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Work PCs and their CPUs - are they mostly rubbish?

escrow4

Diamond Member
Feb 4, 2013
3,331
112
106
Working on the side in pubs and without fail the POS (point of service ahem) is running outdated crap. Its astonishing. You have a queue of drunks wanting some delicious liquor and I can't serve you because the E1500 or E3200 just shit itself again and it will take 9 minutes to restart. A 2006/2007 era core running Windows 7 is just shocking plus of course you have a full office suite lurking and IEx (shudder).

I have worked on locked i5 boxes which are crippled by the lack of an SSD, but those touchscreens. So so bad. Anyone working on old crap?
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
45,117
3,935
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Yeah, most of those POS machines are... a real POS. No doubt that they could be probably upgraded and sped up, but chances are, they were built and assembled by one company, and sold to another company, the "integrator", that sells / leases them to bars / pubs / and the like.

I'm curious why they would need to be re-started so often. It's not like they're fighter jets, lol.

And I would be surprised if they weren't using "industrial SSDs" already. I have a pile of 'em, 16GB in size, they were like $9 ea., came out of some kind of casino machine, running a special version of Windows 7, designed for skee-ball or something that dispensed tickets. Those SSDs are SLOW. At least, I would prefer to use one of my 160GB short-stroked WD Blue HDDs, in most cases. Write speeds of 20MB/sec. on those SSDs. Horrible. Read is OK, though. I suppose those drives would work for Kiosk-like applications, like a POS terminal.
 

Insert_Nickname

Diamond Member
May 6, 2012
3,640
398
126
Working on the side in pubs and without fail the POS (point of service ahem) is running outdated crap. Its astonishing. You have a queue of drunks wanting some delicious liquor and I can't serve you because the E1500 or E3200 just shit itself again and it will take 9 minutes to restart. A 2006/2007 era core running Windows 7 is just shocking plus of course you have a full office suite lurking and IEx (shudder).
Those C2D's are fast compared to Atom N270's. Yes. They're still in use... :(

Half-hour start-up times are common with those.
 

nathanddrews

Graphics Cards, CPU Moderator
Super Moderator
Aug 9, 2016
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Sometimes all it takes is a well-reasoned argument to fix the problem. Last year, my IT department upgraded my workstation from a Core 2 Duo to a newish i5-6600 (non-K), but then tried to get away with 32-bit Windows 7, a single 4GB RAM stick, and a spinning HDD. Even when you think you're getting something great, some bean counter still manages to crush all your dreams. So all I did was time a couple different processes on the newish computer against my home computer and log all the delays/pauses/waiting and presented my management with a monetary value of the time lost by not having 64-bit OS, SSD, and more RAM. It was something ridiculous, like $300 dollars in upgrades equated to gaining $16,000 of time over 7 years (time between upgrades). I got the upgrades a week later. The bottom line is the bottom line.
 

Bouowmx

Senior member
Nov 13, 2016
903
334
116
I've had a good experience with computers in government: Intel Core i5 and i7 4-core. I also have a Dell Precision T1600 with Intel Xeon E3-1245 from Ebay, with listing claiming computer to be recycled from government. I've also had bad experiences: Intel Core 2 Duo and ATI Radeon X1300.
 

dorion

Senior member
Jun 12, 2006
255
0
76
I used a 2.4GHz Pentium 4 and 512MB of DDR with Windows 10 for about two months at a recent job until I took a day to install Linux. Both Windows and Linux had lots of optimizations, "borrowed" the bosses thumbdrive for Readyboost, and I was using E4rat on Linux along with half a dozen other tweaks I dredged up from articles written around the same time as my Pentium 4 was manufactured. I used the fossil for over a year until one day a update took out my graphics long enough that the boss went and bought a new tower from BestBuy.
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
45,117
3,935
126
I used a 2.4GHz Pentium 4 and 512MB of DDR with Windows 10 for about two months at a recent job until I took a day to install Linux. Both Windows and Linux had lots of optimizations, "borrowed" the bosses thumbdrive for Readyboost, and I was using E4rat on Linux along with half a dozen other tweaks I dredged up from articles written around the same time as my Pentium 4 was manufactured. I used the fossil for over a year until one day a update took out my graphics long enough that the boss went and bought a new tower from BestBuy.
How "recent" was this job. I can't fathom any for-profit business, that wouldn't have Core2(Quad) boxes, if not Sandy i5's, at a minimum.

Was this a struggling non-profit / shelter? Public housing? Entry-level data-entry job that paid minimum wage (so that they didn't care how much of the employee's time the PC wasted)?

Edit: Or the big one, "bosses don't care". ?

At least it wasn't an Atom-based PC, but that... could have been an improvement, of sorts. Same level of performance, but much less power usage.
 

majord

Senior member
Jul 26, 2015
322
260
136
I think theres some wild over exageration when it comes to blaming the CPU here though. An e3200 on 7 at least should be capable of such mundane duties providing you surround it with enough RAM and ofc an SSD
 
Oct 19, 2007
76
16
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Work gave me a new laptop last June (2016). It came with i7-6600U, 16GB RAM, 250GB SSD Hard Drive, docking station with dual wide-screen monitors (1680x1050). Over a year later, I'm still quite happy with the setup. They expect about 4 years between replacements here now.

