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Hardware Purchase

Institutional purchases

Departmental and College purchasers can also seek advice from Institution Strategy (e-mail ). This is especially advised when a number of machines are to be purchased or the purchase is of high value or high specification (e.g. a server).

Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium (SUPC) and National Agreements

The University is a member of the Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium (SUPC) and is represented on the SUPC Computer Group by a member of the Computing Service. The SUPC gives the University access to agreements with computer suppliers and manufacturers offering a range of products and discounts. As part of an initiative lead by the Joint Procurement Policy and Strategy Group (JPPSG) the SUPC along with the other HE regional consortium jointly negotiate inter-regional or national contracts. As existing regional contracts expire they are likely to be replaced by national contracts. All contracts are awarded in accordance with the European Purchasing Directives. In addition all suppliers have to meet strict price, quality and support criteria; the contracts are closely managed and price lists issued regularly. We recommend seeking a quotation from an SUPC or National contract supplier as being representative of the best prices available.

SUPC and National contracts are currently available for a range of products, including PCs, printers and network equipment. Additional information is also available from the SUPC web site.

University Discounts

Each year the University's IT Purchasing Group agrees a 'PC Bulk Purchase' deal, which takes effect from June/July for the following academic year. More information can be found at http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/cam-only/offices/purchasing/groups/it/deals/hardware.html and direct access to the list of suppliers is available at http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/cam-only/offices/purchasing/suppliers/index.cgi (local access only).

For information on the individual contracts in place for IT Hardware, Software and Services and supplier contact details see the Central Purchasing Office Framework Contracts/Preferred Suppliers pages. A summary of all the ICT contracts is also available.

Personal purchases

Most large computing equipment manufacturers and suppliers will allow a discount for members of staff and students, on proof of affiliation with the University. You should contact your local computing officer to find out if there is local advice about hardware before you purchase anything, and you should consider the need for backing up the data to be stored on the equipment you purchase. Contact the UIS Service Desk if you have queries (, phone 01223 (7)62999). For those making personal purchases, we have compiled a list of useful contacts.

Second-hand equipment

The University Information Services cannot advise on second-hand purchases or advise on the price of second-hand equipment. If you wish to purchase a second-hand computer we recommend that you refer to the classified advertisements in the local paper, on the notice boards in your department or college, or eBay. If you don't have any expertise, seek advice, or otherwise you might make an expensive mistake. If you have a system for sale, use one or all of these means to advertise your computer.

Rental

Renting is expensive, especially for short periods of time and deposits covering the cost of the goods are usually required. There are companies that specialise in rental of computers, computer equipment and software but we don't make any recommendations. If you require rental for personal use check with the individual company that this is possible as some will only rent to businesses.

Support and warranty

Your new computer will come with some level of support and warranty - make sure you know the conditions of this as you may need to keep packaging to return the computer for warranty repairs. All new Macs come with a 3 year warranty if bought through the Apple Higher Education website but only 1 year if bought through an Apple store or another supplier. 

Last updated: April 2014