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Technology at SCU

Computer Hardware Standards

Standardization lowers the total cost of ownership through reduced support costs and encourages collaboration and efficiency between all SCU technology support staff.  By leveraging the buying power of the University, we also are able to receive significant cost savings for our purchases.  SCU's recommended vendors for all desktop and laptop purchases are Dell and Apple.

There are many reasons why institutions standardize on computer vendors, and why we have standardized on Dell and Apple here at SCU.  Among these are:

  • the ability to provide higher quality support to the user community
  • the ability to provide a higher quantity of support to the user community
  • the ability to quickly troubleshoot computer problems that our users may be experiencing
  • the ability to ensure that the computers are configurable for use on our network
  • the ability to ensure consistently high quality hardware components (computers purchased at discount stores have lower quality components)
  • cost savings through negotiated pricing on select models
  • extended warranty support
  • ensuring that computers are compatible with our SCU campus image

As our University standard, Dell and Apple are the only computers supported by our Technology Support Services unit.  All University Apple and Dell computers should meet campus hardware standards and be acquired through the Purchasing Department (i.e., don't purchase from stores like Costco as you will not receive a 4-year warranty).  For more information, please see the Technology at SCU - Hardware Purchases site.  Should you feel that Dell or Apple products won't meet your specific needs, please let Academic Technology know, and they will be happy to work with you to address your particular situation.

Support Levels

Support levels for Santa Clara University owned computers are as follows:

Computers - Full Support






iMac (Mid 2014 model and newer)

Mac mini (Late 2014 model and newer)

MacBook Air (Early 2015 model and newer)

MacBook Pro (Early 2015 model and newer)


OptiPlex 7020

OptiPlex 7040

OptiPlex 7050

OptiPlex 7060

Precision 3430

Precision 3630

Latitude 3340

Latitude E6440

Latitude E5450

Latitude E5470

Latitude 5480

Latitude 5490

Precision 5510

Precision 5520

Precision 5530

Full Support:  Academic Technology will ensure the working order of the computer, using reasonable staff time and support resources, and will facilitate any hardware repairs if the computer is under warranty.  This includes:

  • Pre-configuration of all new hardware and software to SCU's standard image.
  • On-site setup of all new computers meeting SCU's requirements.  This includes ensuring the new computer is fully functional, and the user can access all resources needed to perform job responsibilities.
  • Evaluate service requests to determine the best solution.  This may include consultation with other Academic Technology and Cyberinfrastructure Technologies support staff to fully diagnose the issue and determine if the cause is within the computer or caused by external factors.
  • If the computer is covered under the manufacturer's hardware warranty, Academic Technology will process all warranty claims with Apple or Dell.  If the computer is no longer under a hardware warranty, Academic Technology will provide the client a quote for replacement parts.  If the client does not wish to purchase the parts, then the computer will fall under the "End of Support" category (below).

Computers - End of Life Support

Vendor Desktop Laptop

iMac (Late 2013 and older)

Mac mini (Late 2012 and older)

MacBook Air (Early 2014 and older)

MacBook Pro (Mid 2014 and older)


OptiPlex 7010 and older

Latitude D-series

Latitude Exx00 series

Latitude Exx00 series

Latitude Exx10 series

Latitude Exx10 series

Latitude Exx20 series

Latitude Exx30 series

Latitude 3330

Some models may technically still run a supported operating system but performance may be poor and the hardware warranty has expired.

End of Support: Academic Technology will facilitate the recovery / transfer of data to a customer-provided external device (USB hard drive or USB flash drive), but will not attempt to resolve technical issues.  Academic Technology will work with the client to provide a recommendation for a replacement computer if necessary.

End of Life Support: Once the computer is no longer under warranty (4 - 4.5 years old) or end of life, Technology Support Services can assist the customer to transfer data to an external drive or USB flash drive but will not attempt to resolve technical issues.  Use of University Software is also End of Life.

Unsupported: All computers which are NOT from Dell or Apple are considered unsupported.  Additionally any computer(s) 4.5 years old or older are considered unsupported.  Technology Support Services will not provide technical assistance for the computer other than decommissioning it for disposal.  The reasons for the End of Life at 4 years are as follows:

  • Slow performance resulting in loss of productivity and frustrated customers;
  • Less reliable resulting in unexpected failures and downtime;
  • Computer freezing more often resulting in loss of time;
  • Increased support costs (more difficult and time consuming to support);
  • Software incompatibility issues;
  • Failing hardware, especially the hard drive and laptop batteries;
  • Environmental and use issues causing burning out connections, clogging fans and shorting out components;
  • Security risks (operating system, software upgrades, patches, bug fixes and security updates no longer available);
  • Software updates demands more speed and takes additional system resources;
  • BIOS and drivers have limited (if any) availability after 3 years.

These standards are reviewed and updated approximately every 6 months.


Related Links

Information Services

Academic Technology

Information Security

Information Technology

University Library