Every summer we do a circuit of the IT rooms and replace broken audio and usb cables
EDIT: oh and cable ties are a must with this kind of setup!
Last edited by mrbios; 1st June 2011 at 08:42 PM.
I understand though that it works on a school by school basis, no two schools are the same, but i'm willing to bet i could walk in to quite a lot of schools and be disgusted with they're spending (i include my own in that, but not in the ICT spending as i now deal with a lot of it, though my manager deals with most of it still)
Trying to get rid of staff laptops altogether, but it's proving difficult, luckily the head is semi behind us on it though
EDIT: only got one classroom of laptops (in two trolleys that go between the science labs) and those are now 5 years old and falling apart, those were HP Celerons but they managed to last in the hands of students! crap laptops though.
Last edited by mrbios; 2nd June 2011 at 12:56 AM.
Anyway, back to Desktops.... I am using more and more refurbished PCs from John @ict-direct simply due to the great value of them and the support from John, I did purchase some i3 machines last year for our Dedicated Media Rooms and the year before high end Core2 machines for the small pilot media room, other than that I'm looking more and more at Refurbished PCs simply as a new PC with 3 year warranty is £450+ (from the big names), but I can get a refurb one with a high end spec for half that price and its got enough ram and CPU power for a good 3 years life within the school, so if it does us 3 years for £200 or so, yet we only get 5 years (on paper) on a £450+ New PC what is the point of getting them as we get better value from the refurb PCs.
I've nothing against building your own, however home brew machines in our place have no respect and no confidence in them as they simply didn't cut the mustard for our needs so we need a period of showing look this kit works and people respect brand names, its a disgrace that its that way but the rooms with big name kit in are looked after better by staff and students than the home-brew / generic PCs.
I do like the idea of open PC being panels etc that is a good idea however so something work thinking about for when I next get funding to completely re-design an IT room from scratch.
Last edited by john; 2nd June 2011 at 01:11 AM.
ict-direct (2nd June 2011)
soapyfish (7th June 2011)
Too slow for a certain requirement i'd allow, but you can't expect me to believe that your entire school uses cpu intensive software?
We have Pentium 4 Ds which still hold there own on windows 7!
Do you have a scheduled weekly disk defrag on your PCs? scripts running to clean up the junk folders? etc etc, it's more likely that they're being filled with crap rather than the hardware not coping.
Buy all retail processors, 3 year warrentys per processor and you get an intel sticker with it....perfect, it's now branded as intel
Last edited by mrbios; 2nd June 2011 at 01:57 AM.
@mrbios - we do buy i5s but as a primary school we buy stuff to last for ages and still be usable without a pile of compromises two thirds of the way through their actual lifespan. When you brought your Pentium Ds were they three revisions back too. As a comparison we still have 7 year old machines that can run Windows 7 reliably.
Your method of construction does interest me though and if we had ay large computer labs appointed like that (with space) I would totally look at something like this but would probably irritate you in my CPU choices. How does stuff like full screen encoding work on those CPUs for tutorial videos and the like as we had some i3s that choked on that. We also look at the power consumption figures for our gear closely to try and reduce the ammount of heat it puts out and by extention sound. The latest CPUs are just so efficient in comparison being able to use the same idle poser as an Atom chip but still spin up to decent levels of performance and with the right setup can even go passive cooling when idle under stock heat sinks.
As you say it is different per school but in our particular case we buy stuff to really last with good driver support so that even five or more years down the line they can still support the latest OS without having to rebuy what was otherwise a perfectly good machine.
What is your refersh cycle like on those builds out of interest, 3 years?
Last edited by SYNACK; 2nd June 2011 at 08:13 AM.
@mrbios where do you get your G620T motherboard bundle from, care to share the link?
The pentium Ds were actually a wrong choice when they were purchased and certainly not my choice! at the time of purchase the E2xxx range were cooler, used less power, the same price, and about twice/three times as fast, that was my managers fault though, had we bought the E2xxx chips they'd have likely lasted 5 years easily. That said they have lasted nearly 4 years, and the only reason they aren't lasting longer is due to a dodgy batch of foxconn motherboards where the electrolyte capacitors have started leaking (a problem which shouldn't happen again as they all use solid capacitors these days, also a problem that was likely to occour in prebuilt PCs - foxconn admitted the problem and sent us 50 new motherboards, again my managers fault for buying foxconn crap).
Good driver support is something i ensure when i buy, it's a prime reason i don't use AMD kit, as much as i like AMDs processors and prices the motherboards are poo
Infact one thing i notice is that the hard drive seems to cause more problems than the rest of the PC in the long haul, hopefully the 40GB SSDs should fix that Also most parts these days, so long as you buy retail and not oem, comes with warrantys from 1-5 years. We have a field on our asset register where we log the purchase date, order number and products on that order along with their warranty start and end date, that way when parts die we have an easy referral point.
I'd like to make it clear though that i'm not saying that i think what anyone else is doing is wrong, just that i get the impression that in some schools around the country money is needlessly wasted, though i can't say that for certain without knowing a ton of other things to do with that school, i'm more questioning peoples practices rather than accusing, as i know i can come off as a bit of a **** on this subject which i feel quite strongly about
Processor: not currently on novatechs site, but a price we were given through a quote: £51.50 unit cost
SSD: Again not currently on novatechs site, but price given through quote: £63.90 unit cost
Quote works out about £225 per PC including the PSU, i'm hoping the SSD price might drop a bit before we order though as about a month ago it was £59 per unit.
So All in that's an Intel G620T 35w processor, Asus mini ITX motherboard, 4GB OCZ Memory, 40GB Intel 320 SSD, Corsair CX430W PSU.
Could make the build cheaper by getting £12 power supplies but i've lost kit due to shoddy cheap power supplies in the past so im not going to bother this time. I fully expect those PCs to last us 5 years as well, if you wanted to up the cost by £10 you could put a G850 in there which would be a lot faster (the G620T is 2.2ghz, the G850 is 2.9ghz) but obviously you lose the lower power/heat addition then.
Last edited by mrbios; 2nd June 2011 at 09:17 AM.
oh i should also add that we're getting a G620T bundle (once they're available) and a G850 processor to fully test the setup prior to purchase, so i'll let you know how that goes
I'll be testing using Adobe CS5, Visual basic 2010, windows movie maker....i might even test adobe premiere elements and see how they fare on that, though i can't see that being fantastic
All machines get re-imaged termly, profdel set on them etc... so they're as speedy as they can be.
Celeron's just can't and don't cut the mustard.
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