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Recommend a New PC for Network Support Office

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#1 Zoom7000


    The Ankle Breaker

  • Joined: 12-November 03
  • Location: London, UK
  • OS: Windows 8.1/OS X 10.10
  • Phone: iPhone 6 Plus

Posted 14 May 2014 - 10:49

I've just got a new job managing a primary school network and want to get a new PC for my broom cupboard office, to help manage the network. I'll be running Windows 8.1 with multiple Windows 7 VMs manage the network. I'm looking for at least a Core i7 with maybe 8-16Gb RAM and at least 1TB HDD although I could setting for 500GB. I also want a decent amount of USB 3.0 ports as there will be loads of file transfer stuff to external HDDs going on. Also, just to future proof myself for a few years at least!

I was initially looking at space saving PCs and came across the Lenovo Tiny PC M93p with the RAM upgraded. My supplier quoted me just over £700 for that. However, I'm wondering if I can do better if I go for a Small Form Factor or Tower PC seeing as the space isn't too much of an issue now that my broom cupboard office has been cleared out! I'll probably go for a ready made PC as opposed to custom built as I'll need a quick on-site multi year warranty in case of any issues and the company would rather I steer away from custom builds.

Also, in terms of monitors, I was intrigued by a 2560x1440 monitor as this would give me ideal desktop space to work with multiple VMs, however, I think the prices are a little too crazy currently. But I need a PC that has a HDMI and DVI input as I'll be working with Raspberry Pi. Built in audio would be a major plus!

Alternatively, should I completely ditch that plan for a PC and go for an All-in-one or a powerful laptop with an external monitor?

Sorry, that I'm sounding really picky, I just want to get it right first time and get best value for the budget I've been given. Ideally, I'd like to get everything, monitor included, for under £1000.


Any ideas?

#2 sc302


    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 55
  • Joined: 12-July 05
  • Location: NJ, USA

Posted 14 May 2014 - 15:48

Consider a few things:

A powerful all in one. 

A dedicated small sized vm server and a computer. 

A laptop and a small vm server


A really powerful one sounds great until you are doing things that require a bit of power. 

#3 +Odom


    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 1
  • Joined: 09-August 06

Posted 14 May 2014 - 21:58

What about support for the machine you'll be needing? How about getting a Dell or HP with support? They have good office machines that can also be beefed up. How many VM's do you plan on running on that same PC?

#4 OP Zoom7000


    The Ankle Breaker

  • Joined: 12-November 03
  • Location: London, UK
  • OS: Windows 8.1/OS X 10.10
  • Phone: iPhone 6 Plus

Posted 16 May 2014 - 10:24

Yes, that is why I want a ready build because I'll be needing at least a 3 year on site warranty. I'm looking to run 3 VMs on the PC. 1 for day to day network management, 1 for general testing and 1 for package building. So, it'll need to be pretty beefy!