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Most economical multistation

Last response: in Business Computing
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August 16, 2012 12:55:52 AM


I'm assuming this is the right forum for this if not move it.

I'm not a computer whiz and I'm trying to figure out the most economical solution for a multiple station setup for an internet cafe. It wont be high demand usage probably the most demanding would be YouTube most common use is Facebook. I might put on some older low demand games like Warcraft 3 "Dota" and Counterstrike but not if it severely restricts how many stations I can set up.

I would like to set up something with 4+ stations for one computer and am hoping for 6. I would like to use an A8-3870k processor as their especially cheap right now here in the Philippines.

I saw a Userful solution with USB docking stations that looked interesting but the docking stations are to expensive at $65 each. Might work if I could find something cheaper. But I'm not a real geek so I'm sure their are better solutions out there.

Oh a friend offered to let me use a windows server program that he isn't using that might be another possibility.

I'm planning on using coin timers to just turn on/off the monitor
August 17, 2012 4:04:34 PM

If you think 65 is too much for a remote station, you can look into getting real thin clients at $500 each. 65 per station is cheap if it will do what you want it to. The host PC will not be able to handle games for multiple clients though, the video will be too slow, unless you build a server that costs more than 6 computers.
August 19, 2012 5:00:31 AM

Well I can get acceptable used computers for about $110 (Pentium D) with a free keyboard. Of course it would take more electric to run them. That is one of the big advantages of the multistation setup. Not to mention a lot less heat. I didn't expect they would run any but the old games some of which are still popular mostly just for internet use.

It looks like I may just get the used ones and set them up as dual stations with a dual output video card. Just wondering how I can get separate audio with those maybe I can get by without audio though.
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August 20, 2012 2:32:39 PM

You can't just use a dual output video card, that would only split the video. You need to run multiple virtual machines and get something that will support multiple inputs from different keyboard and mice, and output that to a different system. You can use thinclients to set this up, but they are not very cheap, and you will need to setup a server to provide the OS and processing.
August 20, 2012 2:55:48 PM

You will have to configure things each time you start the virtual machine for that method. Never done it myself, just use full virtual stations with a server setup at work. The monitor's can't have an audio output, maybe an input. Possibly a pass-though. You will need a sound card.
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