Hardware Support Lifecycle

In order to ensure that University personnel have access to the computing technology required to fulfill their job's responsibilities, it is important for departments to budget for periodic lifecycle replacement.


Rice Standard Hardware Recommendations

Rice OIT managed device support services are listed below.

OIT has established standards for Rice-owned machines. Non-standard machines are not capable of centralized management which provides for patching, maintenance, and monitoring for security vulnerabilities and ultimately, can represent a risk to the university if not properly maintained. In some cases, OIT may not be able to facilitate hardware repair for non-standard devices. Formal Rice policy currently states that all who gather, store, transmit, or have access to university data require encryption and password protection. More information is available in Rice University Policy 808.

OIT’s hardware offerings include business class rather than consumer targeted solutions. Business computers are built with higher quality components that are tested more rigorously with emphasis on durability. Parts used for consumer computers may be more generic or even cheap, while computers designed for professional use more often include higher grade materials and name-brand parts.

Dell Laptops (Windows Only)

13.3" Dell Latitude 5320 2-in-1 14" Dell Latitude 5420 15.6" Dell Latitude 5520 13" Dell Latitude 7320 14" Dell Latitude 7420
Dell Latitude 5320 2-in-1 Dell Latitude 5420 Dell Latitude 5520 Dell Latitude 7320 Dell Latitude 7420
  • 11th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-1140G7 (4 Core, 8M cache, base 1.8GHz, up to 4.2GHz, vPro capable)
  • 16 Gb RAM
  • Windows 10
  • 256Gb Solid State Drive
  •  Intel® Iris graphics for I5-1140G7 vPro Processor with 16 Gb RAM memory
  • 13" 3:2 FHD+ (1920 x 1280) Touch, 500 nits Super Low Power, Low Blue Light, Gorilla Glass 6 DX, Mic
  • Intel® Wi-Fi 6 AX201 2x2 802.11ax 160MHz + Bluetooth 5.1 Wireless Card
  • Single Pointing Non-Backlit English US Keyboard
  • 4 Cell 63Whr ExpressChargeTM Capable Battery
  • Palmrest, Contacted SmartCard Reader, Thunderbolt™ 4
  • 4 Years ProSupport Plus with Next Business Day Onsite Service
  • Trusted Platform Module (Discrete TPM Enabled)*
  • Optional: Dell Services: Absolute Security - Standard**
  • 11th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-1145G7 (4 Core, 8M cache, base 2.6GHz, up to 4.4GHz, vPro)
  • 16 Gb RAM
  • Windows 10
  • 256Gb Solid State Drive
  •  Intel® Iris® XE Graphics for i5-1145G7 vPro Processor with 16Gb RAM Memory for Laptop
  •  Laptop 14.0" FHD(1920x1080) Anti-glare, Non-Touch, WVA, 250 nits, HD RGB Cam,Mic, WLAN Only, CF
  • Intel® Wi-Fi 6 AX201 2x2 802.11ax 160MHz + Bluetooth 5.1 Wireless Card
  • Single Pointing Non-Backlit English US Keyboard
  • 4 Cell 63Whr ExpressChargeTM Capable Battery
  • Palmrest, Contacted SmartCard Reader, Thunderbolt™ 4
  • 4 Years ProSupport Plus with Next Business Day Onsite Service
  • Trusted Platform Module (Discrete TPM Enabled)*
  • Optional: Dell Services: Absolute Security - Standard**

Dell Desktops (Windows Only)

OptiPlex 7090 Tower OptiPlex 7090 Small Form Factor OptiPlex 7090 Micro OptiPlex 7090 Ultra
Dell OptiPlex 7090 Tower Dell OptiPlex 7090 Tower Dell OptiPlex 7090 Micro OptiPlex 7090 Ultra

Recommended Specifications for Apple Macintosh computers

Currently, Apple Macintosh models are undergoing a transition from using Intel Core i-series processors to the Apple-designed M1 series processors.  Any Macintosh can be purchased; however, M1s are recommended at this time and it is recommended that the configuration meet the minimum requirements listed below. 

Note that on all Macs with M1 chips, neither RAM memory nor drive storage is upgradeable after purchase. 

