TechSpot

Systems for my School

By vassil3427
Feb 24, 2004
  1. Hey Guys,
    My school(rather small Christian school) is going to be purchasing new computer systems in a month or so, and after bringing the idea before the Administration they decided they may have me build the new systems for them. Here are the specs below, they are gonna want 20-25 of these babies....

    Nec Accusync 5V-Bk 15" LCD Monitor

    AMD Athlon XP 2500+ 333mhz.
    Albatron nForce2 Ultra 400 Motherboard
    512MB 333mhz. DDR(2x256mb for Dual Channel)
    120GB Western Digital 7200rpm SE Hard Drive
    Ati Radeon 9600 128mb 8x Video Card
    48x CD-RW/DVD Combo Drive
    Floppy Reader
    6-in-1 Memory Reader
    Antec Sonata Case w/380w PSU

    Memorex MX 2750 Keyboard
    Logitech MX300 Optical Mouse

    Windows XP Professional(They already own a volume license)

    I'm offering these for $999 a piece, what do you all think?
    They were considering buying from Dell...but with these specs it would cost them around $500 more per system almost....

    P.S. I'm also supposed to gather specs for a good server...I'll post those when I get done with them...
     
  2. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    Less fancy keyboard / mouse, that way it won't encourage them to steal them.

    Slower VGA card, that way they don't get tempted to install & play games during school hours.

    No CD-RW/DVD, that way they don't burn the mp3s they download & they don't bring DVDs to watch.

    Other then that, it should work very well.
     
  3. vassil3427

    vassil3427 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 640

    Well the principle told me he wants them to be "ready for the future". And several of the programs he has recieved have been on DVD format..maybe I could just get a DVD Rom then..... Its not really worth getting a slower VGA card is it? I mean it'll only save maybe $20 a system... Then again....$20 of extra profit would be nice.....
     
  4. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    Simply get a nForce 2 IGP board, you'll save a lot more on it & as for the keyboards/mice in 5 years, it'll be the same so you might as well get a simply cherry kerboard & cheap wheel mouse ( eventually optical ).
     
  5. vassil3427

    vassil3427 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 640

    Hey I like the idea of integrated gfx....Hoever I have to get optical mice..The kids at school steal the mouse balls and throw them at people...
     
  6. vassil3427

    vassil3427 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 640

    What Nforce 2 MB with Integrated video would you all recommend? I was looking at the ABIT nForce2 IGP Chipset Motherboard
     
  7. dani_17

    dani_17 TS Rookie Posts: 146

    Your way to excited with the systems.

    Its for a schcool. No radeon 9600, no cd-rw, no 120 gig hdd, and definately no LCD screens!

    You know how often kids (and not so kids) touch and punch the screen of the computer!? Hey click there! bang, a finger just blew up 20 pixels of your lcd screen....

    120 gigs is way to much. Not like they are going to do dvd ripping, uh?

    Here are the savings:

    Western Digital Caviar WD1200JB 120GB Hard Drive - $83.00
    Western Digital 40GB EIDE ULTRA ATA/100 7200RPM - $53.00
    Save $30

    Sapphire Radeon 9600 Video Card - $96
    PowerColor Radeon 9200 SE Video Card - $45
    Save $51

    Memorex COMBO CDRW/DVD 52X/32X/52/16X EIDE - $67.50
    Lite-On LTD-163 DVD-ROM 16x - $29.50
    Save $38

    NEC LCD1560V 15" LCD Monitor - $365
    Samsung SyncMaster 955DF 19" Monitor - $170
    Save $195

    You save total $314 per PC. You can save more if you take out the case and the nice keyboard/mouse. Thats $6280 - $7850 savings for your school.

    Also, don't think of profiting yourself. Even if they don't ask, you SHOULD give them a copy of the bill, so they know how much the hardware costed, and then bill them your work hours. Don't take profit from the hardware unless you have a special deal with the place you are going to buy the parts from.

    Then, are you going to copy 20-25 cd-r's with windows xp? Not for a school. Then, you forgot to take in count the price of the licenses. You can also put linux and see how the boys get it to work / show them how to compile a kernel. :p
     
  8. dani_17

    dani_17 TS Rookie Posts: 146

    Sorry, didn't see they already had volume licensing. Ignore the part where I talked about the winxp licences. :)
     
  9. dani_17

    dani_17 TS Rookie Posts: 146

    Also, what tasks will the server have to do?

