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Hardware Thread, New PCs... i3 or i5? in Technical; Have just installed a suite with I3 as that was the best deal. And updated a Music room to I5's ...
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    Have just installed a suite with I3 as that was the best deal. And updated a Music room to I5's Will see how that goes, looked at mac's in the music block but all the software being used ran on windows so W7 4gb it was. Hope they like that...........

  2. #17

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbios View Post
    No it isn't misguided it's actually a very well informed comment. If you actually sat down and watched the performance via some form of monitoring rather than just looking at numbers you'd see exactly why i'm right.
    Indeed I have done that. And I can see that the SAS drives in my farm of 4 terminal servers are actually not fast enough for the task they're doing, which is why I've been investigating SSD to replace them (well, had been as I'm moving jobs soon). The individual needs of servers get things based upon observations and real world usage. For example, our backup storage device is a QNAP box with 8x SATA drives and it handles the backups perfectly. Our main file server is also on SATA disks, as there isn't enough demand to warrant a need for more, but our terminal servers? Yeah, SAS is what they need, if not even faster.

    You see too many people here look at the figures stated on devices and not the actual performance figures during use, it's quite astounding really how little people know about what their equipment is actually doing. I'm not going to argue this any further, i've watched on these forums for a long time and it is increasingly frustrating how people have misguided opinions of the performance of everything from processors to network connections, if i went by the recommendations of people on here i'd no doubt have a server rack full of equipment that costs thousands of pounds, instead i've been guided by someone else, someone who knows the ins and outs in far more depth than most if not anyone on these forums (i shant name him) and if you just look at the facts you'll accept i'm right.

    Then again a lot of people here are more like teachers than they realise, they'll never accept when they're wrong.
    I know, you seem to be painting everyone with the same brush, unwilling to admit your one size fits all approach is wrong... Amusing isn't it when something is turned around like that?

    All I am trying to say is that statements like your SAS one, or your earlier one saying that 'no core 2 duo should be too slow' (or similar IIRC) are too broad, and do not sufficiently look at individual circumstances - and this is the exact attitude that is leading a good number of areas who are under BSF control into difficulties as the one size fits all approach simply doesn't work.

    To gshaw - yes, all current generation i5's are quad core, and more software is appearing constantly now that developers have access to tools to use them properly (eg. the new Java release now handles multi-core processors better), but as I said, it *really* depends on what they're going to get used for and for how long.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbios View Post
    No it isn't misguided it's actually a very well informed comment. If you actually sat down and watched the performance via some form of monitoring rather than just looking at numbers you'd see exactly why i'm right.

    You see too many people here look at the figures stated on devices and not the actual performance figures during use, it's quite astounding really how little people know about what their equipment is actually doing. I'm not going to argue this any further, i've watched on these forums for a long time and it is increasingly frustrating how people have misguided opinions of the performance of everything from processors to network connections, if i went by the recommendations of people on here i'd no doubt have a server rack full of equipment that costs thousands of pounds, instead i've been guided by someone else, someone who knows the ins and outs in far more depth than most if not anyone on these forums (i shant name him) and if you just look at the facts you'll accept i'm right.

    Then again a lot of people here are more like teachers than they realise, they'll never accept when they're wrong.
    Take a chill pill sunshine.

  4. Thanks to AyatollahPies from:

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  5. #19
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    go for i7's and SSD's I reckon...

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    I know, you seem to be painting everyone with the same brush, unwilling to admit your one size fits all approach is wrong... Amusing isn't it when something is turned around like that?.
    It's not a one size fits all approach. The point you're missing is that these devices, SAS drives, 10GbE connections, i5s and i7s aren't needed because every job they do can be done with less and you can easily achieve the same outcome without splashing out for these expensive technologies. Your terminal servers may be a rare example of an area where they may be needed depending on the quantity of users using them at any one given time, i'll give you that, but people buying 15k SAS drives for their central storage when they have less users than i do (just an example of one thing i spotted here recently) is absolutely ridiculous and that's an example of the sort of user i have a problem with.

