Computer Hardware Upgrades

What hardware should you have for your lab or computer? What are some of the best practices for storing information on your computer? Learn about these topics and more in this chapter.

Workstation Refresh Program

SJSU IT provides a program called Workstation Refresh. This program provides replacement workstations for employees (for devices 4 years or older). SJSU IT will cover the cost of a refresh purchase up to $1700, and the MLML IT department pays for any cost beyond that. Below are standard configurations. For more information, email

Budget User Windows Laptop:
Dell Latitude 3420

  • Intel Core i5-1135G7 quad-core CPU
  • 8GB RAM
  • Nvidia GeForce MX450 graphics processor
  • 256GB SSD
  • 14" 1366x768 screen
  • 41 watt-hour battery
Power User Windows Laptop:
Dell latitude 7430
  • Intel Core i5-1245U 10-core CPU
  • 16GB RAM
  • Intel Iris XE graphics
  • 256GB SSD
  • 14" 1920x1080 screen
  • 58 watt-hour battery
Standard Windows Desktop:
Dell OptiPlex 7090 Small-form-factor
  • Intel Core i7-10700 8-core processor
  • 16GB RAM
  • AMD Radeon 550 graphics processor
  • 256GB SSD
Standard Monitor:
Dell P2422H
  • 24" 1920x1080 monitor
MacBook Air:
MacBook Air
  • Apple M2 8-core processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB SSD
  • 13" 2560x1664 screen
  • 53 watt-hour battery
Standard User MacBook Pro:
14" MacBook Pro
  • Apple M1 Pro 8-core processor
  • 16GB RAM
  • 512GB SSD
  • 14" 3024x1964 120hz screen
  • 70 watt-hour battery
Power User MacBook Pro:
16" MacBook Pro$3399
  • Apple M10 Max 10-core processor
  • 64GB RAM
  • 1TB SSD
  • 16" 3456x2234 120hz screen
  • 100 watt-hour battery
Mac Desktop:
Mac mini
  • Apple M1 8-core processor
  • 16GB RAM
  • 256GB SSD

Hardware Upgrades: RAM and SSD


Memory Upgrades

RAM: Random Access Memory


SSD Upgrades

  • Solid-state-drive (SSD) is a storage device for your computer. It is much faster than a hard disk drive (HDD), which was traditionally used for storage in computers. It has no moving parts and its information is stored in microchips.
  • Upgrading your computer from a HDD to a SSD will greatly increase the speed. More specifically, loading times and transfer times will speed up. (Copying and moving files).
  • Crucial SSD Upgrade Tool - helps determine which upgrade you need.
  • Mac Upgrades:
    • The storage drive on most newer Macs cannot be upgraded. Below is a list of Macs which cannot be upgraded:
      • Mac mini (2018 and newer)
      • MacBook Pro (2016 and newer
      • MacBook Air (2018 and newer)
      • MacBook 12" (all models)
      • iMac (2021 and newer)
    • To check whether your Mac can be upgraded, enter your serial number into's serial lookup tool.
    • Determine which SSD is compatible with your system with the Crucial link above or here. Find your Mac model and check out the buying options for SSD upgrades.
    • To learn about SSD Upgrades for Macs click here.
  • PC Upgrades:
    • To determine what kind of drive your computer has click here.
    • Use the Crucial link above for buying options.

Memory Upgrade Compatibility


Many online vendors have tools you can use to identify and purchase a memory upgrade for your computer. Both Crucial and have reliable and easy to use tool that helps find memory that is compatible with your computer.

PC Part Picker is also a great way to judge compatibility of components for any given hardware. Especially when putting together a new PC.

(Be sure to check how many memory slots your computer has and the max capacity of each slot before ordering)

Crucial Memory Memory Configurator

PC part Picker

Check your AppleCare Status


You can quickly and easily check to see whether your Mac is still covered under your AppleCare warranty at Apple's Support website:

Student Computer Recommendations

Choosing a new computer is an important decision, and we would like to provide recommendations for minimum system requirements that might help you get the most out of your new computer. Please checkout our KB page for upgrading hardware in your computer to see if minor upgrades could save you the cost of buying a new computer.

Minimum System Requirements

RAM (Random Access Memory)
Internal Storage
CPU (Internal Central Processing Unit)
Internal Drive