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Zoom7000

Recommend a New PC for Network Support Office

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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?

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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. 

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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?

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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!

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