Totally agree. We've made out P4-HT's last a year longer by buying them extra RAM and SSD's. Enabled us to have a rethink on a Multipoint solution that wasn't working so well in another room. Those SSD's will be going into some Acer Athlon-X2 when we replace the P4-HT's next summer.
Originally Posted by TomFreeman
I can see us (also not strapped for cash) thinking the same way once the Acer Athlon-X2's are gone. Unless something seriously changes in the software world between now and then it's hard to throw away Dual-core i3's with 4Gb RAM.
Originally Posted by AngryTechnician
The only question for me is one of pupil use. After 4-years, what state is the kit in physically. The P4-HT's going this year have for various reasons been kept around much longer than they should have (about 5/6 years old?). They have seen much better days, beaten up old cases.
Just bought a three year old ThinkPad, stuck an SSD in it and it absolutely flies. Same as smart phones - new tech has caught up with everything we can throw at it for most day to day use.
There is no need to refresh PCs these days at all after they have an SSD drive in them they work perfectly and will do for many years.
The only exception to this maybe is netbooks but they came with horribly slow cpus.
The only other reason we replace equipment now is physical damage.
We do a complete school refresh every 3 years on lease (due to happen again next summer).
At the moment we have core i7 and 4gb RAM in the art department (our IT office has i7 and 8gb RAM) and core i3 and 4gb in the rest of the school. Even with stuff like CS4 and Kodu run fine on the lesser specced workstations, it looks like we may stay with a new batch of that spec, but will cost less this time around, even with SSDs instead of SATAs.
We normally work on a 5 year refresh, so I would usually replace 90 machines (20% of network) every year at around £400 a machine with 5 year warranty - last time round this got us Core i3-3220's with 8GB RAM and 128GB SSDs on a SATA3 (6Gbps) motherboard, which is a mighty fine spec for a student machine IMHO.
Instead of doing that this year, though, we bought 150-ish SSDs and upgraded every staff PC in school for a cost of only around £10k. The HP Core2Duo machines that are our oldest kit are more than powerful enough for some departments using Office & IE, and the machines themselves are still in good nick (all girls grammar school FTW). So that was almost twice as many machines updgraded for less than a third of the cost.
Right now SSDs are a much bigger improvement to computers than processors 4 generations newer. C2D is the baseline spec, I think, P4 still struggled a bit with Windows 7, but then I never tested them with SSDs so could be they're still plenty fine.