CS PHD Student Purchasing Guidelines

This document outlines Engineering IT's recommendoations for CS PHD students when purchasing equipment.

EngrIT Support

University and Engineering IT policy require us to handle all University owned computers before use. In almost all cases machines go through an imaging process, wiping all existing data on the machine. We then install a University licensed OS, University Licensed software, and the University's security software. Equipment ordered through the CS PHD equipment program are automatically imaged by EngrIT prior to pickup at receiving.

Apple devices should be purchased through TechZone. It's not only the only source of on-campus Apple products, machines bought there are automatically added to our system, speeding up the set up process. After imaging, a program called "Managed Software Center" will be present on all Macbook's, allowing easy install of University licensed software.

All other computers are imaged with Windows. Windows machines have a program called "Software Center" installed on them, allowing easy install of University licensed software.

Since these devices are primarily for traditional office use (word processing, email, telecom, etc.), Linux is not recommended. If you want Linux, bring your machine to the helpdesk in Siebel 2302. We'll install Ubuntu and our security software on your device. Note that Engineering IT has limited Linux support compared to Apple or Windows machines.

As always, feel free to email engrit-help@illinois.edu at anytime with questions or issues. Our ticketing system will route your request to an appropriate ITPro.

Warranty Guidelines

Engineering IT highly recommends purchasing a 5 year warranty and 5 year accidental damage protection on all computer purchases. Any out-of-warranty repairs will not be paid for by the CS department, and so must be paid out-of-pocket by the owning PHD student. The CS department will not pay for any repairs or replacements should your machine break out of warranty (this includes spills or drops on machines without accidental damage protection).

Engineering IT does have a computer surplus program. You can request a surplus by emailing engrit-help@illinois.edu, but these machines are usually at least 4 years old, with varying features and computing power.

Hardware Guidelines

Engineering IT can be contacted at engrit-help@illinois.edu any time for a quote request. We'll work with you to customize the quote to your needs and ensure appropriate cost.

The following guidelines will help you find potential computers to purchase:

  1. Extended Warranties and accidental damage protections are highly recommended.
  2. All Apple machines should be purchased through TechZone. Engineering IT can acquire quotes from TechZone upon request.
  3. The University's license agreement with Microsoft requires all machines we image with Windows to have been purchased with any copy of Windows. To save cost, please buy the cheapest version of the Windows OS, as we will be erasing it and replacing it with our own.
  4. Machines must have a minimum of 16GB of RAM.
  5. Warranty options are not always easily found on online purchase sites. If you can't find a warranty option for your purchase, let the business office know what kind of warranty you're looking for and they'll work with the supplier to get it.
  6. Enterprise models are preferred to consumer models for their reliability and more robust support options.

Below you'll find a list of recommended manufacturers and models.

  • Dell: Precision series, Optiplex series, Latitude 5300, 5400, 5500, 7300, 7400, and 7500 series
  • Alienware Laptops
  • Microsoft Surfaces and Surfacebooks
  • Apple: Macbooks, Macbook Airs, Macook Pros

The University can has contracts with the above manufactures and hardware supplier CDW. It is recommend you use their websites to search for equipment.

KeywordsCS Hardware PHD Students Purchasing   Doc ID130152
OwnerMasaharu Y.GroupEngineering IT
Shared Services
Created2023-08-04 13:35:51Updated2023-08-10 16:37:11
SitesUniversity of Illinois Engineering IT
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