5 full computer systems needed for very basic IT/ICT teaching @ Community Centre - UK

Hi there experts! :)

I'm in great need of your advice. Any help would be much appreciated, so many thanks in advance.

My dad works in a community centre in his spare time and received a grant of £3,000 GBP/$5050+ USD to buy 5 computers for a community centre. So he wants to use the opportunity to help others who lack in IT skills, and those who are not familiar with using PC's to use these systems.

He'll have to think about getting in a lecturer at a later time, but for now I need to help him get around to setting this up within the budget. And I'm not very knowledgeable in setting these things up when it comes to networking side especially. But know the basics somewhat...I think aha!

Here are things to consider:

1. We don't want to blow the whole 3k on 5 computer systems - we want to save aside as much as possible to invest towards chairs, tables, decorating etc. That will be a separate financial matter but every little saved will help. I know it would be a laughable budget IF for 5 GAMING systems, but that's not the aim here :p

2. These systems will be used for very basic IT training - How to use Microsoft Office applications, for those who have hardly used a PC to get to grips with one, very basic web browsing etc.

3. NO complicated network with admin controls and restrictions required. It's a small room and will be easy for 1 lecturer to see what's going on with 5 computers around them at one time. But I would like them to be networked in such a way so that it is all running self-sufficiently and securely.
Will be going for the wired internet option rather than a wireless network. I've never done this kind of thing with multiple systems, so I'll go more into what I'll be getting so that people can correct and advise me if I'm going wrong anywhere....

Hardware to buy:

1. x5 full computer systems...
That are good enough to run basic applications such as Microsoft Office applications, and for basic web browsing. If someone could give a decent system as reference from THIS SITE DABS.COM in the UK (then a search from price low-high) that would be great. Then I can shop around everywhere to find the best priced system of similar spec.
Provided mouse and keyboard would be a bonus, otherwise I will buy these separate anyway.
No need for a fancy Blu-ray drive either, just a basic DVD drive. IF pre-installed with Windows 7 x64 and works out cheaper that way then would be a bonus.
Just one system for example (without looking into it too much right now) might be this 'Zoostorm mATX Intel Pentium G3220 4GB 500GB No OS' @ £200 GP /$336 USD (better details HERE):


Processor Intel® Pentium® Processor G3220 (3M Cache, 3.00 GHz)
RAM 4GB DDR3 1333MHz
HDD 500GB SATA Hard Drive
Graphics Card On Board
Optical Drive DVDRW
Audio 5.1 Audio
Network Card 10/100/1000 Gigabit LAN
Case Silver mATX Case
Chipset Intel H81
Warranty 1 Year Return to Base Warranty
Accessories Keyboard and Optical Mouse

Sure the specs might be somewhat laughable, but need to consider what these systems will be actually used for. Again will probably be room for better systems anyhow when I start to look for the best deals around.

2. To accompany the systems each will need a monitor. So 5 monitors to consider. Again nothing crazy fancy needed.
So something like this Acer K192HQLB 18.5" will do.

3. x8 lots of Ethernet cables - a few extra added.

4. A switch box like this D-Link 24-Port 10/100Mbps Nway.
Again if there's a better and cheaper option please let me know. I thought I'd consider a 24 port switch just in case the community centre might add more computers in the future. This will be connected directly to the internet service providers ROUTER FROM BT.
The internet speeds aren't great at the community centre either. I did a wireless speed-test there some weeks back:
So might be a struggle if 5 people are browsing at the same time. But again will be for light and basic use. May consider upgrading speeds if it becomes too much of a struggle.

5. Printer. I'm thinking of a mono laser printer for heavy printing tasks? We don't need a colour printer, just for black and white printouts only. Could someone recommend a few that is good on running costs? Thanks.


1. Microsoft Windows 7 Professional OEM Licence and Media LCP SP1 64-bit x5 - DEPENDS if the systems bought are already inclusive of Windows 7. There are some that are inclusive of Windows 8.1 but that OS won't be very useful for learners. Unless I buy Stardock's START 8 licenses to make them run like W7? See what works out most effective in costs and usefulness. Your opinions would be greatly appreciated :smile:

2. Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013 - 32/64-bit - 1 License (No Disc) x5

3. Recommended decent FREE anti-virus software that's not too heavy on hardware? x5 - If say I end up with W8 then I guess the default Windows defender would suffice I guess. It all comes down to what OS boils down to.

4. Not quite sure about the type of software licenses above with it being a community centre, but hopefully I'm okay I think :tongue:


If you think I'm going bonkers and in the wrong direction with anything please give me a shout.
Any help would be very much appreciated. Please consider that the aim is not to blow the whole budget away.
Once I know the specs to go for THEN I will shop everywhere for the best prices.

