 1TB flash drive

Department of Accounting

Dell is recommended. No other specific recommendations. Please refer to the Technology Store's general computer recommendations for a device that suits your needs.

Department of Applied Business Studies

No specific recommendation for Hospitality and Property Management programs. Please refer to the Technology Store's general computer recommendations for a device that suits your needs. 

For Fashion Programs they use multiple Adobe programs and photo/video editing applications frequently in several courses. Fashion major students should purchase from the Better (Minimum) or Best  (Preferred) sections. 

Minimum Specifications

  • 8GB RAM
  • 512GB SSD

Preferred Specifications

  • 16GB RAM
  • 1TB SSD

Department of Economics

No specific recommendation. Please refer to the Technology Store's general computer recommendations for a device that suits your needs.

Department of Finance and Insurance

Dell is recommended (with built-in or external webcam/microphone). No other specific recommendations. Please refer to the Technology Store's general computer recommendations for a device that suits your needs.

Department of Information Systems and Operations Management

Dell is recommended.

Minimum Specifications

  • Intel i5 processor
  • 8GB random-access memory (RAM)
  • 256GB solid-state drive (SSD)
  • integrated graphics
  • Windows 8.1 or newer
  • 3- to 4-year warranty

Minimum Specifications

  • Intel i7 processor
  • 16GB random-access memory (RAM)
  • 512GB solid-state drive (SSD)
  • integrated graphics
  • Windows 10 or newer
  • 3- to 4-year warranty

Recommended Accessories and Software

  • printer (on-campus printing resources are available, however)
  • headset with microphone (for some courses)

Department of Marketing

No specific recommendation. Please refer to the Technology Store's general computer recommendations for a device that suits your needs.

Department of Management

No specific recommendation. Please refer to the Technology Store's general computer recommendations for a device that suits your needs.

Center for Information and Communications Sciences

Minimum Specifications

General recommendations include:

  • Intel i5 processor
  • 8GB random-access memory (RAM)
  • 256GB solid-state drive (SSD)
  • integrated graphics
  • 3- to 4-year warranty

Advanced recommendations for media production projects include:

  • Intel i7 processor
  • 16GB random-access memory (RAM)
  • 512GB solid-state drive (SSD)
  • 3- to 4-year warranty

Recommended Accessories and Software

  • Adobe Creative Cloud

Department of Communication Studies

Minimum Specifications

  • Intel i5 processor
  • 8GB random-access memory (RAM)
  • 256GB solid-state drive (SSD)
  • integrated graphics
  • 3- to 4-year warranty

Department of Journalism and Strategic Communication

Apple is recommended, but Windows-based computers are acceptable.

Minimum Specifications

For advertising, journalism education, magazine, mass communication, news, and public relations programs:

  • Intel i5 processor
  • 8GB random-access memory (RAM)
  • 256GB solid-state drive (SSD)
  • integrated graphics
  • 3- to 4-year warranty

For graphics and photo journalism programs:

  • Intel i7 processor or M1
  • 16GB random-access memory (RAM)
  • 512GB solid-state drive (SSD)
  • integrated graphics
  • 4GB discrete graphics
  • 3- to 4-year warranty

Recommended Accessories and Software

  • Adobe Creative Cloud

Department of Media

Recommendations for Production majors are as follows.

Minimum Specifications (Apple)

  • Apple M1 Pro
  • 14-Core GPU
  • 16GB random-access memory (RAM)
  • 512GB solid-state drive (SSD)
  • integrated graphics
  • 4GB discrete graphics
  • 3- to 4-year warranty

Minimum Specification (PC)

  • Intel i7 processor
  • 16GB random-access memory (RAM)
  • 512GB solid-state drive (SSD)
  • Dedicated graphics card
  • 4GB discrete graphics
  • 3- to 4-year warranty

Recommended Accessories and Software

  • Adobe Premiere

 

 

School of Art

Apple is recommended for photography, intermedia, and visual communications programs. Dell is recommended for animation programs.

Minimum Specifications

  • Intel i7 processor
  • 16GB random-access memory (RAM)
  • 512GB solid-state drive (SSD)
  • integrated graphics
  • 2GB discrete graphics*
  • 3- to 4-year warranty

*4GB for animation programs.

Preferred Specifications

For intermedia, photography, visual communications, and animation programs:

  • Intel i9 processor
  • 32GB random-access memory (RAM)
  • 1TB solid-state drive (SSD)
  • integrated graphics
  • 4GB discrete graphics
  • 3- to 4-year warranty

Recommended Accessories and Software

  • Adobe Creative Cloud

School of Music

No specific recommendation. Please refer to the Technology Store's general computer recommendations for a device that suits your needs.

Department of Theatre and Dance

Apple is recommended for sound design or technology-focused programs as certain applications are only compatible with macOS. Please refer to the Technology Store's general computer recommendations for a device that suits your needs.

Department of Counseling Psychology, Social Psychology, and Counseling

No specific recommendation. Please refer to the Technology Store's general computer recommendations for a device that suits your needs.

School of Kinesiology

No specific recommendation. Please refer to the Technology Store's general computer recommendations for a device that suits your needs.

