Recommended Computer Configurations

Recommended Computer Configurations

The Computer and Network Services department recommends purchasing the newest computer technology that you can afford with your budget.  Buying the newest equipment possible will guarantee that you will get more use out of it before it becomes obsolete.  It will also continue to run the applications and services required by your library to serve your patrons.

All new computers will be ordered with the latest Microsoft operating system available via NY State Contract.  As of May 2016, Microsoft Windows 10 is the current operating system available.

The current recommended OptiPlex computer is the 7440 All-in-One (AiO), which will work for Circulation and Tech Services, Public Internet, and PowerPAC.

The computers listed here are the baseline

The current 7440 AiO model no longer includes a DVD drive as a standard feature. There are several upgrades to the base model that are offered, including a DVD drive, wireless and Bluetooth, additional memory, larger or multiple hard drives, faster Intel processors, and a touchscreen. The base configuration listed below should meet the demands of your library for at least five years, which is the length of the warranty.

The configuration is based on the current NY State Aggregate Buy contract with Dell and was arrived at by balancing cost, performance, quality of design and warranty, and technical support.

Prices of computers and components fluctuate quite frequently and prices drop often as newer technology comes on the market.  Software upgrades are frequent in some areas and yearly in others.  As soon as a recommendation like this is made, assume that something newer has already been released.
Dell OptiPlex 7440 AiO

Circulation/Tech Services/Public Internet/PowerPAC Configuration

OptiPlex 7440 All-in-One

OptiPlex 7440 All-in-One Intel Core i5-6500 (3.2GHz)
Operating System(s) Windows® 10 Professional 64-bit
Memory 8GB DDR4
Video Card Intel Integrated Graphics
Keyboard Dell KB216 Multi-Media Keyboard
Mouse Dell MS116 USB Optical Mouse
Hard Drive 500GB 2.5″ 7200RPM 
Removable Media None
Audio Solutions Integrated Digital Audio
Network Adapters (NICs) Intel® 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet
Speakers  Integrated internal
Monitor 23.8″ Full-HD Non-touch w/ Camera
Hardware Support Services 5 Year Limited Warranty plus 5 year NBD On-Site service
Parallel Port Adapter * None
   
Price $884.75


*
 Parallel ports are no longer standard on desktops and are not included on All-in-One computers. Ithaca 610 model receipt printers are listed by the manufacturer as not being compatible with Windows 10. Any legacy Ithaca 610 USB or Parallel printers should be targeted for replacement. The recommended replacement is the Star Micronics TSP743IIU. Please see the Peripherals page for model and pricing information.

 

Upgrade/Downgrade Options

As mentioned in the notes above, there are several options available with the OptiPlex 7440 that either increase or decrease the price depending on the requirements of the library.

Optional Upgrades

Hard Drive (price addition: $46 – $312)
For Public Internet, PowerPAC and other computers, the 500GB hard drive should be sufficient.  For staff computers that need additional storage space Dell offers larger hard drives or a secondary drive. Dell also now offers Solid State Drives in 128GB and 256GB sizes which can boost the performance of the computer.
Video Card (price addition: $70 – $100)
The video card included in the base configuration of the OptiPlex 7440 will work well for staff and public computers.  If there is a need to build a high-end graphics workstation, Dell offers an AMD R7 A370 2GB card for $75.
Monitor (price addition: various)
As mentioned above, the base configuration includes a 23.8″ Widescreen monitor.  A secondary monitor can be added or the built-in monitor can be upgraded. Secondary monitors have a wide range of pricing depending on size. Monitor upgrades include a Touch Display for $166 or upgrade to 4K for $252 – $417 depending if it’s a touchscreen or not.
Processor (price addition: various)
Intel’s Core i5-6500 processor included with this configuration is the entry level processor.  Upgrading the processor will add speed to the system and increase the life expectancy of the computer as it will be able to adapt to newer applications.  Prices range from $63 to $438 to upgrade to a faster i5 processor or move to an i7-6700.
Memory (price addition: various)
Adding memory, as with the processor, will increase speed of the computer and add to the end user experience.  Currently, 8GB is the base level for Windows 10 on the OptiPlex All-in-Ones. Doubling the memory to 16GB would add $130 to the cost while quadrupling it to 32GB would add $245.

