Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

How about suggestions for a small business pc?

Last response: in Systems
Share
December 14, 2006 9:50:02 PM

So, I can plan and build gamer PC's no problem. But what about a small business PC? Should be able to go way cheaper, since its just browsing the web and word processing right?

Any suggestions from people who know what to look for? I wonder if core2duo is even necessary. Then again, its nice to be future proof.

Oh and it has to include a monitor, bleh.
December 14, 2006 11:05:10 PM

Athlon 64 3500, or any AM2 Sempron
Any AM2 motherboard with onboard Geforce 6100/6150
1GB RAM
Two or more SATA 7200rpm 16mb cache hard drives and put them is RAID 0.
if you want safety, use RAID 0+1 configiration
Any business looking computer case you want

The onboard Geforce 6100 graphics is more than good enough for "productivity" and basic multimedia.

Get the most reliable PSU that can be left on 24/7, usually PSU's with 80% efficiency and good quality.

Thats my take.
December 15, 2006 11:03:27 AM

Quote:
If you want a good small buisness system for a good price then just go and pick up a Dell or HP from your local retailer. Building your own would just cost more.


i dunno, they freaking want like 900 bucks for a half decent one, like wtf. extra for xp pro, raid, christ.
Related resources
December 15, 2006 11:33:22 AM

I love how you can build a sick overclocked gaming rig for 650 bucks, but if you going to go legit small business u need to add 150 for xp professional, 180 for microsoft word and excel, 190 for a monitor. god almighty, spending 900 bucks on a piece of crap hardware wise.
December 15, 2006 11:52:11 AM

Build one.

Get an atx motherboard with a Core2duo 6300.
You'll have onboard graphics and sound.

Get a cheap midtower case with a built in 350w power supply. C2D's are cool.

Get two 150GB Seagate cudas and RAID 1 them. this is for a small business. Data loss is not fun. Your motherboard should have this function.

C2D are great multi-taskers. Will make your work go by quickly.

Please whatever you do. Wait til after Christmas when manufacturing demands let off. Components will be cheaper then.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 15, 2006 11:53:04 AM

Raid on a destop business PC??? IMHO, this is not a good idea, at all.

I use RAID on my home computer, and wouldn't do it any other way, but trust me, from years of experience, never use a RAID array of any kind of desktop business PC.

Network storage will almost always require RAID of some kind, but these are on a full time backup on and off site.

I once had a RAID 5 array have 2 drives fail at once, lost over 800 gig of customer files. Very, very, bad situation. I learned my lesson that day.
It cost nearly $4000 to have the files recovered.

Use a large single drive and back your files up everyday.
December 15, 2006 12:15:30 PM

You can't judge something based on just your one experience. There is a reason that RAID 0, 1 is being bulit into motherboards now.

RAID is a very sound technology, and RAID 1 is simple. If one drive goes down, you still have the data. Your business keeps running. That's basic logic. RAID 5 is overkill for this app, but I didn't see anyone suggesting RAID 5.

Correction to my previous post. Seagate 160GB. They do not have 150's.

You can get a case and powersupply for $50
a b B Homebuilt system
December 15, 2006 12:33:31 PM

I have, at this very moment while I am writing this, a $400,000 Kodak Digital Nexpress offline. It's costing me close to 10 grand a day in revenue because the machine is down.
The problem? It has 4 drives in RAID 1+0 in the RIP station in the machine. One of the SCSI controllers went tits-up on Wednesday afternoon.
Now, 2 technicians from Kodak have been there since Wednesday afternoon, working on this thing trying to get it back online. I am holding my breath hoping when I get to the plant this morning they have good news.
This is not a 1 time experience, I have 6 machines that all utilize RAID of one kind or another with their onboard controllers. The one problem that you can always count on that means hours, even days of downtime is a drive failure.
RAID is fine for speed, but for redundacy, it just ain't a good idea.
December 15, 2006 12:56:45 PM

