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Hardware Thread, New computers in Technical; Been given the go ahead to get quotes for new computers for our computer suite, builders coming to school next ...
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    chrbb's Avatar
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    New computers

    Been given the go ahead to get quotes for new computers for our computer suite, builders coming to school next week to discuss extra workbenches and electrical requirements. So unused to having new stuff head spinning with decisions to make.

    Do I go for branded or unbranded (from local shop) computers. if I have branded mini towers will I struggle to get parts when out of warrenty eg ridicuously priced PSU's.

    We have no extra network sockets in the suite would it be easy to install data cabinet with switch for all computers in suite (not me personally hopefully the electrician)

    Anything else to panic about?

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    Re: New computers

    we have recently bought over 200 computers in parts from evesham. Evesham cases aswel. Plus saved a fortune!

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    Re: New computers

    Not sure how much this is relevant but I'd be careful to get your new machines specification nailed down to details including everything from the parts manufacturer to the upgradability of the unit as a whole.

    That way you can check if you`re being sold a pontential or even a known lemon that may not be the bargain you think it is...

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    Re: New computers

    While I'm all for building your own PC or building the odd one or two from parts, for a whole computer suite get a prebuilt branded PC from someone like Stone, NEC, Dell or HP. The time saved on building the things is significant, they come with support, better warranty and are guaranteed to work together.

    Most of our PCs are NEC, they come with excellent support. We also have Stones, we were very happy with their support before one unfortuante incident and we also have some HPs. However we've not had to contact their support department so I don't know what they're like at the moment.

    Additionally, if you get TFTs, get glass fronted ones. It's worth it.

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    Re: New computers

    while danIT is right that you can save a lot of money ( so long as you do the job for no pay ) by building your own, if a part of one goes wrong, which part is it, and was the part damaged by you? Sometimes it's easy to tell, and sometimes you have to go through quite a process to isolate the fault, then return the part. Most reputable companies these days will offer something like a return to base or better still, next day onsite warranty. We recently bought enough machines to fill a suite, plus a few hot swaps from Stone. There was a fault with one, Stone replaced it. End of story.
    Contink is right to get all the details nailed down as well. If you don't specify, their rules apply.

    "We have no extra network sockets in the suite would it be easy to install data cabinet with switch for all computers in suite (not me personally hopefully the electrician)"

    You can't have enough data points in my view (well, you can, but I hope you get my drift) always allow for extra if you can afford it. Again, get an electrician in to do the job properly if you can afford it. Otherwise, calculate how many hours you think the job would take you, treble it and add 7 hours.

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    chrbb's Avatar
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    Re: New computers

    cheers for the replies, I've no intention of bulding my own computers I'm just trying to decide between local supplier of unbranded verus national supplier of branded. We are looking for small towers and I don't want to end up 4 years down the line with having to order a special PSU from Dell or where ever at a monster cost and a 5 week wait!

    The way the suite and the school were cabled for network is beyond belief, (it was like that when I got there!) just enough network sockets in the suite for current amount of computers, one socket in each classroom.

    I was thinking that it would be better to set up a switch in the suite for all the current computers plus extra, than to run mass cables from the current switches across the other side of school for the extra network sockets that we now need in the suite. I'm not capable of doing it myself but am looking for good ideas before I make an arse of myself infront of the electrician! Can a new switch be connected to the other switches across school using one of the network cables that already run through to the suite from the switch room?

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    Re: New computers

    Yes you could use one of the existing cables as the uplink to a new switch in the IT room but is there one in the right place?

    Have they ever been tested and known to be within spec that you want them to run at.

    Is the electrician you're thinking of using qualified to install structured cabling? they tend to think that because it is a piece of copper cable then it's no different to running mains but it is a whole different ball game. If they don't have the relevant testing equipment you'd be better of going with a local structured cabling contractor.

    You may also want to consider a fibre run back to your main cabinet.

    Give us some more idea about your current network setup and the current network equipment you have in place.

    Ben

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    chrbb's Avatar
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    Re: New computers

    Not sure wether this is enough info
    3 switches in data cabinet in same room as server.
    cabling seems to run throughout school (internal only) through ceilings and trunking, arriving at patch panels in data cabinet. there are 12 classrooms, 4 yearbases totalling 20 network points, 2 in the teacherbase, 4 in the office and 20 in the suite. The cables for the suite seem to be run through the ceiling and then separated into two runs of trunking at the doorway. I was thinking that at the point the cables appear use one cable for an additional switch to provide extra network points for additional computers in the suite (plus provision for extra in the future) or to use the new switch for all the network points in the suite.

    Sorry not good at cabling and stuff!

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    Re: New computers

    We recently did a similar thing to what you are planning. We sent out the spec we anted to 3 supliers and asked them to quote.


    No body could touch Dell's prices they beat all the others quite easily.

    We also have over 90 Dell Laptops and the service we get with these is brilliant. As of yet we have had no PC's go faulty but i only assume that the service will be exactky the same. U have also asked them to quote for our new server this time.


    Just my thooughts shared........

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    Re: New computers

    I'm a big fan of NEC machines myself the ones we have bought were cheaper than Dell but still the good brand.

    I make that 58 current network points?

    What sort of school are you in and what is the size of it?

    What make and model are your current switches and what do you estimate the distance from the IT suit back to the main cabinet to be?

    Thanks,

    Ben

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    Re: New computers

    junior school dlink switches both new, distance from suite to switches 20 metres approx

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    Re: New computers

    I think in that case then I'd be more inclined to install extra switches if needed in the main data cantre and run the cables to the suite from there so you have acentral point to look after. That cabinet could then be easily protected by a ups to guard against power failures etc...

    Had the distance been 60+ metres then I would have gone for the option of a satellite switch for the suite.

    Best thing though is to get a couple of local structured cabling contractors in to give you their advice and design the system for you then compare the quotes.

    Ben

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    Re: New computers

    OR what about a wireless access point and have my new 5 pcs wireless enables This would mean no asbestos checks for furking about in ceilings and walls, also enable teachers laptops to be used wirelessly.

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    Re: New computers

    I wouldn't use wireless in this situation if I could help it. Wireless isn't really reliable enough. I'd much rather run cables.

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    Re: New computers

    No way would I use wireless instead of extra wired points but by all means include an access point mounted at high level for teachers laptops to be used wirelessly.

    Ben

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