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Purchasing Computers, Peripherals, and Software

The CTS team is here to assist with academic and research purchases, including workstations, compute nodes, presentation equipment, and other peripherals.

Easier Dell Ordering

For standard workstation purchases, we have arranged a number of Dell models at the bottom of the Dell punch-out via SmartSource — look for CoE as the category. These systems are already priced by our sales rep and have recommended warranties set as defaults.

Please consult CTS before purchasing computers

All non-standard computer purchases should be cleared by CTS prior to purchase to ensure supportability and compatibility with Drexel systems.

Most of our other purchasing is done through approved vendors using Drexel’s SmartSource system — for tech purchases, we rely mainly on Dell, Apple, CDWG, Connection, or Telrose/Office Depot. For higher end GPU needs, please take a look at supported systems from Lambda.

We can also obtain custom quotes from our vendors as needed. We can assist in obtaining competing quotes for large purchases if required.

Purchasing Policies

Please include the following information with any purchasing requests:

  • What's the budget for this purchase?
  • What is the planned use for the hardware and are there any minimum specifications required?
  • How long would you like the hardware to be warrantied for?
  • What level of redundancy, if any, is required?
  • What are your plans to protect the data on the device?

Minimum system requirements

We recommend that all newly purchased systems come with at least a late generation mid-level CPU (Core i5-equivalent or better), 16GB of RAM, and a solid-state hard drive.

Data security

All University-owned computer systems must include a TPM chip or comparable hardware to support full disk encryption as required by Drexel's data security initiative.


CTS highly recommends that all systems be purchased with the appropriate warranty protections (a minimum of 3 years of on-site service). For laptops and mobile devices, accidental damage plans are advisable.


For any computer peripherals, cables, or accessories, CTS does not need to be consulted prior to purchase if you have identified a suitable item and are relatively certain of its compatibility. If you aren't sure, then you're welcome to send in a ticket including information about the existing system and the proposed item and we'll provide guidance from there (photos help when you're unsure). We keep a stock of most network, display, and power cables -- you're welcome to stop by our offices to get what you need. We also try to keep basic mice and keyboards on hand.

Limited support for non-approved computer purchases

For computers purchased without CTS approval or with reduced warranty protections, support is limited to installation of an operating system and other software as required by university policies and standards. CTS may assist with basic troubleshooting, but the purchasing group will be responsible for any warranty services required including shipping the unit offsite (if a mail-in warranty was purchased), as well as purchasing any necessary replacement parts.

Personally Owned Devices

CTS does not provide any support for personally purchased or owned devices.

Faculty refresh

The University provides faculty with a new computer system of their choice once every 5 years. Eligible faculty are notified by email towards the end of the calendar year and provided a choice of standard computer models. The computers are then ordered, imaged, and delivered in the following months.

Custom orders are allowed, and will have a portion of the purchase price covered -- please submit a ticket to CTS with your desired specifications so we can prepare a quote for approval. CTS highly recommends selecting the upgraded packages that Drexel IT provides, usually including additional RAM and disk space as well as extended warranty protections.


CTS is available to consult on new software being purchased for teaching or research use. We maintain multiple license servers able to host any floating network license as required by the software vendor. Please make any requests 2 months in advance of the date required to allow for the procurement, licensing, and deployment processes.