New Computer FAQ

The specs of my new computer aren’t any better than my (3 year) old one!

Your new laptop or desktop is faster than your old one in every way.  While numbers like clockspeed and Core i5 or Core i7 give you some information about the expected general performance to non-technical users, they don’t tell you everything.  A new Core i5 that is the same rated clockspeed as a 3-year old Core i7 is still ‘faster’ than it.  2.0GHz yesterday does not equal 2.0GHz today.

Also, feel free to peruse this comparison of Intel Core i3/i5/i7 CPUs (note the exceptionally small performance gap between i5 and i7).

"Benchmarks improve, real world experience does not."
     - The Verge, MacBook Pro review (2015 refresh)

 

My new computer has less storage than my previous one.

A lot of the old desktops and laptops used 320GB+ mechanical hard drives.  All new machines are ordered with 256GB solid state drives.  While they are smaller in capacity, they are 8-10 times faster than mechanical drives.  Storage speed is the #1 bottleneck in PC performance today so this is where our money is best spent to get you a machine that stays zippy over it's 3+ year deployment.

 

My new computer doesn’t have a DVD drive, what gives?

The only computers we order now that include a DVD drive are the PC desktops.  Mac Minis, Retina MacBook Pros, and the new Dell Latitudes are too thin/small to house an optical drive.  At this point, you should be working on converting any physical media to digital and storing it either on our servers or on your laptop/desktop locally.  There is little reason to continue using them.  If you have software that’s ‘only available’ on a CD or DVD, it’s time to upgrade.  Chances are the publisher provides a digital download, and if they don’t, you probably won’t be able to use the software for very long after Windows 10 and later are available when it becomes incompatible.  If you still need a DVD drive you may order one through standard TR&D purchase using your own funding (they’re only ~$20).

 

Why do I have to get a Dell?

To make things simpler for the tech support team.  Your personal preference in laptop brands makes no difference in the workplace.  By ordering only one model of PC laptop (XPS 13) and one model of PC desktop (Optiplex 7040) we are able to more quickly deploy new PCs and service problem machines.  Dell is the University’s preferred vendor and as long as that is the case we will be ordering from Dell.

 

This laptop is too heavy, I need something else.

All laptops we order now are VERY light:

  • MacBook Pro 13": 3.02lbs
  • Dell XPS 13: 2.7lbs
  • Microsoft Surface Pro 4: 1.8lbs

  

Can I buy my old laptop/desktop/tablet?

No.  In the past you were able to purchase old equipment for its depreciated value.  This policy was in conflict with a CSU-level property policy.  All purchases through State, University, research, or grant funds are property of SJSU.  When property is returned to BT Tech Services, it is either reused by the College in some other way, returned to the Property Office for University reuse, or returned to the Property Office to go out for public auction.  There is no way for us to directly remove assets by accepting payments at a College level.