HST News Blog

  • The 3 Ps – Perfect Processing Power

    If you’re into your tech, you might love the process of buying a new piece of kit. You know your RAMs from your HDDs, your SSDs from your CPUs and can hook it all into your WiFi DIY-style with no need for a G&T at 10 o’clock in the morning.

    But if you’re slightly less well-versed in the intricacies of IT and all the confusing acronyms that abound, you might struggle to know what’s best for you. Firstly, that’s why you should always employ the services of a company you trust to give you the right advice. You don’t want to be sold a machine capable of powering a rocket into orbit if all you want to do is send a few emails, shop online and play solitaire with it.

    That’s why you should get to grips (at least a little bit) with what powers a computer so you know what you need and what you get. This is known as the Central Processing Unit, or CPU.

    About CPUs

    The CPU is responsible for the speed of the computer’s function when it executes the demands you place on it. For example, it determines how quickly a system will make a change you make within it. It will ensure you watch the video you click ‘play’ on. It will tell the graphics card to show the explosion that you just caused in the game you are playing.

    Larger, more complex systems/games/programs require much more power because there is more going on behind the scenes so your computer needs to do more things to execute the commands in full. This is where the type of processor you have becomes important.

    There are two factors which govern just how capable your CPU is – how many cores it has and its clock speed. The higher the number of cores, the more your computer can do at once without compromising its speed. The clock speed is to do with how many operations a processor can complete per second, measured in gigahertz (GHz) – the higher the number, the quicker the processor will be.

    So as with all computer components, there is a huge number of different CPUs available, made my different manufacturers. Perhaps the most well-known are those made by Intel with lesser well-known manufacturers being companies such as AMD.

    About AMD processors

    AMD have typically always produced affordable CPUs which were lagging behind Intel ones until the release of their Ryzen CPU in 2017. The AMD Ryzen processors have different versatility across a range of price points to make them accessible to more people. They go from the Ryzen 3 which would be a more entry level, affordable CPU, right up to the Threadripper which have a huge number of cores and is completely top-of-the-line and is probably only required for a high-end workstation that needs a lot of power. All the AMD Ryzen processors in the range feature what is known as multithreading – which basically means each core can handle two tasks at a time to improve their multitasking abilities.

    A Ryzen 5 is mid-range and is perfect for most computers that will be doing some level of gaming consistently. Here’s our favourite machine with AMD Ryzen 5 processor.

    HST Optimus Ryzen 5

    About Intel Processors

    Intel have been famous for different versions of their processors with Celeron and Pentium being household names. However, the Core range has taken over and it is these which grace most machines today. The variants range from the Core i3 right up to Core i9 but the intricacies don’t end there. Within each bracket, there is a whole load of other numbers and letters which have meanings too!

    Intel’s Core processors don’t have their equivalent to AMD’s multithreading, hyperthreading, until you get all the way up to the Core i9 level. However, when the Core i10 generation is released, all of them will include hyperthreading. That’s not to say Intel processors aren’t sufficiently powerful though – quite the opposite. A Core i7 will deliver a huge amount of capability, usually beyond what most average users would require. This is one of our favourite machines with a Core i7 processor.

    HP EliteDesk 800 G1 Intel Core i7

    Intel benefits from being compatible with more motherboards on the market and they also tend to use less power meaning they are great in laptops where battery life is a concern.

    What’s the verdict?

    There is certainly no firm right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing either the manufacturer or the capability of your CPU. All you need to do is ensure you get the right one for your needs and budget. So if you still want to ask a few questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch and one of the experts at HST will be happy to help.

  • Which Sanitiser Suits You?

    With so many hand sanitiser’s currently on the market and in demand, it can be difficult to find one that is perfect for you. HST Hygiene’s new sanitiser products suit every need whether you want to squirt or spray and buy for the office or for your handbag.  

    All of our products are WHO recommended and kill 99.9% of bacteria. Find out more about our products below and which sanitiser best suits you.

