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Hardware Thread, SFF \ uSFF desktops - your experiences? in Technical; Looking at moving away from tower PCs for staff for the first time in a long time - just wondering ...
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    gshaw's Avatar
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    SFF \ uSFF desktops - your experiences?

    Looking at moving away from tower PCs for staff for the first time in a long time - just wondering your experiences of moving to the uSFF cases and any issues as a result of it?

    Only thing I'm always wary of is proprietary PSUs \ motherboards but the ones I'm speccing have 3yr parts \ labour NBD warranty and after that I think VDI or some equivalent technology will be the order of the day... saying that there's barely any moving parts in these M58's... no CPU fan (heatsink pipe) so hopefully should be good?

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    pooley's Avatar
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    We have a few of these dotted about, I just made sure they were bought with a healthy 3yr NBD warranty and have forgotten about them. If they still alive and a fit for purpose in 3 years I will worry about them then

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    We've had Dell Optiplex 520 and 755s and they have been excellent, they are a SFF unit.

    We also has some uSFF Acer Aspire L100s which were absolutely awful. They suffered massive cooling problems and pretty much any trouble we've had with them has been heat related.

    My advice would be to get some test units in that you're thinking of buying and run as stressful a burn-in test as you can and see if they overheat. We did this with some IBMs and a couple of Dells and we found both stood up to the tests well.

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    We have 755s and 760s and sx280 the 755 and 760 have come off better because although the design is the same. We have the 755 and 760 in all in one form which, is where the base unit sits behind the monitor and has a cage over the cables so kids can't remove them. although some kids stick paper clips in the fronts of the base units, because of the design there is a front fan there. though this is very rare

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    We used exclusively Dell OptiPlex USFF desktops throughout my last school, same ones as andy_nic above. We didn't use the behind-monitor mount but instead opted for the wall mount, screwed either to the underside of the desks or the vanity panel. The wall mount kit allows you to mount the external PSU as well.

    They were generally very reliable, and with the 3Yr NBD warranty everything that went wrong was fixed next day. They use regular desktop HDDs so no increased rate of failure due to using notebook drives. The only other problem we had was with earlier models (SX280) using cheap MB capacitors that would die after a few years, but Dell seem to have learned their lesson and I haven't seen that for some time now.

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    We have some of the older M57 small form factors, and so far they have been excellent, must have had them a year now and not one has missed a heartbeat.

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    u8dmtm's Avatar
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    We use a lot of HP dc7800 and dc7900s they have 3 year onsite warranty included as standard, decent specs and you can get good deals via re-sellers like Insight and SCC.

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    gshaw's Avatar
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    Responses are sounding good so far

    Here's the internal build of the M58 uSFF, looks really neat to me and one less fan to worry about now the CPU uses a heat pipe (thank you Core2Duo!)


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    always used sff or usff, i prefer the sff though just that little bit more room and I always feel like they are better build. Plus generally you can still rest a tft on the top of it!

    Personally I would say Dell all the way, simply for their support services and quality of builds.

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    2 IT rooms full of Acer Veriton L410s here, no problems at all (yet!) - they've gone down very well, a lot more deskspace, more room between students and surprisingly less damage to the machines themselves. No biscuits in the DVD drive slots yet

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    We use a combination of Dell SFF and uSFF PCs and haven't had any trouble with them. The only minor complaint on the uSFF models is that the mains plug and PSU connection can sometimes be a little fragile and easily disconnected - hence regular calls for non starting PCs only for us to push the power cable back into the PSU more firmly and get it going again. I suppose it makes us look good that we can 'fix' it so quickly!

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    binky's Avatar
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    We use all HP USDT/SFF's site wide and never a problem!

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    not too keen on the veritons, there just not "real" computers...they are good if you dont require any kind of power hungry application though.

    we have 2 on our library desk, they work, but they aint fast by any means.

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    I'm looking at these as well for our next refresh either HP USDT or Lenovo USFF with 5year nbd on site warranties atm.

    Alternatively thin client or desktop VDI maybe?

    Ben
    Last edited by plexer; 14th December 2009 at 04:54 PM.

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    Our last batch was HP dc5800 SFFs and they've been fine (I've deployed them elsewhere, too). The cases are pretty pokey but they're nice and quiet and we have five years warranty on them, so it's not us that has to dismantle them

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