CSG Standard Desktop (note: PSU will not support a GPU requiring external power):

HP Enterprise desktop PC with Quad-core/Eight-thread Intel CPU, 16GB RAM, 500GB SSD and discrete Nvidia graphics card:  £765 - £800 ex VAT; £930 - £1000 ex VAT with a twenty-four inch monitor.

If you would like to an ICT/HP computer that can accommodate a more-powerful GPGPU,  please consider the HP Z series work-stations on the ICT purchasing page.

(Please note: the prices above are indicative only. Always check with the supplier for the latest pricing and availability).

An authorised funds-holder must contact the appropriate departmental administrative support officer or departmental finance officer, providing a full, quoted specification and price as well as an account code to which to charge the purchase.


CSG currently support the last three generations of ICT/HP PC-compatible desktop computers, installations of which can be found throughout the department. Older model computers may also be found in the department but these are end-of-life. 

If you wish to purchase an ICT/HP computer, you can do so by visiting the ICT purchasing page (college log-in required). The 'Products' link on the left-hand side of that page allows one to choose specifications on HP desktops and other related hardware. A specification which CSG have tested and therefore guarantee support for is outlined above. More-general prices are available on the purchasing page. If you want to buy these computers, you must:

  • obtain a complete specification and quoted price through the ICT purchasing web-site;
  • obtain an account code to which to charge the purchase, along with the authorisation of the funds-holder for that account;
  • get the funds-holder to e-mail all of the above information to the appropriate departmental finance officer.

CSG support the departmental versions of Windows and Ubuntu Linux on Dell Optiplex and HP Compaq computers. In principle, any modern PC-compatible should work with the DoC OS installs but please note that we can only provide support for the computers listed above. It would not be realistic for us to either test or support all existing PC models. We strongly recommend, therefore, that you purchase conventional desktop PCs through us or ICT if you want guaranteed support.

If you still want to buy a desktop computer from a different supplier despite the above advice, please obtain a detailed specification and quote then arrange for the relevant funds holder to send this information to the appropriate departmental finance officer along with an account code to which the purchase should be charged.

Please note that the standard desktop computers mentioned above do not support graphics cards (GPU) requiring external power (6-pin or 8-pin PCI-E). Furthermore, one cannot simply replace the supplied power supply (PSU) with another. Please consider the HP work-station series if you need to run a graphics card with external power requirements.


The DoC OS installs are primarily for desktop computers. If you wish to purchase a notebook computer for college use (that is, using grant or research funding), please note that HP is the preferred supplier for all such equipment. If you want to buy a notebook from a non college-approved supplier, college central purchasing may ask you to demonstrate that the equivalent configuration is not available through the ICT purchasing page. CSG cannot help you make such cases: if you have in mind a particular notebook, you should have the facts to hand in order to justify the purchase. Please note that Apple Macintosh computers do not fall under this rule (see below).

It is still possible to buy notebooks from college-approved suppliers such as BT Business Direct and Dell. Simply obtain a full Quicklinx code or full specification, price and quote for the product in question and arrange for the relevant funds holder to send this information to the appropriate departmental finance officeralong with an account code to which the purchase should be charged.

Most notebooks (and indeed desktops) are certified to support current Windows OSes. If you want to put a different Windows OS on a purchased notebook, please use Microsoft Imagine: all current members of the department should have access to this. If you have any queries about the Microsoft Imagine service, e-mail You can also download and install software (such as an anti-virus client and Microsoft Office) from the ICT Software Shop. You can install this software yourself: CSG do not have sufficient resources to do ad hoc software installations on arbitrary users' computers.

In terms of Linux support, please check the notebook manufacturer's web-sites as well as more-general web-pages and wikis (see also here).

The key features in terms of notebook use in the department are Wi-Fi, 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet and disk-space. Most modern notebooks meet these specifications so you need only check that they work reliably under your OS of choice.

Wi-Fi access can be obtained automatically: please use the Imperial-WPA SSID. If you wish to register a notebook for use through wired Ethernet with a DoC IP address (146.169.X.Y), please e-mail .


If you wish to buy an Apple Macintosh (desktop, notebook or accessories), please visit the Apple education purchasing web-page (note: if that link does not work, please try this alternative link), and choose either the 'Access to the store for Individuals' link if you wish to buy something using non-college funds. If you are buying something using college funds (e.g. research grant or PRF) then please use this page. In both cases you will be redirected to the Apple Web Store featuring discounted prices. Once you have chosen your desired Apple items, you should obtain a quote (you may need to sign up for an Apple ID). You should then ask the relevant funds-holder to send the appropriate departmental finance officer:

  • the full specification and quote (the 'W quote number' is essential) for the Apple item(s) in question;
  • the full contact information (e-mail and contact number) for the individual making the quote (this person will be contacted in case Apple request or supply further information about the order);
  • an account code to which the purchase should be charged.

ICT can install an ICT Mac OS overlay on iMacs on demand. The overlay will be applied to a 'vanilla', college-owned iMac and will include a set of common applications and utilities. Please e-mail  if you are interested in this.

When buying a Macintosh desktop or notebook, please make sure to also buy an external video adapter (for example, Mini DisplayPort to VGA or Mini DisplayPort to DVI) if required. If you plan to use your Macintosh notebook to present via a digital projector (group meetings, work-shops, conferences, ...), you must buy an xyz to VGA video adapter, where xyz is the primary output of your notebook. Please do not neglect to purchase this crucial but relatively inexpensive accessory and then expect CSG to be able to provide one on demand for your exclusive usage.


If you wish to purchase rack-mount computers for installation in the departmental machine room (Huxley 221), please e-mail e-mail beforehand. This will not only allow us to ensure that the machines can be properly accommodated but also enable us to get competitive quotes through our supplier contacts.

Do not whimsically buy hardware on the presumption that it will be integrated into the existing machine room infrastructure regardless of its specification and CSG/college guide-lines. If in doubt, consult us first.


The college-recommended supplier of printers is the DTP Group. You can obtain a price-list from them. The department and college are moving towards standardised, multifunctional, departmental printers integrated into a single print-queue rather than individual/work-group printers. If you are nevertheless planning to buy a printer that you want to put on the departmental/college network, please consult CSG first.


You will need to inform CSG of the hardware Ethernet address for the primary network interface (NIC) on any purchased computer that you wish to use on the wired departmental/college network. If you choose to install your own OS on your computer, we will put your computer on an 'untrusted' sub-net as a security measure. A computer on an untrusted sub-net has limited visibility beyond the college network and will not have single-login access to auxiliary departmental/college services (such as printing and home-directories).

Here is a list of college-recommended suppliers (college log-in and password required).

If you buy your own computer, please note that CSG cannot provide hardware support in the event of malfunction. You will instead have to avail yourself of whatever warranty arrangements were made at the point of purchase.

Almost all purchased hardware needs to be asset-tagged by CSG. This includes server, desktop and notebook computers, tablet PCs and phones, monitors, robotics kit and graphics cards. Please arrange for CSG to be notified of ordered equipment so that it can be asset-tagged.

If you have queries about any of the above, please e-mail