    Organic Hand Sanitiser Spray

    The cruelty free, vegan one

    Are you fed up with the strong stench of alcohol based hand sanitisers? Then try our organic, alcohol free solution. The organic hand sanitiser leaves your hands feeling silky smooth, whilst still killing 99.9% of bacteria and viruses. The non-alcohol substance is eco-friendly and vegan. This product is perfect for anybody wanting to keep safe and clean but wants to avoid harsh, chemical sanitisers that leave your skin feeling rough and dry.

    Surface Disinfectant

    The clean freak

    Don’t just sanitise your hands, sanitise your surfaces as well! This fast-drying formula is perfect for spraying over any surface to instantly kill germs and bacteria. Germs and bacteria love clinging to surfaces so it is super important to keep them clean. After all, there’s no point having clean hands when your surfaces are dirty.

    Hand Sanitiser Spray

    The ‘always in a rush’ one

    The hand sanitiser spray is perfect for those in a rush who need a quick spritz every now and then. Ideal for when you don’t have the time to moisturise gel into their hands and wait for the solution to dry. The spray is rinse free and is ideal for travelling around with you, or keeping on the desk at work if you quickly want to freshen up and sanitise your hands.

    Hand Sanitiser Gel

    The reliable one

    Use the hand sanitiser gel to reach into every nook and cranny in your hands for full sanitation. The hand sanitiser gel is great for full  coverage to sanitise your hands. Available in 50ml, 150ml, 500ml and 5 litres, this product is perfect for throwing in your handbag or bulk buying for an office to keep your employees and customers safe. You can always rely on the gel hand sanitiser to keep your hands safe and sanitised at any time.

    Bulk Buy

    The macho one

    Why have 1 hand sanitiser when you can have 24? Bulk buy is perfect for office environments and shops. With bulk buy, you lose the fear of running out and also save costs. Choose from the 10 pack, 24 pack or 5 litre bottles that are great for refills.

  • Get yourself ‘Back to School’ ready

    It barely seems possible, but the summer is drawing to a close and some normality is due to be restored when millions of students return to school. This will bring with it excitement, routine, huge change from the recent months and perhaps a little anxiety in stepping into the big wide world again. One way to overcome this, is to ensure you get yourself back to school ready in plenty of time so you feel mentally prepared to face the challenges the academic year will bring.

    So how do you do this? Obvious things such as making sure your uniform fits and is clean and ironed is one thing. But you need to consider other things such as, how will you make up for all that lost teaching time and how are you going to excel in and out of the classroom? One thing is for certain – the right tech will help. We have put a few pointers below to help ensure you are raring to go on the first day of term.

    The perfect desktop

    You’ll have spent a good chunk of this year performing your studies at home. For some, it was a walk in the park but others will have struggled. One thing that will make your life easier going forwards is having the right tech at home to ensure you can complete your studies to the best of your ability. No longer can you rely solely on exercise books, calculators and encyclopaedias. Instead, you must be able to complete tasks online, do your research, develop work for classes using software applications. Whilst some of this will be done in school, a lot will need to be done at home and if you really want a bright future, you’ll need to be IT proficient to get ahead. So invest in a machine such as the Dell OptiPlex 990 intel i5 bundle. It has everything you need from a fast processor to enough RAM and a big enough solid state drive to get your work done in a timely manner. It also includes a monitor, keyboard and mouse so you’ll be all set from the word go.

    Dell OptiPlex 990 Monitor Bundle

    Keep it clean

    Now, more than ever before, we are focused on hygiene, and rightly so. It has never been a bad idea to keep your tech clean but now it’s imperative so make sure you keep on top of yours. There is a whole range of cleaning products available which will make your life easier – just make sure you follow the instructions! Always turn your kit off and unplug it before you clean it and don’t get too much liquid near any of the internal parts. Make sure it is all dry before plugging back in again too. Make sure you clean your kit regularly to keep the germs at bay.