Security Software

With the move to Microsoft Windows 7, Public and PowerPac computers have been using the Faronics Deep Freeze disk protection software. That software continues to be the go-to package for Windows 10 and future releases.

When we first moved from the free Microsoft SteadyState software on Windows XP, we were recommending two packages from Faronics; WINSelect and Deep Freeze.  WINSelect uses policies to keep patrons from making changes to the configuration of Windows, including but not limited to, changing the default homepage in Internet Explorer, adding a desktop background image or deleting printers.

Deep Freeze locks the hard drive and eliminates any changes made to the computer the next time it’s rebooted.  This offers protection against virus, malware and adware applications and undoes any changes that a patron may make that isn’t disallowed by Policies.

The CNS department found that the policy settings applied by WINSelect can be duplicated in Windows without the cost of a third party software package.  As of 2012, policies to deter patrons changing settings in Windows are applied using a Microsoft tool and the purchase of WINSelect is no longer required.

Deep Freeze is no longer required for PowerPac and LibData reservation comptuers

Minimum PowerPAC Configuration

Included below is what FLLS considers to be the minimum computer configuration which will display the PowerPac catalog correctly and provide an acceptable patron experience.

If you have computers at or below this minimum you should consider replacing them.

Two items of note;

  • FLLS no longer supports Microsoft Windows XP or previous operating systems nor Internet Explorer 8.0 or older.
  • In most cases the minimum configuration is hardware that is not currently available at retail.  This configuration is given as a comparison for computer systems you already have in your libraries or if equipment is being offered as a donation.
Intel Core i3 2120 (3.3GHz)
2GB RAM
100GB Hard Drive
DVD Player
Integraged HD Graphics
17” Flat Panel
10/100/1000 Network Interface Card (NIC)
Sound Card *
Mouse
Keyboard
Speakers *
Windows 7
Symantec AntiVirus

* Sound cards and speakers are not required for PowerPAC or LibData Reservation computers.

Computers being donated to a library should meet or exceed these criteria.  If they do not, FLLS recommends not accepting them.

It’s also preferred that all computers, donated or purchased, should come with software installation disks for the operating system (Microsoft Windows) and any other applications included on the computer when it was shipped from the factory.  Having the installation disks generally means that the software is properly licensed.  If disks that include software drivers for the installed hardware are also available it would be an added benefit.

Additional Computer Types

The NY State Aggregate Buy contract that Dell has with New York State includes laptop and All-in-One computers.

Laptops

Laptops have been offered with the annual bulk computer purchase program and we will provide quotes anytime a library has a use for a laptop computer.  The configurations and pricing fluctuate more frequently on laptops so a recommended configuration has not been included on this page.  As with the desktops, the CNS department always recommends purchasing the best hardware for your budget.

All-in-One

Starting in 2014, Dell offered All-in-One computers as part of the Aggregate Buy contract.  The model numbers are similar to the desktops and have similar processors, memory and hard drive options available to them. The main difference is that the computer is housed in the back of the monitor and is not a separate piece of equipment.  The monitor is a standard 23″ widescreen but a touch enabled version is available. The All-in-One computers have a smaller footprint than the desktop/monitor configurations, use fewer cables and can be a good solution for a library with limited space.  As long as Dell offers the All-in-One computers on the Aggregate Buy contract, they will be offered on the bulk purchase order form.

Tablets

Beginning in 2015, the CNS department will offer recommendations on tablet computers. While Dell offers Microsoft Windows tablets, none are currently available on the Aggregate Buy contract.  Recommendations for iPad models and Android-based tablets will also be made on request. 

Last Updated: 5/15/2017