Best Hardware for business

Posted on 2006-06-06
Last Modified: 2010-04-26
Hi I am starting a new software development business and i was wondering does anyone knwo what is the best way to go do i purchase it all from Dell or do I buy from a store new or used or do I build my own.

Question by:jvoros1
    LVL 15

    Expert Comment

    It depends how much power you need ,buying from Dell can work out more expensive than buying a no name brand from a store but you get a reputable dealer,and building your own is great if you have the time and patience to set everything up.

    Author Comment

    For a small startup that wants something that wont break down but at the same time affordable becasue we want to spend our money properly what would you do?

     I am not sure how much power we need we need hardware that can run well for developers running the .net development enviornment.

    LVL 4

    Expert Comment



    that might need massive CPU-power, lots of memmory, and a speedy hard-drive. Dell can deliver this all.

    Go to the Dell-website, print out an estimate, and visit your local supplier and present the prices to him.
    If he can deliver the products cheaper and also provide good service, also for future expansion, he might be the best choice.

    Since you're starting I'd think that price and quality are two important factors.
    Quality, you choose the stuff what you want,
    Price, let your suppliers fight about this.

    Author Comment

    Ok thank you, As for Dell i was told that thier service was not as good, do you know anything about that?
    LVL 69

    Expert Comment

    For web development, you'll want a fast processor and a fast hard drive, but you may want more if you have a team working together, such as a fast network and a database server.  Is this a group who will be sharing common code, or is it a one-man show?
    LVL 2

    Assisted Solution

    You may want to check and see what local options you have in town.  Sometimes heading right over to the computer store/company in town is the fastest way to resolve issues.  It is also useful if they can come on-site and fix a magnitude of issues.  I use to work for a local store - and we had no issues with the big manufacturers, but there's no way you can beat someone knocking on your door within the hour to take care of something....this is probably the biggest reason to look local if you do not have your own IT staff.  Secondly, you'd be supporting your local economy by purchasing services in your area.  Not that it is a MAJOR reason to consider it, but it will bring great pride as well.  And lastly - you never know where your next employees may come from (hint, hint).

    I've heard a lot of bad press on support from the major computer makers, but I've also experienced a LOT of positive from my own IT background.  However you choose, make sure you do what's right for YOUR business.
    LVL 12

    Assisted Solution

    Dell's consumer-level support leaves something to be desired at times.  If you spring for the gold-level business service (which you always should) the service is pretty terrific.  Business sales and support is the bread-and-butter of any computer organization, so that support level's always going to be higher than what you get for your 300$ Celeron box.

    If you're going to buy local, check around with other companies that have worked with your supplier.  You don't want to get custom servers from a company that's going to go out of business 3 months later.  

    If you're just buying workstations for your developers plus an in-house server then it's not such a big deal - once you have customer-facing servers is when reliability really becomes much more important than up-front cost.  

    It always comes down to a cost analysis - what is it going to cost you to get higher-quality parts and service vs. what it would cost you to lose developer time from a computer going down.  Or, in a more painful case, what it would cost you if the server died and you lost all of the work for the past week, month, quarter, etc.
    LVL 70

    Assisted Solution

    The simple answer here is there is no "best" ==> it very much depends on your specific circumstances.

    As for your question, "... do i purchase it all from Dell or do I buy from a store new or used or do I build my own. " ==>   Again, it depends on a lot of factors.   What's the scale of your business?  (are you planning on buying 5 computers, 50 computers, or 500 computers?)   What's your "comfort level" at building your own -- and will you have time to not only build them but also support them?  etc.

    In MOST cases it does not make sense to build your own.   You're in business for a specific purpose; and building and maintaining computers is probably not that reason -- so let someone who's in business to do that take care of that function.   The advice above r.e. using a local business is good => it makes sense if you have a good, solid local shop that's been in business awhile, has a good reputation, and you feel comfortable working with.   In most situations, a local business also only makes sense for a modest scale -- but you're most likely in that category (at least initially).   Otherwise, a "Dell solution" -- with the business-class warranty solutions -- is a "safe" way to go.   Note:  I am NOT a fan of Dell, but for the purposes you've described there's nothing wrong with them.   They do provide a reasonably good value; and as noted above their business-oriented service is much better than the consumer-oriented service that has IMHO deteriorated quite a bit the past few years.


    Accepted Solution

    You have three main options.

    Option A.  You can go with a big-name retailer, such as Dell.
    Pros:  Reliable, they aren't going to disappear overnight
             Support is there if you pay the money to buy it.
             Easy.  They will hold your hand to determine what you want/need

    Cons: Expensive.  This is most likely your most expensive route.
             Slow.  Most likely this will be a company you deal with through the mail.  If you need an exchange it could take days or weeks.
             Support is often scripted, offering you little help if you have a real problem and running you through hoops.
             Quality.  Depending on the company, you may be disappointed in the quality of your product

    Option B.  You can go with a local computer store
    Pros:  Support is immediate, face to face and can often be fixed same day if you go with a knowledgabe company
             Less expensive.  They should charge you less than a company like Dell would charge.
              Quality.  They will build you a system up to the standards of quality that you desire.

    Cons: They will be more expensive than building it yourself.
              They are more likely to go bottoms up and leave you high and dry
              The old addage: "If you want something done right, do it yourself" applies to this option as well as the above.

    Option C.  You can build the computers yourself, sourcing your parts through a reliable company such as
    Pros:  If you are skilled in building computers, you can fix your own problems without worrying about warranty issues.
             Cheapest way to buy, which is important for an emerging company such as yours.
             Quality.  You know what you put in the computer.

    Cons:  If something breaks, and you need a replacement, you must either RMA or use the part manufacturer's warranty, which may be slow.
              If you are not comfortable with building your own computers, or do not have the time to invest in this, it is a poor choice.
              Time sink.  This route will require more time spent on your part.  You must make a decision whether the time spent is worth it.
              Your upgrades will be cheaper in the long run with this route, if you choose your parts with upgradability in mind.

    Making an observation that you are asking the question in the first place, I would be first inclined to suggest Option B.  You will spend less than Option C, and have the support you need available to you locally.  Personally I would pursue Option C, with my background, because it would be most cost effective and I would feel in control of what my company is running on.  Sort of a peace of mind feeling.  I would suggest Option A if you were a larger company that was buying large quanities of computers, and wanted to keep minimal in-house IT.

    I hope that this answers your question, or helps direct you to your solution
    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    It doesn't really matter... totally just preference whether you want to buy from Dell or from your local computer shop. If you want to go with Dell, make sure you find a good "deal" first. Dell has specials all the time... if you can, DON'T pay full price.

    If you decide to go with the local mom and pop computer shop, that's fine too. If one of the advertises packages suits your needs, you could consider that - sometimes those are priced cheaper than if you added up all the individual components. But if you wanted to completely choose your own components, I would still consider letting the store build the computer for you. Places around here charge as little as $25 more to do that. If you really wanted to be hands on and build it yourself, by all means...

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