Work PC configuration


Standard Member
Not sure if this is the right forum but if not then I'm sure somebody will let me know.

Anyway, I'm setting up a business and wants to buy probably a Dell Optiplex. However, there are too many options (processor, RAM, hard drive size etc. etc.). I don't want make an overkill so any help is appreciated.

This is what I need it for:
- Windows XP
- Microsoft Office Professional
- Sage Instant Accounts
- Networked with two other PCs
- Some other minor applications
- What have I missed

What would be a reasonable spec?

Thank you in advance for your input.



Established Member
If you are just sticking to the normal work stuff i.e. MS Office, Internet, EMail etc and not planning on any memory/processor intensive stuff (video editing, games, processing large digital images etc) then the basic office offerings from Dell will be ok. Would suggest 512mb mem, 80gb disk (unless planning to create loads of docs - disk space is cheap so up to you), onboard graphics (I assume you don't need 2 monitors), onboard sound, usb2 ports (std these days), DVD/CD drive depending on whether you need to write DVDs (most office machines write CDs but just read DVDs), network connection (card or mobo) plus mouse and keyboard (preferably optical and wireless).

Probably cost around £400-500 from Dell. Maybe cheaper elsewhere but Dell gives you peace of mind re: warranty and returns.

How about a Dimension ?



Established Member
Hi :hiya:

For that sort of work any entry-level PC will be more than sufficient in terms of CPU power. You'd want 512m of RAM and possibly 1Gb if you want to run, say, Word and Excel at the same time, given the price I'd go for 1Gb.

Likely also any entry-level PC will have more than enough disk space, but say 80Gb .. really just a guess, 40Gb is probably okay but again prices are cheap so the extra won't be a lot and you cant' have too much disk space. :)

To network to other PCs you'll probably want a simple 'hub', ie. you plug each PC into it and it makes the connections between them. If the network is to connect to the Internet then you'll need a 'router' .. note that this will also play the role of a 'hub' so you'll have a local network (LAN) of your 3 PCs and a connection to the Internet (wide area network, aka WAN), it'll also be a firewall which is pretty mandatory these days.

The Dude

Distinguished Member

Something like an Optiplex GX270 / 280 would be ideal for what you need.
Nice and cheap, very quiet, and VERY reliable.. :smashin:

EDIT: Oops, they call it the 170L these days... you can get one with 512MB and a good processor (2.8 P4) for £440...

Another good choice if you can find them cheap enough is the HP Evo D530..


One word of advice: stick with good old fashioned wired keyboard and mouse. If you go wireless you could end up controlling the PC next to you!



Prominent Member
I'd probably put forward the following HP Compaqs as options:

D510 Small Form Factor (1.8-2.53Ghz, 20Gb or 40Gb models available)
Reliable workhorse.
D530 Small Form Factor Next model on, with processors from about 2.8Ghz and HDD options from 40Gb to 80Gb
Dc7100 Small Form Factor. Next model on from around the 3Ghz mark. Can be had for £160-£180 for a decent 3Ghz example, just picked up one myself with 1Gb memory but only 40Gb SATA HDD. SOme of these are still under warranty of the 3yr warranty they come with with the manufacturer

All these models are good performers and extremely reliable. They're the most common systems used by businesses accross the country.

Hope that helps. If it's any help I deal with these models on a daily basis, along with their equivalents from Dell (Optiplex), IBM (Netvista, Thinkcentre), Fujitsu (Esprimo) etc.

I picked HP Compaq DC7100 as my preferred desktop.


Edit: Wow. Didn't check the date of this thread, just found in a search <!>

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