Difference: DesktopRecommendation (1 vs. 15)

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Desktop Computer Recommendations

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Windows

October 2006

We want to buy a machine that is reliable, has sufficient RAM for running multiple applications (Web browser, Office Apps, Email client) easily, should be quiet, and should be "Vista Ready". It is presumed that modern IDE drives and dual-core CPUs will easily provide more than enough disk space and CPU power.

Note that Dell (probably others as well) now has Vista upgrades available with new PCs (read the fine print...). Dell offers this on Precision and Dimensions lines (not Optiplex).

Basic recommendation:

  • WinXP Pro
  • 2 GHz+ dual-core CPU, Intel Core Duo 2 or AMD Athlon 64 X2 (suggest avoiding Intel P4 a.k.a. Pentium D a.k.a. XEON)
  • 2 GB RAM (ECC is nice to have, but not usually available from major manufactures on standard desktop PCs, due to the incremental cost)
  • 2 250GB+ Harddisks. Mirrored in software RAID 1. (Dell has a background mirroring scheme called DataSafe which is also ok). This will normally protect data if one drive fails; but won't protect against all possible hardware related drive trouble.
  • Video card. If Vista compatibility is desired, the video card model should be checked.
  • CD/DVD Burner
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Warranty at buyer's discretion. Generally, on-site warranties duplicate capabilities that exist within the Physics Department, but do expedite repairs.

Examples, see attachments.
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2011
 
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For the Linux Desktop cluster, recent purchases have been Dell Precision T3500 systems with quad-core CPUs. These system have been reliable, provide more than enough performance for typical use and reduce time spent managing them as they have similar hardware and OS configuration. If you need more performance, the work load really probably needs to move to the Tier3, MSU's HPCC, or grid systems.
 
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The Dell Precision T3500 is a single socket system supporting ECC RAM and 1 to 3 internal harddrives. Attached is a Dell quote showing an exact specification. Pricing varies a bit with the MSU contract pricing.
 

-- TomRockwell - 30 Oct 2006
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META FILEATTACHMENT attr="" autoattached="1" comment="Dell Dimension AMD Athlon X2, $1200" date="1162235849" name="dell-dimension-e521.pdf" path="dell-dimension-e521.pdf" size="83282" user="Main.TomRockwell" version=""
META FILEATTACHMENT attr="" autoattached="1" comment="Dell Dimension Intel Core Duo 2, $1358" date="1162235456" name="dell-dimension-e520.pdf" path="dell-dimension-e520.pdf" size="83791" user="Main.TomRockwell" version=""
META FILEATTACHMENT attr="" autoattached="1" comment="Dell Precision 2GB ECC RAM, Core Duo 2, $1531" date="1162235235" name="dell-precision-390.pdf" path="dell-precision-390.pdf" size="88623" user="Main.TomRockwell" version=""
META FILEATTACHMENT attachment="dell-precision-390n-R.pdf" attr="" comment="Dell Precision Core Duo 2, 2.13GHz, 2Gb, 250+320Gb HD, 24'' Monitor" date="1163363365" name="dell-precision-390n-R.pdf" path="dell-precision-390n-R.pdf" size="14950" stream="dell-precision-390n-R.pdf" user="Main.ReinhardSchwienhorst" version="0"
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META FILEATTACHMENT attachment="Dell_T3500.pdf" attr="" comment="Dell T3500 Feb 2011." date="1298520483" name="Dell_T3500.pdf" path="Dell_T3500.pdf" size="125119" stream="Dell_T3500.pdf" tmpFilename="/usr/tmp/CGItemp18298" user="TomRockwell" version="1"
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Desktop Computer Recommendations

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Desktop Computer Recommendations

