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*Gary.Vandawalker
Message 1 of 3 (91 Views)

Equipment purchase advise needed

91 Views, 2 Replies
12-04-2000 01:39 AM
I just exited a management meeting where they asked me to submit an
equipment needs list to our engineering division for the next 18-24
months. They want to know what type of machine will suit my users needs
18-24 months from now. Can I realistcally predict that?

We now have DELL and Gateway 400mhz pentiums with 64 megs of ram, (I
know, way too low), probably 2-4 megs on the video, 20 inch monitors,
HD is about 5 gig. We don't do any 3d or rendering, no CAD overlay,
just big topos, profiles, xsections, structural details, OLE from Exel,
Word and the occational bitmap photo. I do hope to be producing my own
CADD training videos using a screen capture program, so I know I'd need
some UMPH for that.

As for storage, I use our main server and CD's for backup and
archival. I don't see a hard drive the size of Manhattan as being a
necessity (unless someone can tout the virtues of a 60 gig drive). The
machines our in the field offices use zip drives for storage. They will
soon have access (if not already) to the server in our state office.
But they too, need better on site backup and arhiving equipment. So far
I tend to lean toward CD's. I am having good luck with them. They have
the storage capacity we need, and are easy to create and use. (However,
I do hate the way the burner puts a read only on all files it burns. Is
there any way to get around that? It's a pain to have to remove the
"reads only" attribute from all the files each time you want to upload
the data back to the HD and use it. (no, I'm not doing it one file at a
time)

Anyway, these machines are starting to bog down with LDD2. They're just
getting to be slow machines with the demands this new software makes,
and our users skills are increasing and asking for more from the
software. I was told we have a good chance at ordering some high-end
machines, in hopes they will suit us for a few years. Therefore...

I could use some good sound serious advise on what types of specs to ask
for: processor speed (duals?), ram, video ram. I find it hard to
predict what will still be a suitable machine 2 years from now because
that will probably be about the time that I upgrade the Autodesk
software, and who knows what demands they'll have built into it by then.

I've always heard that a person should by as much as they can afford.
Should I take that stance? I'm not too worried about the cost, I'll let
management battle that out. I just want to make sure my needs are met
as best as possible. If that comes true, I think the economics will
fall into place too.

If someone does make suggestions to me, could you give a simple
explanation of why you recommend what you do? It will help me explain
my position when I make my submission.

Thank you in advance,

Gary Vandawalker
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
Syracuse, NY
*Larson, Evan
Message 2 of 3 (91 Views)

Re: Equipment purchase advise needed

12-04-2000 02:57 AM in reply to: *Gary.Vandawalker
Gary,

In a nutshell what I do is just budget an amount. If you notice
computers keep getting faster but the price almost always remains
constant. Meaning the manufacturers have price points for say the
newest processors out vs the ones a little slower no matter what the
processor speed happens to be.

With that said I would suggest that you can predict how much a computer
will cost you at least up to a year out by just going out now and
pricing a system that would work for you and using that number. When it
comes time to purchase you will obviously get a much faster machine but
the cost will be virtually the same.

Roughly I would say currently you need:

733-800mhz
256mb ram (you could start at 128 and see how much swapping it does)
16-32mb video (there are tons of posts out there just on this subject)
10G 7200rpm HD
Win 2000

Should be able to get this today for around $1600 so you could put in
your budget and when you are ready to buy it could be a 1.5G processor
who knows. Also some will likely say max out you ram. That is true but
really depends on your budget. Unless your HD is swapping a lot it is
not really needed. Also it is really easy to add as needed down the
road where buying a new processor is costly. You can also buy dual
capable motherboards and wait a year or so and put in some more memory
and another processor and you may increase the life of the machine with
relatively little investment.

Evan Larson
GLT Architects
elarson@gltarchitects.com
www.gltarchitects.com

"Gary.Vandawalker" wrote:
>
> I just exited a management meeting where they asked me to submit an
> equipment needs list to our engineering division for the next 18-24
> months. They want to know what type of machine will suit my users needs
> 18-24 months from now. Can I realistcally predict that?
>
> We now have DELL and Gateway 400mhz pentiums with 64 megs of ram, (I
> know, way too low), probably 2-4 megs on the video, 20 inch monitors,
> HD is about 5 gig. We don't do any 3d or rendering, no CAD overlay,
> just big topos, profiles, xsections, structural details, OLE from Exel,
> Word and the occational bitmap photo. I do hope to be producing my own
> CADD training videos using a screen capture program, so I know I'd need
> some UMPH for that.
>
> As for storage, I use our main server and CD's for backup and
> archival. I don't see a hard drive the size of Manhattan as being a
> necessity (unless someone can tout the virtues of a 60 gig drive). The
> machines our in the field offices use zip drives for storage. They will
> soon have access (if not already) to the server in our state office.
> But they too, need better on site backup and arhiving equipment. So far
> I tend to lean toward CD's. I am having good luck with them. They have
> the storage capacity we need, and are easy to create and use. (However,
> I do hate the way the burner puts a read only on all files it burns. Is
> there any way to get around that? It's a pain to have to remove the
> "reads only" attribute from all the files each time you want to upload
> the data back to the HD and use it. (no, I'm not doing it one file at a
> time)
>
> Anyway, these machines are starting to bog down with LDD2. They're just
> getting to be slow machines with the demands this new software makes,
> and our users skills are increasing and asking for more from the
> software. I was told we have a good chance at ordering some high-end
> machines, in hopes they will suit us for a few years. Therefore...
>
> I could use some good sound serious advise on what types of specs to ask
> for: processor speed (duals?), ram, video ram. I find it hard to
> predict what will still be a suitable machine 2 years from now because
> that will probably be about the time that I upgrade the Autodesk
> software, and who knows what demands they'll have built into it by then.
>
> I've always heard that a person should by as much as they can afford.
> Should I take that stance? I'm not too worried about the cost, I'll let
> management battle that out. I just want to make sure my needs are met
> as best as possible. If that comes true, I think the economics will
> fall into place too.
>
> If someone does make suggestions to me, could you give a simple
> explanation of why you recommend what you do? It will help me explain
> my position when I make my submission.
>
> Thank you in advance,
>
> Gary Vandawalker
> USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
> Syracuse, NY
*Talsky, Jack
Message 3 of 3 (91 Views)