    Organise yourself

    Nothing will get your more back to school ready than a bit of organisation! Set your desk up at home exactly as you want it. Think about how you prefer to work and how you’d like your monitor, keyboard, notepads and desk tidies arranged. Prep your uniform or the clothes you plan to wear. Make sure you have all the stationery you want and need. Pack your bag for your first day. Clean your shoes. Make your lunch and prep your snacks. You’ll feel ready to take on the world in no time!

    Make a little time for relaxation

    We all know that ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ so whilst you might feel ready to get stuck into a load of hard work, don’t forget to make some time to relax, whatever that might look like. Whether it’s going for a run or seeing friends or spending even more time with your tech in the form of gaming – make time for it. If it is the latter, you can even buy a machine that will allow you to complete your work to a high standard but also have some fun gaming too such as this HST Optimus Ryzen 5. It has all the features you need for superior gaming including Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics, Adata Premier 8GB 2400Mhz RAM and an Asrock A320M-HDV motherboard.

    HST Optimus Ryzen 5

    Follow our tips and your back to school experience will go much better than you anticipate!

  • The benefits of bundles

    Buying a new computer can be an onerous task. From thinking about what you want to use it for, to ascertain what type of machine you need, the size, power, speed and so on, the questions for a non-expert can seem endless and a little daunting. And then there is the cost too – you can spend an absolute fortune if you really want to but the question is always how much do you need to spend?

    If you’re in the market for a new machine, this can keep the cost lower. But if you need to upgrade everything on your desk, the costs can spiral making it a much larger outlay than you might have originally wanted. One way of keeping costs in check is to bulk buy. No, we don’t mean buy ten machines to keep you going for the next century or so, but rather buy more kit in one go together. That’s where a bundle can come in. We have put together sets of equipment that we think work well together so that you can make a single purchase and get everything you need at a price you can afford.

    Full suite of equipment

    For first time buyers, those setting up a new or additional system, and those wanting to replace existing kit, you possibly want to have a fresh new set of everything. It’s highly deflating to fork out for a fancy new computer only to still have to use a sub-standard monitor, keyboard with letters wearing off and a mouse that belongs back in its house. The beauty of buying a bundle is that you can get new everything, all for not much more than the price of the computer – you’ll find many bundles are discounted to give you better value for money than if you were to buy the pieces separately. Take a look at one of our most popular sets, the Dell Optiplex 990 bundle with Intel i5 CPU, monitor, keyboard and mouse. Like most of our bundles, it’s refurbished so it’s great value for money without compromising on quality having been fully checked and tested by trained technicians.

    Dell OptiPlex 990 Monitor Bundle

    Customisability

    Sounds like a mouthful but it actually means you can get the tech you need at home or at work. As many of our bundles are refurbished, we can offer a variety of upgrades to increase the spec in accordance with your needs. Choose your RAM, HDD, SSD, graphics card and even what monitor you want plus any extras too. Everyone has different requirements for their IT so we don’t try to force something on someone that isn’t suitable – you can get exactly what you need within the budget you are happy to pay.

    Space savers

    If you’re setting your system up at home, you might not be blessed with a huge desk on which to set yourself up so an all-in-one might suit you better – onesies aren’t just for pyjamas! We have a couple of machines which have a computer built into the monitor casing such as this HP EliteOne 800 Touch Screen All-in-One 23” FHD PC. It shows that buying a bundle doesn’t mean lesser capability or inferior technology as the touch screen is up-to-date and its 4th gen processor offers superior clock performance. Its DDR3 SDRAM enables higher bandwidth or peak data rates and may achieve a transfer rate of up to 64 times the memory clock speed. If you need to use even heavier applications, and need more than the 500GB storage provided, this machine can also be upgraded so speak to us about the options available.

    HP EliteOne 800 TouchScreen All-In-One 23" FHD PC

    A bundle is a great way to get everything you need in one go to set yourself up. Whether it is for work or play – or both – you can pick one and upgrade certain bits to make it perfect for just you. You’ll find it’s a great value way to replace your older stuff or install the new kit you need. Get in touch with us today to discuss the right tech bundle for you.

