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Thread: It's time to update my office - advice appreciated on buying 9 new workstations.

  1. #33
    ɯʎɔɐɹsɐʌʍ mycarsavw's Avatar
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    Re: It's time to update my office - advice appreciated on buying 9 new workstations.

    Right, I'm now armed with a quote.

    9 x Vostro 200ST
    Intel® Pentium® Dual-Core E2140 Processor (1.6GHz,800MHz,1MB cache)
    1024MB 667MHz Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM [2x512]
    250GB (7200rpm) Serial ATA Hard Drive with 8MB DataBurst™ cache
    Integrated Intel® Graphic Media Accelerator X3100
    48x CDRW/DVD Combo Drive
    13-in-1 Media Card Reader

    Dell™ 17" Value Flat Panel (E178FP) - UK/Irish
    Dell™ AS501PA Soundbar for use only with E15x, E17x & E19x flat panels

    Dell™ Entry Quietkey USB Keyboard - UK/Irish (QWERTY)
    Dell™ Optical USB Mouse - Black

    Genuine Windows® XP Professional - English
    Microsoft® Works 8.0 - English
    Base Warranty - 1 Year Business Hardware Support

    £3.366.00 with delivery of..........

    ...

    ...

    £0.00

    But only if I buy the following as well;

    PowerEdge 840

    Dual Core Intel® Xeon® 3060 Processor at 2.40GHz, 4MB L2 cache, 1066MHz FSB
    2GB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz (2x1GB dual ranked DIMMs)
    1ST HDD 250GB 7,200rpm 3.5inch SATA hard drive (hot plug)
    2ND HDD 250GB 7,200rpm 3.5inch SATA hard drive (hot plug)
    SAS 5iR internal RAID Controller, PCI-Express
    C7 - Ad-in SAS/SATA, RAID1 min 2 max 2 Hard Drives connected to ad-in SAS controller
    48X 4G CDRW/DVD Drive

    Dell™ 17" Value Flat Panel (E178FP) - UK/Irish

    Dell™ Entry Quietkey USB Keyboard - UK/Irish (QWERTY)
    Dell™ 2 Button USB Scroll Optical Mouse - Black

    Microsoft Windows Small Business Server R2 2003, Standard Edition with 5 Client Licenses - English
    Additional 10 Client Licenses for Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003
    Upg to Silver 3Y (24x7) Premier Enterprise Support

    for £1,599.00

    Total: £4,965.00

    I do need a new server but I wasn't planning on getting one until I'd let the teething problems of having new machines die down. Obviously I can buy the server now and implement it later so my only reservations are the server specs and buying Dell.

    I'm now going to spec up the similar kit with HP and see what sort of price I get.
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  2. #34
    HEXUS.social member Agent's Avatar
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    Re: It's time to update my office - advice appreciated on buying 9 new workstations.

    Quote Originally Posted by mycarsavw View Post
    Right, I'm now armed with a quote.

    9 x Vostro 200ST
    Intel® Pentium® Dual-Core E2140 Processor (1.6GHz,800MHz,1MB cache)
    1024MB 667MHz Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM [2x512]
    250GB (7200rpm) Serial ATA Hard Drive with 8MB DataBurst™ cache
    Integrated Intel® Graphic Media Accelerator X3100
    48x CDRW/DVD Combo Drive
    13-in-1 Media Card Reader

    Dell™ 17" Value Flat Panel (E178FP) - UK/Irish
    Dell™ AS501PA Soundbar for use only with E15x, E17x & E19x flat panels

    Dell™ Entry Quietkey USB Keyboard - UK/Irish (QWERTY)
    Dell™ Optical USB Mouse - Black

    Genuine Windows® XP Professional - English
    Microsoft® Works 8.0 - English
    Base Warranty - 1 Year Business Hardware Support

    £3.366.00 with delivery of..........

    ...

    ...

    £0.00
    Now they are decent spec'ed machines, but if they are going to be used just for DTP / browsing stuff, its a total overkill. They cost more than you need to spend, use more power, and will kick out more heat than a lower end equivalent.
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

  3. #35
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    Re: It's time to update my office - advice appreciated on buying 9 new workstations.