Re:

01-03-2001 03:50 PM in reply to: *Gary.Vandawalker
I can tell you that there is a noticable difference in speed between the
Pentium III 866 and the Pentium III 933......370 type..not the Slot 1 type.

What I have found interesting is that my old Matrox Millenium graphic card
with only 4 meg of ram on it has suddenly become pretty good. I can render
and rotate a rendered object now without it becoming a wire-frame.

unless you are doing very large drawings or a lot of 3D or Viz things, 256
of ram is probably going to get you by for the time being.

Jack
"Evan Larson" wrote in message
news:3A2BE903.59586F96@gltarchitects.com...
> Gary,
>
> In a nutshell what I do is just budget an amount. If you notice
> computers keep getting faster but the price almost always remains
> constant. Meaning the manufacturers have price points for say the
> newest processors out vs the ones a little slower no matter what the
> processor speed happens to be.
>
> With that said I would suggest that you can predict how much a computer
> will cost you at least up to a year out by just going out now and
> pricing a system that would work for you and using that number. When it
> comes time to purchase you will obviously get a much faster machine but
> the cost will be virtually the same.
>
> Roughly I would say currently you need:
>
> 733-800mhz
> 256mb ram (you could start at 128 and see how much swapping it does)
> 16-32mb video (there are tons of posts out there just on this subject)
> 10G 7200rpm HD
> Win 2000
>
> Should be able to get this today for around $1600 so you could put in
> your budget and when you are ready to buy it could be a 1.5G processor
> who knows. Also some will likely say max out you ram. That is true but
> really depends on your budget. Unless your HD is swapping a lot it is
> not really needed. Also it is really easy to add as needed down the
> road where buying a new processor is costly. You can also buy dual
> capable motherboards and wait a year or so and put in some more memory
> and another processor and you may increase the life of the machine with
> relatively little investment.
>
> Evan Larson
> GLT Architects
> elarson@gltarchitects.com
> www.gltarchitects.com
>
> "Gary.Vandawalker" wrote:
> >
> > I just exited a management meeting where they asked me to submit an
> > equipment needs list to our engineering division for the next 18-24
> > months. They want to know what type of machine will suit my users needs
> > 18-24 months from now. Can I realistcally predict that?
> >
> > We now have DELL and Gateway 400mhz pentiums with 64 megs of ram, (I
> > know, way too low), probably 2-4 megs on the video, 20 inch monitors,
> > HD is about 5 gig. We don't do any 3d or rendering, no CAD overlay,
> > just big topos, profiles, xsections, structural details, OLE from Exel,
> > Word and the occational bitmap photo. I do hope to be producing my own
> > CADD training videos using a screen capture program, so I know I'd need
> > some UMPH for that.
> >
> > As for storage, I use our main server and CD's for backup and
> > archival. I don't see a hard drive the size of Manhattan as being a
> > necessity (unless someone can tout the virtues of a 60 gig drive). The
> > machines our in the field offices use zip drives for storage. They will
> > soon have access (if not already) to the server in our state office.
> > But they too, need better on site backup and arhiving equipment. So far
> > I tend to lean toward CD's. I am having good luck with them. They have
> > the storage capacity we need, and are easy to create and use. (However,
> > I do hate the way the burner puts a read only on all files it burns. Is
> > there any way to get around that? It's a pain to have to remove the
> > "reads only" attribute from all the files each time you want to upload
> > the data back to the HD and use it. (no, I'm not doing it one file at a
> > time)
> >
> > Anyway, these machines are starting to bog down with LDD2. They're just
> > getting to be slow machines with the demands this new software makes,
> > and our users skills are increasing and asking for more from the
> > software. I was told we have a good chance at ordering some high-end
> > machines, in hopes they will suit us for a few years. Therefore...
> >
> > I could use some good sound serious advise on what types of specs to ask
> > for: processor speed (duals?), ram, video ram. I find it hard to
> > predict what will still be a suitable machine 2 years from now because
> > that will probably be about the time that I upgrade the Autodesk
> > software, and who knows what demands they'll have built into it by then.
> >
> > I've always heard that a person should by as much as they can afford.
> > Should I take that stance? I'm not too worried about the cost, I'll let
> > management battle that out. I just want to make sure my needs are met
> > as best as possible. If that comes true, I think the economics will
> > fall into place too.
> >
> > If someone does make suggestions to me, could you give a simple
> > explanation of why you recommend what you do? It will help me explain
> > my position when I make my submission.
> >
> > Thank you in advance,
> >
> > Gary Vandawalker
> > USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
> > Syracuse, NY

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