Computer ownership is not obligatory and there are over 1,000 high-specification PCs available for use by students on campus. However, many prefer the convenience of having their own PC.
If you are purchasing a computer, it is recommended that it has an AMD/Intel processor, and uses Windows XP SP2 operating system. A minimum of 512MB of RAM, a hard disk of at least 60 GB in capacity and a CD-RW drive are recommended. If you are planning to connect to the LSE network, an Ethernet (RJ45) or wireless (802.11b/g) network card will be necessary.
As personal computers are frequently the most expensive item that many students own, it is very important to consider the following:
Warranty: if you purchased your computer abroad make sure that it is covered by a worldwide warranty. Also, be aware that there are different kinds of warranty broadly falling into either "replace" or "return to base" categories. With a "return to base" warranty you may be without your computer for several weeks if it needs to be repaired. It is advisable to get a warranty of 2 or more years if possible.
Insurance: you may wish to purchase suitable insurance for your computer to cover accidental damage, loss or theft.
Regular Backups: the importance of data stored on your computer cannot be underestimated. Imagine that your computer was stolen - are your academic files, personal files, pictures or multimedia files also saved somewhere else, in case you get a brand new laptop as replacement? Also, with a catastrophic hardware failure you cannot rely on being able to recover files from the hard disk, so make sure that you keep regular backups on CD or on a USB key.
Power: if you buy your computer outside the UK, it must be able to handle the UK power supply (220-240 volts) or you will need to purchase a voltage converter. You will also need an adapter for the 3-pin UK power sockets.
Please click here for information on IT facilities and support available at LSE for students with their own computers.