Should You Bring Your Desktop To College? (Everything To Consider)

This post is all about whether or not you should bring a desktop to college. We’ll go over everything you should consider when deciding if you should bring your desktop computer to college.

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Should I bring a desktop to college

If you’re getting ready to start college, you’re probably wondering what is necessary to bring with you and what you should leave at home.

One of those items that you may not be sure about is your desktop computer. Should you bring it along with you to your college dorm? Which is better for college students, laptops or desktops?

When I was starting college, I couldn’t afford to get a nice new laptop. So I decided to take an old desktop computer with me for my dorm room and use an iPad to take notes in class.

The truth is, there are pros and cons to each type of computer. In this post, we’ll go over whether or not you should bring your desktop computer to college.

What Are The Pros of Bringing A Desktop To College?

desktop computer and laptop

Larger Screen

Desktop computers have a larger screen than most laptops. This can be helpful when you’re doing things like coding, editing videos, or other tasks that require a large screen.

A larger computer screen also helps you multitask better. If you’re in an online class, you can have the lecture video up on one side of the screen, and have a note taking app open on the other side.

More Storage

If storage is an issue for you, you may be better off with a desktop computer than a laptop. Desktop computers tend to have more storage capabilities than portable options. As someone who takes a lot of pictures and videos, I find that my laptop gets full really quickly.

However, there are external storage options that can be used with laptops. I use an external hard drive to store photos and videos and it works great. This is the exact external hard drive I use and I absolutely love it. You can also purchase cloud storage like iCloud or Google Drive for your photos and videos.


If you’re a gamer, you’re probably considering bringing your gaming PC to college. My boyfriend is a PC gamer and he brought his desktop with him to his college apartment. He used it all the time for gaming and studying.

However, unless you absolutely can’t live without it, I recommend leaving your PC at home freshman year. Your first year of college is all about making memories and meeting new people.

If you spend all of your time gaming alone at your computer, you’re going to have a hard time getting those college experiences.

I would suggest bringing a console that you can play with friends in your dorm, like a Nintendo Switch. That way you can hook it up to your TV and make gaming more social. Save the gaming PC for when you live off campus.

Higher Powered

Sometimes, a laptop just doesn’t cut it. If you’re in a major that requires a high powered computer (engineering, computer science, videography, etc.), you may want to consider bringing your desktop computer to college.

It will make your homework a lot less frustrating because you won’t be constantly waiting for your laptop to load these large programs.

With that being said, most colleges do have desktop computers on campus that students can use. I used the on-campus computers all the time.

Your tech-heavy majors will probably even have special, high-powered computers that students can use for their school work. So don’t go out and buy a desktop computer if you don’t need to!

What Are The Cons of Bringing A Desktop To College?

desktop computer

Less Portable

The main issue with desktops is that they’re less portable than laptops. I can guarantee that 99% of students in your classes will be bringing their laptops to class for taking notes.

While this isn’t absolutely necessary (you can still take notes on paper if you want), it does make things a lot easier for you.

I had a desktop computer my freshman year because I couldn’t afford a laptop at the time and it was what we already had at home. I brought around my iPad and a bluetooth keyboard to classes so that I could still take notes online.

It was much cheaper than buying a laptop but it worked really well for what I needed it for!

Takes Up Space In Your Room

If you’re living in a dorm or small apartment, you may not want to take up a ton of room with a giant desktop computer.

I knew a few gamer guys who brought their desktop computers to college freshman year and never really ended up using them. They would mostly just game on the TV with their friends.

If you really can’t live without PC gaming, look into getting a gaming laptop! They’ll run the same games as your desktop PC but they won’t take up as much space.

What Type Of Computer Do Most College Students Use?

Like I mentioned before, 99% of students in your college classes will have a laptop or tablet with them to take notes. That’s not to say that they don’t have a PC back in their dorm room (I have no way of knowing that haha), but they at least had a laptop for their school work.

When I was in school, about 50% of students were using a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. Apple makes really high-quality laptops that are really reliable for students. However, these laptops can be really expensive!

I also saw a lot of super inexpensive HP Chromebooks and Dell and Microsoft computers as well. The students who had tablets were usually using iPads or Samsung Galaxy Tablets.

Honestly, any laptop or tablet that you have at home already should be fine for college! You really only need it for taking notes in class. Anything else can be done from the desktop computers that your campus provides, if necessary.

Do You Need A Laptop If You Have A Desktop?

Definitely not! I made it through my first year of college with just a desktop computer and an iPad with a bluetooth keyboard. If you already have a desktop computer that you can bring to college, there’s no need to spend a ton of money on a laptop!

With that being said – if you are trying to decide between the two options, I would definitely go with a laptop! Having a portable computer is so convenient in college because you can take it to class, the library, coffee shops, and anywhere else you need to go.

But if you only have a desktop, you’ll be just fine as well. You can take notes on paper, an iPad, or even your phone (with your professor’s permission) during class. If you need to do anything that requires a larger screen or more power, you can use a desktop computer that your college provides on campus.

I went to a state college and there were desktops available for use EVERYWHERE! They had them in the library, student union, dorm lobbies, and even in some of the academic buildings.

Final Thoughts

To sum everything up, you definitely don’t need a desktop computer in college. Laptops are much more convenient for college students because they are portable, don’t take up much room, and are typically more affordable.

However, there may be instances where a desktop computer comes in handy. If you have a degree like computer science, engineering, videography, or architecture, you may find that the larger screens and higher power of a desktop computer fit your needs better.

Also, if you’re a hardcore gamer you may want to have your desktop with you at college.

So to answer the question, “should I bring my desktop to college?” I would say it depends on your major and what your hobbies are!

This post was all about if you should bring a desktop computer to college.

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