Recommendations and Requirements

Bringing a personal computer to campus?  Here is some required and recommended computer hardware and software to bring with you.

All Computers

  • 25′ Ethernet patch cord (for wired connection)
  • 802.11b/g/n (for wireless connection)


• Macintosh OS 10.8.X or higher
• Memory 4 GB minimum
• All Macintosh OS updates
Free Anti-Virus (Kaspersky) and Microsoft Office software provided by Simpson College

Note: Many systems produced since 2007 or 2008, depending upon the model, can be upgraded to Mac OS X 10.10. Mac OS X 10.10 is available free of charge through the App Store application that is available on Mac OS X 10.6.8 or greater. The minimum requirements to run Mac OS X 10.10 are Max OS 10.6.8 or greater, at least 2 GB of RAM and at least 8 GB of free disk space.


  • Microsoft Windows Vista or Windows 7, 8 or above
  • All Microsoft Windows critical updates
  • Free Anti-Virus software provided by Simpson College (Kaspersky)

For additional information, please feel free to contact the IT Help Desk at 515-961-1411 or via email at

Below are the recommended system configurations for connecting to the Simpson College Network.  Having a computer that meets or exceeds these guidelines will help ensure your ability to connect to our network.

Simpson College provides both an Anti-Virus solution as well as the Microsoft Office Suite free of charge for the time that you are a student of Simpson College.

Macintosh Desktop or NotebookAny current model of Macintosh notebook or desktop computer Apple is offering or one purchased as a new computer since 2011.
Operating System
Mac OS 10.8.X or greater

Productivity Software
Microsoft is offering free of charge a copy of its Office 365 suite which can be installed on computers and mobile devices.

Hardware Specifications
A desktop or laptop computer minimally meeting the following specifications.

Processor: Intel Core i5 or greater

Memory: 4 GB of RAM or more (8 GB or greater recommended)

Storage: Dependent upon how the computer is used or if you desire to use Boot Camp (the ability to run Windows on a Macintosh) consider a greater amount of internal storage.

We also recommend an external hard drive to use for backups of the system using Time Machine.

It is important to know that the current Macintosh product line (with the exception of the base 13″ MacBook Pro non-retina display model, 27″ iMacs and the Mac Pro) memory is not upgradable and future use of the system should be considered when purchasing your system. Storage in some current Macs is upgradable with 3rd party solutions, however, consider your future storage needs when initially purchasing your Macintosh laptop. To explore available Macintosh systems at Higher Education pricing, visit to view available configurations.

Windows Desktop or NotebookAny recent model of computer with Windows 7 or newer is recommended. Please ensure wireless capabilities exist on any laptop or portable device.
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7

Productivity Software
Microsoft Office 365 is provided by Simpson College free of charge.

We recommend having an external storage device to back up your data.