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META FILEATTACHMENT attr="" autoattached="1" comment="Dell Dimension AMD Athlon X2, $1200" date="1162235849" name="dell-dimension-e521.pdf" path="dell-dimension-e521.pdf" size="83282" user="Main.TomRockwell" version=""
META FILEATTACHMENT attr="" autoattached="1" comment="Dell Dimension Intel Core Duo 2, $1358" date="1162235456" name="dell-dimension-e520.pdf" path="dell-dimension-e520.pdf" size="83791" user="Main.TomRockwell" version=""
META FILEATTACHMENT attr="" autoattached="1" comment="Dell Precision 2GB ECC RAM, Core Duo 2, $1531" date="1162235235" name="dell-precision-390.pdf" path="dell-precision-390.pdf" size="88623" user="Main.TomRockwell" version=""
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META FILEATTACHMENT attachment="dell-precision-390n-R.pdf" attr="" comment="Dell Precision Core Duo 2, 2.13GHz, 2Gb, 250+320Gb HD, 24'' Monitor" date="1163363365" name="dell-precision-390n-R.pdf" path="dell-precision-390n-R.pdf" size="14950" stream="dell-precision-390n-R.pdf" user="Main.ReinhardSchwienhorst" version="0"
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30 Oct 2006 - Main.TomRockwell
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  • WinXP Pro
  • 2 GHz+ dual-core CPU, Intel Core Duo 2 or AMD Athlon 64 X2 (suggest avoiding Intel P4 a.k.a. Pentium D a.k.a. XEON)
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  • 2 GB RAM (ECC is nice to have, but not usually available from major manufactures on standard desktop PCs, due to the incremental cost)
 
  • 2 250GB+ Harddisks. Mirrored in software RAID 1. (Dell has a background mirroring scheme called DataSafe which is also ok). This will normally protect data if one drive fails; but won't protect against all possible hardware related drive trouble.
  • Video card. If Vista compatibility is desired, the video card model should be checked.
  • CD/DVD Burner
Revision 10
30 Oct 2006 - Main.TomRockwell
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META TOPICPARENT name="WebHome"
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We want to buy a machine that is reliable, has sufficient RAM for running multiple applications (Web browser, Office Apps, Email client) easily, should be quiet, and should be "Vista Ready". It is presumed that modern IDE drives and dual-core CPUs will easily provide more than enough disk space and CPU power.
Changed:
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Note that Dell (probably others as well) now has Vista upgrades available with new PCs (read the fine print...).
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Note that Dell (probably others as well) now has Vista upgrades available with new PCs (read the fine print...). Dell offers this on Precision and Dimensions lines (not Optiplex).
 

Basic recommendation:
Added:
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>
 
  • 2 GHz+ dual-core CPU, Intel Core Duo 2 or AMD Athlon 64 X2 (suggest avoiding Intel P4 a.k.a. Pentium D a.k.a. XEON)
  • 2 GB RAM (ECC is nice to have, but not usually available from major manufactures on standard desktop PCs, due to the slight cost increment http://wwwcsif.cs.ucdavis.edu/~kwonga/ecs154a/Error_Correction_Code.pdf)
  • 2 250GB+ Harddisks. Mirrored in software RAID 1. (Dell has a background mirroring scheme called DataSafe which is also ok). This will normally protect data if one drive fails; but won't protect against all possible hardware related drive trouble.
Line: 22 to 23
 
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Warranty at buyer's discretion. Generally, on-site warranties duplicate capabilities that exist within the Physics Department, but do expedite repairs.
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Examples:
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Examples, see attachments.
 

