The COE CTS team is here to assist with academic and research computation purchases, including workstations, compute nodes, presentation equipment, and other peripherals. Most of our purchasing advise will be through approved vendors using Drexel’s SmartSource system, we can also help get competing quotes for large purchases. For standard workstation purchases, we try to make use of Dell’s Business Outlet site — we’re able to secure ready-to-ship systems at roughly half the price of ordering it through Dell’s retail side.
Main System Performance Differentiator – Hard Drive Speed
If you are purchasing a new system, please make sure you buy one with a solid-state drive. These drives are an order of magnitude faster than the spinning drives they replace, and are generally more resistant to failure. We have recently repurposed approximately 100 decommissioned classroom workstations (Core 2 Duo processors with ~4GB of RAM, 8+ years old), and have found that by simply replacing the existing hard drives with solid-state drives, the workstations perform quite well for all situations with low-computational needs (web browsing, document editing, etc).