John Carroll University Information Technology Services

 Computer Recommendations and FAQ

For those considering the purchase of a new computer we suggest the minimum specifications for a computer as detailed below:

Processor:                    Intel Core i5-480M (2.0+ GHz, 2+ Cores)
Memory (RAM):            4 GB DDR3
Hard Drive:                   500GB 7200RPM/256GB SSD
Screen:                        14.1″ to 17.3″ LED LCD
Video Card:                  Intel HD
Removable Disc:          DVD +RW (optional)
Network Adapter:          Wireless – 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi
Operating System:       Windows 8.1 or 8.1 Pro (64bit)

An extended ‘no fault, any damage’ warranty is recommended to avoid expensive repairs.

High-end Desktop Computer:
Processor:                     Intel Core i7- 4770k (3.5+Ghz, 4+ Cores)
Memory (RAM):             16GB DDR3
Hard Drive:                    1TB 7200RPM/256GB SSD
Screen:                          20+” HD LED LCD
Video Card:                   GTX780Ti/Radeon HD7990
Removable Disc:           DVD +RW/Blu-ray Player
Operating System:        Windows 8.1 or 8.1 Pro (64bit)

An extended ‘no fault, any damage’ warranty is recommended to avoid expensive repairs.

Each residence hall room has high-speed wired connections to the network for each student. In addition, the JCU campus has a comprehensive wireless network. If you purchase a laptop/notebook you will need 802.11b/Wi-Fi capability already installed, or you can add this capability. If you have any questions about wireless access on campus, please call the Information Technology Services Help Desk at 216.397.3005.

John Carroll University does not provide computer sales to students. However, we do have arrangements with various vendors that offer discount pricing. The details about this program can be found by using the links on our website at Purchasing Discounts. You can use this program, other large mail-order companies, or your local computer outlets to obtain your best system pricing.

In choosing a make and model of desktop PC, we strongly suggest that you select one of the major brands such as Dell, Lenovo, HP, and Toshiba. Our students have experienced some problems with lesser known “brand X” PCs. If you are not sure about your selection, or would like additional advice, please call the Information Technology Services Help Desk at 216.397.3005.

What if I already have a computer?
While older computers may be sufficient for some of your needs, we recommend that you bring a computer that meets or exceeds the above guidelines. At the very least, you will need a Windows-capable computer with a 10/100-Base-T Ethernet network interface card (and, for a laptop/notebook, an 802.11b/Wi-Fi card) to access resources on the JCU network. Because computer technology changes rapidly, you should anticipate upgrading in some manner during your four years at JCU.

What software do I need?
You should have Windows 7 or 8 and the current version of Microsoft Office which includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Internet Explorer. This software is also provided in our labs.

Be sure to tell your retailer/vendor that you are a student as significant software discounts are available to students.  Note: Microsoft Works is not supported in our labs.

Should I purchase anti-virus software?
John Carroll licenses Symantec anti-virus software for all JCU students at no cost to the student. This software is tied directly into the University’s anti-virus system which disseminates new virus detection files as they become available.

What about Apple?
John Carroll’s computing environment is primarily based on Microsoft Windows. Students bringing Apple computers to campus will be able to connect to the campus network for email and Internet access, but will have some limitations in accessing or using certain network resources.

Do I need a printer?
You will find it very convenient, if not essential, to have your own printer. While laser printers are accessible at several campus locations, at peak times they are always very busy.

What about computing in my residence hall room?
Computers with Windows and an integrated network interface card will automatically configure themselves when connected to the residence hall network. If you wish to connect to the high-speed wired network in the residence halls, you will need to bring an ethernet cable or buy one at the bookstore. The campus wireless network is also available in all residence hall rooms.

What if I live off campus?
Access to the resources listed above can be gained through an Internet Service Provider (ISP). There may be some limitations with some ISPs.

How do I learn about the student labs? Email? Voice Mail? Phones?
During the Fall Orientation program, ITS will be offering orientation sessions for students. These sessions will give participants hands-on experience logging onto our systems, getting to email, and running software. The sessions will be offered several times during the weekend, and you will be pre-registered to one of them.

Complete instructions about the campus telephone system, long distance service, and voice mail can be found on our web site by clicking here.

Who can I contact for more information?
If you have any questions, either before or after you arrive on campus, please call the Information Technology Services Help Desk at 216.397.3005. You can find operational hours here. Or, you may address questions via email to