Replacing old hardware - need some help

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Topher
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Replacing old hardware - need some help

#1 Postby Topher » Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:34 pm

I am helping in a community lab with 12 computers. The computers are older and are giving us more and more problems and are ready to be replaced. We only have a budget to be able to spend $500 per computer. They want to run 64 bit Win7 professional to be able to run XP in a virtual mode.
This is the configuration that I picked out to meet their price point.

CPU AMD - FX Series FD4100WMGUSBX $ 95
Mobo ASUS M5A88-V EVO $120
PSU ENERMAX ENP450AST $ 50
RAM (2 sticks) Kingston HyperX - Blu KHX1333C9D3B1R/4G $ 40
or (Crucial) (CT51264BD1339) ($40)
HD HITACHI Deskstar 7K1000.D $ 80
Case Rosewill REDBONE U3 $ 50
DVD LITE-ON iHAS324-99 $ 22
Media Card Rosewill RCR-IC001 $ 15

That gets us to $472/computer.

Do you think it will do the job or should I consider something else. Or are we just barely going to be there and may be better off rounding up more dollars before proceeding. They would really like to go with the Intel i5, but that increases the cost too much. I would apprecite any feedback you all could give me. TIA
MX15 MoBo ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 CPU AMD Phenom II X4 945 PSU CORSAIR CX500 (CMPSU-500CX) RAM Crucial CT2KIT25664BA1339 HD WD5000AAKX Wireless EDIMAX EW 7128g

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uncle mark
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Re: Replacing old hardware - need some help

#2 Postby uncle mark » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:41 pm

I see no reason why that shouldn't give you very good service for quite some time.

Good choice of components, IMO.
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lucky9
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Re: Replacing old hardware - need some help

#3 Postby lucky9 » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:55 pm

Ditto
Yes, even I am dishonest. Not in many ways, but in some. Forty-one, I think it is.
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Re: Replacing old hardware - need some help

#4 Postby KrispyKritter » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:58 pm

Go for it.

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Saist
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Re: Replacing old hardware - need some help

#5 Postby Saist » Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:33 am

If you are buying "now now" I'd swap out your processor and motherboard for:

ASUS F1A75-M PRO:: $104
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813131764

AMD A8-3870K Unlocked Llano/Fusion @ 3.0GHz:: $140
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819106001

This puts you closer to $500 ($501) and drops you back to AMD's older Stars architecture, but it also gives you a much beefier graphics processor and a much better all-around processor core. And if your community director asks why you need a beefier graphics processor unit: http://www.khronos.org/opencl/

Thing is AMD's current Bulldozer architecture has an amazing integer processing core and threaded performance, but a less than bleeding edge floating-point operator. This was one of the reasons that the Bulldozer processors had such "meh" reviews on it's launch. AMD's official position is that they already make an amazing floating-point operator processor with RadeonHD, and there really is not a lot of OpenCL accelerated applications available. To that end AMD has been sinking money into OpenCL software development. The integrated 4250 in the AM3+ motherboard you've picked won't be beefy enough to offset the lack of Floating-Point processing power in the Bulldozer processor core, and you'd really need to invest in an add-in graphics card for each computer for Bulldozer to "look good."

Additionally, going Socket FM1 now will set you up to skip to a Piledriver/Fusion architecture chip.

If you do not have to buy right now, I'd strongly suggest you wait for the Socket FM1 Trinity (Piledriver/Fusion) chips to start entering the market within the next couple of months.

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Re: Replacing old hardware - need some help

#6 Postby JimC » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:32 am

I'd be inclined to lean towards a solution with better graphics, too. More and more applications are using GPGPU computing techniques to accelerate processing via OpenCL and other solutions as time passes (by compiling code to run on both the CPU and GPU, even if it's not graphics specific). I've been seeing a big move in that direction with image and video processing software. But, we're starting to see more types of other applications taking advantage of GPU processing, too.

BTW, if you look at the available combos at newegg.com, you can sometimes find better prices. For example, here's a combo with the CPU and MB that Saist suggested:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDeal ... mbo.835839

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Re: Replacing old hardware - need some help

#7 Postby zeeone » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:23 pm

For a community lab use with a budget, I think you have chosen well. What are the users going to be using them for? A little web surfing, some word/data base work, reading their email. How are the monitors doing?
Do they already have a copy of Windows7 with 12 seats yet? Just brain storming.
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lucky9
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Re: Replacing old hardware - need some help

#8 Postby lucky9 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:52 pm

I tend to agree. The latest and greatest is the enemy of good enough. If it does what you need.....
Yes, even I am dishonest. Not in many ways, but in some. Forty-one, I think it is.
--Mark Twain

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Re: Replacing old hardware - need some help

#9 Postby JimC » Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:13 pm

Yea... But, the solution with the much better graphics costs only $5 more per machine compared to the MB/CPU combo he's looking at when using the available Combo price at newegg.com (thanks to the $25 discount for the combo that Saist suggested that I included a link to in my last post), keeping the machines within the $500 each budget.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDeal ... mbo.835839

So, for around $5 more per machine, I'd go with something with more GPU processing power compared to the integrated HD 4200 series graphics. Even for web browsing only, we're seeing more and more sites using video and graphics that can be taxing on older GPUs; and the integrated HD 6550D graphics in the Motherboard and CPU that Saist suggested tests almost 4 times as fast as HD 4250 graphics on the passmark GPU tests.

HD 4250:
http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/video ... on+HD+4250

HD 6550D:
http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/video ... n+HD+6550D

That's a big difference in GPU performance for a negligible price increase, and it would be better to get something roughly 4 times as fast up front for virtually no cost difference, versus needing to install video cards later if the machines can't handle the video and graphics being used by more web sites (and other applications) down the road before it's time to replace the machines again.

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Re: Replacing old hardware - need some help

#10 Postby lucky9 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:35 pm

Point taken.
Yes, even I am dishonest. Not in many ways, but in some. Forty-one, I think it is.
--Mark Twain


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