New vs. Used Systems
When it comes down to it, there are many criteria when it comes to buying computers for your business, and it’s not nearly as simple as it could be. There are several types of systems available, and to the average user, there isn’t much to differentiate them beyond price. Truth be told, there is a pretty dramatic difference, but not one you might notice sitting down at one for the first time.
The main types you should know about (which applies to laptops and desktop computers) are:
Consumer Grade Systems
These systems have essentially the same build as higher end computers, but they use cheap parts – yes, it has the latest processor, but the parts that surround that processor – the memory, the motherboard, the dvd, everything, are either low quality, or designed for the high quality systems, but failed quality testing. essentially, you have a system that’s designed to be disposable.
Low quality parts means that under stress, your system performance is going to degrade, and the parts are more likely to fail quickly. These systems may last, but they’re not designed to, or expected to.
A commercial quality system is built with components that are designed specifically to handle heavy use and high load. You can push it to the limits of what it’s capable of with almost no degradation in performance, and it will continue to operate long term under high stress conditions. They also design cooling systems to maximize airflow even when the system – and they place the vents in places that are less likely to be blocked. These systems typically come with a 3 or 5 year warranty, and you can expect them to last years beyond that.
With the current rate of advancement in technology, something you buy today should work well even 5 years down the road – so buying something designed to last that long is a very solid investment.
Refurbished Commercial Systems
Like the commercial systems, these are computers that have been in service for a number of years already, thanks to an excellent build quality. When the company that used them as primary systems decided to upgrade, the computers were sold to a recycling company, who vet and test them, replace faulty components, and stress test them to ensure that they’re still operating as well as they were brand new. They generally use processors and memory that are 2 or 3 generations behind the current equipment, but are still capable of running current Operating Systems and Software with no difficulty.
These systems can give you the kind of reliability you need for your business, without the costs associate with new commercial systems.
Having a consistent platform across your environment allows you to ensure that if issues do arise, you always know which parts to get to repair them (keeping a spare system, as well as some common parts on hand that will work with any system in the environment is ideal), as well, you can replace the system with an identical device that will continue to work without interruption. When you have multiple hardware and software platforms in a business environment, it complicates supporting that environment dramatically, making it much harder to keep stable and functional company wide.