    Just as an example to my last point there: I've got 2 RAID6 arrays, each array only has 4 drives, all 8 drives are in one enclosure, the enclosure has 4 iscsi connections 1 RAID array is split in two for virtual machine storage, the other raid array is split in two partitions for all the school data like student and teacher home folders, network programs etc. All student and teacher information is accessed through one 1GB iscsi port and the VMs are split between two iscsi ports. Performance...is fantastic. How could anyone, especially with a smaller network, warrant buying 15k SAS drives for such a task as that?

    If 1000 users at peak can connect to the same storage device as i'm running 25-30 servers from and have it all being hammered away at the same time without the slightest drop in performance, where do people get off thinking these things are actually needed within their networks?

    I should mention, my last post wasn't meant to be a dig at you personally RE the last sentence, it was a dig at the individuals who for example i point out in my example in this post. I should also mention that although i'm getting quite abrasive about this topic, i'm not intending for any of it to be taken personally by yourself, there are more individuals than i could name on these forums that this is all aimed at though....

    Quote Originally Posted by AyatollahPies View Post
    Take a chill pill sunshine.
    Last edited by mrbios; 3rd August 2011 at 02:15 PM.

  7. #21

    localzuk's Avatar
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    I agree that there are some people that do over-spec things, but also remember that there is also the issue of 'nobody gets fired for buying IBM' - extend that to mean 'the latest and greatest' and you can see that there could well be a culture of protecting oneself in schools. If the person happens to spec out a suite, using careful planning for capacity, resulting in savings but then 4 years down the line gets hit by something they couldn't have seen coming, it is their neck on the chopping block for not having planned enough capacity in.

    An example of that bit me in the rear a couple of years back - I specced our last NAS device for backup to have 4 x 500GB SATA disks in it, at 4 years it basically had completely ran out of space for a standard weekly full, monthly full, daily incremental backup with 6 months historic backups. This lead to me being asked point blankly, why hadn't I accounted for this, and it was my fault.

    Considering the entire backup at the time when it was purchased fit on a single DDS3 tape (ie. under 24GB compressed), this seemed like it would be fine for 5 years. How could I have possibly known that 4 years in, the backup would have grown to around 300GB for a full backup? So, if I had followed the advice I would now give for such things, I would've spent a couple of grand more and went 'seriously overkill', only to find that I had planned correctly...

  8. #22
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    Here's an interesting question for you then.... if a member of staff comes to you and says "we've bought this software, we want to use it in all the IT rooms" what's your reaction and response? do they even get to that point?

  9. #23

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    @mrbios - again it all depends on the school and the replacement schedule. Sure a four year old pc runs stuff now but how about a couple of years from now where it is missing one of the later instructions or a couple of badly needed cores. I don't understand the willingness to start on the back foot without a very high refresh cycle.

    Also as to power usage the latest gen cpus may have higher peak loads but most of the time will be burning much less power because of better switching, fab and chipsets.

  10. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbios View Post
    Here's an interesting question for you then.... if a member of staff comes to you and says "we've bought this software, we want to use it in all the IT rooms" what's your reaction and response? do they even get to that point?
    They would never get to that point at my current place. They come to me first with the question 'we would like to buy this software, will it be ok with our systems?'. All IT purchasing is run via my before ordering. All IT related orders are passed my way by our finance officer before being processed to double check.

  11. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    Sure a four year old pc runs stuff now but how about a couple of years from now where it is missing one of the later instructions or a couple of badly needed cores.
    I'm wondering if you've misread my posts, i still only intend to use PCs on a 5 year life cycle and i've never said it's a good idea to buy 4 year old processors so i'm not entirely sure what you mean?

  12. #26

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    I work for an IT reseller and have been a computer hardware enthusiast for years, somewhat obsessed with getting the best bang for your buck. Before working for the reseller I did a bit of a study into the computer hardware marketplace, found and documented huge widely effecting issues from the top Manufacturers and resellers.
    I believe that most IT professionals and consumers alike take far too much of what's on the box as fact. Sadly there's little "information" from any computer hardware manufcaturer which isn't pure marketing tripe. The only way to actually get a good idea of the real performance/value is to look at benchmarks from independent review sites and individuals from forums.

    Something else that I've learned from my research in terms of performance, is the obscene amounts of money spent on computer hardware by everyone most of which corresponds to a very small increase in performance, real time speed increases and reliability.

