This is possibly more of a comment, but a bit of personal experience/observations from Europe:
What is the ideal situation: You are provided with the equipment you need.
What is the reality? You generally find you lack equipment - be it a good PC or a second monitor, etc.
When I did my PhD, I got an old computer - a Dell desktop that at the time was about 4 years old and technically weaker than my old laptop at the time... well, I used it - got a desktop at home a year later which was a lot more powerful (which I specced considering my PhD work) and then another 1.3 years later got so fed up with the old Dell that I replaced the entire thing with my own Ultrabook (which despite weighing 1.4kg is or was more powerful).
Incidentally, I did bring up the idea of buying my own computer (small desktop) when they PAT tested the Dell (weird British habit these "PAT tests"...) and the suggestion was that it would not be allowed. Hence my solution was to get the Ultrabook instead (which cost 3 times as much but which I still have - and from which I write this post actually)
The chance that I would have gotten a new PC towards the end of my PhD was also pretty much zero - why should they pay for it? (EPSRC only funded my tuition fee and maintenance... - heck, I had to be happy that the university paid for some experimental work...)
I could also still use the Linux boxes and the Cluster just fine vie the University wifi using SSH so it wasn't a problem in any way.
Incidentally, other students were better off - the "CFD lot" got new computers at the start and one guy funded by industry even got a laptop to use (not sure if he got to keep it, it was an option, not sure what the end result was though).
Now as PostDoc at a different institution I would love a second monitor - and instead have a Dell workstation that is weirdly specced...
It has an E5 Xenon in there which I don't need and an NVidia Quadro (not a low one) but I only get a single monitor... I'm not the only one who'd like another monitor but effectively everybody in the institute has to make do with a single monitor. Why? I don't know. IT decided what we get to use.
A PhD student in the UK started and the mood was "he has a powerful laptop he does not need a PC". (I hope they did get him one eventually...)
Incidentally, the same VM setup that took 1 hour to run on my desktop took 2 hours on his laptop - despite it having about 70% of the processing power of my desktop in benchmarks...
So what is the reality? Invariably in academic research you generally end up using your own equipment - because the equipment supplied is lacking in some respect or you want to work at home, etc. etc.
However, there are a some points to consider:
- If you do commercially or otherwise sensitive work for industry, using your own equipment may be very much frowned upon.
- Different institutions have different policies - some object to you taking your work home. Obviously, if you start writing a literature review at home there is little they can do, however you would be better off following company policy and leaving work in the office. (Unless they furnish you with a work laptop that you can take home.)
Then there is the topic of licenses:
- If you can use free software or can afford the licenses for the software you use, great, no problem.
- However I have noticed that it appears not to be unusual for some students to obtain software from illicit sources, this may have consequences if any questions are asked, for both the student and potentially the university (if they condoned such practices).