Recommended Computer Specifications

Page Last Updated: Tue Dec 22 16:06:05 EST 2015   


Planning to purchase a new computer?  Already have a computer and just need to see if it will work on campus?  Be sure to check the tables below for the recommended minimum specifications.  Your system must meet these minimums in order to be eligible for connection to the USCA network (PacerNet).

We recommend either Windows 7, Windows 8 or Mac OS X.  However, we do also provide limited support for Windows Vista.  Although other operating systems (such as Linux) may work with the campus network, they are not directly supported by Computer Services or the Computer Services Help Desk.

Wi-Fi adapters capable of connecting to the 5GHz wireless band are required to connect in Residence Halls as of Fall 2015.

Windows XP is no longer supported on campus since Microsoft dropped support for it on April 8th, 2014.

You are welcome to attempt using your system on campus if it does not meet these specifications, but we will be unable to assist you with troubleshooting or configuration.

2016 Suggested Specifications
for New Computer Purchase

The following are the recommended minimum specifications for new computers connecting to the USCA network:


  • 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor
  • 4 GB RAM 
  • 250 GB Hard Drive
  • OS X 10.7 (Lion) 
  • Gigabit Ethernet (Standard on all new models, except MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with Retina Display)
  • 802.11a/b/g/n 5GHz on laptops (5GHz is required for wi-fi in Residence Halls)
  • AppleCare Protection Plan
  • Bag to protect laptop, if applicable
  • 120 GB Backup Storage

  • 2.0 GHz Intel Core i3 Processor
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 250 GB Hard Drive
  • Windows 7 or Windows 8
  • CD-R/RW or DVD-R/RW
  • 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet (Standard on most models)
  • 802.11a/b/g/n 5GHz on laptops (5GHz is required for wi-fi in Residence Halls)
  • Extended warranty plan, including accidental damage coverage, for expected life of computer (Note: The 3 Year Enhanced Support plan is recommended for Dell systems.)
  • Bag to protect laptop, if applicable 
  • 120 GB Backup Storage


Personal Printers for Use on Campus

Students are welcome to bring personal printers for use in their dorm rooms.  However, these printers should not be used wirelessly.

Connecting to personal printers wirelessly can cause connection issues for other devices in the area.  As a result, any printer with active wireless connections found on campus will be disabled.

Simply disabling the wireless and connecting your computer using a USC cable is sufficient to avoid any issue.

If you have any questions, please contact the Help Desk for assistance.


Tablets Recommended
for Use on Campus


Operating System

Works on USCA wifi?



YES. PacerStudent and PacerGuest.

Kindle Fire


YES. PacerStudent and PacerGuest.

Nook Tablet


LIMITED. PacerGuest only.

Android Tablets


YES. PacerStudent and PacerGuest.

Kindle and Nook eReaders


LIMITED. PacerGuest only.

(Many of the recently released Android tablets will likely work with USCA's wifi network, but have not yet been tested by Computer Services.  You are welcome to bring your untested Android tablet by the Help Desk for assistance in attempting to connect, but we are not able to recommend a specific tablet or guarantee connections.)

Suggested Specifications for USB Flash Drive




Storage Size

1 GB

at least 4 GB


USB 2.0

USB 3.x


8am - 8pm Monday -Thursday
8am - 5pm Friday
Closed Saturday - Sunday
Closed Campus Holidays

The Help Desk is located in B&E Suite 238
803-641-3391 from non-campus phones
x4357 from campus phones

After-Hours Outage Reporting
Call or Text 803-265-5266