Thank you for taking the time to reading all this!

My small part for trying to help others learn, even I might end up jumping on a course if I don't make sense in this post lol.

Hope it all works out in the end :)
3 answers Last reply
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  1. Hello, I got a better deal for you than the pre-built system. I got you a build for £333. It includes a monitor and the links for the switch and the Ethernet cables.

    There's your system. If your fine with building it then you can save quite a bit. Now your only problem would be the Microsoft office. Your gonna have to look around there website and the prices don't look very good. Now the printer isnt hard. Found you a good deal:
    Not that many left in stock but I think they'll get more.

    I think that's about it.
    If you have any questions at all feel free to ask.

    And I would recommend using a little of the remaining money to upgrade your ISP to around 15-20mbps down and 3-5mbps up.

    I hope I helped
    -Scoutdrago3 :)

    EDIT: Very sorry, forgot about the antivirus. Here is a well rated free anti-virus:

    You want to have that as your main antivirus and keep malware bytes as a double check type of thing.
    Here's malware bytes:

    The normal anti virus is Avira which is pretty good. Rated best overall by Tom's Hardware. The malware bytes is just to double check that everything's fine. Also for things like clearing cache/temporary files and fixing registry errors I would recommend CCleaner. Here's a link:

    Sorry for the need to edit my post. The antivirus flew from my mind.
  2. Thanks for the very useful and informative reply Scoutdrago3!! :)
    Pcpartpicker.com. Interesting site there. I've not shopped for PC parts for a long time, so I'm behind on these things :d

    Sadly to say I won't be looking into building systems even though this would save money/have better spec systems for the same price. You have clearly shown me this and is horrible to see what I could have if I did go this route :p
    However last time I built a system was 10 years ago and that was just 1...yikes!
    Also my free time unfortunately is limited and am doing this all for free for the community centre. Luckily it is the centre's grant money not mine, but I will still try to save them money.
    Now if it was my own PC I wouldn't dare think of a pre-built system :)

    I will look properly for competitive prices once my mind is set on the hardware. Could even squeeze for pre-built intel i3 PC's but I'll see first what bargains I can hunt down on and see what I end up with on the budget.

    Looking at your list I have already saved money by considering the 'TP LINK 16-port 10/100 Desktop Switch' @ £17.19 GBP.
    The original D-Link 24-Port 10/100Mbps Nway @ £35.08 GBP I was going to go for.
    Oh as well as considering the 'AOC E970SWN 60Hz 18.5" Monitor'.
    And even better Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) @ 34.99?!?!??? :D Wow is that right? Huge saving VS the original price £100+ GBP!
    So thanks again :)
    Will have a look into the mono laser printer as well.

    So it'll be the path of buying a pre-built system with the extras to consider like software, monitors, printer, switch box etc.

    To update as far as free software protection goes:
    - Will go with free Avira antivirus.
    - K9 parental control someone suggested. No harm in installing this so I'll do this also.
    - Malwarebytes.

    Big thank you again for your time Scoutdrago3. I will have to remember to find you should I one day build my own PC from scratch haha.

    Any suggestions and advice is more than welcome.

    Many thanks again everyone :)
  3. Now this is the final hardware set-up I'm heading towards:

    x5 Zoostorm 7877-1036 Intel i3 systems = £1263.15

    x1 TL-SF1016D TP LINK 16-port 10/100 Desktop Switch = £17.19

    x5 19" Dell E-Series E1913S LED Monitor = £300 (£60 each)

    x5 Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64 Bit = 174.95 - Huge savings from original price!

    x1 Office 365 Small Business Premium for 5 COMPUTERS! = £119.99 - Again huge savings from original price direct from Microsoft! Though I'm aware this is for 1-year only as opposed to a full license per computer, but at that price is a bargain to try for a year just to see how things go in case things don't kick off well.

    x1 HP LaserJet Pro M1132 Mono Laser Multifunction Printer = £114.72 (Will pay off in the long run as can get toner replacement cartridges for £16 GBP for these).

    TOTAL = £1990 GBP / $3347.28 USD.
    Original budget £3,000/$5046.15 USD

    I think that is great. With the huge savings in the software department I can cram in Intel i3 systems instead, bigger monitor, and still have a lot spare which can be used to invest in other things in the community centre.

    I guess other small costs would be Ethernet cables, but I'll just simply buy those off eBay.
    The Zoostorm i3 systems I haven't tried to haggle down in price yet, so could save even more.

    Hopefully I've not forgot anything else major.
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