Ag IT Advisory Group (AITAG)


| Share

Hardware Baselines

Baseline Hardware for NDSU Agriculture and University Extension

Developed by the Ag IT Advisory Group, Updated September 4, 2013


The quotes below are estimates only and may not accurately reflect the final price, which could be lower, or in rare instances, higher.


Recommended Specifications for New Windows PC Purchases




Computer Model
Dell Optiplex 7010
HP dc8300
Dell Latitude E5530
HP 8570p


CPU speed

Intel i7-3770

Intel i7-3770 Intel i7-3520M
Intel i7-3740QM
Hard drive size


500GB 320GB 500GB
CD/DVD drive

DVD +/- RW

DVD +/- RW DVD +/- RW DVD +/- RW
Sound system


integrated integrated integrated


USB integrated integrated
Mouse optical optical touchpad touchpad
Monitor 24" Widescreen LCD 24"
15.6" WXGA
built-in display
15.6" WXGA built-in display
Ethernet card integrated integrated integrated integrated
Wireless network card no no integrated 802.11a/b/g/n integrated 802.11a/b/g/n
Other ports USB 3.0 USB 3.0 USB 3.0 USB 3.0
Video 1GB video 1GB video Intel integrated video Intel integrated video
Warranty 4 years 4 years 4 years 4 Years
Operating System Windows Home Basic upgraded to Win 7 Pro Windows Home Basic upgraded to Win 7 Pro Windows Home Basic upgraded to Win 7 Pro

Windows Home Basic upgraded to Win 7 Pro

Carrying Bag N/A N/A Standard Nylon Deluxe Nylon
Estimated Unit Cost $1218  (!)

$1,300  (!)

The following items are an additional cost, please add each individual price to the estimated unit cost above for a total estimated cost. Be sure to specify whether you need dual monitors or a single one.
Dell Desktop HP Desktop Dell Notebook HP Notebook
Single LCD monitor (24" Included with desktop) (24" Included with desktop) $250 $216
Dual LCD monitor*
+ $250 + $216 $500 $432
Port replicator**
N/A N/A $130 $91
External keyboard
(Included with desktop) (Included with desktop) $19 $30 (mouse/keyboard combo)
External optical mouse
(Included with desktop) (Included with desktop) $13 $30 (mouse/keyboard combo)
External speakers (bar)
(Included with desktop) (Included with desktop) $19 $19

Note: View lists and prices of NDSU site-licensed software.

Counties that do not order cost-share equipment through NDSU: please visit with your equipment provider to ensure your computer meets the minimum specifications listed above.

(!) Dell computer prices are subject to a 3% service charge by the NDSU Bookstore (not included in estimate)

* Dual monitors may be replaced with every other computer replacement.

** Monitor, keyboard and mouse are integrated into laptops. If a laptop is to be used as a desktop replacement, the user may want to consider purchasing a port replicator, as well as an external monitor, keyboard and mouse.
The port replicator is vendor-and/or model-specific.  For the best price it should be purchased with the laptop.  It can be purchased later but at a higher price.


Recommended Specifications for New Mac Purchases

Visit the ITS Preferred Hardware website for hardware specifications and pricing information for Macs.


Minimum Specifications and End of Life for Current Computers

Current computers, at a minimum, should be capable of effectively using Windows XP Pro. AITAG recommends that computers be replaced every four years.  End of life for computer systems is six years for desktops and five years for laptops.  Once systems have reached their end of life, they are no longer be eligible for any computer support.

To receive computer support, a computer must also meet these minimum hardware requirements:

Component Current Specification 6 - 12 Month Estimated Specs
Minimum CPU Intel Core 2 Duo
Intel Core 2 Duo
Minimum RAM 4 GB 4 GB
Minimum hard drive size 160GB 250GB
Minimum Operating System
Windows 7 Windows 7


Oldest Systems Eligible for Windows 7 Upgrade

Dell Desktop Optiplex 755
Dell Notebook Latitude 6400 / 6500
HP Desktop DC 7800
HP Notebook Elitebook 8430p


Oldest supported HP and Dell computer systems: (These systems cannot be upgraded to Windows 7.)

Brand Type Model

Support End Date

Dell Desktop Optiplex 755
June 30, 2014
Dell Notebook Latitude E6400/E6500
June 30, 2014
HP Desktop DC 7800 series
June 30, 2014
HP Notebook NC 8510 June 30, 2014









Model iPad Mini iPad Air
Nexus 7
Galaxy Note 10.1

ElitePad 900 G1

Surface 2 Pro

Operating System

iOS iOS Android 4.3
Android 4.3 Windows 8 Professional (full PC version of Windows)
Windows 8 Professional (full PC version of Windows)
Processor Dual Core Cortex-A9 A7 Qualcomm S4 Pro
Quad Core
Samsung Exynos 1.9GHz 1.8GHz dual core Intel Atom
Intel Core i5 (PC notebook processor)
RAM 512 MB 1GB 2GB 3GB 2GB 8GB
Storage size 32 GB 32 GB 32 GB 32 GB 64 GB
SD Card Slot No No Yes
Yes Yes
USB Ports
None - Optional Add-on
None - Optional Add-on
None - optional adapter (USB OTG)
None - optional adapter (USB OTG) 1
Wireless Cellphone Networks (3G/4G) Support
Yes - additional cost Yes - additional cost None
Yes - additional cost
Yes (additional cost) - can also work with notebook usb cellular modem
None - coming early 2014 - can currently work with notebook usb cellular modem
Front / Back Camera Both
Both Both
Stylus / Pen None None None Yes None Yes
Dimensions 7.8" x 5.3" x .28" 9.4" x 6.6" x .29"
7.81" x 4.72" x .41"
10.31" x 7.09" x .35" 10.2" x 7" x .36"
10.8" x 6.8" x .5"
Manufacturer's Warranty 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year
1 Year
1 Year 1 Year
Extended Warranty Options
1 year (additional cost)
1 year (additional cost)
1 - 2 Additional Years (additional cost)
1 or 2 additional years (additional cost)
Price $399 $599 $269.99 $549.99 $700
TBD - Approx $1300

These specs are based on available information from the manufacturers. All systems were configured using the 32GB version of the tablet when possible.




Agriculture faculty and staff are encouraged to contact the following Agriculture Communication staff for recommendations on hardware peripherals.

The Agriculture Communication staff can assist offices with ordering projectors and printers; however, if offices want help with the cost, they should place their order only AFTER they have obtained approval from administration. The ordering of all other peripherals and accessories is the responsibility of each individual county office or department.

Digital Projector

CASIO Green Slim XJ Series

  • 2500 ANSI Lumens
  • 6000 hour lamp
  • XGA/WXGA HD(720p, 1080i, 1080p)
  • Accepts VGA and HDMI connections
  • 3 year warranty, 3 year/6000 hour on lamp
  • Dimensions (WxDxH): 11.69" x 8.26" 1.69"
  • 5 lbs

    Estimated Unit Cost = $1099

Jerry Ranum, 701 231-6395

Digital Cameras
Each office is urged to conduct its own research to purchase a camera that meets their individual needs. Here are a few sites that may help:

Becky Koch, 701 231-7875

Jon Fry, 701 231-7934
Deb Tanner,  701 231-7891
Filed under:
Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.