  • How to be tech-safety-savvy

    Personal safety has been in particular focus in recent months thanks to the threat posed to human life we have been exposed too. We’ve all become far more conscious of not only who surrounds us, but also the effect we might have on others. We should, of course, always pay attention to our physical safety but also to our financial, electronic and psychological safety too.

    These areas are commonly breached via the technology we use daily and most likely take for granted. Our smartphones, tablets and computers if not properly secured open us up to all manner of abuse whether it be of our bank accounts or anything even more sinister. There are different types of breaches that can usually be grouped into categories – from hackers, from viruses and behavioural issues. So how do you ensure you, and your family, are kept safe in the tech world? Read on to find out…

    Protection from hackers

    For reasons only known to them, some people in this world take great pleasure in accessing others’ data and systems. It can be with the intention of stealing money but sometimes, it is simply to cause anarchy! By following these tips, you can help to protect yourself:

    • WiFi – be careful which networks you access and only ever use trusted ones. Free ones that are publicly available are great for hackers as the connection you make with it opens your device up for easy entry
    • Anti-malware software – there are specialist programs that you can install on your machine that will detect suspicious hacker-type behaviour and block their access to your machine. It doesn’t need to cost the earth and can be far cheaper than having to right the wrongs of an attack
    • Alerts – your email, social media or any other accounts that might house secure and personal data often have an ‘alert’ function to let you know when someone has tried to sign in from an unrecognised source. You should always have to verify sign in to certain types of accounts so ensure these alerts are turned on and if you get one that looks questionable, investigate it
    • Phishing – never click on a link from an email and enter any private information on the site you land on even if it seems legitimate. You need to be extremely vigilant as these sites can look and feel secure – if in doubt, call the company in question

     

    Anonymous hacker

    Protection from viruses

    A computer virus is typically described as “a piece of code which is capable of copying itself and typically has a detrimental effect, such as corrupting the system or destroying data”. And if one gets into your machine it can destroy everything so protect yourself with the following:

    • Anti-virus software – in much the same way as anti-malware works, anti-virus software is an affordable way to stop viruses getting into your system and wreaking havoc so invest in one to protect yourself
    • Updates – systems and programs release updates for a reason. That reason is usually improved functionality but it can sometimes be to correct errors or bugs that might be chinks in the armour, opening up exposure to viruses
    • Clickbait – don’t open anything from people you don’t know, whether it be an email, an attachment or even clicking on a link. All of these can result in a virus getting in and is known as ‘phishing’

     

    Protective behaviour

    Sometimes, you can have all the right software in place but then you can go ahead and allow emotional abuse or other such problems. Protect your loved ones with:

    • Privacy settings – make sure that social media accounts (and everything else) is as locked down as it can be by limiting profile views and what strangers can see
    • Monitoring tools – there are certain tools available particularly for social media that can bring your attention to negative posts or messages that might be made about your child or other loved one. These tools that also monitor outgoing, as well as incoming content, can give you the peace of mind that nothing untoward is being said by your child too
    • Parental controls – there are accessibility restrictions which can be placed on your web browser which will limit what your child is able to see, thus keeping them safer online
    • Locks – by ensuring that the lock function is turned on for all devices, including the auto-lock function and ensuring that passwords are in place (and ones that are not very easy to guess!), you will increase tech safety almost immeasurably
    • Education – teaching the less informed how to stay safe online is a key way to preventing any issues before they arise

     

    Child on tablet

    Staying safe on your tech

    These days, machines even have in built security settings that work to enhance whatever additional software you might install on them. For example, this HST Optimus i5 PC has hardware to give you better peace of mind for your on- and offline activities.

    HST Optimus i5

    This isn’t a preventative measure but backing up your work can prevent a lot of lost time and even money if you do suffer a security breach. So, just make sure you do what is needed and back everything up in a separate location to re-install if needed.

    The internet, and technology are wonderful things when used safely with the right protection in place. So follow our tips and you’ll have a much better chance at keeping your machines away from negative activity.