Yes, RAID1 if you are lazy to backup or paranoid about data loss, ie. bank, insurance company etc.
But RAID0 would not be indicated!
RAID5? The answer to a question no one has asked...
Hey, he just wants a reliable small business PC - I would never suggest RAID but RAID1 is always available if desired/required.
If you have a couple of reliable new HDs running SMART you can just backup your important data regularly, it's easy :) 
I would build an AM2 rig with A64 3800+ CPU (2.4GHz, single core).
Regards
December 15, 2006 1:03:06 PM

in my biz I have 2 pc's RAID1 & are flawless. I will be building one soon w/ RAID5.I believe that Intel MB's are very stable. VelocityMicro makes solid machines & VM is reliable. If you ARE keeping it for years, make sure it is VISTA-proof. Otherwise a true work PC may get by w/ on-board graphics.
December 15, 2006 3:29:11 PM

Lazy? Hmmm. . . How about busy, and are not anal retentive enough to stop everytime you make a contact and back it up.

Small business owner don't have a lot of time to keep making back ups all day. They are on the move trying to run a business and a RAID system is a cheap and smart way of having a running back up. It was never meant to replace a tape or DVD back up at the end of the week/day, but it does serve a purpose.

Information is 10x more important for a small business owner than for a big established business. If IBM loses data. . . oh well it'll live. Small businesses can die because they lose 1 or 2 major client files.

Again, for every 1 person that has a messed up RAID system there are thousands that have one that works, including myself.

Buy a good board and good drives and you'll be fine with RAID 1. Again simple dual storage. If one goes bad the other one is there. $65 for an extra drive is pretty cheap to be able to have that peace of mind.

As far as RAID 5??? Not needed. Too expensive You need a really good controller card ($300). If the card breaks the info is still there it is just not accessible until you repair the card, it is not lost forever. If two break you are screwed, so don't buy cheap hard drives.
December 15, 2006 3:58:02 PM

Quote:
Yes, RAID1 if you are lazy to backup or paranoid...

LoL - yes, then RAID1 would be good for me too. :lol: 
I guess mirroring is good for anybody (and it's so true, huge HDs have never been less expensive).
L8R
a b B Homebuilt system
December 15, 2006 5:03:35 PM

OMG, asking gamers how to setup a business machine... LOL. Let the VoR do his thing.

First, just because RAID is now built into most motherboards doesn't mean you should use it. Repeat, just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD. He is asking about a business machine, and I haven't heard many of the magic words. Low noise, high reliability, no overclocking worries, etc. (someone did mention efficient PSU and most did talk about onboard/no noise video.)

When you talk business machine, I'm thinking executive/secretary use. Windows, office, perhaps the front end of a DB program. Nothing here is high use. The CPU doesn't actually matter that much here. I personally would go with one of AMDs EE CPUs, probably the 3800x2 35W. If this is to much (and I admit the CPU horsepower is way over what you need.) then find a good single core CPU, and undervolt/clock it. Don't worry about buying DDR2-800+ ram, DDR2-522/677 will work fine. Make sure its on your motherboards supported list. (speaking of which, find a motherboard that has onboard video.) Next, find a good harddrive. You don't need 160GB drives, an 80GB will work fine. (a 40GB will probably work also.) Don't bother with any form of RAID. Find a good LCD monitor, and your pretty much good to go. (don't worry about reponse time to much, we don't need to worry about tearing.) Throw it all together, and your almost done.

The reason RAID and a large harddrive aren't required is you don't want your users to store data on their computer. That's what the server is for. The computer only has to hold the programs needed to access the data files. ALL data files should be stored on the server, which is much easier to backup nightly/weekly then 10+ seperate computers. What you need to do is install all your programs, then image the drive. If/when the drive/windows fails, you simply reload the image. (no need to worry about the data files, they are all on the server.)
December 15, 2006 7:18:56 PM

Core 2 duo? Buy s simple Sempron AM2, the cheapest one, nforce6150 mobo, get 2GB value DDR2 533, an 80GB sata and that's it! a small PSU would do it. The only thing that stands up here is the 2GB of ram. Basically this would increase the possibilities for multitasking for like 10-15 browsers opened up simultaneosly like i need to have working.
Here's what i work with: cel 2.4GHz 512MB ram. and i have about 10 firefoxes and IE's opened up constantly with multiple tabs, ftp clients and a special veleka software and it works just fine.
December 15, 2006 7:30:22 PM

What you are talking about is a workstation.

