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Need some good advice for this small business build!

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May 20, 2006 6:32:29 PM

well i'm making a build for my parent's small business. they have tons of papers, files, and invoices scattered everywhere. so i wanted to build them a rig to store everything digitally. what CPU should i use, especially now that Woodcrest and Conroe are soon to release. also the hard drive must be fast, reliable, and big. Ram doesn't matter for now. also if anyone knows of a good program that does what i'm trying to do, which is inventory and invoices. i know a monster CPU is not needed for just storing files, but pulling up multiple files, and programs, and websites should benefit from a good dual core. any help i can get would be nice. and recommendations, suggestions, concerns. thanks alot.
May 20, 2006 11:35:03 PM

For you storage I would go a RAID 5 array (4 disk) htis will give you speed with potection against failure.

As for scanning documents Paper Port is a package for importing records. As for as Bussiness Software, Look at QuickBooks Pro. It has a lot of features for a good price. Including Inventory control, PO, Inv, All kind of reporting. They even have Pay Roll module.
May 21, 2006 2:41:23 AM

wow, hell yes, very good advice, thanks ya guys, i love u maaaaaaaaaaaan!!!!!! hahaha
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May 21, 2006 3:57:27 PM

Quote:
For what you are looking for you could go with a biostar T-force 6100 series motherboard and a 3800+ dual core athlon 64. I would go with at least a gig kit if not 2gb of quality ram from patriot, corsair, or even gskill. You will need a good amount of ram if you plan on doing multiple things at once. And a good western digital sata 3.0gb/s 16mb cache se hard drives in the size of your choice. They come in 250, 320, 400, 500 gig sizes. Since it is not being used for any kind of gaming the onboard graphics of the 6100 will be sufficient for a business pc. If you want to free up the memory that would be used by that onboard graphics a 7300gs would be enough. You may want to look into one of the microsoft office programs. you could probably do everything in excel for the inventory and invoices


Great suggestions, except for one. Biostar motherboards are horrible. Get an Asus like the A8N-E or even as AsRock. I once bought 30 biostars, 23 of them had broken onboard sound, 7 were DOA altogether. Not a good record.
May 21, 2006 4:29:12 PM

One person's opinion. I believe Biostar boards are pretty good and a good value. We've never gotten a DOA Biostar board. Our business has had excellent results with Biostar boards, and we have serviced many machines that are at least 3-5 years old with still running Biostar boards. Our experience with Asus has been mixed at best. Check the internet and you'll see a fair share of Asus boards have issues, just like everyone else. The fanboys don't want you to know this, however. Asus boards are not what they used to be, and their reputation in this forum now far exceeds what they actually provide. However, if you don't want to try Biostar, take a look at Foxconn and Gigabyte. Good boards, good value, and also 3 year warranties. For your business program, we've had excellent results with Microsoft Small Business Accounting. We have been beta testers on this software since it's beginning and Microsoft has done an excellent job in response to it's testers with this program.
May 21, 2006 5:40:15 PM

great! i have been an ASUS fan since the beginning. but i'm not attached to them. i've been told that systems only used for accounting and small business purposes don't need much horsepower, and was recommended getting a cheap DELL to save money and rely on warranty. I just wanted to be able to ZIP through everything we do in our business smoothly and flawlessly. but good suggestions. thanks.
May 24, 2006 9:13:23 AM

Wow, raid arrays and such. Just how small is this business? How much computer do they really need? Will a backup program/device serve their needs? I know here at the Tom's Forumz we all love computers, but for this type of question I really have to wonder, is our inner geek to much for this situation?

Fritz
May 24, 2006 11:59:36 AM

Actually the Dell is not a bad choice, as long as it is the "Poweredge" server series and not a desktop.