  • The Future of Computing – long live the PC

    Smart phones and tablets...the chances are you have at least one of these devices in your possession – you’re possibly even reading this article on one! This new era, whereby almost everyone in the UK has access to extremely sophisticated products, has led to a more informed, connected and advanced society than we could have predicted. And when the iPad was unveiled back in 2010, some thought it would mark the death of the PC. But whilst tablets and smart phones have absolutely grown in popularity since their launch, they haven’t replaced the traditional computers in the way some experts believed they would.

    What made matters worse, even Microsoft caused problems for the PC world. As most of us know, Windows is one of the most popular operating systems for a PC (both desktop AND laptop so Microsoft’s dominance remains. However, they nearly came a cropper with the release of Windows 8 which included touch screen functionality. Touch screens are the way the world is going, so what was the problem with that? Simply put, at the point of release, most PC users didn’t have the tech that necessitated the implementation of a touchscreen-friendly operating system. Even today, most desktop and laptop users don’t have touchscreens so it really shouldn’t form the core of a big product release in that way. Compatibility, yes. Monopoly, no.

    So in the face of all the adversity, with the world always in our hands at the touch of a screen, how has the humble PC survived?

    Technological advancements

    PC’s caught up. They didn’t rest on their laurels and soon the selling points of tablets were being implemented, particularly in laptops. Thinner models, lighter weight ones which could be easily transported and used for browsing whilst watching TV were released. Their battery power was improved, as were the power and the speed users needed. Touchscreens were developed and added so they had dual control where a keyboard and mouse/trackpad could still be used when preferred. Laptops were even created to have detachable screens or ones that could flip back on themselves, giving them the properties of a tablet too. But mostly, PCs in the desktop arena got better whilst remaining very reasonably priced!

    Here is our favourite: Dell OptiPlex 7010 PC Intel Core i5

    Dell OptiPlex 7010 PC Intel Core i5

    The health factor

    If you work at home even just occasionally, a desktop might be a better option. Firstly, keeping it in a set place will enable you to walk away from it when the working day is done. That mental mindset of finishing work is harder to achieve when you work at home so being able to shut the door on your ‘office’ can help you clock off. Furthermore, when setting up your working area at home, it is easier to achieve a more ergonomic set up than if you were to have a laptop on your knee, for example. The right chair, additional screens all at the right height, plus a mouse and keyboard with supports will all help to ensure your health whilst you work for hours.

    Advanced applications

    Tablets and even laptops still struggle with much more powerful requests such as video editing, graphic design and so on. Not only would the machines need to be a lot larger to house all the hardware required to power them, they would need huge batteries to support them and cooling fans too. Until technology advances much, much further, certain jobs will still need to be completed on a desktop.

    Here is our favourite workstation: Dell Precision T1700 Workstation Intel Core i7

    dell-precision-t1700

    Gaming

    In much the same way as the advanced applications section, real gaming still needs to take place on a desktop computer. The graphics, the video, the sheer size of the universes you enter, the length of time spent gaming, all of it requires so much power that a tablet or laptop can’t compete. In fact, most games aren’t even developed to be played on devices because they just can’t support them.

    So, whilst the technological landscape has changed dramatically, the PC is certainly NOT dead and isn’t likely to be in the near future. PCs have adapted and changed to stay up to date with our changing needs as users and currently are the only way to undertake certain tasks, without running into huge problems.

  • How to work from home like a boss

    We’ve all had to adapt to a very different world recently, and we have had to do it quickly. The fundamental changes we have made have been across all areas of our lives from children switching to a ‘home school’ environment, all leisure and social activities suspended and most shopping shifted to online. Most notably perhaps is the fact that many workplaces, and certainly office/computer-based roles, have had to move to the home too.

    Whilst the change took some getting used to for some, for others, the transition was relatively straightforward. Indeed, many workers and businesses themselves have seen huge benefits of people working from home. There have been improvements in work-life balance and the subsequent positive impact on mental health, cost reductions of both commuting expenses as well as for businesses and the environment has started to recover from the reduced volume of pollution.

