Corporate Desktop Recommended Systems
February 2, 2001 (updated)
by Eric Svetcov
I havenít revised this section since November 17, 2000; however, although some things have changed (e.g. the P4 release), my recommendations now are remarkably similar to what they were in November....with a few speed bumps. This is the fourth iteration of this recurring column intended to be a guideline that corporate IT can use to assist them in configuring a system appropriate for their environment. I will continue with two systems. A Basic desktop computer and a Power-user desktop computer. I will follow-up the Corporate Desktop System recommendation with recommendations for an Engineering/Multimedia workstation tomorrow and some server configuration over the coming week. You can also check out my first of a series of server configurations, the recommendations for 2U Servers that I did in October.
NOTE: Although I have no problem using non Intel/AMD/VIA platforms, the vast majority of Corporate desktop systems are not manufactured by Apple or Sun. For this part of the round-up we will only include systems capable of running Windows 98/ME/NT/2000 natively.
There are four criteria that will be used to determine the appropriate system. These criteria will be familiar to regular readers of IThell.com since they were introduced when ďIs IT ready for AMD?Ē was released a few months ago:
Before we hit the exact configurations, let me explain a little about the four criteria.
Stability - This criteria can only disqualify a product. If an item just isnít stable or has not proven to be stable, then the item is rejected. What is stable? When it comes to computers, it means that the item in question does not cause unexpected problems with the system that cannot be explained by faults elsewhere.
Availability - Availability also can be used only to disqualify a product. If I canít get an item within a reasonable time frame, then it is not available and is no longer under consideration. Sure, right now Intel is expecting that their 1.13GHz processor will be available again in two months. That does not mean it is available today. Likewise, if Intelís fastest processor is only available in systems from one or two vendors and only in their complete systems, then it is the system that is available and not the individual product.
Price - This is a key criteria and will be measured in United States dollars. If all other things are equal and the price is lower, then the lower priced product wins.
Performance - This is the other key criteria. It includes the speed of the system as well as the ability of the system to run typical corporate applications.
Other Notes - These recommendations are not about tweaking systems or attempting to get the very last bit of performance out of your box by running components outside of normal operating specifications. It is rare when someone in Information Technology will want to expose themselves or their company to risks associated with overclocking components. I realize that some of you may be interested in overclocking your processor or other tweaks, but within this article you will only find recommendations for using products within their labeled operating range. However, if you are wondering, I do overclock some of my home systems.