Look at the original post. It says small business PC. That could hold very sensitive and important info and may run independent of a server.

It may be doing a bit of everything including photoshop and desktop publishing, PowerPoints etc. . ., and it may be doing it all at once.

Yeah you can go cheap on processor, but spend a little extra cash and you have the ability to keep your PC alive longer and upgrade to a cheap quadcore 775 two years from now if need be.

Vista is coming out and it is designed around multi-core processors. I believe it takes 15GB on your hard drive (That is just the OS), so an 80GB might get small real quick.

There is a technology leap happening right now with processor and C2D is on the very beginning of it. Take advantage of the extra speed. time is money!!!!
a b B Homebuilt system
December 16, 2006 4:23:40 AM

Quote:
What you are talking about is a workstation.

It may be doing a bit of everything including photoshop and desktop publishing, PowerPoints etc. . ., and it may be doing it all at once.



Actually, I would argue that a computer doing PS would be a workstation. (powerpoint isn't that much more demanding then word.) So what you are talking about is a workstation, while I am talking about a general business machine. Unless the OP comes back with usage, we'll never know how much power he needed.

I admit it could be off the network, in which case he'd need a bigger drive. But its stupid to not have it on the network. If its on the network, it can access the sever, printer, scanner, other computers, etc. Considering how flexible/usable this makes the computer, it should be on the network. Onboard networking is standard now, and wireless isn't expensive. There really isn't any reason not to.
December 16, 2006 8:52:55 AM

Yeah, this would be used as a desk PC - for word, email and printing basically. Going with dell the cheapest I can go is like 900 or so. Building it is around 900-1000 i guess. I suppose I'm just not used to including a monitor, operating system and office lol. Looks like 1,000 a pop it is.
December 16, 2006 10:05:28 AM

My K6-2 could fit your needs. Talk about wasting time.

www.dell.com

Look for the Dell Dimension 1100 currently on firesale for $250. That's all you need.
December 16, 2006 10:53:37 AM

Build a business PC. I recommend staying away form DELL like computers which include a recovery CD and force you to partition their way.

I'd go with an Abit motherboard with onboard video.

Any case, a good power supply such as an Antec.

1GB DUAL DDRII cheapo name brand kit. The cheapest name brand you can find. OCZ, Mushkin, Corsair, who cares.

Get some case fans and fan filters to keep the PC dust free.

Go for an aftermarket cooler and some Artic Silver 3 or equivalent compound.

A couple of 80GB SATA II hard drives. Capacity is not an issue but if you want speed or reliability you'd want 2 cheap drives. 80-120GB will be sufficient and cheap. I'd go Seagate Barracudas.

Windows XP home. Pro might give you some extra windows networking features you want. Or wait for Vista. You can get home OEM for under $100.
December 16, 2006 12:44:30 PM

you MAY want to checkout the Systemax closeout machines at TigerDirect if cheap is fine. They have outdated stuff they are dumping for $400-$600+(prob no OS CD). Maybe have them build a cheapie w/ no OS & install your own - dont know how that prices out...... Also they usually have re-certified, higher quality machines at rather nice prices. With cheap stuff, BUYER BEWARE. Maybe good deals for what u need or may end in tears :cry:  Best of luck w/ your biz.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 16, 2006 12:50:02 PM

Quote:
Quote:
OMG, asking gamers how to setup a business machine... LOL. Let the VoR do his thing.

First, just because RAID is now built into most motherboards doesn't mean you should use it. Repeat, just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD. He is asking about a business machine, and I haven't heard many of the magic words. Low noise, high reliability, no overclocking worries, etc. (someone did mention efficient PSU and most did talk about onboard/no noise video.)

When you talk business machine, I'm thinking executive/secretary use. Windows, office, perhaps the front end of a DB program. Nothing here is high use. The CPU doesn't actually matter that much here. I personally would go with one of AMDs EE CPUs, probably the 3800x2 35W. If this is to much (and I admit the CPU horsepower is way over what you need.) then find a good single core CPU, and undervolt/clock it. Don't worry about buying DDR2-800+ ram, DDR2-522/677 will work fine. Make sure its on your motherboards supported list. (speaking of which, find a motherboard that has onboard video.) Next, find a good harddrive. You don't need 160GB drives, an 80GB will work fine. (a 40GB will probably work also.) Don't bother with any form of RAID. Find a good LCD monitor, and your pretty much good to go. (don't worry about reponse time to much, we don't need to worry about tearing.) Throw it all together, and your almost done.