The M1 series processors can be found in these Mac lines as of January 2022:
The Intel processors are still in use in these Mac lines as of January 2022:


Rice standard Dell machines include a 4 Year Pro Support Plus warranty with Next Business Day Onsite Service and accidental damage coverage. Dell onsite service is provided at the location of the asset (including at home and Dell service areas across the continental U.S.) which is a major benefit to the Rice community. Dell also currently provides the option of extending the warranty to 5 years.

Apple computer warranty support also provides a 4 Year warranty that includes accidental damage coverage. Warranty repair is managed via shipping for laptops or customers can take either desktop or laptop Macs to be serviced at an Apple Authorized Service Provider.

By adhering to recommended standards, customers will experience less downtime should hardware issues occur and with the warranty in place, the department can better plan for lifecycle replacement of machines as part of the budgeting process.

Hardware no longer under warranty may require technical assistance from a 3rd party vendor as well as incurring a cost for parts/repair.

* Trusted Platform Module (TPM)

Microsoft recently released on October 1, 2021. Although it has yet to become mainstream, Microsoft has announced that Windows 11 requires a TPM version 2.0 chip. Hardware that does not include the TPM 2.0 chip may be prevented from upgrading and / or receiving Microsoft security updates.


Absolute is the industry standard for endpoint security and resilience. In the event of loss or theft of a device, Absolute provides protections such as the ability to freeze a device, perform remote erasures of data, as well as recovery services for lost and stolen devices. 

It is recommended that Absolute be purchased at the same time as the device quote and purchase. Doing so will provide automated activation and protection. Licenses for Absolute should be purchased for the same number of years as the warranty that is selected. Rice standard machines include a 4 year warranty. 

Note: If Absolute licensing is purchased separately from the device purchase, your license must be registered with OIT in order to enable the protection. Please contact the OIT Help Desk for assistance. 

 Absolute Resilience for Education

Printer Recommendations

For questions or guidance on purchasing a printer, please contact the OIT Help Desk

Rice has established relationships with preferred suppliers for either purchase or lease of large capacity Multi-Function Devices (MFDs)  that provide support for Scan/Fax/Print/Copy functions.  

Computer Lifecycle Replacement

OIT recommends that computers be replaced every four to five years, a duration that corresponds to industry benchmarks for the useful life of laptop and desktop computer systems. Following these guidelines will reduce potential risks to both Rice University work and research.

When planning for lifecycle replacement, the warranty period should ideally reflect the number of years the device is intended to be in use.

Please note that obsolescence is driven by several factors outside of OIT’s control and is directly related to the age of the hardware, security compliance, and vendor software requirements.

Systems that are not capable of running a supported Operating System (OS) may be subject to removal from the Rice University network. Self-managed machines may also have limited access to Rice network resources. 


All Rice-owned computers transitioning to another employee or requiring permanent disposal will need to be re-imaged or in the case of disposal, securely erased (OIT has a tool for this purpose). Please contact the OIT Help Desk for assistance.  

In the event that a Rice-owned device is to be transferred for personal use, the device will need to be removed from Rice endpoint management and all Rice licensed software removed. The recipient of the erased computer is fully responsible for the re-installation of software and configuration, including the Operating System (OS). Details are below. 

Transitioning a Computer for Personal Use

Apple Computers
The Macintosh Operating System is licensed to the device and a restore is readily accessible. For Macs, run recovery to install the  Mac OS
•    Press Command + R to install previously installed Mac OS
•    Press Command + Option + R to install the latest Mac OS that will function on the Mac

** Note: if the Mac does not respond to these commands, that indicates it is not capable of running a supported Operating System and should be submitted for disposal.

Windows Computers
For Windows computers and due to licensing restrictions, the Rice Enterprise Windows Operating System license will need to be removed.  In most situations, the original Windows OS that was installed at the time of purchase can be restored; however, depending on the age of the device, the computer may have originally come with an Operating System which has been deemed end of life and is no longer supported by Microsoft. 

If needed, the vendor can also typically provide a disk with the Operating System software. 

If the individual receiving this device is a current Rice employee or student, software, including Microsoft Office and the Windows Operating System, may be available for purchase / download using Rice on the Hub. A KB article provides instructions that outline eligibility and how to purchase/download.  Prior to purchasing software, make sure to verify compatibility with the hardware and also note that software available from Rice on the Hub is subject to change. 

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