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Hardware Thread, Recommendations for new teacher workstations x30 32 or 64bit windows 7 for sims etc in Technical; Look into the AMD A4 A6 chips - cheaper than most i3/i5 out there and just as fast. Regardless of ...
  1. #16
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    Look into the AMD A4 A6 chips - cheaper than most i3/i5 out there and just as fast.

    Regardless of anything though go with SSDs - no point in backing the loosing side of HDD.

    I would also plan on going 64bit asap, Microsoft isn't going to kick out client OSes in 32bit forever (even though Windows 8 is) so might as well take the headache now instead of when Windows 9 comes out.

  2. #17
    zag
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    I wouldn't bother with i5's or even i3's, the cpu has not been important for 5 years now.

    Just wack 4gb of RAM in there with a small SSD drive you you will understand why

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesfed View Post
    Regardless of anything though go with SSDs - no point in backing the loosing side of HDD.
    All very well saying that but you find me a manufacturer who isn't making you pay through the nose for an SSD compared to an HDD... as per my other thread I'm feeling pretty narked about this at the moment when retail price is effectively the same (250GB HD vs 64GB SSD)

    (not criticizing your suggestion, it's 100% the right way to go but the PC makers really aren't helping right now)

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    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    All very well saying that but you find me a manufacturer who isn't making you pay through the nose for an SSD compared to an HDD... as per my other thread I'm feeling pretty narked about this at the moment when retail price is effectively the same (250GB HD vs 64GB SSD)

    (not criticizing your suggestion, it's 100% the right way to go but the PC makers really aren't helping right now)
    Custom designed PCs are the way to go for any SSDs (Novatech/Stone/ect) leave the big names HP/Dell out of it because you are right on that front they will make you pay.

    On the capacity world though I don't know about you but do you ever use up that 250GB of space? If you mix in a techonlogy like App-V a Windows 7 image and all your software can fit in just 26GB! making even a 60GB SSD appear quite large.

  5. #20
    zag
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    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    All very well saying that but you find me a manufacturer who isn't making you pay through the nose for an SSD compared to an HDD... as per my other thread I'm feeling pretty narked about this at the moment when retail price is effectively the same (250GB HD vs 64GB SSD)

    (not criticizing your suggestion, it's 100% the right way to go but the PC makers really aren't helping right now)
    We just buy the normal workstations with a HDD and pay 70 quid extra for intel 40gb SSD's to replace it with.

    Its not a large extra cost really. I do have a huge pile of hard disks doing nothing now though

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    Ah see I'm trying to be very frugal right now so I'm getting the hump with 40 extra for an SSD over HDD on custom builds! Adds up quite quick... 40 a unit over 10 units is nearly the cost of the monitors for those units... money that could be better used elsewhere.

    With the SSDs most of the decent quality ones start at smallest 64GB (false economy buying anything other than Intel \ Crucial imo) Our images are only about 20GB so yes it seems a huge waste with PCs specced for 250 \ 500GB HDDs that are meant to be costing the earth... yet the manufacturers' suppliers are putting a premium on SSDs while retail can sell them significantly cheaper... someone must be getting palms greased somewhere to keep HDDs lingering on I reckon

    Feels bizarre that PC prices were driven right down not so long ago yet gone flying back up when the only component that's hit a price increase is the one we all want to remove from the equation anyway!
    Last edited by gshaw; 27th April 2012 at 03:48 PM.

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    I would put thin clients for teacher machines due boot time and speed of replacement. Also it saves problems with sims.

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    I personally would have bought this summer I3's (again same as last year but brilliant), 4/6Gb ram and probably 90Gb ssd's.

    Last summer I bought I3's 4Gb ram, Intel Board, 64Gb Crucial M4 for sub 280 (excluding a windows license)

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    Recently I installed some HP 6200 Pro SFF's which I can recommend.

    Generally speaking Intel i3's are the sweet spot in terms of price vs performance, but by all means install i5's if the money's there.

    As for Operating Systems, I've always installed Windows 7 Pro 32Bit and Office 2010 Standard or Pro 32Bit in school environments. The majority of applications from Windows XP still work and we all know how bad Educational applications can be at times.

