For anyone interested we now have replaced 62 PCs with these new builds, they're lightening quick, DEAD quiet (and i mean you walk into a room of 30 and think "are they on?!" and best of all generate VERY little heat.
Fantastic replacements to the ****y pentium D things we had before, looking forward to seeing them in use in september, might get the two IT teachers for those rooms to get the kids to complete a short questionaire as to there impressions of before and after the summer (might use the Y12 6th form classes for that)
Time well tell on reliability of the SSDs now...
Just done some testing...
Student login times individual PC: 10 seconds bang on from pressing enter to clicking the start menu
Loading photoshop CS5: 5 seconds
Shutdown: 14 seconds to fan stopping
Boot: around 50 seconds mainly due to the loading of computer group policies - boot to the policies loading stage was very very quick though.
Student login times when all 31 PCs login at once: 25 seconds for every single one to be on the desktop (Slight draw back in that i'm replicating 300GBs of data over the trunk to the buildin these PCs are in so that could be faster when that's done)
Last edited by mrbios; 3rd August 2011 at 12:47 PM.
I assume you don't have any warranty on this kit (after a year?) thats only £70 cheaper than a SFF i3 (with a standard HDD), aren't 10% hardare failures going to lose you any savings?
Processors are retail not OEM: 3 years <- never had a processor fail aside from someone dropping one
RAM: lifetime warranty with corsair
Power supplies: These vary from 2 - 3 years - some do 5 years but these are normally a bit more expensive
SSDs: 3 years
Motherboards: 2 years <- apart from a bad batch of foxconn tack we've not had a motherboard fail on us.
Obviously ideally the warranty would cover it all for 5 years but the most likely time for a component to fail is during the first few months of it's purchase, beyond that it's just unlucky if something fails but from experience of building our own PCs over the past 5 years here we definitely save money by building them ourselves as well as getting much faster machines over buying prebuilt. SSDs are the only part of this setup that i'm not certain on when it comes to reliability though, everything else has a relatively well proven level of reliability (be it manufacturer or particular component).
The only components that are ever really an issue is hard drives and power supplies with regards to replacements, but the amount of these we probably replace in the course of 5 years is definitely less than the amount we save from building ourselves. This build we've gone for better power supplies (in the past we have bought the elcheapo £10-15 things but they fail at a rate of knots) by a trusted brand and SSDs which i'm literally just crossing my fingers that they're more reliable than conventional drives. We were going ot get intel 320 SSDs instead of the OCZ vertex 2s but we had a good deal on the OCZ drives, theo nly issue there is it was a gamble given the return rate of OCZ drives when compared to the return rate of intels.
Last edited by mrbios; 3rd August 2011 at 08:28 PM.
I really like this idea, if we had more time (a lot more time at the moment!) I'd be tempted to give this a go in one of our smaller IT suites.
What do the Staff/Students think to them? Do they notice the speed difference?
Regarding time, they take us literally about 5 minutes if that to build per machine, the longest process of building them is unpackaging the components! Plus every year we have some of the brighter and more enthusiastic 6th formers helping us out throughout the year, perfect jobs for them Barely takes up any of our time to build them anymore
After their first months hammering by the students I've asked for 2 of the teachers to gather feedback:
6th formers and year 11s in particular said how much quicker they are, the things they do feel smoother and they don't sit around waiting for them as much, also how much cooler the rooms were. We even had one teacher come to us complaining that the PCs weren't on, when in actual fact the monitors were just turned off! (that's how quiet they are, a room of 30 and he didn't realise they were on!)
No failures so far, apart from 2 some idiot bent the cpu socket pins on while building them, though it could be one of 3 people so i'll not point fingers ¬_¬
I'd highly recommend a build like this to anyone looking to go with custom build machines rather than pre-builts.
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