-- TomRockwell - 30 Oct 2006
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META FILEATTACHMENT attr="" autoattached="1" comment="Dell Dimension AMD Athlon X2, $1200" date="1162235849" name="dell-dimension-e521.pdf" path="dell-dimension-e521.pdf" size="83282" user="Main.TomRockwell" version=""
 
META FILEATTACHMENT attr="" autoattached="1" comment="Dell Dimension Intel Core Duo 2, $1358" date="1162235456" name="dell-dimension-e520.pdf" path="dell-dimension-e520.pdf" size="83791" user="Main.TomRockwell" version=""
META FILEATTACHMENT attr="" autoattached="1" comment="Dell Precision 2GB ECC RAM, Core Duo 2, $1531" date="1162235235" name="dell-precision-390.pdf" path="dell-precision-390.pdf" size="88623" user="Main.TomRockwell" version=""
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META FILEATTACHMENT attachment="dell-dimension-e521.pdf" attr="" comment="Dell Dimension AMD Athlon X2, $1200" date="1162235849" name="dell-dimension-e521.pdf" path="dell-dimension-e521.pdf" size="83282" stream="dell-dimension-e521.pdf" user="Main.TomRockwell" version="0"
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  -- TomRockwell - 30 Oct 2006
META FILEATTACHMENT attr="" autoattached="1" comment="Dell Dimension Intel Core Duo 2, $1358" date="1162235456" name="dell-dimension-e520.pdf" path="dell-dimension-e520.pdf" size="83791" user="Main.TomRockwell" version=""
META FILEATTACHMENT attr="" autoattached="1" comment="Dell Precision 2GB ECC RAM, Core Duo 2, $1531" date="1162235235" name="dell-precision-390.pdf" path="dell-precision-390.pdf" size="88623" user="Main.TomRockwell" version=""
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META FILEATTACHMENT attachment="dell-dimension-e521.pdf" attr="" comment="Dell Dimension AMD Athlon X2, $1200" date="1162235849" name="dell-dimension-e521.pdf" path="dell-dimension-e521.pdf" size="83282" stream="dell-dimension-e521.pdf" user="Main.TomRockwell" version="0"
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  -- TomRockwell - 30 Oct 2006
META FILEATTACHMENT attr="" autoattached="1" comment="Dell Dimension Intel Core Duo 2, $1358" date="1162235456" name="dell-dimension-e520.pdf" path="dell-dimension-e520.pdf" size="83791" user="Main.TomRockwell" version=""
META FILEATTACHMENT attr="" autoattached="1" comment="Dell Precision 2GB ECC RAM, Core Duo 2, $1531" date="1162235235" name="dell-precision-390.pdf" path="dell-precision-390.pdf" size="88623" user="Main.TomRockwell" version=""
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META FILEATTACHMENT attachment="dell-dimension-c521.pdf" attr="" comment="Dell Dimension AMD Athlon X2, $1200" date="1162235786" name="dell-dimension-c521.pdf" path="dell-dimension-e521.pdf" size="83282" stream="dell-dimension-e521.pdf" user="Main.TomRockwell" version="0"
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  -- TomRockwell - 30 Oct 2006
META FILEATTACHMENT attr="" autoattached="1" comment="Dell Dimension Intel Core Duo 2, $1358" date="1162235456" name="dell-dimension-e520.pdf" path="dell-dimension-e520.pdf" size="83791" user="Main.TomRockwell" version=""
META FILEATTACHMENT attr="" autoattached="1" comment="Dell Precision 2GB ECC RAM, Core Duo 2, $1531" date="1162235235" name="dell-precision-390.pdf" path="dell-precision-390.pdf" size="88623" user="Main.TomRockwell" version=""
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META FILEATTACHMENT attachment="dell-dimension-c521.pdf" attr="" comment="Dell Dimension AMD Athlon X2, $1200" date="1162235696" name="dell-dimension-c521.pdf" path="dell-dimension-c521.pdf" size="81015" stream="dell-dimension-c521.pdf" user="Main.TomRockwell" version="0"
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META FILEATTACHMENT attachment="dell-dimension-c521.pdf" attr="" comment="Dell Dimension AMD Athlon X2, $1200" date="1162235786" name="dell-dimension-c521.pdf" path="dell-dimension-e521.pdf" size="83282" stream="dell-dimension-e521.pdf" user="Main.TomRockwell" version="0"