    I don't know much about classroom management or how easily implemented having one room for Media work is, but I would certainly baulk at the idea of having i5 processors in every PC in the school would be a good investment.

    SSD's are the only upgrade which would give a really noticeable speed increase right across the board. For me however, even SSD's are overkill for school's computers. For instance I would never recommend a SSD to a regular PC user, in fact, the only people I'd ever recommend a SSD to are computer hardware enthusiast or someone who either has a specific need or a load of money to burn on eeking out every last bit of performance...


    @localzuk
    My advice to you would be to actually check out the benchmarks, look at how the i5 beats the i3 at rendering an image or something by a couple of seconds, then compare those few seconds to the thousands of pounds extra that would be spent on them.

    As I said, I wouldn't recommend a SSD or an i5 to a regular PC user, nor to a school, it's not needed...


    Edit:
    Use the money saved on training for the computer illiterate teachers, so far it seems to me as the biggest issues regarding IT in schools is that teachers not knowing how to work the technology they already have.
    Last edited by Effluo; 3rd August 2011 at 04:30 PM.

  13. #27
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    I partially beg to differ on the SSD front @Effluo

    Personally we were able to easily make do with 40GB SSDs, anything larger has a huge £/GB margin and makes them extortionately expensive for a school. The 40GB ones on the other hand are about 1.4x the cost of the cheapest SATAII HDD so for every 2 SSDs you buy you could get 3 HDDs but the performance/cost benefit is overwhelmingly in favour of performance. Also note i'm comparing that to the costs of dirt cheap, slow access HDDs. I garuntee they're worth the purchase if a school can cope with very small amounts of local storage, unlike the processor argument where the performance benefit is only noticed when using very processor heavy applications which for the majority of schools is rare in an ICT room, the performance benefit for an SSD is noticed throughout the computers use from turning it on through to using all the applications.

    I should probably add to the above, that reliability of course does need to be proven before people go buying hundreds of them for schools, and that's what i'm currently working on. If they prove more reliable and last longer than HDDs in both failure rate and performance over the course of a PCs lifespan then they practically pay for themselves.
    Last edited by mrbios; 3rd August 2011 at 04:47 PM.

  14. #28

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Effluo View Post
    I work for an IT reseller and have been a computer hardware enthusiast for years, somewhat obsessed with getting the best bang for your buck. Before working for the reseller I did a bit of a study into the computer hardware marketplace, found and documented huge widely effecting issues from the top Manufacturers and resellers.
    I believe that most IT professionals and consumers alike take far too much of what's on the box as fact. Sadly there's little "information" from any computer hardware manufcaturer which isn't pure marketing tripe. The only way to actually get a good idea of the real performance/value is to look at benchmarks from independent review sites and individuals from forums.

    Something else that I've learned from my research in terms of performance, is the obscene amounts of money spent on computer hardware by everyone most of which corresponds to a very small increase in performance, real time speed increases and reliability.

    I don't know much about classroom management or how easily implemented having one room for Media work is, but I would certainly baulk at the idea of having i5 processors in every PC in the school would be a good investment.

    SSD's are the only upgrade which would give a really noticeable speed increase right across the board. For me however, even SSD's are overkill for school's computers. For instance I would never recommend a SSD to a regular PC user, in fact, the only people I'd ever recommend a SSD to are computer hardware enthusiast or someone who either has a specific need or a load of money to burn on eeking out every last bit of performance...


    @localzuk
    My advice to you would be to actually check out the benchmarks, look at how the i5 beats the i3 at rendering an image or something by a couple of seconds, then compare those few seconds to the thousands of pounds extra that would be spent on them.

    As I said, I wouldn't recommend a SSD or an i5 to a regular PC user, nor to a school, it's not needed...


    Edit:
    Use the money saved on training for the computer illiterate teachers, so far it seems to me as the biggest issues regarding IT in schools is that teachers not knowing how to work the technology they already have.
    Again, you're doing what I complained about earlier - a 'one size fits all' approach. Also, you specifically say you've not worked in education - you're a reseller, so you do not know the day to do demands of our equipment.

