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Hardware Thread, Time to replace? in Technical; I work in small primary school and we have just one 25 machine computer room. The computers in there are ...
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    Time to replace?

    I work in small primary school and we have just one 25 machine computer room. The computers in there are around 5 years old now and I was wondering at what age (and spec) people on here would start looking at replacing machines? Just as a side note, I've heard a lot of good things regarding thin client. Any thoughts on this?

    Thanks for your help

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    @cgiuk: 3-5 years is the normal replacement cycle for most schools (dependant on funds of course).

    As for thin client... I love thin client but it isn't necessarily suitable for everyone and there is a higher capital investment required - TCO is much lower though! PM me for a chat if you like.

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    the important thing that really ages computers is the software. So as soon as your software starts to be a problem you'll need to change your hardware, in a smaller school you need to be aware that a new computer suite may not work with the software you have and a new OS will definately kill off some of your older software.

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    contink's Avatar
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    As strawberry said the key thing here is software and then you add in budget.

    When I first started out I was looking at a 3 year cycle but after seeing how things have changed (or rather haven't) over the last 5 I'm now happier with a five year plan that renews hardware over 3 years and uses the other two to pay for things like smartboard and projector installs or replacement... Oh and new software of course.

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    linescanner's Avatar
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    We are looking at deployment of Sun Ray thins into primary schools at the moment.

    It would be interesting to get a list of your existing software.

    Can you PM me a list of what you have/NEED

    Cheers

    Andy

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    meastaugh1's Avatar
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    I try and get at least five years out of desktops. For example, we have three rooms of P4 2.4GHz/512 RAM/40GB HDD coming up for 5 years this Summer. I reckon they can provide at least another couple of years productive use.

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    eean's Avatar
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    I went to a meeting the other day and there was this ICT coordinator that said she had a 3 year cycle for PCs. (Apparently ofsted said that was recommended - like they know!) We've had ofted in and now they don't stop long enough to even check children, never mind the age of your pcs.

    Our ICT suite is a mix of 2.4ghz type pcs but still a few 660mhz (i.e. 7+ years old). Nobody has ever complained or noticed that the ones at the back are slower than the ones at the front. The ONE exeption to this is when people try and use Photostory. We stuck a bit of RAM into them a few years back and we have an automated install system so we can wipe the computer regularly to keep it 'fresh'. I think this is half the problem with old pcs - they just get clogged up.
    I will upgrade them this year, but this is the first time I've really felt the need to.

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    john's Avatar
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    I do 5 years normally it seems very good, I tend to do 3 years on laptops though as they don't last much more than that.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Well the old system at our school seems to have been 4-5 years, but we are reducing this down to 3-4 years to remove that last, painful, year where the machines are so slow, and look so scruffy that they are more trouble than they are worth.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgiuk View Post
    I work in small primary school and we have just one 25 machine computer room.
    Thin client: no need to buy new machines, simply re-use your old ones as thin clients. Disconnect the harddrives (or replace with bootable compact flash cards), buy a switch and a decent server (around 2000 should do it), install Edubuntu, works out of the box. Maybe spend some money on flat screen monitors if you haven't already, that always makes an ICT suite look a site more spacious and tidy!

    --
    David Hicks

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    Quote Originally Posted by meastaugh1 View Post
    I try and get at least five years out of desktops. For example, we have three rooms of P4 2.4GHz/512 RAM/40GB HDD coming up for 5 years this Summer. I reckon they can provide at least another couple of years productive use.
    double the ram in those and they'll be fine, i've found that 512 with sp2 is a little low and with sp3 coming soon its probably worth the 25 per machine it'll cost.

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberry View Post
    double the ram in those and they'll be fine, i've found that 512 with sp2 is a little low and with sp3 coming soon its probably worth the 25 per machine it'll cost.
    +1

    The cost is worth it to upgrade to 1gig of RAM....

    We've got virtually identical machines...2.4ghz/1GB/40gbHDD - these machines are now 4 years old and will last another 18 months and probably beyond. I would say a P4 2.4ghz+ machine is good for a minium 5 year lifespan....ofcourse for specific applications you may need dual core and 2GB RAM performance but not for general purpose apps.

    The difference between PIII and P4 performance is huge....
    The difference between P4 and Dual Core is much less noticeable in XP....
    The differecne between Pentium M and Core2duo on laptops is very apparent.

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