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Hardware Thread, Require new PCs in Technical; I used Novatech here for our summer rebuild, spent a lot with them as well. We went for some custom ...
  1. #46

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    I used Novatech here for our summer rebuild, spent a lot with them as well. We went for some custom build i5 all in ones with 4GB RAM and SSDs - they preimaged them for us and all have a 5 year warranty, they send us the parts NWD so very little downtime.

    Their tech guys are very good too. I used them to spec, buy and setup our hyperv setup, and I still get brilliant support (like today when our server went down!) even when it has nothing to do with them.

  2. #47

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    What dell machines are people using ?

    Also 5 years is along time, how many people are running computers for 5 years effectively. Is a three or 4 year rolling replacement not the norm please?

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    gshaw's Avatar
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    We've got 5 year old Stone PCs (BTX case towers) running flawlessly on Windows 7 with no issues apart from the odd HDD now and again.

    They're Core2Duo E6600s and chances are I'll run them into the ground then replace at leisure

    Wouldn't touch Dell with a large barge pole, Lenovo for me as the other alternative.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    We are have dumped stone and gone with Dell due to the following.

    • The Pro Support offered by Dell is excellent
    • The Design, everything is small, fits on the stand, lots of monitor choices etc
    • People will be on site the next day for repairs
    • If you get a continuing hardware issue they will replace with brand new
    • You can get exact parts with repairs, for example the motherboard will be the same on a repair 4 years after the order
    • The computers they offer are available for a long period of time, for example we ordered hundreds of Optiplex 790 over a few years and nothing had changed in them. Others change the motherboards etc
    • The ability to manage the BIOS using SCCM
    • Update BIOS via SCCM if need be.
    • All the old kit matches the newer stuff, they donít change the design often. so the majority of our kit is identical but different models. For example the Optiplex 780, 790 & 7010 are all identical looks wise.
    • The matching monitor, keyboard & mouse.
    • All machine as standard support dual output display
    • The PC and monitor requires 1 power cable
    • The stand really tidies cables up.
    • Full support with imaging, include all WinPE drivers
    What models are you using. Their monitors are great but expensive.

  5. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by pmdc199 View Post
    What dell machines are people using ?

    Also 5 years is along time, how many people are running computers for 5 years effectively. Is a three or 4 year rolling replacement not the norm please?
    I don't buy machines with less than 5 year warranty, they're normally good for that amount of time. Any less is too expensive on the rolling replacement, and in these halcyon days of good-enough-computing, a 5 year machine is still perfectly workable. Stick an SSD in and a Core2Duo with 2GB RAM is all most people actually need.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    We are have dumped stone and gone with Dell due to the following.

    • The Pro Support offered by Dell is excellent
    • The Design, everything is small, fits on the stand, lots of monitor choices etc
    • People will be on site the next day for repairs
    • If you get a continuing hardware issue they will replace with brand new
    • You can get exact parts with repairs, for example the motherboard will be the same on a repair 4 years after the order
    • The computers they offer are available for a long period of time, for example we ordered hundreds of Optiplex 790 over a few years and nothing had changed in them. Others change the motherboards etc
    • The ability to manage the BIOS using SCCM
    • Update BIOS via SCCM if need be.
    • All the old kit matches the newer stuff, they donít change the design often. so the majority of our kit is identical but different models. For example the Optiplex 780, 790 & 7010 are all identical looks wise.
    • The matching monitor, keyboard & mouse.
    • All machine as standard support dual output display
    • The PC and monitor requires 1 power cable
    • The stand really tidies cables up.
    • Full support with imaging, include all WinPE drivers
    Just to get in and support stone here, although we aren't exclusive to them.

    Stone unistand, everything fits together on pretty much any monitor you want, cable management is good
    We have a 5 year next day on site warranty on all our stone desktops, coming with 3 years as standard this is a very small price difference
    After a 3rd visit on the same piece of hardware it is replaced (so on the 4th)
    Impressed with exact parts, its rare for this not to happen but a pain when it doesn't!
    I would agree for evolution and improvement over time? Or at least a price drop if you are buying old hardware
    All Intel boards, I havent looked at these sccm features, but we can do a lot with the BIOS on a 1-1 basis.
    All the Stone desktops look the same too, only difference may be different versions of their unistand, but thats evolving and getting better.
    Why wouldn't you have matching kit?
    Dual display is ncie! We buy super small form factor as small as you can get machines, which obviously dont have this, and would be wasted on 99% of machines anyway.
    Y power cable
    Full driver disk, never had any issues imaging with MDT and latest drivers are always available from stone, admittedly not as easily as the Dell website.

    Quote Originally Posted by j17sparky View Post
    Thinking about it I know I said Stone support is good we did have a batch of 100 Stones which wouldn't always recognise the keyboard. Stones answer; for me to update every BIOS myself, which didn't actually fix the problem. That alone put me off them.
    Just one question on this, why would you apply a fix to 100 machiens without testing it first?

  7. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    I don't buy machines with less than 5 year warranty, they're normally good for that amount of time. Any less is too expensive on the rolling replacement, and in these halcyon days of good-enough-computing, a 5 year machine is still perfectly workable. Stick an SSD in and a Core2Duo with 2GB RAM is all most people actually need.
    I agree money wise but would you keep them in a main ICT suite for 5 years or roll them to other parts of the school after 3 years for example.

  8. #53


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    Quote Originally Posted by british_government View Post
    Just one question on this, why would you apply a fix to 100 machiens without testing it first?
    I didn't, but since the problem was intermittent I had to apply it to a half class set to test it. It seemed to help so I then had to apply it to the further 85 PCs. The problem was never fully solved.

    My point was there was no offer from Stone to come and help me apply the BIOS updates. If I'm having to put up with such basic problems I may as well go with Bobs corner shop computers.
    Last edited by j17sparky; 14th November 2012 at 08:54 AM.

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