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  -- TomRockwell - 30 Oct 2006
META FILEATTACHMENT attr="" autoattached="1" comment="Dell Dimension Intel Core Duo 2, $1358" date="1162235456" name="dell-dimension-e520.pdf" path="dell-dimension-e520.pdf" size="83791" user="Main.TomRockwell" version=""
META FILEATTACHMENT attr="" autoattached="1" comment="Dell Precision 2GB ECC RAM, Core Duo 2, $1531" date="1162235235" name="dell-precision-390.pdf" path="dell-precision-390.pdf" size="88623" user="Main.TomRockwell" version=""
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META FILEATTACHMENT attachment="dell-dimension-c521.pdf" attr="" comment="Dell Dimension AMD Athlon X2, $1200" date="1162235696" name="dell-dimension-c521.pdf" path="dell-dimension-c521.pdf" size="81015" stream="dell-dimension-c521.pdf" user="Main.TomRockwell" version="0"
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-- TomRockwell - 30 Oct 2006
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META FILEATTACHMENT attachment="dell-precision-390.pdf" attr="" comment="Dell Precision 2GB ECC RAM, Core Duo 2, $1531" date="1162235235" name="dell-precision-390.pdf" path="dell-precision-390.pdf" size="88623" stream="dell-precision-390.pdf" user="Main.TomRockwell" version="0"
META FILEATTACHMENT attachment="dell-dimension-e520.pdf" attr="" comment="Dell Dimension Intel Core Duo 2" date="1162235456" name="dell-dimension-e520.pdf" path="dell-dimension-e520.pdf" size="83791" stream="dell-dimension-e520.pdf" user="Main.TomRockwell" version="0"
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META FILEATTACHMENT attr="" autoattached="1" comment="Dell Dimension Intel Core Duo 2, $1358" date="1162235456" name="dell-dimension-e520.pdf" path="dell-dimension-e520.pdf" size="83791" user="Main.TomRockwell" version=""
META FILEATTACHMENT attr="" autoattached="1" comment="Dell Precision 2GB ECC RAM, Core Duo 2, $1531" date="1162235235" name="dell-precision-390.pdf" path="dell-precision-390.pdf" size="88623" user="Main.TomRockwell" version=""
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-- TomRockwell - 30 Oct 2006
META FILEATTACHMENT attachment="dell-precision-390.pdf" attr="" comment="Dell Precision 2GB ECC RAM, Core Duo 2, $1531" date="1162235235" name="dell-precision-390.pdf" path="dell-precision-390.pdf" size="88623" stream="dell-precision-390.pdf" user="Main.TomRockwell" version="0"
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META FILEATTACHMENT attachment="dell-dimension-e520.pdf" attr="" comment="Dell Dimension Intel Core Duo 2" date="1162235456" name="dell-dimension-e520.pdf" path="dell-dimension-e520.pdf" size="83791" stream="dell-dimension-e520.pdf" user="Main.TomRockwell" version="0"
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-- TomRockwell - 30 Oct 2006 \ No newline at end of file
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META FILEATTACHMENT attachment="dell-precision-390.pdf" attr="" comment="Dell Precision 2GB ECC RAM, Core Duo 2, $1531" date="1162235235" name="dell-precision-390.pdf" path="dell-precision-390.pdf" size="88623" stream="dell-precision-390.pdf" user="Main.TomRockwell" version="0"
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Changed:
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  • 2 250GB+ Harddisks. Mirrored in software RAID 1. (Dell has a background mirroring scheme called DataSafe which is also ok). This will normally protect data if one drive fails; but won't protect against all possible hardware related drive trouble.
>
>
  • 2 250GB+ Harddisks. Mirrored in software RAID 1. (Dell has a background mirroring scheme called DataSafe which is also ok). This will normally protect data if one drive fails; but won't protect against all possible hardware related drive trouble.
 
  • Video card. If Vista compatibility is desired, the video card model should be checked.
  • CD/DVD Burner
  • Gigabit Ethernet
 
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