Hardware woes

As a Product Manager for a scientific instrument, part of our system is a “controller”.  This is nothing more than asimple PC that can run our software and doesn’t have any conflicts with our system.

Recently, the system we used went end of sales (Dell Precision T3500 workstation). I decided to look at the specs and see if there was anything I could change to meet our performance requirement, and, to possibly save a few bucks.  The Precision line is hardly inexpensive.

Turns out that we are using Intel Xeon E5 series CPU’s.  A fine CPU, but then we hamstring it with 4G ram, and Win7 x86.  Me thinks we can go to a high end Core i5 (quad core), bump it to 8G ram, and run Win7 x64.  Yes that would work, but it only saves me $45.00.  Sigh, that is a lot of qualification headache for so little money.

So, I will likely stick with the higher spec, the Xeon processor, up the memory (it is practically free) and drop Win7 x64 on it and move on.

For the record, these systems are running ~ $1500.  A lot more than their Vostro consumer targeted system.  But there is a reason for it.  We build systems. We demand some stability. That means that the computer we buy next month, 6 months from now, and in a year are the same. You just can’t get that with the consumer grade systems.  There the life cycle are measured in the low single digits of months.

But, I am in a good state with this instrument.  At least it isn’t like my other product that requires 2 full size PCI slots (not PCI-e, or PCI-x).  Groan.

Leave a Comment