    Having seen the speed improvements that SSDs offer, even for normal day to day users, I would say the exact opposite of what you're saying. A couple of seconds here, a couple of seconds there, it all soon adds up to minutes, and minutes wasted waiting for things are minutes not learning things.

    Also, you're basing your view on what software does with the chips now, and not in 4 years time etc...

    So, yes, I agree people should do their research properly (which is why I get 'try before you buy' models of PCs we buy for classrooms to test them out thoroughly beforehand), but to blanket state schools and normal users don't need i5s and SSDs is presumptuous to say the least.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrbios View Post
    I partially beg to differ on the SSD front @Effluo

    Personally we were able to easily make do with 40GB SSDs, anything larger has a huge £/GB margin and makes them extortionately expensive for a school. The 40GB ones on the other hand are about 1.4x the cost of the cheapest SATAII HDD so for every 2 SSDs you buy you could get 3 HDDs but the performance/cost benefit is overwhelmingly in favour of performance. Also note i'm comparing that to the costs of dirt cheap, slow access HDDs. I garuntee they're worth the purchase if a school can cope with very small amounts of local storage, unlike the processor argument where the performance benefit is only noticed when using very processor heavy applications which for the majority of schools is rare in an ICT room, the performance benefit for an SSD is noticed throughout the computers use from turning it on through to using all the applications.

    I should probably add to the above, that reliability of course does need to be proven before people go buying hundreds of them for schools, and that's what i'm currently working on. If they prove more reliable and last longer than HDDs in both failure rate and performance over the course of a PCs lifespan then they practically pay for themselves.
    Throw in the lower power usage, lower heat production to it too and it could make the difference between needing aircon or not.

  15. 2 Thanks to localzuk:

    Arthur (3rd August 2011), mac_shinobi (3rd August 2011)

  16. #29

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    I completely agree and you're dead right that SSD are the only upgrade which will make a significant difference to the daily speed in running ALL the PC's in a school and that they would be a much smarter investment than i5's, but both are still overkill when you look at the price : performance ratio.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrbios View Post
    The 40GB ones on the other hand are about 1.4x the cost of the cheapest SATAII HDD so for every 2 SSDs you buy you could get 3 HDDs but the performance/cost benefit is overwhelmingly in favour of performance.
    If this were the case, then SSD would be a no-brainer and a good investment, but considering the prices you quoted on the op in your other thread.(£56)
    And considering you could buy 250GB Samsung F3's (some of the fastest disc drives going) for around £25 each, you'll find that your SSD's cost over twice as much. (unless I'm missing something)

    Around £30/machine, if you can afford to have only 40GB of storage it's not a bad upgrade, not a bad upgrade at all.
    Although, there would still be a decision to be made and I can respect that you felt it was worth it, but I'd take a bit more convincing.

    It's certainly a close one

  17. #30

    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    I know this is not school or network related and no doubt will get flamed for over buying or over paying for what I purchased a month or two ago ( 16gb RAM Kit which gave me a total of 18gb of RAM and a 240 Gb 6Gbps SSD with sandforce controller etc for my home 2008 mac pro but when launching process monitor on OS X

    1. I always have free RAM regardless of what I am doing whether it be video editing , playing itunes at the same time etc
    2. I've checked the amount of virtual ram / page outs it has used in the last month and I think it's not gone more then 1mb of page outs, last time I checked it used less then 214kb of virtual memory

    Even launching every app I have and using a number of them, virtual desktops, playing movies, itunes music, it doesn't even flinch and the mac pro I have is from 2008 so not an i5 or i7 or even the latest Xeon CPU, RAM, Bus speeds are slower etc etc but it still goes like off of a shovel

    I am not saying you need that much ram or that much capacity on an SSD but if you had a 64 bit OS, either 4 or 8gb of ram and a small capacity SSD of your choice ie 40 or 60gb as the boot drive it makes a lot of difference, choice of motherboard , cpu etc would depend on what the machine was going to be used for ie

    Using it for SIMS which gets used 5 times a day for about 10 mins per use would be a waste vs using a machine like this in say Design and Tech or somewhere that they will make use of the hardware using CAD CAM software / video editing / graphics editing etc etc would make more sense

    Just my worthless £0.02

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