You can get a poweredge 1800 tower base model for under $1k, Upgrade to the 2nd cpu, redundant PSU, SCSI raid mirroring (146gb) w/ hot swap capability for $2200 w/o software. With zero down time (since PSU and HDD are common failures) and next day parts delivery for 3 years is not a bad deal and will be tough to beat on a BYO server.

And check out online backups, they are all the rage for one-man (or no man) dedicated IT staff since you "set it and forget it".
a b à CPUs
May 24, 2006 12:57:35 PM

My opinion for your situation, reliability over performance. Older gen parts can be had at very reasonable prices and for what you need, it does not have to be super fast or super poweres. One very viable and fairly prices option for you could be the following:

Mobo: Tyan S2466n-4m
CPU: 2x Athlon MP 1800
RAM: 2x 1GB Corsair
RAID: 3Ware 8506-4LP (RAID 0,1,01,5)
GPU: whatever cheap AGP works for you

I see used Tyan mobos on ebay for sometimes less than $100USD. The memory is only PC2100 but more than enough for file sharing. The 3ware RAID card can be had at a reasonable price and has RAID 5. The Athlon MP's may be a bit pricy compared to todays cpu's but a pair can be had (usually) cheaper than a dual core new.
May 24, 2006 10:59:56 PM

haha, yup, geek hype is where its at. but yeah i think i'll just go with the Dell, and i checked out Microsoft's Small Business Accounting and it looks good. I'm using the Trial right now.
May 24, 2006 11:14:36 PM

yeah doolittle i was thinking about getting one of those, but as I asked before. what the heck is the difference between a workstation and a desktop. is there any difference? i have some ideas of whats different but i'll let someone else plot it out, lol.
May 24, 2006 11:52:03 PM

On a server you don't really sit down and use it on a daily basis like a workstation, and I mentioned a full-blown poweredge server w/ redundant power supplies and SCSI raid w/o thinking about a workstation like the Precision 380 which can have SATA raid 1 mirroring and will be much more quiet and has dual-core and a 19" LCD instead of SCSI and dual-PSU on the poweredge for a lot less $, probably a much better deal for the software you are running...
May 25, 2006 12:39:26 AM

I just got an AMD Opteron 170, and it's the cat's ass. If you leave it at stock speeds and don't go overboard with the video card, it will last for years with no heat issues. If they need more power, go for a dual cpu Opty 2xx rig.
May 25, 2006 7:55:47 AM

If you are still looking to get a system, maybe you will be interested in the one I am trying to sell.
I am trying to sell a 2 CPU Opty system right now. It should be able to meat your needs?
2x 248 Opterons All copper heatsinks
2x 120 GB hard drives 240gb (120each) raid 0
Asus k8n-dl (8channel audio, 10usb, 8sata, 4 ide, good for raid 0,1,5,10,jbod)
2GB DDR 400 duel channel 4x512 corsair
16x light scribe DVD burner all formats
6800ocx graphics card PCI-E
108g d-link extreme wireless card
floppy, in a mid tower case 550-600w ps
I could remove all the parts you don’t want, dropping the price accordingly.
I am trying to get $1700 shipping is included. PM me if you are interested.
May 25, 2006 10:53:55 AM

This isn't ebay, dude.
Posting your old system for sale isn't really appropriate.
May 25, 2006 1:19:35 PM

"
Quote:
well I’m making a build for my parent's small business. they have tons of papers, files, and invoices scattered everywhere."

As a basis for the assumption that they apply their talents outside the IT world. They will be most likely to benefit from simplicity and a sound warranty, esp. if your availability to service their machine decreases over the life of their system.

"
Quote:
so i wanted to build them a rig to store everything digitally... also the hard drive must be fast, reliable, and big... trying to do..., which is inventory and invoices. Accounting, multitasking, web use"

Technology that would most likely add value would be simple dual monitor set up, a cordless mouse, an external usb hard drive for backups, a push may be a simple raid 1 solution like dell's datastore product.

They would likely have appreciation for a quite system that is less likely to generate significant heat.
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