View RSS Feed


Comparing Specs

Rate this Entry
by , 21st May 2009 at 09:18 PM (3100 Views)
So, I've placed the orders for my two Multiseat systems. Both machines will be self built. I've not ordered TFT's this time as I'm refurbing Lab1 over the summer and some of the old TFT's from their will be used with these two systems.

Before I give the specs for the two Multiseats, I thought I'd share the specs of the front runner desktop I'm considering for Lab1.

Room 1 - Desktop
Acer Veritron L410
  • USFF Chassis
  • AMD Athlon X2 4400 (2.3Ghz Dual Core)
  • 2Gb DDR2 Ram
  • 320Gb Hard Drive
  • Windows XP Pro SP3


Library - nComputing (7 Seat)
  • Akasa Zen White Case + Antec 430W PSU
  • Asus AM3 AMD790GX Motherboard
  • AMD Phenom II X4 955 (3.2Ghz Quad Core)
  • 4Gb DDR3 Ram
  • WD Raptor 10,000rpm 150Gb Hard Drive
  • 2x nComputing X300 Kits
  • 7x Genius PS/2 Keyboards
  • 7x Genius PS/2 Optical Mice
  • Windows 2003 + 6 Terminal Server CAL's

£120 per seat

SEN - SoftXpand (4 Seat)
  • Akasa Zen White Case + Antec 500W PSU
  • Gigabyte AM2+ AMD790X Motherboard
  • AMD Phenom X3 8650 (2.3Ghz Triple Core)
  • 3Gb DDR2 Ram
  • WD 80Gb Hard Drive
  • 2x PNY GeForce 8400Gs 256mb Graphics Cards
  • 4x 4-port USB2.0 Hubs
  • 4x Genius USB Keyboards
  • 4x Genius USB Laser Mice
  • Vista Business + 2xVista Enterprise upgrades
  • 4x SoftXpand Licenses

£220 per seat

nComputing is clearly the cheaper option, but you get what you pay for. SoftXpand gives Windows XP SP3 support out of the box and a known upgrade path to 64bit and Windows 7. nComputing appear to be dragging their heels here.

£220 per seat versus £345 per seat using traditional desktops. Let's hope it all works in a live environment.

Updated 21st May 2009 at 09:24 PM by tmcd35



  1. verygreenpc's Avatar
    You'll be the next Mark at Oriel over speccing everything! Will you be buying via DT Systems?
  2. duportail's Avatar
    These solutions are software solutions to transform a single-user single session (outdated)windows xp in multi-user-session.Windows xp(and later versions)is not made for that.They do not make use of the resources in a smart way.
    Ncomputing is thin client system :all is send trough the network.Softxpand is software multiseat virtualisation.Not efficient because you can only install certified programs and cpu and memory use is not optimal.And every user needs a full windows license.
    There is only one true hardware multiseat solution, and that comes from Linux.See
    Multiseat Computer-delen
    Up to twelve users with modern ubuntu 9.04 software with 3 d desktop.
    True multisession, multiuser.
  3. verygreenpc's Avatar
    Ah Multiuser,

    How've you been my dear? It's been a while since you posted against SoftXpand. Love your new home page by the way.

    Did you get out of bed the wrong side or did one of our partners take another order from you?

    We're windows 7 ready and have been for quote some time. I'm not sure we accept your argument that SoftXpand is inefficient, or that it only works with certain software. However.... from a legal perspective we think you should remove this page from your website [url=]software computer-sharing[/url] before our HQ in Israel and most certainly NComputing remove it for you.

    We're willing to go side by side with you on a test to define the pros and cons of your solution, against SoftXpand, and others in the Multiseat / Multiuser space. Answer me though how do you work with Windows, the most popular operating system of all time?

    You've just blatantly infringed the rules of this website too, however Terry's the sort of chap that would probably give your system a whirl as he genuinely carries an interest in Multiseating.
    Updated 10th June 2009 at 06:54 PM by verygreenpc
  4. duportail's Avatar
    Do you need to be so agressive?There is no need to, i have never posted against you.Just state on your website and your partners websites how many windows (and other commercial software)licenses are needed.One per system or one per user.
    That's what I have from microsoft:
    This Section 1.3 does not grant you rights to access a Workstation
    Computer Session from any Device. A "Session" means any use of the
    Software that enables functionality similar to that available to an
    end user who is interacting with the Workstation Computer through any
    combination of input, output and display peripherals
    1.4 Remote Desktop/Remote Assistance/NetMeeting. The Software contains
    Remote Desktop, Remote Assistance, and NetMeeting technologies that
    enable the Software or applications installed on the Workstation
    Computer (sometimes referred to as a host device) to be accessed
    remotely from other Devices. You may use the Software's Remote Desktop
    feature (or other software which provides similar functionality for a
    similar purpose) to access a Workstation Computer Session from any
    Device provided you acquire a separate Software license for that

    Multiple sessions to XP computer - Vera Noest [MVP]
    12-Feb-07 05:25:16
    You can't, XP is a single-user OS. You'll need a server OS like
    Windows 2003 for this.
    And yes, I know that there is 3rd party software which enables this,
    but you would still have to buy an XP license for every connecting
    user, apart from the 3rd part software.

