Native Technology, Inc.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING A SMALL BUSINESS COMPUTER
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WHAT DO YOU NEED THE SMALL BUSINESS COMPUTER TO DO?
Most small businesses don’t need high-end graphics cards, surround sound, DVD drives and other “necessities” of a high-end home computer. What your business does need, is a solid, reliable computer system.
Which system is right for your business? The answer often depends on the nature of your business activities. If your business involves graphics, video editing or seminar presentations, this will require a much different machine than the home based office with no employees. If the computer system will have sensitive financial data or other mission critical information stored on it, consider mirrored harddrives or raid drives. (Harddrives do fail…) And regardless of the exact configuration of you small business computer, ALWAYS include a proper firewall, anti virus and data backup system.
DOES YOUR BUSINESS REQUIRE NETWORKING?
A network lets you share files and office resources such as printers, high speed internet access and scanners between multiple users. Even a very small office with two or three computers can often benefit from having a network installed.
If you office requires a network, each computer will need a network card (10/100 or Gigabit) and computer cabling to connect the computers to one another. Alternatively, you may want to consider wireless networking. Wireless has made great strides in recent years but still suffers from interference issues and sometimes it can be difficult to set get a strong, reliable wireless signal (resulting in wireless “dead spots”) Typically, we install dual networks that provide both wireless and wired systems for our clients. This allows employees or business visitors with laptop computers to easily access network resources or the Internet.
HARD DRIVE SPACE AND EXTERNAL STORAGE
Buy as large a harddrive that fits into your budget. With the size of office programs theses days you will need it! The small office computer will generally have a 60 to 80 Gig harddrive although we are seeing 100 to 120 Gig drives becoming more the norm. The amount of drive space you will require will largely depend on the type and amount of output the office produces. Graphics and video editing will need a ton of drive space.
External storage should include a CD or DVD burner. We are seeing DVD burners in the office become very popular do to their ability to store many gigs of data on a single disk. External storage devices should also include a portable USB drive - a thumb-sized storage device that plugs into the USB connector on your computer. These are very handy for moving files between non-networked computers and laptops.
PROCESSOR SPEED AND MEMORY
Generally, get the fastest processor that you can afford but many times it makes more sense to spend you hard earned dollars on extra memory instead. You may not even notice the slight speed increase of the faster processor but you will appreciated the extra memory when running several applications simultaneously. As a bare minimum, we recommend 256mb on all office computers regardless of your office size. Typical work desktops should have 512mb to 1 Gig and graphics intensive applications 1 Gig plus.
MONITORS AND VIDEO CARDS
We recommend a minimum of a 17-inch monitor with a dot pitch rating of .25 or better and video card of 32mb. Office computers generally do not require top of the line graphics cards. The exception will be if you are doing computer aided design (CAD) or video editing. In this case a video cards of 128mb plus is recommended. The typical small business system we install will have a 64mb video and 19-inch monitor.
Flat panel monitors are becoming more affordable every day and some employees still value a nice flat screen as an office status symbol. If desk space allows, choosing a regular monitor will save you some cash (that can be put toward upgrading processor speed and memory.) Note a 15 inch flat panel has approximately the same screen area as a 17 inch CRT.
DATA BACKUP AND POWER BACKUP SYSTEMS
Loosing your precious office data is a bad thing and should be avoided. As you may have already guessed, an office computer without the proper backup systems in place is a disaster waiting to happen.
There are many data backup systems available and the one you pick will depend on the amount of data your small business produces. These include network storage devices, external USB harddrives, CD/DVD writers and even portable USB drives. Remember to consider power backup systems to enable you to save data if the electricity goes off.
Sample Recommended Small Business System
2.8GHz or better Pentium 4 or AMD processor
60GB ultra ATA hard drive (larger for multimedia applications)
52x CD-ROM drive or CD / DVD burner combo
64mb video graphics
17-inch monitor or larger with 25dpi resolution or better
4 USB connectors
10/100 or Gigabit network card
High quality Internet style keyboard
Microsoft or Logitech mouse with scrolling wheel
Windows XP Professional
If you have questions or would like a recommendations based on your small business needs, please feel free to contact us. Dan@nativetechnologyinc.com or Phone 214-215-1764
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NATIVE TECHNOLOGY, INC. IS FOCUSED ON SERVING THE TECHNOLOGY NEEDS OF SMALL AND HOME BASED BUSINESSES. WE OFFER FULL SERVICE WEB DEVELOPMENT INCLUDING WEB SITE DESIGN & PROMOTION, NETWORKING, COMPUTER SYSTEM DESIGN, MAINTENANCE AND IMPLEMENTATION.
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