Very practical and good advice for a small business machine. Anything more is completely overkill and money down the drain.
December 16, 2006 2:41:15 PM

Quote:
My K6-2 could fit your needs. Talk about wasting time.

www.dell.com

Look for the Dell Dimension 1100 currently on firesale for $250. That's all you need.


You obviously don't have a career in IT. There is a real good reason why Dell and IBM are around. Things like 3 year warranties and business leases, never buy out right. Also the hardware platform is usually static for 6-12 month. This is of great benefit as your not supporting 40 hardware types. Most importantly it will save money in the long run.

I can think of very few reason why anyone would build a machine for the office.

We use IBM\Lenovo and have some leverage because of volume. The system we buy retail for around $900 but we pay around $650 less the monitor.

http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/catalog.w...
December 16, 2006 3:40:27 PM

Sorry, but this is for a SMALL business. Leasing computers makes little sense when we're probably talking about 1 to 6 computers. Perhaps your career in IT has hampered your abilities in economics?
December 17, 2006 8:13:29 AM

This is an ad to my old post which recommended a build not a buy of a name brand.

In addition to my recommended parts I need to recommend a CPU. That depends on the nature of your business. But a Sempron or Celeron type cheapo should be sufficient.

I may also recommend a laptop. You can pick one up fairly cheap these days that are sufficient for many business tasks. On top of that you can opt for a 3 year warranty, as well your employee has the option of having the system on the go or at home which may benefit the business.

As far as Raid goes, if you absolutely need zero down time a mirrored RAID makes sense. Storage space may be required on this system as well, since a server or network storage of some sort for a small business is rare. It depends on the nature of the business.

As far as the guy recommending Dell or IBM if you have 40+ computers. Well if you have an IT guy in your business, and he actually knows what he's doing, I'd recommend a custom built system. Order up identical parts for 40+ systems, and build them all yourself. Way easier to repair than a Dell or IBM. Less likely to have problems. A Microsoft License may be purchased and your windows environment plus software may be configured to your liking, then a drive image can be created.

If you build the system properly you should have trouble free systems plus a 3 year + warranty. Abit has the best 3 year warranty on boards, Seagate 5 years on the hard drive, 3 years on the monitors, etc... The systems will also be loads faster than any Dell, IBM, or Compaq. No more employees complaining "I hate these f***en Dells they are crap and slow."

Try pricing up parts for 40+ systems. You'll get a deal. I sell computers for a living, and the suppliers will give a deal on 10+ identical parts. You also have some flexibility on the systems, you can alter the systems a bit to customize them to each employees needs if required. You can also upgrade the systems down the line. Keep all the cases and power supplies, jsut swap out the board, CPU and memory for 40 systems. Cheaper than renewing a 3 year lease on 40 systems. In the long run custom systems would be cheaper. ANd if money is of prime concern and that's it, you can also go Liux for your OS. Should be sufficient for business and if you know what your doing you can get one hell of a prime server running with it.

Also to end it off, don't hire an economics engineer or management type guy with a suit as your IT guy. Hire a ripped jeans and t-shirt wearing Computer gaming geek from your local LAN who knows how to do cabling, hardware, and internetworking. He'll do what's right, not f*&$ around with you telling you bullshit. You'll have the best business network in town built right to your budget. If this IT geek from the LAN your hire is really good, he'll get a business number, get set up with the suppliers, and start buying your systems wholesale instead of retail. He can also sell computers under the table on the side to benefit himself and the company at the same time. He can also set up a LAN, sell hardware there using his new venture, and have the business sponser it for a little free advertising and publicity.