    Quote Originally Posted by mycarsavw View Post
    ...only if I buy the following as well;

    PowerEdge 840

    Dual Core Intel® Xeon® 3060 Processor at 2.40GHz, 4MB L2 cache, 1066MHz FSB
    2GB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz (2x1GB dual ranked DIMMs)
    1ST HDD 250GB 7,200rpm 3.5inch SATA hard drive (hot plug)
    2ND HDD 250GB 7,200rpm 3.5inch SATA hard drive (hot plug)
    SAS 5iR internal RAID Controller, PCI-Express
    C7 - Ad-in SAS/SATA, RAID1 min 2 max 2 Hard Drives connected to ad-in SAS controller
    48X 4G CDRW/DVD Drive

    Dell™ 17" Value Flat Panel (E178FP) - UK/Irish

    Dell™ Entry Quietkey USB Keyboard - UK/Irish (QWERTY)
    Dell™ 2 Button USB Scroll Optical Mouse - Black

    Microsoft Windows Small Business Server R2 2003, Standard Edition with 5 Client Licenses - English
    Additional 10 Client Licenses for Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003
    Upg to Silver 3Y (24x7) Premier Enterprise Support

    for £1,599.00
    I'm not up to speed on server prices (especially in terms of server software) but that seems a little expensive for the hardware you're getting. Not that a server needs to be super quick or anything. Presume having Windows SBS and 3 year on site support bumps the price up somewhat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    Now they are decent spec'ed machines, but if they are going to be used just for DTP / browsing stuff, its a total overkill. They cost more than you need to spend, use more power, and will kick out more heat than a lower end equivalent.
    How are machines using onboard GFX and with the lowest spec core 2 duo power hungry?

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    Re: It's time to update my office - advice appreciated on buying 9 new workstations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    Now they are decent spec'ed machines, but if they are going to be used just for DTP / browsing stuff, its a total overkill. They cost more than you need to spend, use more power, and will kick out more heat than a lower end equivalent.
    Gah!

    You mean in general or the spec that I've added?

    The base model is the same except it has the following

    512MB 667MHz Single Channel DDR2 SDRAM [1x512]
    160GB (7200rpm) Serial ATA Hard Drive with 8MB DataBurst™ cache
    48x CDRW/DVD Combo Drive
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    Re: It's time to update my office - advice appreciated on buying 9 new workstations.

    Quote Originally Posted by malfunction View Post
    I'm not up to speed on server prices (especially in terms of server software) but that seems a little expensive for the hardware you're getting. Not that a server needs to be super quick or anything. Presume having Windows SBS and 3 year on site support bumps the price up somewhat?
    3 year on site - £130 it means I get to speak to someone in England and to me that's worth paying for.

    SBS R2 + 5CAL - £284
    + additional 10 CAL - £540

    So that adds £954.00

    I hadn't actually worked that out on until just then. An HP server starts at around £500 and has no monitor, mouse or keyboard, one HDD, no RAID and so on.
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    Re: It's time to update my office - advice appreciated on buying 9 new workstations.

    Quote Originally Posted by malfunction View Post
    How are machines using onboard GFX and with the lowest spec core 2 duo power hungry?
    Urgghh. That will teach me to post after just waking up
    I was flicking between tabs, and my little brain got confused.

    You're spot on with the power hunger though. My bad.
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

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    Re: It's time to update my office - advice appreciated on buying 9 new workstations.

    Quote Originally Posted by mycarsavw View Post
    Gah!

    You mean in general or the spec that I've added?

    The base model is the same except it has the following

    512MB 667MHz Single Channel DDR2 SDRAM [1x512]
    160GB (7200rpm) Serial ATA Hard Drive with 8MB DataBurst™ cache
    48x CDRW/DVD Combo Drive
    Going from your first post : "They will HAVE to run XP Pro, OpenOffice and FoxitReader and they need to be networked. There is no need for them to dance and sing. They are only used for word processing and form filling."

    If thats all its going to be used for, then the base spec will probably be enough.
    Don't get me wrong, i'd be tempted to go with 1gig RAM and a bigger HD, but in all honesty, will the machines use it? OO & form filling isnt exactly taxing.

    The price isnt bad for those systems alone, but could still do better (much) via self building them. That aside, once you add the compulsory server purchase in, its starting to look like nothing amazing. The RAM inside it isnt even registered / ECC, so its basically just a powerful desktop machine with a RAID card in.
    I guess a fair bit of the money will go to the security of the warranty and the software on the server, along with support.

    You say Open Office will be used on your machines for DTP, have you considered a Linux distro for the server? If you are happy with windows though, spending the money for something you are familiar with can be less hassle than learning something new.

