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Old 10-21-2005, 04:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Small Business PC & Network Challenge

About:
I've been contracted by a small commercial real estate company to totally re-vamp their home office. The PC's and technology that they currently have are aging rapidly by more then 6 to 8 years. Their continued success is being slowed by their lack of technology. I need to Build, Install, Network and Train them on this new equipment.

What's required:
They need (2) new PC's.
New operating systems. Windows XP
Both should be identical.
Lot's of Data Storage
Multitasking is a utter must.
Internet / Email
Wi/Fi - Access
Accounting Programs
Photoshop
Video Editting
Must be Multimedia Friendly.
Fast, Fast, Fast

They need (1) Laptop
Mobility, Reliable & Fast
Used on the road, then transfer data to home network.

Possibly (1) Server
Only if you think it's needed

New Multipurpose Printer/Copier/Fax
Must be shared by network.
Must have Color and BW
Must be relatively fast with Page Per Minute

Budget
This client is going to do this upgrade before January. This type of upgrade is a Tax Write-Off for his business so the budget is flexible.
He's looking to spend roughly $5000 to $7000 on this upgrade.

CHALLENGE
With-in this budget range, post a list or lists of parts, components and prices that would be used to build each PC or Server "If needed" Please list Brand, Model & Price / Where its purchased.
Then quickly decribe how this solution that you've listed is the right solution for this client. Basically backing up your choices in hardware.

There will be no prize for this challenge, i'm just trying to see how many of you have more knowledge then just, gaming pc's and overclocking techniques.

If you want to post, please do so and have fun.

If you're not interested, please don't post and just move on.

LET THE KNOWLEDGE FLOW!!!!
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Old 10-21-2005, 04:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You need to know what kind of networking they need...
Do they need organization ?
Do they need file sharing ?
Is this all local ? or do they have other offices ?
How many computers do they have in all ?
How many do they expect to add over 5 years (roughly) ?
Are there different departments in this firm ?
Do they all need access to the same information ?
Do they need localized email ?
How secure do they want it ?
Do they need internet/intranet ?
Do they have a website ?
Do they admin their own site ( if they have one )

What is the current setup there ?

lets start with these then I will ask more : )
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Old 10-21-2005, 04:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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LoL - Sorry, I thought most of those questions were a given need for a small business... Although some of them aren't.

It's a small business, starting to expand. Their office is out of their home.

Organization? Of course it's a business.
File Sharing - Yes...
It's local. One Office
They have 2 old PC's, which won't be used.
Adding PC's over the next 5 years isn't an issue.
1 department
Yes, they all need access to the same information
No, they don't need to email each other they are in the same house.
Very Secure, like anyone wants.
internet
no website yet.
no

Don't worry about the current set up, it won't be there when i'm done. Data Back-up and transfer will be all that remains.

More questions? Dude it's a small business set up.. Use your head.
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Old 10-21-2005, 07:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Ok, I would suggest.

2x $2000 PCs both the same or one better then the other
1x $1000 File server with some storage it could also be used as a firewall if you set it up correctly.
1x Modem
1x Hub
}Get a hub and modem if u wanna have the server as a firewall{
Otherwise
1xWireless Router/Modem

That will bring you to about $5500
that leaves $1500 for a laptop and multi pupors Printer/Fax/Scanner.

I dont know much about US Prices..

Now for the specs (im not going to link you ill just tell you what i think you need)

the 2 computers
============
AMD X2 3800+
MIS or Abit board (Maby take a look at ABIT KN8 Ultra) No Need for DFI because they wont be OC ing
6600GT? i know they wont be gaming but if there doing photoshop.
1GB Ram
120GB HD
Wireless LAN card (so u have less chords accross the room)
DVD Burner
17" or bigger LCD Monitor
Laser Mouse
Nice Keyboard

Server
==============
It will mainly be used for File Storyage so u dont need something super fast.

Intel 2.8Ghz
512MB Ram
2x250GB HDs (With NQC preferable SATA in raid setup)
DVD Drive

Laptop
==========
I dont know much about laptops but im guessing u want wireless so you can either go withi intel centreno or get a P4 and add a wireless card to it.