    It should be noted of course that Windows Server 2008 R2 is 64Bit only and is fully compatible with both Windows 7 32/64Bit clients. Although it's tempting to buy Windows 7 Pro 64Bit with 6GB of memory, there are a considerable number of products which are now web only and this number is growing. It doesn't justify the need/expense, but it all depends on your school's specific requirements though of course!

    As schools typically use notebooks/netbooks and workstations, personally I just like to keep the same version of Windows and Office throughout. Keeping things simple always works best. I think 64Bit will be adopted a lot more once Microsoft stop creating Windows 32Bit versions. Windows 8 will still come in 32 and 64Bit versions, but I suspect Windows 9 probably will be 64Bit only. At this point, we'll already of had two/three generations of Windows Server (2008 R2 and 2012, 2012 R2) which are 64Bit only.

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    Happen to agree with that, i5 isn't a must, an i3 would adequately serve any purpose its tasked with for normal teacher use. Though, I'd suggest if you have the budget, going higher spec now means you're going to get a longer service life out of the machines, but, not everyone has the budget.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    Ah see I'm trying to be very frugal right now so I'm getting the hump with 40 extra for an SSD over HDD on custom builds! Adds up quite quick... 40 a unit over 10 units is nearly the cost of the monitors for those units... money that could be better used elsewhere.

    With the SSDs most of the decent quality ones start at smallest 64GB (false economy buying anything other than Intel \ Crucial imo) Our images are only about 20GB so yes it seems a huge waste with PCs specced for 250 \ 500GB HDDs that are meant to be costing the earth... yet the manufacturers' suppliers are putting a premium on SSDs while retail can sell them significantly cheaper... someone must be getting palms greased somewhere to keep HDDs lingering on I reckon

    Feels bizarre that PC prices were driven right down not so long ago yet gone flying back up when the only component that's hit a price increase is the one we all want to remove from the equation anyway!
    Floods last year in Taiwan are to blame for that, hammered the prices of SSD's and HDD's - yet to recover.

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    Apparently only around a 3rd of SSDs are manufactured in thailand so prices where largely unaffected and if anything seem to have become more affordable in the last 6 months.
    I would take a processor downgrade and get an SSD myself and the reliability is there for drives from intel, crucial and Samsung.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    Feels bizarre that PC prices were driven right down not so long ago yet gone flying back up when the only component that's hit a price increase is the one we all want to remove from the equation anyway!
    Motherboards and RAM are both more expensive than they used to be. The former is due to increases in the cost of copper and Chinese labour, while the latter is due to Elpida going bankrupt. You can't blame it all on HDDs.

    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    someone must be getting palms greased somewhere to keep HDDs lingering on I reckon
    Unfotunately SSDs are still considered premium products. When you start seeing > 120GB SSDs in 300 Acer laptops I reckon the premium over HDDs will be far less.

    Quote Originally Posted by iPrimary View Post
    hammered the prices of SSD's and HDD's
    SSD prices did go up slightly after the floods in October, but this was more to do profiteering than anything else. Intel make thier SSDs in China, while Crucial make theirs in Singapore.


  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur View Post
    Unfotunately SSDs are still considered premium products. When you start seeing > 120GB SSDs in 300 Acer laptops I reckon the premium over HDDs will be far less.
    This makes little sense when the price from online retailers is now in what I'd consider "cheap" territory... if they're selling for 50 for a 64MB M4 with associated warehouse, delivery etc costs someone is making a nice profit from the manufacturers \ supply chain to be charging 75+ for the same unit in larger quantities.

    The other big PC cost increase is Microsoft's dirty trick with Windows 7 OEM licensing... whack another 20-30 per unit on for 7 Home Premium instead of Vista Home Basic... luckily we got the bulk of our machines in before the licensing change, which along with the HDD costs now looks a very wise move

    I guess this is why I'm an IT geek rather than a City exec... I want the technology to move forward and hate seeing profiteering, which sadly is the name of the game in the business world...
    Last edited by gshaw; 22nd May 2012 at 09:25 AM.

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    Viglen Ominino 4s - Came in cheaper than any other workstation we looked at - never looked back since.

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