    By the way, I hope you realize that if you "offer those for 999", you also offer free technical support every time a computer screwes up. That can happen ocasionally whith 20-25 computers running.
     
  10. lowman

    lowman TS Rookie Posts: 380

    Mouse Balls

    Stealing mouse balls and throwing them at people...now THERE'S a real Christian attitude...:D
     
  11. Rory7

    Rory7 TS Rookie Posts: 119

    All our mice get glued at the bottom so you carnt yank the ball out. However the whole mouse just gets unplugged and thrown at someone now. Do they have RM (research machines) computers in the US? over here our school gets really good deals of RM. I dont even think a 9200SE is necessary. Id just get a decent mobo with onbord sound and gfx, 17inch moniter and standard input deivces. R9600... do they hold gaming tornaments a dinner time or somthing?
     
  12. vassil3427

    vassil3427 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 640

    Wow, didnt realize you guys replied to this so quickly.

    The Server:
    It will become the center piece for some new software the school is purchasing. It's a software which will essentially replace paper lunch forms, attendance sheets, etc, teachers will submit that all from their classrooms, it is also includes new financing software.
    (also they may purchase an add-on, which will allow parents to check their students grades online, I assume they will log onto the server somehow, havent reviewed the software yet)
    PC's:
    Perhaps I did overdo it a bit...I admit, the computer's are well..monsters, especially since they'll mostly just be doing Word documents, and using spanish typing programs. I'm going to configure another system, and post it here, see what you guys think, ok?

    Yes the Mouseballs were all over the school...it was crazy, now we have 22 useless computers in the computer room, mouse balls gone...keyboards cables ripped out.... The students were mad because they all kept crashing,(all are P166 with Windows 95)

    I donno, the principle just told me he wants to be good to go for another 3 years.

    I do plan on giving them tech support for the next 2 years BTW..
     
  13. vassil3427

    vassil3427 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 640

    Ok guys, what about this system?

    AMD Athlon XP 2500+ 1.83GHz 333FSB 512KB Processor Retail
    Biostar M7NCG 400 nForce2 Athlon(XP)/Duron SktA DDR M-ATX Motherboard w/Audio, Video, LAN Retail
    Maxtor Fireball 3 40GB Ultra ATA/133 5400RPM Hard Drive
    Crucial Technology 256MB DDR333 PC2700 Memory
    Asus DVD-E616P1 16X DVD-ROM / 48X CD-ROM Drive (Black)
    Antec Sonata Quiet Mid Tower Case (Piano Black) Retail
    380w Antec TruPower PSU
    2.0 Speaker System Retail
    Sony 1.44MB 3.5in Floppy Disk Drive
    Microsoft Multimedia Keyboard & Optical Mouse Combo OEM

    Monitor:
    KDS XF-7BK Xtreme Flat 17" CRT Monitor (Black)

    All of this comes to $612
    I tack on $150 per system for building and 2 Yr. Tech support, bringing the price to $762
    Sound Good to you all? I mean $150 per pc, meaning if he gets the expected 20-26 systems I'll be looking at a $3000-3900 profit.
     
  14. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,977   +15

    Thanks for saving me the time, I was about to post the very thing. I think you should really tone down the HDs, and videocards. Remember, this is a school PC. That doesnt mean make a POS, but theres just no need for a 9600 or 120GBs of space per computer.

    Aside now that I just noiced you posted new specs, my .02 on them:

    Get a 7200RPM Hard Drive, other then that looks like a damn good plan to me. Your super lucky to get to make those for your school - Good Job!
     
  15. vassil3427

    vassil3427 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 640

    Hey Guys, Thanks alot for your help in the decision making, bringing down the price to $750 a system was a big help in the push for the systems, and helped my principle convince the school board to approve the $$ for the systems. I'm definitly going to be building the systems, no exact date, within a few weeks....

    P.S. Dang they get the deals, XP Pro for $60, and Office 2003 Pro for $55....I want to own a school....
     
