What Computer Hardware Do I Need for My Online MBA Program?

Online learning typically incites images of powerful modern computer systems that are capable of doing just about any task in current circulation. Fortunately, these images are often in vain and students typically do not need the newest or fastest system!

There are many reasons for why this might be so, but it is likely that online educators prefer to use less impacting technology in order to deliver their courses. This means that they can entice a wider array of students and increase intake on a yearly basis. However, there are some hardware requirements that students should be aware of before registering for an online course. They are as follows:

RAM in an Online MBA Program

“RAM” is a loosely used term in the world of computers and the old adage of “bigger is better” is typically applied to RAM values. In a nutshell, RAM is a temporary holding cell for programs and provides for applications to be loaded simultaneously. This does mean that “bigger is better” can be applied to RAM, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that students should equip their systems with the biggest values on the market.

When calculating RAM requirements, it is wise to multiply the processor number by two in order to get the value a processor can use most efficiently. This means that a “dual core” computer would require 4 GB of RAM (2 cores x 2 = 4 GB RAM). Quad core systems would therefore require 8 GB of RAM and Hex core systems would require 12 GB of RAM. Similarly, an older single core processor would require 2 GB of RAM. Any values that exceed this are typically unusable by the processor in an efficient manner and may not be fully utilized.

Hard Drives in an Online MBA Program

Online education typically presents students with a plethora of information that requires saving for later access. This can quickly fill up a hard drive to its capacity and prevent further files from being saved. This means students should equip their systems with the largest possible hard drive that is within budget. Older systems may present a problem as the connectors available on other systems may not accommodate the latest and fastest hard drive. This means students must determine the available connector in order to purchase a new hard drive, which will either be SATA or IDE. IDE is typically exclusive to older systems whereas SATA might be available on more modern builds. The difference can be identified by looking at the cable that connects the hard drive to the motherboard; a wide cable typically denotes IDE whereas a slim cable typically denotes SATA.

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