Computer and Software
Recommended Hardware Configuration
- Processor: Intel i3, i5, i7 or AMD equivalent
- Memory: 2 GB RAM or more
- 100 GB hard drive or more
- 10/100 Fast Ethernet Network adapter for resident students
- Laptops: 802.11b/g/n wireless
Best upgrades? Whether you are buying a new computer or bringing an older one, here are the two upgrades that will serve you best:
- Memory: We recommend 2GB as the bare minimum. Upgrading to 3, 4, or more GB will be noticeable when loading and running software and multitasking. Most people won't notice much benefit by going beyond 4GB.
- Wireless: Low end laptops may only support the older 802.11b/g standards. The newest wireless technology is 802.11n, which will give you a faster wireless connection and better signal strength.
Recommended Operating Systems
- Windows 8 or 7 are recommended. Windows Vista and Windows Windows XP Professional still work on campus, but are no longer recommended due to decreasing vendor support.
- Macintosh OSX. Version 10.3 or greater is required.
NOTE: Holy Cross College is a Windows campus. While a Macintosh (or Linux) computer will work fine for everyday needs, you should know that all lab, classroom, and faculty/staff workstations run a Windows operating system. Additionally, support on campus for Macintosh computers may be less robust should you encounter hardware or software problems.
Recommended and Required Software
- Antivirus software is required for all Windows computers. Our Network Access software supports most antivirus, including free offerings from Microsoft, AVG, Avira, Avast, and others. You will not have internet access without properly functioning antivirus software. We also recommend antivirus for Mac computers.
- Microsoft Office 365, 2013, or 2010is recommended (Office 2013 is available for student use on computer lab workstations).
- Note that Computer Applications courses cover Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access, so if you intend to take these courses make sure that the version of Office you purchase contains these programs.
- Microsoft now offers two different Office licensing models:
- Office 2013. A perpetual license like you're accustomed to purchasing. Office is no longer being sold on disc. If you purchase it at a retail location you will receive a license key and information on how to download your copy. You may only install this product on one computer. Most users would be fine with the "Home and Student" version, although if you're taking Computer Applications courses you should consider the "Professional" version to receive Access. Office 2013 can be purchased directly from Microsoft or from many retail outlets such as Best Buy and Amazon.
- Office 365. This is a new subscription model that Microsoft has started. Subscribing to Office 365 ensures that you always have the latest version of Office as long as you pay the annual fee. "Office 365 University" is packaged specifically for Higher Education students and is what we recommend. It includes a 4-year license. It allows use on up to two computers and two mobile devices. Office 365 can be purchased directly from Microsoft or from many retail outlets such as Best Buy and Amazon.
- Game Systems (Xbox, Playstation, etc.) will work on our network. No registration of the device is required. No support is available from technology staff for these products.
- Wired and wireless routers, hubs, switches, airports, and similar devices are prohibited on campus.
- Subwoofer speakers are prohibited in the residence halls.
- Other portable wireless devices are allowed to use the wireless network on campus after supplying your network credentials in their internet browser, including iPod, iPad, iPhone, Android devices, Blackberry, and more.
- Media players such as Apple TV and Roku will work on campus.
- Personal wireless printers may not use the campus network.
Computer and Software Discounts
Holy Cross College participates in the Dell University program. Through this program, HC students, faculty, and staff can receive a 2-12% discount on new computers and computer equipment based on the warranty chosen and price of the system. Click the link below to browse items in their online store.
Although Holy Cross College does not offer our own discounted software for purchase, Microsoft is making their Office products available at a discounted rate to all college and university students. Follow the link below to purchase this software at a substantial savings.