The Five Minute Hardware Buyer’s List [Advanced Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices book excerpt]

Howdy folks – I am the co-author and publisher of the advanced SBS 2003 book and I like holding virtual book readings. So – here is a hardware passage.

The Five-Minute Workstation Buyer’s Guide

The subject of workstation configuration is outside the realm of SBS 2003 and as a result, client systems don’t receive their due attention. However, it would be a shame to do a stellar job of deploying SBS only to realize poor overall performance due to bottlenecked workstation hardware.

In most instances, the systems connecting to your SBS server won’t be nearly as powerful as the server itself. All the same, evaluate the requirements of each machine in a small business environment to determine where you can save money and where you should spend it. For example, if you have a CAD artist who could use a professional graphics adapter, plenty of RAM, and the best processor available, spend extra money there and cut back on other, less critical workstations.

A simple baseline for inexpensive hardware that will resist aging for a couple of years is an Intel Pentium 4 2.4 GHz processor, 256 MB of RAM (I’d be more


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likely to say 512 MB if you are concerned about running demanding software), an inexpensive discrete graphics card (which will generally deliver better image quality than an integrated processor), 80 GB Serial ATA hard drives, CD-RW drives (they’re so inexpensive), USB 2.0 connectivity, a NIC capable of at least 100 Mbps (wireless is optional), a surge protector, and 17″ CRT monitors.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to a true graphics or an engineering workstation, but you’d probably be fine with at least a 3 GHz Pentium 4 or Athlon 64 3000+, 1 GB of RAM, an NVIDIA Quadro FX 1300 or so, an 80 GB system drive, and a 200 GB drive for storing projects. Complement the workstation hardware with an appropriate display, especially if the system will be running some sort of high-end application.


Harry Brelsford, CEO at SMB Nation (

MBA, MCSE, CNE, CLSE, CNP, MCP, MCT, SBSC (Microsoft Small Business Specialist)

PS – did you know my Windows Small Business Server 2008 (SBS 2008) book is almost here? Yes!


1 Comment

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One response to “The Five Minute Hardware Buyer’s List [Advanced Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices book excerpt]

  1. hii…… thank’s your info..

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