What does your employer give you to use?
 

nathanddrews

Graphics Cards, CPU Moderator
Super Moderator
Aug 9, 2016
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I think theres some wild over exageration when it comes to blaming the CPU here though. An e3200 on 7 at least should be capable of such mundane duties providing you surround it with enough RAM and ofc an SSD
More RAM and an SSD doesn't help if the computer is running a suite of 10 unoptimized security/monitoring/custom applications at once. There's no compute leftover for the actual tasks if your CPU is at 70% load at "idle". A lot of those custom applications wind up having memory leaks or will crash and reload another instance until the system freezes. Throw in a couple Windows Updates and watch smoke come out the sides...
 
Jun 19, 2004
23,643
1,254
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Healthcare has the worst computing environment on the planet followed by foodservice. It's rarely the hardware, the software is to blame. The vast majority of healthcare computing is built atop accounting software and foodservice software is built atop manufacturing software. Neither suits the intended purpose.
 
Apr 20, 2008
10,142
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I was working at Target as late as 2010. The POS machines were Pentium 2 233mhz 32/64MB ram running Windows XP Enterprise. Absolutely garbage machines for it's time. I would have software that would run a very simple script on each POS and it'd take FOREVER to get back to me. No wonder why they had a serious breach shortly afterwards.

Edit: After thinking about it, their extremely outdated infrastructure at the time likely delayed any hack because it was so overloaded in the first place.
 

AMD64Blondie

Golden Member
Apr 20, 2013
1,421
97
91
Don't even get me started ranting about the old Dell PCs at Portland State University.

(I'm in the mail room.) This thing is running a Core 2 Duo.. probably 1 GB of memory,some slow hard drive,and Windows 7 Enterprise.

Painful to use.

I'll see if I can get the basic specs when I get to work today.
 

Torn Mind

Diamond Member
Nov 25, 2012
3,280
66
91
I actually found a trashed POS machine near a clothes donation drop. Found out it had a Pentium 4 2.4 GHz and it cost quite a pretty penny back when it was a new device (as in over 3000 dollars for sure).
 

Torn Mind

Diamond Member
Nov 25, 2012
3,280
66
91
Sometimes all it takes is a well-reasoned argument to fix the problem. Last year, my IT department upgraded my workstation from a Core 2 Duo to a newish i5-6600 (non-K), but then tried to get away with 32-bit Windows 7, a single 4GB RAM stick, and a spinning HDD. Even when you think you're getting something great, some bean counter still manages to crush all your dreams. So all I did was time a couple different processes on the newish computer against my home computer and log all the delays/pauses/waiting and presented my management with a monetary value of the time lost by not having 64-bit OS, SSD, and more RAM. It was something ridiculous, like $300 dollars in upgrades equated to gaining $16,000 of time over 7 years (time between upgrades). I got the upgrades a week later. The bottom line is the bottom line.
Most bean counters do not have any prior experience in a job that requires something to minimize wasting time before landing their cozy bean counting office job with A/C and time to Facebook when there's a chance. Jobs that put you on the clock such that every minute you waste is a chunk of $$$ lost and you need tools to minimize that time are not ever-present. It's not like everyone is gonna be a pizza delivery driver, construction worker, or auto mechanic. Yeah, they might have worked in the college bookstore, McDonalds, a receptionist, etc, while they got their college education, but those jobs don't hammer home that "time IS money" and that sometimes the money you spend to SAVE TIME can lead to more revenue in return.

I deliver pizzas. The monitors they use at Dominos lack sufficient contrast when looking up their proprietary GPS software where I live; they would be well-served to upgrade to an IPS screen for that alone. Their GPS/time counting software is buggy and sometimes mark the wrong spot, way off from where the actual property actually is. GPS in general do not "calculate" whether a property actually exists. Never mind that their VOIP phone is terribly unclear at times, which means botched addresses plenty of times.

Likewise, mechanics spend big money on expensive tools rather than buy cheap stuff most of the time. The Harbor Freight "Pittsburgh" wrenches or Husky, etc, are not their choice tools? Why? Because these cheap tools are more likely to create situations where their job is slowed down, outright halted, and sometimes might injure them. The expensive wrenches are THINNER, so there less chance that the wrench's box end is simply TOO FAT to remove a bolt. The expensive wrenches are built to tighter tolerances, which means less chance of a rounded bolt; and those are also time killers.

In home repair and construction, it's simple. You are paid by the contract and the sooner you finish up the job, the sooner you can take the next job. More jobs is one component of increasing revenues.
 

Smoblikat

Diamond Member
Nov 19, 2011
5,185
107
106
Sometimes all it takes is a well-reasoned argument to fix the problem. Last year, my IT department upgraded my workstation from a Core 2 Duo to a newish i5-6600 (non-K), but then tried to get away with 32-bit Windows 7, a single 4GB RAM stick, and a spinning HDD. Even when you think you're getting something great, some bean counter still manages to crush all your dreams. So all I did was time a couple different processes on the newish computer against my home computer and log all the delays/pauses/waiting and presented my management with a monetary value of the time lost by not having 64-bit OS, SSD, and more RAM. It was something ridiculous, like $300 dollars in upgrades equated to gaining $16,000 of time over 7 years (time between upgrades). I got the upgrades a week later. The bottom line is the bottom line.
Smart, very very smart. Im an IT guy, and if I could give everyone an SSD I totally would. 64-bit OS and 4+ gb RAM is also the minimum I give everyone, I got my boss to start only buying I5/8gb/SSD systems going forwards now.
 

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