    Just tell me how many licenses(oem or retail windows xp) per machine for example six users
  5. tmcd35's Avatar
    Okay, I think I should respond to the last couple of posts before this turns into a slug fest.

    1) I'd be happy to try out the Debian Multiseat system IF you can include a version of WINE proven to work with all the Windows software we must run.

    This is the standard Linux conundrum. Once it is solved I bet a lot of Edugeekers will be lining up to implement Linux based systems.

    I have heard of one project that is combining Windows System Calls directly into the Linux Kernel - looks promising.

    2) Licencing. As you can see fro the specs above I am working on the basis that you need 1 Windows License per usable terminal. Even with this licensing model (and buying more Vista licenses than I actually need) both nComputing and SoftXpand appear cheaper per seat than regular standalone systems. See Prices above.

    For nComputing I've opted to use the Windows 2003 r2 SP2 license from our decomissioned Terminal Server, along with ths TS CALS, to license each seat in our Library

    For SoftXpand I've opted for Windows Vista Enterprise. The downgrade rights will allow me to use XP and Enterprise comes with 4 additional Windows Licenses for use in a virtual environment - eg. SoftXpand.

    Windows Vista OEM costs about £100 and the Vista Enterprise License was about £30 with another £15 for media. So £145 gets four seats fully licenses. Thats £36.25 per seat for Windows Licensing.
  6. verygreenpc's Avatar
    Hi Multiuser,

    We didn't aim to give the impression of aggression so please accept our apologies if this was misconstrued.

    MiniFrameUK intends that SoftXpand ecoware assist you in minimizing hardware deployment and support costs in a Multiseat computing environment. The end user via their reseller partners are solely responsible for any software licenses and licensing fees that may be required by third party software licensors. Please ensure that you obtain all necessary software licenses or check your existing software license agreements to ensure your continued compliance with the terms and conditions of such third party licensing agreements.

    All SoftXpand ecoware PCs shipped are preloaded with 1 copy of Windows XP as there is only 1 PC. We have already elsewhere on this forum posted Microsofts response that clearly indicated 1 copy of Windows XP, Vista, 7 etc is all that is required. This is because no additional devices with additional processing units are required.

    We think you have a fantastic solution and you should do well against NComputing where open source opportunities exist. If you do too well though, we'll release our own open source version! And we really did mean that we liked your new website.

    Although we compete against you, our goal I hope is the same; to minimise the embedded carbon in the IT sector by reducing the amount of PCs that need to be built, shipped, powered and disposed of. If we can save customers a few pounds too, then all the better.

    Over 10,000 SoftXpand ecoware PCs with 1 copy of the Windows operating system have been sold into the UK market.

    Kind regards,
  7. duportail's Avatar
    Good day,
    I am still getting no clear answer regards the licensing.Ofcourse you can ship these computers with one or none xp license.But you give the rest of the responsability to the user.My question was simple:the pc is equipped with one windows xp, ok, but does the buyer needs additional xp licenses also?According the blog poster yes because he provides his licenses.Sure they cannot use CAL's because it's not windows server.And I think also no virtualistion licenses because you say on your website it's a mix of two things.So let the potentional buyer know if he needs to buy additional licenses or not.This is very important to calculate the total savings or TCO.As I see in the MS eula, the are not talking about license per cpu or pc, but license per session, so you need with your system one license per user.I staed this MVP already:
    "Multiple sessions to XP computer - Vera Noest [MVP]
    12-Feb-07 05:25:16
    You can't, XP is a single-user OS. You'll need a server OS like
    Windows 2003 for this.
    And yes, I know that there is 3rd party software which enables this,
    but you would still have to buy an XP license for every connecting
    user, apart from the 3rd part software."

    Just let us know:1 xp license per softxpand system for x users or 1 license per user ( so six users=6 xp licenses).
    I had the very same discussion with your partner in the Netherlands and he also could not give a clear answer.

    BTW: i am not a competitor because our systems are opensource, so the customer only choose closed or opensource.And Ncomputing is thin client soft, so that's another system.
    For the original poster:we do not use closed source in our systems, that's our policy of green computing.
  8. verygreenpc's Avatar
    Hey Multiuser,

    Some good points. The issue historically has been whether copies of the OS are created or whether the native resource of the OS is being maximised efficiently.

    Vera unless I am mistaken does not work for Microsoft. Our response came from Jackie Elleker, Licensing Specialist at M$ in the UK to our Gold partner MTB Computer Services, a corporate IT VAR.

    1 XP license per SoftXpand ecoware PC. Lovely.

    Kind regards,
  9. duportail's Avatar
    Ok, thanks for the information.Than it would be nice if you and your partners would write on their websites that if the customers pushes the start button on their new Softxpand computer for x users, they are all in order regarding the Ms Windows xp licenses.
    I have my doubts :
    Review: MiniFrame SoftXpand Business -

    I will test this myself within a few weeks.


Total Trackbacks 0
Trackback URL: