Graduate student workstation options

These guidelines cover graduate workstation options in the School of Computer Science. Before the beginning of the term, the supervisor/advisor of a new full-time graduate student in the PhD, MMath (thesis option) or MMath (research paper option) program is asked to specify what desktop equipment will be provided on the student's desk.

All options will provide access to Windows, Unix and Linux servers in the general computing environment, as well as the student environment.

Please note that most faculty are covered by a Research Support Subscription and the cost of the workstation is included in that support.  In those cases, there is no additional cost for requesting a workstation for your graduate student.  A small number of faculty do not have a support subscription and can request a basic workstation with no support from Research Support Group (RSG). They can, however, get help from our CSCF Help Desk.

These are the current options:

  • Option one: Laptop or desktop PC with Linux OS (no support)

Provided at no cost to researcher.  There is no RSG support of this equipment. If there is a problem with the equipment, it will be swapped out with a replacement.  Contact the CSCF Help Desk if you need service. Please note that machines are selected from a pool of computers that may include older machines that have been returned, as well as machines recently purchased. There are no guarantees about which machine a specific student might receive.

  • Option two: Laptop with Linux OS (RSG support)

The School can provide a laptop that meets or exceeds Computer Science Computing Facility (CSCF) workstation standards. Students will be given administrator privileges on this machine, so that they can install any additional software they may require. An on-going subscription to research computing support is required. If the faculty supervisor is already part of a group that has a subscription, this machine can be added to it. Otherwise, they can get their own, individual subscription. Please note that machines are selected from a pool of computers that may include older machines that have been returned, as well as machines recently purchased. There are no guarantees about which machine a specific student might receive.

Support is provided by one of the Research Support Group staff, who will be assigned as your Point of Contact. You may also request assistance from the CSCF Help Desk if your Point of Contact is not available when you need them.

Fall 2021/Winter 2022 Specifications (may vary based on availability):

- Lenovo T14 Gen.1 laptops Model: 20S1S3DJ00: Intel Core i5-10210U Processor(Core i5-10210U), 16GB DDR4 3200,512GB PCIe TLC, Bluetooth Version 5.0, Hybrid IR & RGB 720p HD Camera with Think Privacy Shutter and Microphone, NVIDIA GeForce MX330 2GB, 14.0 FHD 45%CG MultiTouch 3YR Depot Warranty

- ThinkPad P14s Gen 1 20S4003FUS: i7-10510U (1.80GHz, up to 4.90GHz with Turbo Boost, 4 Cores, 8MB Cache), 16GB DDR4-2666 non-ECC, 512GB SSD M.2, PCIe-NVMe, OPAL2.0, TLC, NVIDIA Quadro P520 2GB , 14" FHD (1920x1080) IPS 300nits Anti-glare, 10-point Multi-touch, 1000 Ethernet, Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 2x2ax, Bluetooth ,Win10 Pro

  • Option three: Laptop with Microsoft Windows OS (RSG Support)

The School can provide a laptop that meets or exceeds Computer Science Computing Facility (CSCF) workstation standards. Students will be given administrator privileges on this machine, so that they can install any additional software they may require. An on-going subscription to research computing support is required. If the faculty supervisor is already part of a group that has a subscription, this machine can be added to it. Otherwise, they can get their own, individual subscription. Please note that machines are selected from a pool of computers that may include older machines that have been returned, as well as machines recently purchased. There are no guarantees about which machine a specific student might receive.

Support is provided by one of the Research Support Group staff, who will be assigned as your Point of Contact. You may also request assistance from the CSCF Help Desk if your Point of Contact is not available when you need them.

Fall 2021/Winter 2022 specifications: (same as Option 2)

  • Option four: MacBook Air

The School can provide a laptop that meets or exceeds Computer Science Computing Facility (CSCF) workstation standards. Students will be given administrator privileges on this machine, so that they can install any additional software they may require. An on-going subscription to research computing support is required. If the faculty supervisor is already part of a group that has a subscription, this machine can be added to it. Otherwise, they can get their own, individual subscription. Please note that machines are selected from a pool of computers that may include older machines that have been returned, as well as machines recently purchased. There are no guarantees about which machine a specific student might receive.

Support is provided by one of the Research Support Group staff, who will be assigned as your Point of Contact. You may also request assistance from the CSCF Help Desk if your Point of Contact is not available when you need them.

Fall 2021/Winter 2022 specifications: 13-inch MacBook Air - Space Gray, 16-core Neural Engine, Apple M1 w/ 8 core CPU, 7 core GPU, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, AppleCare+

  • Option five: Advisor-provided desktop

This option allows for the faculty supervisor or the graduate student to provide their own preferred equipment. A network connection will be provided at no charge. If desired, the machine can be supported through a research support subscription.

  • Option six: Research "Loaner" PC

We have now standardized to providing laptops for graduate students, but we may have some older desktop machines. These can either be in the form of a small form-factor Intel NUC or a desktop PC with an Nvidia GPU.  Here are the specifications for those machines:

Intel Nuc: Intel Skull Canyon NUC, Intel® Core™ i7-6770HQ processor with Intel® Iris™ Pro graphics (2.6 to 3.5 GHz Turbo, Quad Core, 6 MB Cache, 45W TDP), 16GB DDR4 RAM, Samsung 500GB M.2 SSD

Desktop PC: ASUS SABERTOOTH 990FX R.20, AMD X8 FX-8370E (95W) 3.3GHz (4.3GHz Turbo) , 16GB RAM, SEAGATE 2TB SSHD, EVGA 750 Ti SUPERCLOCKED 2GB

Specifications:

Our CSCF Infrastructure group maintains details on the above equipment.  You can see that on their Recommended Hardware page.  Please note that "Current" refers to the latest models that are being ordered, "Minimum" refers to older models that are still available for assignment to students.  There is no particular guarantee as to which equipment you may receive.