1051 NW 14th St., Suite 165
(UM mail routing R-26)
Miami, FL 33136
Hours: 830am - 500pm, M-F
Help Desk: 305-243-5999
General fax: 305-243-6417
Admin. fax: 305-243-2622
Choosing the right personal computing equipment
This information is intended to help you think about your individual or department computing needs, and explore some of the choices for hardware and software. If you have additional questions, or would like assistance in determining the system that will best meet your needs, contact the Technology Store (305-243-1189) or the Help Desk (305-243-5999).
For a list of the types of purchases that are required or recommended to be purchased through Medical IT, see Where to Make Your Technology Purchases.
For a list of the steps in placing a computer or computer-related order, see Purchasing Hardware and Software through IT.
What hardware decisions do I need to make?
There are quite a few, so we've broken up the answers into these sections:
- Desktop vs. laptop (and big vs.small)
- Apple. vs. Windows PCs (Dell, HP, Lenovo et al)
- Dell and Apple product lines
- Processor power and memory
- LCD display (size, resolution, and how many)
- Hard drives and storage peripherals
- Computer printers: laser vs. ink-jet, color vs. black-and-white, MFP vs. printer only
- Other options and issues to consider
- Basic vs. extended warranties
- PC hardware standards and minimum configuration
- PC software standards
What about software?
The Medical Center participates in a site license with Microsoft and a few other vendors, and so some software products are available free for work-related use by Medical Center affiliates. (A few, like anti-virus and anti-spyware, are available free for both work and personal use.) Other software applications are available at a reduced price (though not free) under licensing arrangements with vendors.
Please review the Software Download pages for more information about what is available, and under what conditions.
What do I do with my old computer?
If you are retiring a system purchased by UM, you need to "process" it through Medical Information Technology (305-243-5999). By doing so, the Medical Center can ensure that recycled capital equipment is tracked properly. There is no charge for this service, nor is there a charge for secure disposal of computer peripherals or storage media.
Computers remain UM property, even when "obsolete." They may not be given away or, worse, simply thrown away. Among other things, Medical Information Technology will assure that any potential protected or sensitive information is cleared from computer hard drives, and remove software packages that are licensed solely for University use.