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Hardware Thread, Desktops... in Technical; Hi, We are in the market for purchasing new desktops for our college for the first time in 5ish years ...
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    Desktops...

    Hi,

    We are in the market for purchasing new desktops for our college for the first time in 5ish years due to a new school build back in 2007. We are refreshing our ICT suite and am feeling a little left behind on what we should be looking for and could do with some advice. Budget is quite tight but so far have been looking at something similar to the below:

    • Processor: i3 2nd or 3rd Generation
    • RAM: 4gb DDR3
    • HDD: Most quotes I have received have included a 250/500gb HDD but one which has come in under budget has proposed a 60gb SSD Drive. This is quite appealing but I am wondering whether I am future-proofing us enough with such a small drive. On the flip side our current image is in the region of 20gb and has had very little expansion in the past 5ish years due to the use of predominantly web-based applications.
    • Onboard Graphics, LAN, Sound etc.


    Have I missed anything significant out on the above and what are peoples overall opinions on the spec's for an ICT suite which we envisage refreshing every 4-5 years?

    Thanks,
    Michael

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    We purchased that space 18 months ago. Our more recent machine (Dell Optiplex 7010 USSF) have i5. It worked out only a few quid extra to be honest.

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    the problem is we have a relatively large number of computers to replace in a relatively short space of time and every little helps. I appreciate an i5 will be better but I would think even an i3 would be more than up to the tasks of today, and hopefully the next 5 years with regards video/image editing etc.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    hopefully the next 5 years
    I wouldn't count on it. How many is a large number?

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    2 suites so 66...

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    My main concern would be the SSD - 60GB is too small IMO. With the progression of Windows OS's, a Windows 9 image may end up being half or more of that. Adding something like Solidworks and Adobe CS6 or something and your disk is full.

    With the processor, I'm a fan of the i5's personally, but others are happy with their i3's. The difference in price between the 2 will be something like £30 a machine, tops IME.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Oh not as many as I thought. Our refreshes have been much larger. I do think 60GB is small plus I would go i5. It cost us less than a £5 per machine to upgrade to i5

    Make sure you have enough room to expand with RAM wise.

    What machines are you looking at and what costs? Our dells are i5, 250GB hdd, 5 year on site warranty, monitor, plus stand for the machine to sit on the back off for less than £500.
    Last edited by FN-GM; 19th February 2013 at 11:49 AM.

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    Well at the minute one of the options we are looking at (if we dont go the SSD route) is an i3, 4gb RAM, 1tb HDD for the princely sum of .... £275 inc VAT!

    - - - Updated - - -

    another thought is that if these are not capable of video/media stuff in a couple of years time these can be shipped off to admin, library roles...

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    ...and yes, the more I think about it 60gb is far too small!

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyBeRkId2002 View Post
    Well at the minute one of the options we are looking at (if we dont go the SSD route) is an i3, 4gb RAM, 1tb HDD for the princely sum of .... £275 inc VAT!

    - - - Updated - - -

    another thought is that if these are not capable of video/media stuff in a couple of years time these can be shipped off to admin, library roles...

    We run pretty much all I3's not had any issues with video things here, we run WLMM and Movie Plus with no issues.

    They aren't creating feature films, but I can't see that happening anyway!

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyBeRkId2002 View Post
    Most quotes I have received have included a 250/500gb HDD but one which has come in under budget has proposed a 60gb SSD Drive.
    I've just bought a couple of 750GB Momentus XT hybrid drives for my home server - they seemed like the best speed / performance / price combination available at the moment. I'm sure someone like VeryPC or similar could knock up a quote for a system based around a hybrid drive.

  12. Thanks to dhicks from:

    VeryPC_Tom_B (20th February 2013)

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    i3 and 4gb seems to be pretty much a minimum that most go with now. I would definitely agree that 60gb, albeit SSD, is too small to be of much use going forward over the next 5 years.... Similar to what you mention above, 250gb or 500gb are standard sizes and should see you right for a while yet.

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    Just as a thought... if you buy an i3/4gb/60gb now and it proves to not be enough in a few years time, factor into your medium term plan a VDI infrastructure and recycle it as a thin client...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oaktech View Post
    Just as a thought... if you buy an i3/4gb/60gb now and it proves to not be enough in a few years time, factor into your medium term plan a VDI infrastructure and recycle it as a thin client...
    We found VDI in schools to be a bit far fetched, poor audio recording and performance generally in the OS (window scrolling etc) just isn't as good as a fat client. We are considering them for remote access which to be honest it is perfect for.

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    We have 60GB SSDs in a couple of hundred PCs now. With Windows 7 x64 plus Office, CS5.5, etc, we have 21GB free - that's the worst case model here including SIMS. Not massive space, but will do for the life of these PCs.

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