System Guidelines


General Guidance

Please note that SUNY New Paltz does NOT require students to bring their own computers to campus. We have many computer labs on campus that meet the academic needs of our students (for more information about these facilities, see our computer lab information section).  Further, the university does not endorse the use or purchase of any particular hardware or software product, brand, or manufacturer.

If a student is not sure what to bring, we suggest that the student consider waiting one semester before buying a computer; after a semester of academic experience, the student will have a much better idea of his or her specific academic needs, which will help guide the final purchase decision.

If a student does decide to bring a computer to campus, we recommend that the computer meet the minimum requirements outlined in the table below.  Most new computers will already meet or exceed these standards.  Older computers should be upgraded, whenever possible, to meet these standards, as well. This is especially true of computers running a Windows operating system that is no longer supported on campus.

Learn More

Recommendations Based on Operating System
Recommendations based on operating system
Operating SystemWindows 8Windows 7Mac OS X
Processor1 GHz or faster with support for PAE, NX and SSE21 GHz or fasterG5
Memory (RAM)*1 GB (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)1 GB (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)1 GB
Network ConnectionEthernet Port– required for connecting in the dorms. Also, please note that students are not allowed to connect their own wireless access points (or wireless routers) in the dorms. If any of these devices are found, they will be confiscated.
Optical DriveDVD/CD-RW
(For DVD playback and capability to burn/write CDs)
SoftwarePlease bring all original software (CDs) that came with computer.
We cannot provide reinstallation media.
*Note: the more memory, the better.
Additional Hardware Suggestions
  • USB Memory Stick: otherwise known as a “flash drive,” this device is quite useful for transporting large files between labs and other PCs.
  • Wireless Network Adapter: an adapter is necessary to connect to the wireless network.
Windows Software Information
Windows Updates: To access ResNet, students running Windows must first install ALL available Windows updates categorized as “high priority” by Microsoft.  If all high-priority updates have not been installed, the student’s ResNet access will be very limited; once these updates are installed, access will no longer be restricted.  Students must continue to install all high-priority updates as they become available.

Antivirus: Students who connect with ResNet are required to have anti-virus software with current virus definitions.  SUNY New Paltz has purchased a campus-wide site license for Symantec Anti-Virus, which can be downloaded from the antivirus download site.

Windows CDs and Documentation: Please bring any Recovery and O/S CDs that came with your computer, along with the license/registration information (on Windows machines, this is a colorful card or sticker with a lengthy number; click to see example).  In the event that the Academic Computer Help Desk is needed to help restore a computer after a serious error, these discs will be required to complete the reinstallation (the help desk cannot install university copies of operating systems on student computers).

Applications: Students do not need to have Microsoft Office on their computers, though they may have to save their documents in Microsoft Word format or as Rich Text Format (RTF), which is compatible with Microsoft Word.  Instead of buying an expensive office suite, consider using LibreOffice or OpenOffice: both free and can be downloaded from our Recommended Downloads Page.

Game Consoles And Other Network Devices
Game consoles and other devices with an Ethernet adapter can use ResNet for Internet gaming and other functions. However, these devices must be manually registered before they will be able to access any service on the Internet. See the Game Consoles Guide for more information.
Linux Support
The use of computers running the Linux operating system is allowed on ResNet but is considered unsupported. Properly configured Linux based systems will work fine on ResNet, but the Student Help Desk and Academic Computing staff will not be able to help you troubleshoot and configure Linux systems.