    All in all, its not a _bad_ deal, considering it comes with support, but i'd try to push them a bit more. The HP's I previously linked would still be in the front of my mind. All they need is a TFT / KB / Mouse and you're ready to go. Would save a lot too. You could then use the money to buy a server that you can build yourself (just the one machine), or buy one off the shelf if needed.

    Dont be afraid to tell a fib to Dell about what HP are offering you. You've nothing to loose, make them want your custom.
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

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    Re: It's time to update my office - advice appreciated on buying 9 new workstations.

    Without knowing more about the details of the work your office is doing, discussing the details of any specification is mostly speculation. Some custom business software can be real hogs, and there's a fine line between simple office suite usage and putting the office suite under heavy strain.

    Personally, now that you have found that the major business supliers are much more helpful once phoned, I would definately go with one of them. Small companies without dedicated IT support stand to benefit greatly from the support they provide. I'd hate to be having to stress over trying to fix the computers as well as stressing over the lack of work getting done!

    The best thing at this stage is to really start playing the companies against each other. Contact a few other smaller suppliers for quotes also, and use the lowest quote so far as the target they have to beat, and just keep on going back and forth

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    Re: It's time to update my office - advice appreciated on buying 9 new workstations.

    The bundle as a whole represents a good price for what you're getting, and unless your business is falling on particularly hard times, there's little harm in uppping the specifications a bit. After all, you want to be able to try new things with your systems every now and again and if you've had the foresight to get a little more power for your money, the option is there.

    Not to mention the more power you have in front of each user, the less likely they are to complain about their system being slow.

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    Re: It's time to update my office - advice appreciated on buying 9 new workstations.

    I would say 512mb is a good amount for XP, but would definitely say Vista will benefit from 1gb. Heck (gosh darnit ), even Windows 2000 PCs need 1gb if users open 20 odd Excel Spreadsheets

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    Re: It's time to update my office - advice appreciated on buying 9 new workstations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    Going from your first post : "They will HAVE to run XP Pro, OpenOffice and FoxitReader and they need to be networked. There is no need for them to dance and sing. They are only used for word processing and form filling."

    If thats all its going to be used for, then the base spec will probably be enough.
    Don't get me wrong, i'd be tempted to go with 1gig RAM and a bigger HD, but in all honesty, will the machines use it? OO & form filling isnt exactly taxing.
    Aside from a bit of anticipated web browsing that really is it. I have 1/2 gig of RAM in one of my current desktop machines running all of the above and a bespoke accounts package and I find it a bit clunky. I think that's partly to do with the fact that I have two other machines that have 1gig and two home machines that have 2gig. For the rest of my office, stepping from a PII 233mhz with 32/64 meg of RAM to 1/2 gig is going to be an improvement. You're spot on though, for these users I don't think it'll get used at all.

    The price isnt bad for those systems alone, but could still do better (much) via self building them. That aside, once you add the compulsory server purchase in, its starting to look like nothing amazing. The RAM inside it isnt even registered / ECC, so its basically just a powerful desktop machine with a RAID card in.
    I guess a fair bit of the money will go to the security of the warranty and the software on the server, along with support.
    I'm not against building myself and with a bit of digging I could probably match the spec at a cheaper price but ... as someone says later on, do I really want the strain?

    Someone else suggested earlier in the thread that I bought 10 identical self-builds and that is still in the back of my mind. I also think I'd get a healthier discount for what could be seen as bulk buying. I think that's why I posted here, normally I'd have gone ahead and bought off-the-shelf stuff, but spending a bit of time here, and self-building myself has given me the itch. Part of me wants to be convinced to self-build

    You say Open Office will be used on your machines for DTP, have you considered a Linux distro for the server? If you are happy with windows though, spending the money for something you are familiar with can be less hassle than learning something new.
    Again, that's another possibility, I'm quite familiar with Ubuntu but I don't think I can "teach" the rest of the office to use it. It's too much of a step for some. I didn't tell you this but one of our more senior ladies called me to tell me her mouse wasn't working, it was moving strangely and seemed to do the opposite of what she "told" it to do. When I got downstairs I found her with the mouse upside down in her hand. She was rolling the ball with the other hand.

    Running a Linux server is an option, but I'm slightly wary that I don't know anywhere near enough to keep it going or recover it from a crash. Our accounts package guys are Linux geeks and have offered to supply a server but I think it's something I want to do myself. Learning on the job, at the moment, isn't really an option though.

    I manage the current server/network/IT myself at the moment and the more complicated stuff I've picked up as I go along, I just think this much of a turn at this time could be disastrous, I could be totally wrong though.

