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Computer Support Services

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Bouillon Hall Room 128
400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926
Phone: (509) 963-2001

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Computer System Standards


One of our roles in CSS is to evaluate the computer needs of campus users and assist with searching out the best computer hardware configuration that meets those needs.  We help CWU with WHAT to buy.

As of 7/1/2020, our current basic minimum hardware standards for all computer types are an Intel Core i5 processor (or the new Apple M1), 16Gb RAM and a 256Gb SSD. 

Hardware Warranties:

  • Windows Desktop – require 3-year manufacturer warranty (contracted - does not include accidental damage)
  • Windows Laptop – require 3-year onsite manufacturer warranty (do not require accidental damage coverage but this option is recommended)
  • Apple Desktop – require a 3-year manufacturer warranty (we have an onsite Apple-certified repair tech)
  • Apple Laptop – require a 3-year manufacturer warranty (we have an onsite Apple-certified repair tech)
  • Surfaces and iPads – cannot be repaired onsite so we recommend but do not require 3-year warranties on these units although accidental damage coverage has proven to be valuable (but again, not required).

We do not support the use of 3rd party warranty services.  Historically these warranties have not been of good value for CWU so we require manufacturer warranties whenever applicable.

For any questions on HOW and WHERE to buy, please view some convenient options at: or contact the Purchasing Office at:  CSS and Purchasing collaborate on many of these processes.

Also note – all CWU computers are delivered through CSS so they can be recorded and tagged according to the procedures and requirements laid out by Property Management (

Windows Desktops

We have two contracted providers for Windows Desktops:  Currently, CTL and US Micro.  For the sake of standardization, we specify all the individual hardware components used in our PC desktop systems.  The prices from each vendor are updated monthly and can always be found here:  At the bottom of that page is a link to a more detailed breakdown of the hardware: These units are purchased via Online Requisition through CWU Purchasing.  The required 3-year warranty is included in the purchase price listed.

Windows Laptops

We currently recommend Dell and Lenovo laptops.  These manufacturers have a proven track record with CWU of being able to provide quality laptops with a long useful life (6+ years in many cases) and these manufacturers also have been very good with after-purchase service processes (warranty work).

There are two methods commonly used for purchasing Windows laptops at CWU:

  1. Direct Quote attached to Online Requisition – this has proven to provide the best value for CWU as the costs directly from the vendors tends to be lower than resellers offer.  CSS will obtain and forward a quote for you to use with your Online Requisition.  Warranty cost is included in purchase price on these quotes.
  2. CDWg on a PCard:  CDWg is the preferred CWU vendor if time is a more important component.  We use their “Ready to Ship” designation to get laptops faster, but this often carries a larger price tag for CWU.  In addition to the laptop, it is often required to find and include the required 3-year manufacturer warranty coverage.  This has a second product code that must be added to the order (so each CDWg laptop order has at least two line-items, the laptop and the warranty).  Note:  CDWg’s warranty offering (so labeled) is a 3rd party warranty – as such it is not acceptable – units must have a manufacturer warranty.

Apple Desktops, Laptops and iPads

We purchase Apple products for CWU through our very own Wildcat Shop.  You can contact Chandra Hill or Mary Rill to start this process.  They know our minimum requirements and can assist you with the purchase of these units for your department.  Be sure to tell them the purchase is for CWU as they also sell Apple products for personal use!

January 2021 Note:  Apple has begun transitioning to a new, non-Intel processor (the M1) with OS 11 (Big Sur).  This processor is supported by CSS and meets the minimum hardware requirements.

Microsoft Surface

Surfaces are best purchased via CDWg on a PCard.  The minimum hardware requirements are still required.  As these units cannot be repaired onsite, a warranty is recommended but not required.  If the units are to be used by multiple people, we strongly encourage the addition of accidental damage coverage.

Monitors and Printers

With changes to state requirements for tagging and recording most monitors and printers are shipped directly to the users on campus.  In addition, the increase in variety, options and personal preferences have made it difficult to provide specific product suggestions. 

Our recommendations for these units are brief:

Monitors – we strongly recommend the monitor include a Display Port interface (most monitors have two or three different connection options).  Also, we recommend against anything with an external power brick.  If the monitor and brick get separated, you are left with expensive paperweights.  CDWg (on PCard) is the most common source for purchasing CWU monitors.

Printers – we have long supported the HP family of printers.  For product longevity, we recommend going with laser whenever possible.  Rocky Hively in CSS is the current primary source for printer advice and guidance if you have any questions.  CDWg (on PCard) is the most common source for purchasing CWU printers.

If you have any questions about any of the information above, please contact Stacy Swayze, Jeff Gladen or Rocky Hively.  We’ll be glad to assist however we are able!

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