I haven't talked about desktop hardware for a good while. Years ago we bought several hundred HP t5725 workstations. They're still production and working great, and are projected to run their full 10 year duty cycle. HP replaced the t5725 with the t5745 model which offered better performance and 1Gb networking. We have purchased around 50 of the t5745s and given them to users that need faster performance; such as those that use Google Earth and large PDF files. They too should provide a 10 year duty cycle.
In recent months the t5745 was discontinued and replaced with the t610. Specs are here. In short, it's an AMD Dual-Core T56N APU with Radeon HD 6320 Graphics 1.65 GHz running the Ubuntu operating system. We purchased one device for around $400 dollars. My first inclination of course was to open it up and look under the hood. Pictures and comments are below.
In the coming weeks, I'm going to install our custom modifications into the base OS and get it working the same as the earlier models.
I've spoken about thin clients many times, but wanted to mention again how incredibly cost effective and stable they are to run for enterprise use. A small City of 10 employees would not reap benefits, but as you get into the hundreds of users, the savings are clear. We have about 560 of them deployed around various City buildings. $400 purchase price with a 10 year duty cycle yields $40 per year (hardware only) desktop costs. When one of them dies, the users have nothing saved locally and our support group just walks down and replaces the hardware. The user is back up again in just a few minutes with no loss of productivity.
Here is the inside of the t610, the heat from the CPU is moved away with copper and vents. No moving parts, no fans. The blue module in the upper left hand corner is the flash "hard drive". These can be 1GB or 2GB and are cheap and easily upgraded.
Lots of ports on the front, nice design.
More ports and some legacy connections on the back. All of our hardware should connect and work.
The entire case has no screws and pops apart with just clips. Here it is back together.