    All in all, its not a _bad_ deal, considering it comes with support, but i'd try to push them a bit more. The HP's I previously linked would still be in the front of my mind. All they need is a TFT / KB / Mouse and you're ready to go. Would save a lot too. You could then use the money to buy a server that you can build yourself (just the one machine), or buy one off the shelf if needed.

    Dont be afraid to tell a fib to Dell about what HP are offering you. You've nothing to loose, make them want your custom.
    Dell have given me a week to mull things over. I'm off for two weeks, so I want them to badger my office while I'm not there and get no reply, they were very keen to sell so they should keep on trying. As for the HP machines, they were my first choice before I even started this thread, so confirmation from someone else is good to have. I'm still waiting for HP to get back to me with a decent price though.

    The Dell server, now I've had a look is as you say just a basic desktop machine but I'm a bit stumped on what a server needs to have that your standard desktop machine doesn't. I've not built a server before and the current office server is a joke so it offers no base from which I can work.

    And the fib part - done that already

    Excellent advice Agent, thanks very much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosaline View Post
    Without knowing more about the details of the work your office is doing, discussing the details of any specification is mostly speculation. Some custom business software can be real hogs, and there's a fine line between simple office suite usage and putting the office suite under heavy strain.

    Personally, now that you have found that the major business supliers are much more helpful once phoned, I would definately go with one of them. Small companies without dedicated IT support stand to benefit greatly from the support they provide. I'd hate to be having to stress over trying to fix the computers as well as stressing over the lack of work getting done!

    The best thing at this stage is to really start playing the companies against each other. Contact a few other smaller suppliers for quotes also, and use the lowest quote so far as the target they have to beat, and just keep on going back and forth
    It's a law firm - (watch the helpful posts die out now! ). The users audio-type (not yet digitally - but it's an option) in Word, do the odd spreadsheet in Excel and use HotDocs/legal form package and that's about it. I want to introduce web browsing but at the moment we have a few internet ready machines that they use. It's just your basic, simple, office use.

    My role is office manager / legal accountant but I do the IT support at the moment and I intend to do that with these current machines, the 1 year on site warranty is just a bonus. I've decided that whatever we get I will get one extra as a backup machine (thanks to whoever it was who suggested that!) so we'll be without downtime should anything die.

    I'm already playing people off each other, it's working, but they're not at all keen to budge on what they feel are "great prices already". We know differently though

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucio View Post
    The bundle as a whole represents a good price for what you're getting, and unless your business is falling on particularly hard times, there's little harm in uppping the specifications a bit. After all, you want to be able to try new things with your systems every now and again and if you've had the foresight to get a little more power for your money, the option is there.

    Not to mention the more power you have in front of each user, the less likely they are to complain about their system being slow.
    See above, 9 PII 233mhz with at most 64kb of RAM - these users have no idea what slow is but I take your point.

    I'm enjoying having an intelligent group to bounce ideas off too, I usually get "Here's £x,xxx, you know more than us, you buy it" so thanks to those who have contributed, it's appreciated, I only wish I'd found Hexus sooner.

    Keep the ideas coming too, if there are more. I'm very interested to see what people think a server has to have in it to be considered worthy and I'm keen on DIYing that myself if it's fairly simple.
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    Re: It's time to update my office - advice appreciated on buying 9 new workstations.

    Hello,

    I've ordered myself a Vostro 200MT core2duo, 2ghz, 2gb ram, 22" TFT, Vista, 256mb X1300, 320GB Sata, 16x DVDRW, Mouse, Keyb, 1yr warranty, total price inc delivery and vat £417. Even with the £60 postage I doubt anyone could build a PC with that spec for that price!

    I've been told I should expect it within 10 days - so I'll let you know what it's like if you're happy waiting that long (could be longer knowing Dell).

    Regarding servers - I'm not sure on the differences (especially basic servers vs pcs) as we always get rack mounted Dell servers, but a lot of the cost could be due to the Windows Server licenses?

    You also get a noisier PC (perhaps the fans last longer are more powerful, will work in hotter environments?) even with the basic servers - so you may want to keep it in a spare room rather than an office?

    Josh

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    Re: It's time to update my office - advice appreciated on buying 9 new workstations.

    The server does seem a tad overpriced, but like a you say, the SBS licenses probably account for the majority of that cost. For what it's worth, I got the following server back in April for £179.00 +VAT delivered. Naturally memory and an extra hard drive were required, but I bought these elsewhere (as Dell aren't the cheapest for upgrades...)

