Computer Recommendations

BUMC has the following recommendations for computer purchasing, which conform to the PC Standards recommended by the University. You should visit BU’s Sourcing site for information on how to purchase the computer as well as full tech specs.

When purchasing, please have your new computer and all software delivered to our Service Desk, 801 Massachusetts Ave. Ste 485, Boston, MA 02118. Please submit a request online to have your computer set up.

When BUMC IT sets up a new computer, we use a standard image (view software included in standard image). Laptops that are setup by BUMC IT will come pre-configured with disk encryption. Additional software cannot be purchased through BUMC IT, with the exception of SAS.

Computer Recommendations

We would like to emphasize that in cases where it becomes necessary to deviate from our established PC and Mac standards, we strongly recommend considering the following guidelines:

Specifications Minimum Recommended
Operating System Windows 10
macOS 13.2 (Ventura)
Windows 10 / 11
macOS 13.2 (Ventura)
Processor Intel Core i5
AMD Ryzen 5
Apple M1
Intel Core i5 / i7
AMD Ryzen 5 / 7
Apple M1 / M2
Memory 8GB 8GB / 16GB+
Storage 256GB SSD  256GB / 512GB+ SSD
Warranty 3-year extended warranty with accidental coverage 3-year extended warranty with accidental coverage


PC or Mac?

A lot of users can be unsure whether a PC or Mac is right for them. With most basic functions (sending and receiving email, using Microsoft Office applications, using the BUMC network file share/Y drive) there is no “right” or “wrong” choice and the user should simply go with the system they feel most comfortable with.  However, there are some functions that make using Windows primarily a good choice:

  1. If you are a “power user” of Microsoft Outlook and deal with large volumes of email and calendar delegation/calendar permissions, you will probably find using Microsoft Outlook on Windows to be a better experience. Most users will find Outlook for Mac to be sufficient, but there are serious known issues with the way it handles advanced calendaring and syncing extremely large inboxes. Users who do not require a lot of Exchange functionality (such as calendar delegation, public folders, etc.) may wish to explore using Apple Mail and Calendar applications instead of Microsoft ones if they choose a Mac.
  2. If your day-to-day work involves extensive use of any application that is Windows-only (such as SAS or Microsoft Access). If you do not know if an application is Windows-only, be sure to check all system requirements the manufacturer/developer provides for the software and come to IT with questions.

Running Windows on a Mac

It is entirely possible to run Windows on a Mac. There are two methods that address this need.

  1. Parallels: Many users at BUMC already have Parallels. However, it is not ideal for everyone. Parallels allows Windows to run as a virtual machine, which means that it runs the Windows operating system in tandem with Mac OS. Users who expect to be able to occasionally use a Windows application while primarily using their Mac will likely find Parallels to be a good solution. Parallels can then be shut down for the majority of the time, when Windows is not being used. However, using Parallels constantly can create significant performance issues, particularly on systems like the MacBook Air. Running two operating systems at the same time on a regular basis taxes your computer’s resources, and can make it run slowly.
  2. BootCamp: BootCamp is exclusively designed for Intel-based Macs, offering users the ability to create a dual boot system. Upon startup, users can select between Mac OS or Windows, allowing seamless transition between operating systems until the next restart. While BootCamp is ideal for users with extensive Windows-based tasks, we highly recommend using Parallels for a smoother experience. For tasks such as extended work on a sizable SAS data set or a substantial project in NVivo, Parallels offers greater flexibility and convenience. After completing your Windows-based work, simply save your progress, restart, and effortlessly resume using Mac OS.

If you would prefer to use Windows in general, it would probably be best to purchase one of our Lenovo standard models. If you are interested in switching from PC to Mac and don’t know whether it would be feasible for your work, please contact IT with your questions.