USS Device and Hardware Standards

Purpose

This article is intended to outline the standard supported hardware models for end-user devices supported by User Support Services (USS). The intent of these recommendations is to capitalize on volume pricing, streamline operations, and allow technicians to work with a more limited scope of devices and develop expertise in their support. This will result in better value for the university and a better technical and customer support experience for customers.

It is understood that the selected models may not meet the business requirements for all use cases. Associate directors are empowered to approve exceptions to the standard devices, as required. The products selected below were based on an analysis of the purchasing patterns from July 2016 to June 2020. These initial recommendations will be re-evaluated twice a year to ensure USS continues to meet the needs of our customers.

Supported Models

By choosing a limited array of supported models from a limited number of manufacturers, our goal is to allow technicians to become more familiar with the hardware they are being asked to support and to be able to leverage our vendors to provide us the best possible price.  Standardization simplifies deployment, troubleshooting, repair, and warranty work and allows us to more quickly serve our customers.  By choosing the enterprise product lines we ensure the vendors will support those devices for 5+ years and keep parts and replacements in stock to satisfy our warranty.  

Apple's M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max lines of products have been authorized for purchase, and are available for ordering. Customization for additional storage is available, pricing will be quoted for approval during the ordering process.

*MacBook Pro M1 13" External Display Support: The MacBook Pro M1 13" only supports one external monitor. If your use case relies on more than 1 external monitor, please select one of the M1 Pro or M1 Max systems

**A note on Surface Devices: Microsoft Surface devices have been an often-ordered product supported on campus for a number of years. Unfortunately, the Surface Device support structure is very limited when compared to its competitors. Simple warranty claims are not resolved in a timeframe to minimize disruptions to production, and a clear escalation process for these devices is not provided by Microsoft. For this reason, we are moving forward with Dell's Latitude 7400 series to fill the increasingly popular tablet/slate form factor with an enterprise-ready 2-in-1 laptop.

New Model Availability

As computer vendors release new models, there will be a delay in their availability for purchase. USS acquires new models as they are released to evaluate, and validate compatibility with UO systems and security requirements. Once validation is complete, approved models are listed as USS Standard Hardware and are made available for purchase by UO departments and business units. For updates on the validation of new models, reference the Hardware Evaluation and Availability Notes below.

Hardware Evaluation and Availability Notes

November 9, 2021 Updates

Apple MacBook Pro New Models

Apple's M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max lines of products have been authorized for purchase, and are available for ordering.

Dock & Display Supply Chain Issues

There is a general shortage of in-stock Thunderbolt docks, with current ship dates pushing into mid-November. Please take these circumstances into account when requesting/inquiring about dock purchases. The same shortage applies to displays for monitors and laptops (especially touch-enabled displays).

Descriptions and specifications

Links below are for description and detailed specifications only, pricing will not reflect UO contract pricing. Requests are quoted and departments are charged at the full educational price, approved during the order process. Any subsidies to be applied to requests are applied to the full educational price. The full educational prices quoted are subject to change by vendors at any time.

Windows Desktop

Dell OptiPlex 7 series - current generation

Windows Laptop

Dell Latitude 7000 series

For pricing and recommended configurations, reference USS Dell Latitude 7420 Standards

Dell Precision 5000 series

For pricing and recommended configurations, reference USS Dell Precision 5560 Standard

macOS Desktop (Intel and Apple Silicon)

Apple iMac 24-inch & iMac 27-inch

For pricing and recommended configurations, reference USS iMac Standards

macOS Laptop (Apple Silicon)

Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch, 14-inch, and 16-inch

For pricing and recommended configurations, reference USS MacBook Pro Standards

Recommended add-on: Dell USB-C Mobile Adapter – DA310

Suggested Peripherals

Note: There is a general shortage of in-stock Thunderbolt docks, with current ship dates pushing into early December. Please take these circumstances into account when requesting or inquiring about dock purchases. Compatible docks & other peripherals from other vendors may be available with shorter lead times, and will be recommended as needed.

Monitor options

See attached Dell Monitor Availability pdfs for pricing and estimated ship dates.

Dock options

Other peripherals

Device Hardware Specifications

In order to provide a minimally acceptable level of performance, USS has standardized basic hardware specifications for all end-user-supported computers and recommended peripherals. Adequate processor power, memory, and storage are key to a machine that will have a long operating life and provide users with the best experience. Machines that are sluggish or constantly out of hard disk space are a support burden on IT and hinder faculty and staff productivity. These specifications will be adequate for the majority of office roles.

Base Standard Specification

  • Processor: Intel Core i5 (M1 for Apple products), for Windows vPro enabled processors required.
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD

Performance Standard Specification

For users with more varied workloads that require additional performance to complete, we also offer a standard performance option. This upgrades the processor, and RAM.

  • Processor: Intel Core i7 (M1 Pro for Apple Products), for Windows vPro enabled processors required.
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD

Custom Configuration

Additional specification changes can often be accommodated in the supported standard model lines. Exceptions outside of the standard models should have a clear business need, confirmed and accepted by the appropriate Associate Director of the supporting USS IT unit, and adhere to the UO Acceptable Use of Computing Resources Policy.

Dual-Boot or Device-Based Virtualization Support

USS does not support Dual-Boot or Device-Based Virtualization. Dual-Boot or Device-Based Virtualization is software that is installed on computers to allow for installation of virtual computers/multiple Operating Systems. Products that provide Dual-Boot functionality or Device-Based Virtualization include, but are not limited to Bootcamp, Parallels, Virtual Box, VMWare Fusion/Workstation, Hyper-V for Windows 10.

The most commonly requested configuration is options for running Windows on MacOS devices. This scenario is especially problematic for several reasons, but it is clear it is not a sustainable workflow as Apple has switched to the ARM platform with Apple Silicon architecture and is transitioning all their products away from Intel. Windows for ARM is not available for purchase for our institution.  The University of Oregon cannot license or install Windows on MacOS devices.

Devices in dual-boot or virtualized configurations cannot be effectively managed and secured, do not comply with the ISO Minimum Security Controls, and present licensing challenges that in many cases cannot be appropriately licensed per our agreements with software vendors. There are performance and functionality impacts that provide an inferior user experience and drive up support costs for the organization.  

We encourage all users who need to use both MacOS and Windows devices to consider workflow changes that do not include Dual-Boot or Device-Based Virtualization scenarios as there are significant barriers to their use.

Warranty

A manufacturer's warranty is required for all computer and device purchases. The following warranty options are recommended.

  • Desktops: Three-year basic coverage
  • Laptops: Three-year full coverage

Details

Article ID: 115610
Created
Thu 9/3/20 3:43 PM
Modified
Mon 11/22/21 10:11 AM