    PE SC440 Dual Core Xeon 3040, 1.86GHz/2MB 1066FSB
    Money OFF - Smart Server Deal - Save up to 42%
    English Documentation, UK Power Cord
    PE SC440 Server Tower Chassis (L5)
    512MB 667Mhz (1x512MB) single rank
    No Floppy Drive
    80GB SATA (7,200rpm) 3.5inch Hard Drive
    16x DVD Rom 1st
    No Monitor Required
    Broadcom 5721 Gigabit Ethernet Controller NIC card PCI-E
    No Mouse Required
    No Keyboard Required
    No Operating System
    Open Manage CD with Drivers
    No Warranty Upgrade
    You have chosen not to take the Dell PowerEdge installation service
    Base Warranty
    1Y NBD (Next Business Day) On-site
    C1 Motherboard SATA cabled, No RAID, 1 Hard Drive (using onboard SATA Cntrl)
    PowerEdge Order - United Kingdom

    Add £954 (for SBS, 3yr warranty, etc) to £179 and you get £1133. The difference between that and the quote for the 840 will happily buy you an extra GB or two of RAM and a hardware.

    Hope this helps,

    Sam

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    mycarsavw (11-09-2007)

  18. #46
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    Re: It's time to update my office - advice appreciated on buying 9 new workstations.

    Quote Originally Posted by joshwa View Post
    You also get a noisier PC (perhaps the fans last longer are more powerful, will work in hotter environments?) even with the basic servers - so you may want to keep it in a spare room rather than an office?
    Good point. I should mention here that the Dell SC440 server is extremely quiet (more so than my desktop). I can't vouch for any of their other tower servers, although the SC1430 uses the same case setup. Their rackmount servers are very loud though, but then most are anyway.

    Thanks

    Sam

  19. #47
    ɯʎɔɐɹsɐʌʍ mycarsavw's Avatar
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    • mycarsavw's system
      • Motherboard:
      • P8H77-M Pro
      • CPU:
      • i5 3350P
      • Memory:
      • 16Gb
      • Storage:
      • Lots
      • Graphics card(s):
      • R9 285
      • PSU:
      • HX 620w
      • Case:
      • FD Define Mini
      • Operating System:
      • W10
      • Monitor(s):
      • BenQ G2420HDBL + GL2450HT
      • Internet:
      • Sky

    Re: It's time to update my office - advice appreciated on buying 9 new workstations.

    Right, I've had a holiday and a few other things and I'm back with vigour and drive (he lies)

    HP finally got back to me with a quote for 10 machines and 10 TFTs. The quote went something like this;

    10 x HP dx2300 Desktop PC - £ 3,290.00
    10 x Next Business Day 3 year - £ 610.00
    10 x HP 17" LCD Monitor - £ 1,097.90
    10 x Pick Up & Return 3 year - £ 590.00
    1 x HPLOYALTY - £ -279.40 (do the sums - that's a whopping 5% saving)

    subtotal - £ 5,308.50
    total VAT - £ 928.98
    total - £ 6,237.48

    I've gone back to them with a revised spec machine (the ones mentioned by Agent on the first page) and asked for a bigger price break - 5% is nothing IMO.

    So far Dell are winning and I never thought I'd even consider them before this exercise.

    I'm still waiting for an HP Server Specialist to get back to me.

    As I asked in an earlier post, other than high end parts and hot-swapping functions what would go into a server that doesn't go into a desktop? And is it worth DIYing it?
    Last edited by mycarsavw; 04-09-2007 at 05:58 PM.
    |Kata: "Read title as 'fisting'. Not sure why I clicked. Relieved, really."|
    |TAKTAK: "It was so small that mine wouldn't fit into it"|

  20. #48
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    • staffsMike's system
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      • Case:
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      • Monitor(s):
      • dell 2007wfp and Lg L194WT
      • Internet:
      • pipex homecall

    Re: It's time to update my office - advice appreciated on buying 9 new workstations.

    Server class products go in.. they are designed for 24/7 use so should be a lot more reliable.

    Is the second warranty on the monitors?

    The dx2300 isn't actually built very nicely..it's a minor detail i suppose but it uses the stock intel cooler ( at a funny angle which i don't know why) and the hard drive is just bolted to the edge of the chassis.

    The dc5700 is much more nicely built, hard drives where you would expect them and a nice custom cooling setup but it is a minor detail i suppose.

    don't ask me why i know this lol

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