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Recommended PCs - SCS Computing Facilities

The following PC configurations, in four main categories, are recommended by SCS Computing Facilities:

Unless otherwise noted, SCS Computing Facilities has tested these configurations and found them to work with the currently supported Windows and Linux operating systems. If you choose to purchase a PC not on this list and wish to run Linux, please check with SCS Help Desk to confirm that your proposed hardware is compatible with an SCS Computing Facilities-supported version.

Some flexibility is possible regarding memory and disk configurations. In addition, variations on the basic configuration are available, and SCS Computing Facilities will attempt to accommodate special needs.

SCS Computing Facilities recommends purchasing business or enterprise class machines and hardware. Disadvantages to purchasing non-business class machines include:

  • Machines may not be eligible for Computing Facilities support. Send mail to help@cs.cmu.edu prior to purchasing a non-business class machine to check what your support options are.
  • Systems will take longer to build and may have significantly longer repair turnarounds.

Warranty Information

To be eligible for SCS Computing Facilities hardware support:

  • Dell and Lenovo purchases must include the accidental damage protection offered by the manufacturer. This coverage protects laptops for 3 years and servers and desktops for 4 years.
  • Apple computer purchases must include AppleCare coverage. AppleCare extends the manufacturer warranty to 3 years.
  • Computer purchases from other manufacturers must include any extended warranty or accidental damage protection, if offered.

Once the manufacturer warranty expires, SCS Computing Facilities hardware support will remain in effect until you request to have it removed.

Purchasing Information

To order a machine please use the SCS Purchase Form, and for any questions or problems, please contact SCS Help Desk.

All prices are subject to change. For a list of available Dell Equipment, access the company's site via the CMU "Internet Purchasing Portals" page (offsite link, will open in a new window and requires ISO clearance). Then select "Dell" on the pulldown "Supplier List." For more information about Lenovo ThinkPads, see the CMU Computer Store site.

Recommended laptops

Note: SCS Computing Facilities software support is not offered on Linux laptops.

Please contact SCS Help Desk for assistance configuring any of these recommended machines to better meet your needs.

Dell Latitude E6440

  • 4th gen Intel® Core i7-4600M Processor (2.9GHz), 8 GB RAM, (2x4GB) 2.5" 500 GB Solid State Hybrid Drive, 14.0" HD+(1600x900) Anti-Glare LED-backlit display, Intel HD graphics 4600, 8X DVD+/-RW, Intel wireless 802.11 AGN, webcam, 6 cell Lithium Ion battery with ExpressCharge, includes 4 year accidental damage protection. $1,349.99
  • Optional: 16GB (2x8GB) 1600MHz DDR3LMemory [add $143.00]
  • Optional: E-port Plus, dock adds dual digital display and legacy port support, USB 3.0 [add $139.28]

Standard: Lenovo Thinkpad T440

  • 4th gen Intel® Core i7-4600U Processor (2.1GHz), 4GB RAM (soldered on-board w/1 open slot), 2.5" 500GB Solid State Hybrid Drive, 14.0" (1600x900) Anti-Glare LED Widescreen-backlit display, Intel HD graphics 4600, No Optical Drive, 802.11ac, webcam, fingerprint reader, 3 cell internal battery and 3 cell external Lithium Ion battery, approx. weight 3.7 lbs., includes accidental damage protection. $1,448.00
  • Memory Upgrade Options: minimum 8GB total memory recommended
    • Optional: Edge 4GB PC3-12800 204-pin DDR3 SDRAM SODIMM (for a total of 8GB memory) [add $51.00]
    • Optional: Edge 8GB PC3-12800 204-pin DDR3 SDRAM SODIMM (for a total of 12GB maximum memory) [add $91.00]
  • Docking Solution Option:
    • Lenovo Thinkpad Ultra Dock, 90W provides support for multiple external displays [add $218.57]

Lenovo Thinkpad T440s

  • 4th gen Intel® Core i7-4600U Processor (2.1GHz), 8GB RAM (4GB soldered on-board w/4GB occupying SODIMM slot), 256GB SSD, 14.0” (1920x1080) Anti-GlareLED Widescreen-backlit display, Intel HD graphics 4600, No Optical Drive, 802.11ac, webcam, fingerprint reader, 3 cell internal battery and 3 cell external Lithium Ion battery, approx. weight 3.5 lbs, includes accidental damage protection. $1,810.00
  • Memory Upgrade Options
    • Optional: Edge 8GB PC3-12800 204-pin DDR3 SDRAM SODIMM (for a total of 12GB maximum memory) [add $91.00]
  • Docking Solution Option:
    • Lenovo Thinkpad Ultra Dock, 90W provides support for multiple external displays [add $218.57]

Recommended desktops

Standard: Dell Optiplex 9020 Mini Tower

  • Intel® i7 4770 Quad Core (3.4GHz) 4th Generation Intel Chipset, 16 GB RAM, 1TB Hard Drive, AMD RADEON HD 8490, 1GB DDR3, FH, 1 DP 1 DVI graphics card, Dell P2314H 23" Flat Panel Display with Sound Bar, DVD±RW. $1,185.94

Performance: Dell Precision Workstation T3600

  • These systems are custom configured to meet the needs of users requiring greater computing power and expansion. One of our technical consultants will configure a system to meet your needs. Contact the SCS Help Desk for more information

Recommended servers

Contact the SCS Help Desk for more information about servers listed below.

Dell PowerEdge R420 (1U rack mount chassis)

  • Two sockets, uses Intel processors (up to 8 cores per socket, 16 cores total), 4 x 3.5" disks or 8 x 2.5" disks, up to 192 GB of memory.

Dell PowerEdge R720 (2U rack mount chassis)

  • Two sockets, uses Intel processors (up to 8 cores per socket, 16 cores total), 16 x 2.5" disks or 8 x 3.5" disks, up to 768 GB of memory.

Dell PowerEdge T420 (High performance tower)

  • Two sockets, uses Intel processors (up to 8 cores per socket, 16 cores total), 16 x 2.5" disks or 8 x 3.5" disks, up to 192 GB of memory.

Dell PowerEdge R815 (2U high performance rack mount chassis)

  • Four sockets, uses AMD processors (up to 16 cores per socket, 64 cores total), 6 x 2.5" disks, up to 1 TB of memory.

Dell PowerEdge R910 (4U high performance rack mount chassis)

  • Four sockets, uses Intel processors (up to 10 cores per socket, 40 cores total), up to 16 x 2.5" disks, up to 2TB of memory.

Recommended Mac Models

Current Mac configurations and prices, are available on the CMU Computer Store website.