Department of Military Science

No specific recommendation. Please refer to the Technology Store's general computer recommendations for a device that suits your needs.

School of Nursing

Other than a working webcam, no specific recommendation. Please refer to the Technology Store's general computer recommendations for a device that suits your needs.

Department of Nutrition and Health Science

No specific recommendation. Please refer to the Technology Store's general computer recommendations for a device that suits your needs.

Department of Social Work

No specific recommendation. Please refer to the Technology Store's general computer recommendations for a device that suits your needs.

Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology

No specific recommendation. Please refer to the Technology Store's general computer recommendations for a device that suits your needs.

Students studying a major or taking Core Curriculum courses under the College of Sciences and Humanities should review the following general minimum and preferred computer specifications.

College Recommendations

Minimum Specifications

  • Intel i5 processor
  • 8GB random-access memory (RAM)
  • 256GB solid-state drive (SSD)
  • Windows 8.1 or macOS High Sierra (or newer)
  • 3- to 4-year warranty

Preferred Specifications

  • Intel i7 processor
  • 16GB random-access memory (RAM)
  • 512GB solid-state drive (SSD)
  • Windows 10 64-bit or macOS Mojave (or newer)
  • 3- to 4-year warranty

Recommended Accessories and Software

  • Microsoft Office
  • external hard drive

Department Recommendations

If your department has additional or alternative recommendations, find them below.

Department of Anthropology

No additional recommendations. See general minimum and preferred specifications for the College of Sciences and Humanities above.

Department of Biology

No additional recommendations. See general minimum and preferred specifications for the College of Sciences and Humanities above.

Department of Chemistry

No additional recommendations. See general minimum and preferred specifications for the College of Sciences and Humanities above.

Department of Computer Science

A computer is required for computer science courses. Mobile devices, tablets, and Chromebooks are not acceptable. In addition to the specifications for the College of Sciences and Humanities above, it is recommended that the memory be increased to 16 GB and the hard drive space be increased to either a 1 TB SATA drive or a 512 GB SSD drive. It is also recommended that the newest operating systems for either Windows or Mac be used.

Minimum Specifications

  • Intel i7 processor
  • 16GB random-access memory (RAM)
  • 512GB solid-state drive or 1TB SATA
  • Windows 10 or 11 (not home edition) or Apple Catalina/Big Sur/Monterey
  • 3- to 4-year warranty

Recommended Accessories and Software

  • Microsoft Office
  • External Drive (USB)

Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology

Dell is recommended.

No additional recommendations. See general minimum and preferred specifications for the College of Sciences and Humanities above.

Department of English

No additional recommendations. See general minimum and preferred specifications for the College of Sciences and Humanities above.

Department of Environment, Geology, and Natural Resources

No additional recommendations. See general minimum and preferred specifications for the College of Sciences and Humanities above.

Department of Geography

Dell is recommended. If you choose to purchase or already own an Apple computer, you will need to install Windows via Boot Camp.

Recommended Accessories and Software
  • built-in or external webcam/microphone

No additional recommendations. See general minimum and preferred specifications for the College of Sciences and Humanities above.

Department of History

No additional recommendations. See general minimum and preferred specifications for the College of Sciences and Humanities above.

Department of Mathematical Sciences

No additional recommendations. See general minimum and preferred specifications for the College of Sciences and Humanities above.

Department of Modern Languages and Classics

No additional recommendations. See general minimum and preferred specifications for the College of Sciences and Humanities above.

Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

No additional recommendations. See general minimum and preferred specifications for the College of Sciences and Humanities above.

Department of Physics and Astronomy

No additional recommendations. See general minimum and preferred specifications for the College of Sciences and Humanities above.

Department of Political Science

No additional recommendations. See general minimum and preferred specifications for the College of Sciences and Humanities above.

Department of Psychological Science

No additional recommendations. See general minimum and preferred specifications for the College of Sciences and Humanities above.

Department of Sociology

No additional recommendations. See general minimum and preferred specifications for the College of Sciences and Humanities above.

Department of Women's and Gender Studies

No additional recommendations. See general minimum and preferred specifications for the College of Sciences and Humanities above.

Department of Early Childhood, Youth, and Family Studies

No specific recommendation. Please refer to the Technology Store's general computer recommendations for a device that suits your needs.

Educational Leadership

No specific recommendation. Please refer to the Technology Store's general computer recommendations for a device that suits your needs.

Educational Psychology

No specific recommendation. Please refer to the Technology Store's general computer recommendations for a device that suits your needs.

Educational Studies

No specific recommendation. Please refer to the Technology Store's general computer recommendations for a device that suits your needs.

Elementary Education

No specific recommendation. Please refer to the Technology Store's general computer recommendations for a device that suits your needs.

Special Education

No specific recommendation. Please refer to the Technology Store's general computer recommendations for a device that suits your needs.

Software for Students

All Ball State students and employees have access to free or reduced-cost software and applications including Microsoft Office 365, Adobe Creative Cloud, and more.

We're Here to Help

In collaboration with other on-campus services, the Technology Store can assist students and employees with most technology questions and needs. Read our return policy, learn about servicing options, and find answers to frequently asked questions on our Services and Support page.