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Hardware Thread, What spec Computers? in Technical; Anyone who is currently doing a summer install of new computers could I ask what spec you went for? I ...
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    fiza's Avatar
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    What spec Computers?

    Anyone who is currently doing a summer install of new computers could I ask what spec you went for?
    I will be looking from Sept onwards to replace some of our IT Suites with new computers. We want to be able to run Adobe CS5, Serif Suite and local virtual machines. Should I be looking at latest gen i5's or i3's along with SSDs.

    I know its a vague question but I just want to know what people have recently purchased.

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    We've recently purchased some Optiplex 7010s for our main ICT suite, with 3rd gen i5s, 6GB ram and a 128gb SSD. Should easily see us through quite a few years.

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    fiza (23rd July 2014)

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    We've moved to all in ones as they free up so much desk space. Core i5 4th Gen, 8Gb RAM, 250Gb SSD is the rough spec. You'd probably manage with a smaller SSD, it's just for some of the stuff we are doing now with local virtual machines etc, we need the bigger size.

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    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    Core i3-4140 @ 3.4GHz on a GA-H81M-HD3 motherboard (SATA6, USB3 and DisplayPort - we needed the latter specifically) with 4GB RAM and Samsung 840 EVO 120GB SSDs. Card readers, DVD+-RW drives, Logitech MK120 pack, small form factor. Novatech built, plenty quick enough.

    Crucial MX100 128GB SSDs also good, but they weren't out at the time we were putting in the order (most of these machines went in over May).

    (These to run CS5 and Sony Movie Studio Platinum, although in the room designated Media & Photography we did bump up to i5-4440 and 8GB)
    Last edited by sonofsanta; 23rd July 2014 at 04:55 PM.

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    fiza (23rd July 2014)

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    mrbios's Avatar
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    G3420 Processors, 4GB ram, 120gb ssds, msi H81M motherboards, corsair 430w PSU + cheapo case
    £175 each they've cost us (+£40 for an i3 instead of the G3420...albeit that doubles the price of the processor, without getting anywhere near double the performance)
    Bargain

    I've got two classrooms of Intel G620T and H61-ITX boards which are 3 years old now, happily running kodu, visual studio 2013, adobe CS5 nice and smooth, so you don't need a lot for that at all. The VMs could make the difference though, i3s would probably be better off for that.

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    fiza (23rd July 2014)

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    Most important to me is at i3 followed by an SSD. I get i5's for the more design heavy departments or if I have the extra cash but certainly would never go below an i3.

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    We've just replaced 500 workstations with i7's, 8gb ram, 250gb ssd's, Lenovo M73 Tiny's The difference in going from P4's (yes, you did read the right) and core2duo's running XP as been immense. The difference in productivity from both students and staff has been amazing.

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    teejay's Avatar
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    It really does depend what you're doing with the Virtual Machine, the main thing is to stick in as much memory as you can afford above anything else, 6Gb is about the minimum we found to work well, also having an SSD really helps as well.
    You can run ok with an i3 processor, but they do only have 2 cores, whereas you can get 4 core i5 processors so you can have 2 cores for both the host and the VM, which if you are running anything hefty in the VM helps a lot.

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    fiza (24th July 2014)

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    We went with nucs with i3s, 8gb ram and ssds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by teejay View Post
    It really does depend what you're doing with the Virtual Machine, the main thing is to stick in as much memory as you can afford above anything else, 6Gb is about the minimum we found to work well, also having an SSD really helps as well.
    You can run ok with an i3 processor, but they do only have 2 cores, whereas you can get 4 core i5 processors so you can have 2 cores for both the host and the VM, which if you are running anything hefty in the VM helps a lot.
    The VM will be used for python, scratch, visual studio & Small basic. Nothing too heavy there I don't think.

    So the question is go for an i5 over an i3 with 6GB RAM or just go to 8GB RAM with an i3?

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    I'd say the i3 if you had the choice.

    It's not like you're going to be doing anything particularly taxing on them by the sounds of it?

    RAM should be big though, you want the VM to run smoothly.

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    fiza (24th July 2014)

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    i3 and i5 are the same number of threads, just that the i3 is faking it. Given that you're not rendering/compiling though, the lack of power shouldn't be an issue. i3 and 8GB I'd say. (And SSD. Always SSD.)

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    fiza (24th July 2014)

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    teejay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiza View Post
    The VM will be used for python, scratch, visual studio & Small basic. Nothing too heavy there I don't think.

    So the question is go for an i5 over an i3 with 6GB RAM or just go to 8GB RAM with an i3?
    I would personally go with the extra RAM first, but see if you can get up to i5 with a bit of haggling On testing we found both options gave a noticeable improvement. With your current VM you'd be ok on i3 and 6Gb, the problem is when (not if) they start wanting things like mobile phone emulators in the image, which has already happened for us, so if you can get it within budget it's worth going a bit higher on spec to give some headroom.

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    fiza (24th July 2014)



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