Everyone knows that the choices for computer systems for offices is constantly improving with new chips, more memory and larger storage capacity. Computer systems in our trading area around Burlington Ontario follow what we see as trends in the general industry.
For power users requiring the fastest performance it is possible to load up computer systems with tons of RAM, fast hard drives and super large hard drives for storage. Video cards which have onboard processing power and their own RAM cache are also available to make the performance of workstation level computing really hot. Workstations for commercial use can almost match the purpose built hardware that gamers use in its performance.
So what else should an office buyer consider?
Look at the operating system you purchase. If you are going to use the desktop or laptop computer on a company network then you need to acquire Windows 7 Professional as the Home version will not permit you to connect to a network domain.
Consider either the onboard or the video card being offered in your desktop choice. I recommend that you ensure that the hardware will support at least two monitor connections as a dual monitor configuration is much more common in most offices today. Not all desktop configurations support this so you may need to add a video card to ensure it works.
Look at the minimum RAM being supplied and also give consideration to how you might upgrade RAM and at what price. A minimun of 4 GB of RAM is preferred for running Windows 7 and more will be a help.
Look at not only the size of the proposed hard drive but also the drive speed. The faster the drive the quicker your desktop performance. Most desktop computers will come with 320GB or more with a terabyte not being unusual. Laptops will normally support at least 320GB with much more space also not being a super costly upgrade.
Consider hardware warranty. I like to have clients buy hardware with a minimum manufacturer warranty of 3 years. The reason is two fold. if the manufacturer is on the hook for the components for 3 years the device will usually have better quality components right out of the gate. The second reason is once you have hit the 3 year window your investment in the hardware should be substantially realized and if persistent issues start to come up, repairing or replacing is less of a concern.
Financing your purchase. I recommend to clients with substantial networks and even those with only a few PCs that they consider leasing their computer systems. With a lease the expenditure is easily written off for tax purposes and a refresh strategy gets built into the process. At the time of lease renewal it is a perfect opportunity to assess the potential continued value of the equipment or its replacement. This type of disciplined review is much harder to enforce on systems which are owned and their is a greater tendency to try to stretch the investment...potentially leading to performance degridation more downtime.
The hot trends summarized: Faster processors, more RAM, larger and faster hard drives, dual monitor connections and three year warranties.
What is your protocol for desktop and other system choices? Do you lease or buy computer systems? What other computer system trends do you see in your area? Are they similar to computer system trends in Burlington Ontario?
Share your thoughts below.....
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons: Edrsolutions