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MCS Hardware

If you wish to buy new hardware or wish to take up the Managed Cluster Service to include your existing hardware, you should make sure the hardware is supported before you commit yourself to proceed.

We usually require an evaluation model of any new hardware before we will agree to include it in the service. When in doubt please contact us first.

Please see MCS Software for important information about how to ensure new PCs are correctly licensed for Windows.

  • The recommended hard drive size (particularly if dual booting Windows and Linux) is 500GB
  • The recommended memory in a workstation is 8GB (future proof as much as possible)

Recommended PC Hardware

The currently supported and recommended hardware is: Dell OptiPlex 7040 PCs.

Note: If anything other than the recommended hardware is required, please ask us in the first instance. We may require an evaluation machine for testing, as we cannot guarantee that other makes and models will be compatible on the MCS. Anything older than 4 years may be supported but there could be significant performance issues with this older hardware.

BIOS Settings

For PC BIOS settings, please see the Imaging page.

Recommended Mac Hardware

The following guidelines cover the specification of Macs for 2015/16 (OS X 10.10 Yosemite). If you are in any doubt about your Mac hardware and/or require further advice or information on what to buy please get in touch with Clare Bartlet or James Nairn mac-support@ucs.cam.ac.uk. 
NB Minimum specs may be insufficient to run specialist applications

Macintosh models (AY 2015/16, OS X 10.10 Yosemite)

  • Any Aluminium 64-bit, Intel Core 2 duo or later, Macintosh
  • Minimum 4 GB RAM

Non-Apple Monitors/Keyboards/Mice/etc.

Whilst all Apple hardware, as shown above, is supported, we will do our best to support non-Apple monitors/keyboards/mice/etc where necessary.

Peripherals

  • External USB card readers
  • Apple USB SuperDrive optical drive

Scanners

If you would like to add a scanner to one of your MCS Macs please talk to us about the latest recommendations. Scanner models change fairly frequently and it is not possible for us to have tested all suitable latest models so it is important not to buy a scanner without discussing it with us first.

As a guide the currently preferred scanners are the Epson V550 and the Epson V370.

Smartboard

MCS Macs support the same SmartBoards as  MCS Windows 7, currently  SMARTBoard (tm) by SMART Technologies

Recommended Printers

Recommended printers for the MCS are listed on the DS-Print web pages.

Purchasing Recommended Hardware

The current tender agreement under the NDNA has been awarded to Dell and has the option of being extended into subsequent years.

For further details including contact information, please refer to the Central Purchasing Office's Preferred/Contracted Supplier information for Dell.