Home Computer Recommendations

Personal ("home") computer recommendations for KUMC students, faculty, and staff

These recommendations are intended to assist KUMC students, faculty, and staff with buying computers for personal use (home computers, portables, etc.) in consideration of the fact that they may be used at least occasionally to access and use KUMC resources and services. Faculty and staff who need a computer for regular use for University business should consult Faculty and staff computer standards at KU Medical Center.

Please note that personal computers are not to be used to access or store sensitive information including Protected Health Information (per HIPAA); Personal Identity Information; Student Financial Information (per Graham-Leach-Bliley); student demographic and academic information (per FERPA); and other forms of sensitive information. See the university's Sensitive Information Policy. Generally faculty, staff, and students should exercise discretion in accessing and storing University, hospital, and clinical information from/on any personal computer.

Whether you buy via mail order (e.g., HP or Dell), retailer (Best Buy, Costco), or order a custom-built computer from a local computer shop, look for the "recommended" components in the table below. If you're a new student or employee wondering whether your current computer is adequate, check the "minimum" specification cited below; if your computer does not meet the minimum specifications, you may have difficulty running at least some standard KUMC applications.


Recommended if purchasing new

Minimum for sensible computing


Intel or AMD quad or dual core

Intel/AMD dual core

Operating system

Windows 7

Windows XP
OR Windows Vista

RAM (memory)

Windows 7: 4 gb

Windows XP: 1 gb
Windows Vista: 2 gb

Hard disk (storage)

500 gb
OR solid state drive (SSD): 80 gb

80 gb

CD/DVD drive


CD-ROM drive

Multimedia features

Sound card

Sound card

Network card

10/100/1000 mb

10 mb

Removable high-density storage

USB flash memory (Jump Drive, Flash Drive, Flash Memory Key, etc.)

USB flash memory

Video memory

512 mb

128 mb


19" flat panel or larger

17" CRT

Internet connection
Even more important than the computer is the type of Internet connection you have. You will want a "broadband" cable modem or DSL connection; a legacy dial-up modem connection will not provide satisfactory performance. Providers of broadband connections in the Kansas City metropolitan area include Time-Warner, Comcast, SBC, AT&T, Google, and Surewest. Not all providers are available in all areas.


  • Microsoft Office 2010
    • Faculty and staff may acquire a "Home Use Program (HUP)" copy of Microsoft Office through myKUMC. Login in to myKUMC > go to the Computing tab and select "Resources and Services" > and click on the "Purchase Microsoft Office (employees only)" link.
    • Students may acquire Microsoft Office at greatly discounted price through myKUMC. Log into MyKUMC > go to Computing tab > click on 'Purchase Other Discounted Software' link in the Resources and Services channel.
    • Alternatively open source products such as OpenOffice may meet your needs for office productivity.
  • Security products
    • Any computer accessing any KUMC resource must be running a current version of an anti-malware program. A personal firewall is highly recommended.
    • KUMC recommends the free product Microsoft Security Essentials. Combined with Windows Firewall in Windows Vista and Windows 7, Security Essentials provides good protection for your personal PC.
    • Alternatively you may wish to acquire a suite of security products such as Norton Internet Security or McAfee Total Protection.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Adobe Flash Player

Additional Requirements

  • For students using Adobe Connect webconferencing, a standard headset with microphone should be purchased.  NOTE: For students in School of Nursing distance programs, including RN-BSN, Masters and Post Graduate courses, a headset, microphone and web-camera are required.
  • For students using Second Life, you will need to purchase an NVIDIA or ATI graphics card meeting SL requirements. NOTE: these requirements are rather minimal and upgrades should not be required.

Contact information

For information on this policy, please contact:

Director of Telecommunications [vacant]

Michael Harmelink
Associate Vice Chancellor for Information Resources
Chief Information Officer
University of Kansas Medical Center
1018 Taylor, 3901 Rainbow Blvd
Kansas City, Kansas 66160
(913) 588-4900

This page last updated: March 27, 2013

Last modified: Jul 30, 2013