Custum built clones, it's the only way to go.
December 17, 2006 10:46:28 PM

I maintain the several (5-10 depending) computers for my wife's business. Currently I would suggest

Athlon64 3700+ (seems to be the best bang for the money)

Any motherboard with onboard Geforce 6100/6150 (May run off of a psu that you have lying around)

2GB ram

250GB SATA hard drive for OS and data (seems to be the best bang for the money)

A second 250GB SATA hard drive for backups. I schedule a XCOPY of DATA changes each night to a different location directory each month. This gives me 12 distinct backups. (seems to be the best bang for the money)

I use ATI 7000 graphics cards to provide for 4 monitors.

Use your existing case, psu, keyboard, mouse and the cost is reasonable.
December 18, 2006 8:40:27 PM

Quote:
I maintain the several (5-10 depending) computers for my wife's business. Currently I would suggest

Athlon64 3700+ (seems to be the best bang for the money)

Any motherboard with onboard Geforce 6100/6150 (May run off of a psu that you have lying around)

2GB ram

250GB SATA hard drive for OS and data (seems to be the best bang for the money)

A second 250GB SATA hard drive for backups. I schedule a XCOPY of DATA changes each night to a different location directory each month. This gives me 12 distinct backups. (seems to be the best bang for the money)

I use ATI 7000 graphics cards to provide for 4 monitors.

Use your existing case, psu, keyboard, mouse and the cost is reasonable.


Well the AMD 3700+ is full of value. But I'd lean towards a cheaper dual core just so your not buying an out of date system. The cheapest AMD X2 or Intel duo core.

2GB of RAM may be overkill but seing as how Vista is comming out then 2GB may be a wise choice.

Onboard video is a good choice. I'd go for an Abit board for many reasons which I love them.

The 250GB hard drives are great value. I'd use the second drive as a RAID not for backups. That way if one drive crashes your back in business without downtime. XCOPY is a great program. I've used it to backup data to DVD-RW each night. I don't like the idea of using XCOPY to backup to a hard drive. If the hard drive crashes there goes your backup.
December 19, 2006 3:24:17 AM

Listen to Gondo!!!!
a b B Homebuilt system
December 19, 2006 4:22:20 AM

Lets get clear on a concept here people. RAID1 is NOT a backup solution. You do not use RAID1 for backups. Why? Because when you write to the "disk", the changes are made to both. If your using RAID1 and have a powerspike that fries your RAID driver in windows, forcing you to rebuild your array, where are you going to get your data files from??? Backups are made however often you feel they are needed, put on a medium NOT conected to the computer, and stored preferably off site.

I see people suggesting 250GB harddrives also. This is a toss up due to the relative small difference in price. This is the cheapest 80GB drive {$48} while this is the cheapest 250GB drive. {$75} Difference of about $30. If your building only the one machine, this probably isn't going to make a lot of difference. I still like the idea of smaller harddrives, so your workers won't fill them up with stuff they download while at work. An 80GB drive is more then plenty to store windows and whatever programs they need.

I also don't suggest getting the 3700+. A 3000+/3200+ isn't going to be noticably slower doing office work, while a 3800+ would be overkill. Again, this depends on what the machine will need to do, and how many programs will be open at once. If the user will be needing a multi core CPU, a 3800+ would be great.
December 19, 2006 7:55:39 AM

Depends how cheap you wanna go.

I've just built two of these for my 4 year old twin daughters;

AMD AM2 Sempron 2800 Manila Core, 1.6GHz, 128KB Cache 27.60
Gigabyte GA-M61VME-S2, NV GeForce 6100 Scan 37.35
Ebuyer 1GB Kit (2x512MB) DDR2 533MHz PC2-4200 57.00
HannsG HN198D 19" Height Adjustable 8MS 700:1 (1280 x 1024) 117.00
Extra Value Black/Silver Mid Tower Case - With 350W PSU 20.00
LG Black, 48 x CD-ROM16 x DVD-ROM, IDE (PATA) 11.50
Seagate 80GB Barracuda SATAII 7200rpm 8MB Cache 28.90
Sony OEM 3.5 Floppy Drive Black Ebuyer 4.00
Childrens Computer Mice - Mini Mice - My Hearts 8.99
Extra Value Basic Black Keyboard - PS2 - UK Layout 3.00

£315 for AM2 rig, 1gb ram & 19"monitor. Spend another £50 and youve got a dual core rig (say $700)- which Id go for a business solution. You may want to change the mouse though ;) 
!