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Hardware Thread, How do you work out the system requirements? in Technical; I am looking at speccing some laptops for staff. I am looking at the minimum requirements for the software that ...
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    Question How do you work out the system requirements?

    I am looking at speccing some laptops for staff. I am looking at the minimum requirements for the software that will need to go onto the machines and trying to work out the best fit for these plus a bit more for the future.

    How do you guys work out the system requirements for your hardware? Do you just go with the requirements of Windows + a bit more or do you use calculations that supercomputers have to perform to get the end results?

    TIA

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    I go with a price point to be honest. Laptops cost about 600 with a 3 year warranty - so whatever it is ends up fitting into that price. This time round, I've gone with laptops with SSDs in though so they're a little more expensive.

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    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    2GHz Dual core with at least 4Gb of RAM (may as well these days, so cheap) will cover you for anything, more or less. The only time I'd consider more is if there was a specific requirement for something I know to be heavy e.g. Photoshop - in which case, just go on the recommended spec for that.

    SSD if you can. Intel processors generally better, but if it's being used for Office, there's no reason why AMD won't do the job just as well.

    If you look at minimum specs for Windows/Office etc. they're surprisingly low. Problem is, a system at that spec would be painful to use...

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    kernewek-sam's Avatar
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    Generally dual core, minimum of 2GB of RAM though it's usually 4GB, around 320GB HDD, and as @localzuk said 3 year warranty. All that though depends on price and what the staff member will be using it for which is more often than not just office 2010 etc.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    I would say it's partly down to experience, understanding/knowing specifications, but of course working within a budget.

    It's very easy to over-spec a requirement, so it's important to find the sweet spot for price vs performance.

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    TPM chip

    We work from there as many of our suppliers will know with their 'perfect for Education PCs' only for us to take them down a few notches....

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    OK. Folowing on from this discussion was a meeting with the head. As most of you are probably aware, we are a mac school. ONe of the reasons though for this thread was because the head wants to move some staff from macbooks over to Windows-based laptops to reduce replacement costs, which is fair enough.

    So the next question is really what windows-based laptop manufacturers are you guys avoiding right now. I've been out of the loop a while with regards to buying this sort of hardware, so not sure which companies are a little unreliable these days. I know in the past Toshiba had issues with their batteries causing their hardware just simply failing to turn on at one point, and the acer machines we have the keyboards seemed very weak and bendy and they failed quite quickly.

    So what do you guys buy? Personally, I am interested in HP and Lenovos at the moment as both seem to be decent looking and reasonably priced.

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    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    Never never ever Acer. Well, the Aspire One 522 netbooks are great but everything else is far too likely to be flakey.

    Asus laptops always seem good quality and have low return rates when such things are reported. Lenovo, being the old IBM Thinkpads, are built like tanks. They don't look pretty but you could conquer France with them.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Personal opinion - avoid Acer and Toshiba. I've had negative experiences of both. I did have negative experiences of Fujitsu Siemens, but supposedly now they are just Fujitsu they have upped their game.

    We've recently gone for Dell and Samsung laptops. I'd also look at HP and Lenovo myself too. Asus look like great kit, but all reports I've had indicate some dire support.

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    witch's Avatar
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    It's all a matter of opinion - I would say yes to Toshiba and HP but no to Dell unless you can get very good prices. Samsung are good for netbooks

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    I'm trying to avoid netbooks as these machines will be used for lesson planning and assessment. Some of the templates the staff have to use would mean a lot of scrolling. I am looking at 13.3" to 15.6" screens, but more on the 15.6" side I think. The macbooks that we would have gotten would have been the entry level Macbook Pro models.

    Dells online prices at the moment are coming in at around 1,284 ex VAT. I assume a school could get these for less?

    Some of the lower priced machines on the PCWorld Business site look to be lower specced than I would like. I have found a Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 15.6" that may fit the job but the buttons for the track pad seem to be in an odd position, which could take a while to get used to.

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    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    For a laptop being used for office, I don't reckon you need to spend more than 450 ex VAT. 1200 is stupid money (but then it is Dell).

    That Lenovo model is an older processor as well - you want Core i3 2xxx as the model number, e.g. Samsung RV520 Laptop - Laptops | Ebuyer.com (though that is only Win7 Home, your volume license should let you upgrade)

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    Go with your budget and shop around to get the best spec is the usual way to approach requirements.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    What is coming in at 1284 each?! A Dell or Apple gear via Dell? If Apple, then you could probably get them down to about 1220 I'd guess, plus the cost of warranty.

    That Lenovo has 2 sets of buttons, 1 in the normal spot, and one above the trackpad, for people who use the trackpoint thing in the middle of the keyboard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    What is coming in at 1284 each?!
    A dell latitude E6320. Not sure if this is their lowest spec machines but it was either this, the precision mobile, which was more or the XPS, which was even more!

    That Lenovo has 2 sets of buttons, 1 in the normal spot, and one above the trackpad, for people who use the trackpoint thing in the middle of the keyboard.
    I didn't see the other set of buttons. I will look again. But the samsung seems like a decent enough machine. I did have a Samsung of my own a while back. The jack on the mainboard broke off twice on mine.

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