The Computer Buzz
||September 13th, 2007|
Nome and Paul Van Middlesworth - owners - The Computer Factory
Home and School Workstations
Last week we discussed the PCs that we build for small and medium size business. Business systems comprise about 80% of our new PC sales. The remaining 20% are custom built for home users and students. Like businesses, home and school users often have unique requirements. Designing systems to fit the exact requirements of home and school users is one of the fun parts of our business.
To begin with we use the same high quality components in our home PCs that we do for our business "workstations." Even our least expensive PCs (under $500) are unlike the "package PCs" found in retail stores. We use premium components, ASUS motherboards, Western Digital hard drives, and oversized power supplies, lifetime RAM and premium "boxed" CPUs. Most of these components carry at least a three-year manufacturer’s warranty. The OEM components used in Dell, Gateway, E-Machine, HP and Compaq have only single year warranties.
There are many factors that may influence the design of a desktop PC for non-business applications. There can be a huge difference between a simple PC intended for E-mail and Internet surfing and one designed to do video/audio editing or high-end gaming.
Environmental and aesthetic factors may be a consideration too. A large, menacing case with lots of fans and flashing lights may suit the fancy of a "gamer dude." A small flat case upon which the monitor can rest will save space in cramped quarters. A "lunch box" PC with a carry handle leaves a small footprint and is a highly mobile dorm or small apartment PC.
One really nice feature of our PCs is upgradability. We can change a basic PC into a fairly powerful "gamer" in less than a half hour by simply switching the CPU and adding RAM and a more potent video system.
You can spend $5000 or more on a true high end "gamer" system from Dell, Alienware (a Dell subsidiary) or one of the other "package" PCs. These systems come with liquid cooling radiators and "over-clocked" CPUs.
This week we built two high performance PCs for home users. One based on the 2.4 GHz Intel Quad Core E6600, the other based on the 3.0 GHz AMD dual core 6600. With nVidea GeForce graphics engines, both of these PCs are extremely potent systems at a cost of under $1500. We also built several basic AMD single and dual core PCs for non-business users this week. None were the same configuration. "One size fits all" may work for Dell and the others but it certainly doesn't work for our customers here at The Computer Factory.