Purchase Hardware

View the ITS Maintained Computer Configurations Spring 2018 List

The CMU Computer Store provides a constantly updated listing of the CMU recommended configurations. Store PC configurations typically include a standard and a high-end desktop, a workstation class machine, and four different laptop models from Dell. Apple laptops and desktops are also available at the CMU Computer Store. For printing, ITS recommends HP LaserJet printers. HP LaserJet printers are networked, support PostScript natively, have reasonable supply costs, and are relatively easy to maintain.  Printers should usually be purchased with a maintenance agreement;  as in our experience, the average cost of repairs, especially for high volume printers, exceeds the cost of the maintenance agreement. Also, as the model numbers of HP Printers change rapidly, we recommend seeking assistance in selecting a printer. The process can be expedited provided you know ahead of time whether you want color, duplexing, and the maximum paper size. Be aware that adding each of those items increases the cost and the physical size of the printer.


For help with variations on these configurations (even purchasing rack mount servers) please send mail to help@ece.cmu.edu. We are always willing to help evaluate your purchasing requirements and to configure systems.


Please note that the Dell desktop and laptop computers are already highly discounted. As such, there is little likelihood of obtaining additional discounts, even with volume purchasing. Rack mount server acquisitions, however, do qualify for additional discounting once a certain quantity or purchase amount is reached. As such, you should always allow ITS to examine these orders and obtain an updated quotation.


If the purchases are to be made by ECE staff, please let us know the Oracle account (string) on which you will make the purchase. The order cannot be placed until this information is received.  Once a quote is approved and the Oracle string received, the ECE purchasing agent will place an order with the university approved vendor.


The fulfillment of the order is dependent upon the backlog of the vendor as well as the shipping time. Vendors do not immediately provide this information back to the purchasing agent.  On average, delivery time is about a week. Certain configurations or components can delay the receipt by several weeks. The purchasing agent will provide as much detail about such delays as possible.

Provisioning the Machine

Upon receipt in ECE, the assigned staff member will begin provisioning the machine (assuming it is a “facilitized” machine). This process is typically completed in two days, but is also dependent upon the backlog and whether there are any issues with the configuration. If there is a delay, the assigned staff person will make the intended recipient aware of the cause and probable delivery date. The table below provides a breakdown of the typical averages for time from request to delivery.

Function Low Average # of days High Average # of days
Process Request 1 day 1 day
Place order 1 day 1 day
Shipping from vendor 3 days 14 days
Facilitization 2 days 3 days

ITS Guides for Hardware

ITS periodically reviews guidelines for hardware specifications.  These guides can be viewed as XLSM files.