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Durham University

Computing and Information Services

Suggested Specification

To facilitate student learning the below hardware specification is suggested for students looking to purchase a device prior to commencing their studies. This is in-line with that of University computer classroom equipment. Our recommendation is for a laptop to support flexibility in learning and working and for a built in webcam, microphone and speakers.

Suggested Hardware Specification

  • Processor:
    • Modern Intel i5, AMD Ryzen 5 or equivalent
  • Operating System:
    • Windows 10 Pro 64 or Apple MacOS 10.15.x (Catalina) or higher
  • Display resolution:
    • 1920x1080 or higher
  • Memory:
    • 8GB or higher
  • Storage:
    • 256GB SSD or higher

This suggested specification is reviewed annually.

Your Current Device

If you have an existing device you can determine suitability via a benchmark test. Using type in the details of your current processor (guidance for Windows and Apple MacOS below) or download a tool. A benchmark score of approximately 6,000 is the target pass mark.

Identify the processor in Windows 10

Click the magnifying glass icon in the start bar (bottom left of your screen) and search for System Properties. The processor will be shown under Device Specifications

Identify the processor in MacOS

Click the magnifying glass in the top right corner of your screen. Use spotlight to search for the Terminal application and run: sysctl -n machdep.cpu.brand_string , which will return the detail of the installed processor.

Financial Support

A range of financial support measures are in place to assist students in the costs of attending Durham University. There is specific funding in place to support qualifying students with loan laptops that meet the suggested specification.

All students can benefit from special prices on new devices.