  16. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    How about, with those savings, get 1GB of memory and not 256MB? I go to a private technical school in the morning and my class gets the fun of building computers for all the different classes. I don't know the exact specs, but in each there's an XP2500+, MSI nForce2 board, 2x512MB DDR333 Kingston ValueRAM, Geforce4 MX440, 40GB Seagate/Maxtor HD, 52X CD-ROM drives, and they have the lower range of Antec cases. You should consider something along these lines with a few modifications, they work great. Perhaps replacing the CD-ROMs with DVD-ROMs and using different cases/monitors/input devices if the teachers want aesthetics.

    It's a school, and we all know schools never have alot of money. So the more money you save them, the easier it's going to be for the principal to convince the school board to approve them, and for you to even get the job. And the more your school is going to love you and look to you in the future for future computer work, which is only good news for you.

    Also be sure to set up Active Directory on that server you make - but that's probably already taken care of. I'm the local administrator for my class, and I'm public enemy #1 because noone (especially the "1337 h4x0rs" in my class - which there are no shortage of) can install programs or download anything on their machines. Thus they hate me because I delpart their computer if they get past the domain policies or have anything on their machine they're not supposed to. My teacher explicitly said "the only thing they should be able to do on their computers is use the internet, Word, Visio, and access Site Storage [the network drive to upload our projects into]." I got to have fun after that.

    But, good luck, and I sure wish my school hired me to build them computers. Instead they just buy Macs :( and I could sure use $3000 just for building computers.
     
  17. vassil3427

    vassil3427 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 640

    Actually the server will be on a seperate network for Teachers/Office only. Seemed like the safest setup to me, the students dont need any sort of access to the primary server where all information including their grades and the schools financial info is going to be located...
     
  18. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,573   +65

    High performance systems are fine, but from the schools I come from, you just don't see anything like those. ;)

    I think from an educational standpoint, they are absolutely rediculously overpowered, unless you plan on holding gaming tournaments via LAN. :)

    Ditch the video card, and instead of buying 30 120GB drives, buy 40GB drives and a main server with massive central storage. Just an idea. You don't want to spend every week cleaning out GBs worth of student's junk. And orgnizing it across is 30 computers is simply unreasonable.

    Sonata cases? ;)

    Great systems.. No doubt.. Budget friendly? Not at all. I'd like to think your school could put that money elsewhere like teacher salaries or better cafeteria food etc..
     
  19. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    Being connected to a server doesn't mean you have any sort of access to all the information on it.

    I was just saying, the administration may want a way to curb installation of programs and general misuse of the machine. In that case, local policies would need to be put into place or Active Directory on another server (which would be best).
     
  20. vassil3427

    vassil3427 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 640

    Veh: Thanks for the pointers.

    Rick: Yeah if you read my latter posts I toned down the systems a bit...

    I decided on the Sonata cases for the sheer look and I didnt want to purchase any cheap PSU's either...So they looked like a good deal to me with the 380w TruePower PSU...hehe...
     
  21. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,350

    A school does not need such powerful computers. Now if they have certain classes that teach things like graphics then you might want to get that class a few better video cards for example.

    Even an 800mhz PC would suffice a school for over 3 years. With what schools have most of the time and do ok, there is no real need for something as fast as an AthlonXP unless they serve a special purpose for a certain class.
     
  22. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,977   +15

    Im sure the school wants the PCs to last more then 3 years ;) Probably 5+

    Also, with the price of Bartons,etc right now, I recon his setup is good for its money [as in will last the years its needed to and be decent throughout].
     
  23. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    You are have some point acid. My ex-high school uses 1 GHZ plus Celerons (sometimes 500MHZ) for wordprocessing classes. I must say the Celerons i have used are very adequate for usual wordprocessing and
    surfing on XP. Only classes that involve graphics application use P4s.
     
  24. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,977   +15

    Yes, but would a 1GHz Celeron be much cheaper then an $80 2500+?? I'd guess 1GHz Celery would be around $50..

    So hes not paying that much more, for a TON more performance.
     
  25. z006333

    z006333 TS Rookie

    If budget is a concern, you should consider Benq LCD. They are a major OEM for many tier-1 brands and have good quality products at tier-2 price.
     
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