2.4Ghz+ (centrino dosnt offer over 1.8Ghz i think ?)
Atleast 512 MB Ram
60GB GD
DVD Drive

Server can also be used as Mail sever and Firewall.
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Old 10-21-2005, 07:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Sprooty - Good Recommendations. I was thinking about going AMD X2 3800+ (Anyone know how they compare to the Intel Pent D 820 smithfields?

I can see not too many people want to do this because I know it's a lot of work. It's not that I need the recommendations, I just thought may-be someone would like to have some fun with it. Since it is a real project. Put yourself in my place, i'd like to see what you would do.
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Old 10-21-2005, 07:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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i could do it, but im in AUs and am use to AU prices, my internet is 4mbit but takes 30seconds to load a page.. (GRR!!) and i get lost on newegg.

I dont know how the CPUs perform against eachother, but it seems to me everyone recommends AMD over INTEL, i dont know why.
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Old 10-21-2005, 09:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by bradybnmci
You need to know what kind of networking they need...
Do they need organization ?
Do they need file sharing ?
Is this all local ? or do they have other offices ?
How many computers do they have in all ?
How many do they expect to add over 5 years (roughly) ?
Are there different departments in this firm ?
Do they all need access to the same information ?
Do they need localized email ?
How secure do they want it ?
Do they need internet/intranet ?
Do they have a website ?
Do they admin their own site ( if they have one )

What is the current setup there ?

lets start with these then I will ask more : )
G00d explanation well done.....
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Old 10-21-2005, 10:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think AMD x2's may be overkill for the average office, but I like the idea, myself. A mobo supporting wifi would simplify matters for the network.

Server, no need. Any file sharing they need can be done over the network between the 2 PCs. There is no need for performance sharing, and extra HDDs in each PC could give the same benefits at a greatly reduced cost.

Wireless router. dLink gets my vote, great networking stuff they have.

Lexmark C510 color laser printer, 30 ppm, around $340.

LEXMARK X6170 19 ppm 4800 x 1200 dpi Color InkJet Multifunction/All-In-One Printer, $107.

I chose both because a laser is better for high-volume like an office. If no need for color laser & color jet, a BW laser will save some dough.

2GB of RAM. Why? Vista is just around the corner, and 1Gb is the minimum for it. Also, if doing any photo/video editing, RAM is nice to have, superb performance upgrade at few $$$.

Dual 300Gb HDDs in each desktop. One for PC1, the other to back up PC2. Data redundancy in a business is critical. RAID can be considered, but probably not necessary.

Laser mouse? Maybe. But definitely wireless mouse & keyboard.

You didn't mention the TYPE of business, but if it requires customers to look at the comps, then bigger is better, say 19-24" LCDs.

How's that for a start?

Oh, and a Laptop. But for something like this, I think a Dell solution would work great. Probably get a good volume discount, plus 3 years of good customer service. Refurbs come immediately to mind, with upgrades of RAM & HDDs being aftermarket, of course.
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Old 10-21-2005, 10:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Sprooty - Good Recommendations. I was thinking about going AMD X2 3800+ (Anyone know how they compare to the Intel Pent D 820 smithfields?
im just suggesting on the processor. i think the X2 3800+ might be a little overkill for something they are doing. the pentiums are alot cheaper than the AMD's so it could be a budget multi tasking machine and spend more money where you might need to. just a suggestion?
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Old 10-22-2005, 12:46 AM   #10 (permalink)
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F6Hawk & Running (Very Good Suggestions)

I like spending less money normally. And I kinda think the Dual Cores might be overkill for their home office, "Which is their office right now." But, the money isn't really an issue here. They need to come up with Over $5000.00 in Business write-offs for this years taxes. Electronics are a legit business expense required to further the success of the business. Why give a portion of your revenue to uncle sam to put in his pocket when you can reinvest it back into your company? Yeah know waht I mean? So, their PC's are a bit over kill right? At least they will be future-proof as hell for their office. And if they ever decide to increase the size of their office or employees, then those PC's could probably be turned into servers.

I don't know. I'm going to their house tomorrow for a meeting. They are going to go over all of their needs and all of my solutions. They have very limited computer/network experience so i'll be spending some additional time training them on it. This is going to be a very nice pay check for me. They don't care how much i charge them, they just want to be technologically situated which will help them increase their productivity.

I'll post again tomorrow with a briefing of our meeting.

Thanks everyone. Great suggestions....
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