I'm curious what the lowest spec of machine is you're running on your network (ideally school network, RM CC4 for comparative purposes, but don't not post if you have vanilla)!
I recall one of our Governors not long ago, when noted that some machines are over 6yrs old, that the concept of "wear and tear, contemporary software demands and compatability" didn't seem to register, thus we're no closer to upgrading a fair chunk of these oldies.
The oldest (and indeed, least powerful) we have in use are P4 3Ghz, 512MB ram. No computer has SSD and practically all are 1GB-2GB ram. Maybe seeing what others are using now will either give us the courage to man up and really push for new gear or think whether what we have may in fact not be much worse than most others.
The hope, of course, is that the former is very much the case!
Right mixture on our current network going down to celeron 2.4ghz's (which we're just getting rid of the last few!) however on CC4 specifically, I've worked with a fair few machines on 512mb ram and pentium 4 1.7s (old F series RMs). They had 256mb to start with hence we had to build with the CC4 low ram build disks, and they were nothing short of diabolical. Only a week of use later the school desparately ordered short term RAM upgrades to go to a gig each which helped no end but CPU speed and possibly more importantly hard drive speed still bottlenecked them chronically.
As we're finding now, the difference in speed going from 30GB IDE Maxtor-Fail-Alot drives to any recent Sata drive (usually Seagate 250gb) is absolutely astonishing, decreasing time to logon screen by up to 2 minutes! (CC3)
Hi, how to define the lowest spec of machine on your network? I want to know this, thanks a lot.
Our lowest is currently P4 2.8 with 512mb, they're on the list for immediate replacement though... currently awaiting quotes for their replacements
As for how to define the lowest spec its basically down to what you and the school decide is acceptable, our minimum this year is P4 2.8, next year it'll be C2D 2.2(our next lowest spec machines). I'm aiming for a 4-5 year cycle, I'm on the brink of getting rid of every machine that was here before I started 3.5 years ago so seem to be on target.
we've got a couple of celeron 1.8ghz that are on the network, but thats mainly for file access as they run the laser cutter and the cad/cam boxford router and need to get pupils files that have been designed elsewhere.
Our Minimum is core 2 duo with 2gb ram
Our lowest spec are some original RM AllInOnes, P4 1.7 with 2Gb of RAM. They seem to work fine. Make sure you have big enough hard drives. Some of ours are only 40g and struggle sometimes by the time we've put some big software on there. We've got round it temporarily by adjusting the partitions to 70-30.
I've also built some CL51 laptops which have had the RAM upped to 2Gb and they seem to work ok as well, especially for low usage apps such as Office, Internet browsing SIMS etc.
We're vanilla now (ex-CC3) and at the moment, our lowest are old RM's with 3.0GHz P4s/Celerons, with 1Gb of RAM each. When I arrived just under two years ago, I think the answer was 1.6Ghz Celeron with 256Mb of RAM...
Working on a 5 year schedule now - can't afford anymore, and tbh, don't overly need it - so the P4s should disappear next summer to be replaced with Ivy Bridge Core i3s, unless AMD pull a good one with Trinity. Nothing we do in a school will be that intensive so the more balanced CPU/GPU mix of AMD Trinity might work out better, if the CPU performance is at least close to IB.
So by my count, your minimum is not that bad, but it's much better to replace some regularly than find yourself having to replace lots suddenly when they all fall over from HDD wear and tear. We're starting to see problems with the older Celerons now - one we've got in our office right now fails Prime95 almost instantly because the CPU genuinely can't do maths correctly anymore.
Ours is Athlon64 3200+ \ 2GB RAM (pulled a load of sticks from some other machines that were replaced so they had a free upgrade)
All being replaced with some Core i3 machines coming in shortly... quiet, cool and cheap as well
We're CC4 + Windows 7, and we have a small handful of P4 machines (2.66GHz - 3GHz) with RAM ranging from 512MB up to 1.5GB. They're pretty slow, and will be upgraded as soon as funds are available.
In our experience, Windows 7 performance really does suffer with P4, with or without HyperThreading. Best advice we can give is to use Core 2 Duos or i3/i5/i7 range processors, with at least 3GB RAM. If you can't get away from P4s, try some SSDs in those machines to see if you get any gains.
To further reduce the upgrade cost, we're now buying component kits of mobo+cpu+ram and doing the job ourselves. Old beige-coloured cases are treated with black spray paint and new internals fitted - good as new.
Of course, if you have small-form-factor or proprietary Dell machines, this won't be as easy and as cheap for you.
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