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Purchasing a Computer

Last Updated: October 28, 2022

How do I purchase a computer?

  • All members of the Biology and Evolutionary Anthropology departments are required to process computer orders through the Biology/EA IT Team.
  • All computing purchases using Duke funds will be processed by the Biology/EvAnth IT Manager through the Buy@Duke system or through the Duke Computer store to ensure compliance with Duke Procurement policies.
  • The IT Manager will ensure all computer purchases are ordered from one of the 4 approved vendors, will place orders using the required purchasing process, and will work with the departmental grant manager for proper approval.
  • This process will allow us to do the following: assist you with ordering the proper computing equipment that will best fit your need, register the computers on our Biology network, image the machines with our standard TTS image which includes the latest OS, security updates and policies, virus protection and standard software (Microsoft Office, Sequencher, DNAStar Lasergene, etc.)
  • When purchasing computers, components, or software using external funding, check with your grant manager before requesting to make any purchases. Increasingly strict federal, state, and foundation monitoring guidelines have resulted in the necessity for institutional (beyond departmental) approvals prior to purchasing computers and software.
  • Be prepared to provide text justification for how your need directly benefits the project.
  • Be aware that purchasing computers, components, or software without approval from the department and central grant offices could result in your startup fund being charged for these costs.
  • All members of the Biology and Evolutionary Anthropology departments are required to submit a help request when ready to purchase a new computer (contact the Service Desk)

When should I replace my computer?

The best answer is: it depends. Some machines are built better than others. However, a good indicator of the manufacturer’s confidence in their products is the length of their warranties. Most manufacturers’ maximum initial warranty is four years. However, those warranties can be extended. A good rule of thumb is a four-year replacement cycle. Given this, it is also important to begin planning for the replacement immediately after purchasing.

The CPPAS Program

  • The CPPAS program is designed to provide a streamlined process for purchasing computers for Trinity College faculty and staff. The primary goals of the program are to provide a regular replacement cycle for faculty and staff computers, and to ease the support burden on Trinity Technology Services (TTS) staff associated with troubleshooting and maintaining outdated or out-of-warranty equipment and non-standard hardware.
  • Staff paid by grant funds are not eligible for the CPPAS program.
  • IT staff will contact faculty and staff before their replacement date to discuss and/or configure a suitable replacement computer. CPPAS replacements/upgrades happen twice a year, January and July.

Supported Systems

  • Biology/EA IT chooses recommended/supported models based on the agreements that Duke has been able to negotiate with three approved vendors Dell, Apple, and Lenovo. The BioCC has approved a fourth vendor Pogo Linux that is to be used specifically for the purchase of custom configured high end computational/analysis machines.
  • The Biology/EA IT team fully supports departmentally purchased computers purchased from one of the four approved vendors. The Duke Technology Center has standard models available from Dell, Apple and Lenovo for users to view and test out (note we can custom configure computers from any of these vendors).
  • The CPPAS program uses these recommend models exclusively. Models are listed here: https://admin.trinity.duke.edu/technology/support/computer-purchase-program

About warranty, repairs and upgrades

  • Computers purchased via CPPAS will usually come with a 4.5 year warranty. See the CPPAS web site for details.
  • Machines purchased directly from the vendors will usually come with a limited 1-year warranty, so it will be necessary to purchase an extended warranty if the purchaser wishes.
  • The Biology/EA IT staff does not do repairs. However, we will coordinate repairs covered by the Vendors Warranties and performed by the vendor (if purchased) or will recommend an outside vendor.
  • It is the responsibility of the PI/Lab to bring all computers that are in need of hardware repair and are not covered under warranty to the outside vendor for repairs.

Hardware upgrades

  • Consulting – If you believe that your machine needs a hardware upgrade, we encourage you to make an appointment with an IT staff member to discuss your needs and find the best solution for you.
  • Submit a help request by contacting the Biology/EA IT Service desk: Contacting the IT Service Desk