    With all this in mind, it is no wonder that many companies are considering whether to welcome the whole workforce back to a communal office space full-time, even when it is completely safe to do so. So if you’re going to be working in a more modern way and will be spending at least part of your week working from home perhaps permanently, you need to ensure you have the right set up. Temporary measures might have been fine in the short-term, but is it time to look at things more seriously?

    Let’s take a look at what you need to ensure you’ll be as productive as possible in your home office…

    Power and performance

    There was a time when your average computer could handle an average work load. Nowadays, with so many different types of task to complete, varying complexities of systems and software and a huge range of different computers on the market, you could easily end up with the wrong one. So you need to really think about the amount of power you need.

    A standard desktop PC will handle a lot of admin tasks – internet browsing, word processing, spreadsheets, emails etc, so if that’s all you do on a day to day basis, that’s what you should buy. This is one of our most popular PCs at the moment: Lenovo ThinkCentre M92 Tiny PC i3-2120T 2.60GHz 4GB RAM 250GB HDD.

    Lenovo ThinkCentre Tiny PC

    If you do a little more in your role, while a PC might just be able to handle it, you don’t want to find yourself in the position of waiting for things to load, requests timing out or even worse, your machine crashing and you losing work. So if you handle larger amounts of data, or download multiple items, if you do any video or picture editing or if you use systems which are quite labour intensive on your processors, you might need a workstation as opposed to a PC. Find out more about them in our blog ‘The perfect computer for your needs’. But our favourite workstation is the Dell Precision Tower 3620 Workstation Intel Core i7-6700 CPU 3.40GHz 16GB RAM 250GB Hard Drive.

    Dell Precision Tower 3620 Workstation

    Flexibility

    Another key thing to think about is what you actually want from your machine. The obvious answer to this is for it to complete your work without issue, but what else do you need from it? For example, will you need to take it with you to meetings or to the office? If so, your best bet is a laptop rather than a desktop – unless you want to get both!

    The key benefit of laptops is their portability so they make for a great piece of kit if you need to be out and about. They are even useful for you to work or browse in different areas of your home if you want a change of scenery throughout the day. Just make sure you choose one that can handle what you need it to so your productivity isn’t compromised. Here’s one of our best performers and as it’s refurbished, it’s cost effective too: HP EliteBook 840 G2 Ultrabook Laptop i5-5300U 2.30GHz 4GB RAM 250GB HDD. It’s customisable so you can upgrade it to handle as much as you should need to.

    Refurbished Laptop - HP Elitebook

    It might also be the case that you want to have a little play-time after the working day is done by way of gaming. A standard PC won’t be great with modern games so make sure you get one that is set up to handle the sophisticated ones which are now released. If you want any more advice, see our blog ‘PCs and gaming PCs – what’s the difference?

    Commercial awareness

    We’ve briefly mentioned refurbished machines but it’s worth making the point – if you want more bang for your buck, a refurbished machine is probably the route you want to go down. They are all expertly tested and checked by technicians and can often be almost brand new (ex-display, for example) so you get great tech for a lower cost. They’re covered by a warranty too.

    Set up for success

    It is all well and good having the right machine, but your work environment also needs to be right or else you’ll end up with bigger problems than a slow system! Make sure you have an area which is conducive to working – quiet, with few distractions, preferably in a room with a door you can shut. At the very least you need some kind of desk-like space and you need a proper chair which seats you in the right position to avoid back issues.

    You’ll need at least one screen or monitor, maybe even two so investing in a bundle might be the right option – take a look at this one for example Dell Optiplex 7020 Intel I5-4570 3.20GHZ SFF PC Monitor Bundle and you won’t need to worry about eye strain as much!

    Dell Office Bundle

    You can even get accessories to help your wrists and hands such as ergonomic mice and keyboards. By investing just a little more, you could avoid the aches and pains you might otherwise get.

    If you need any help setting up your home office, get in touch with us at HST and we’ll be happy to advise you.

     

  • The perfect computer for your needs

    In the recent climate, there have been fewer distractions to our daily lives than ever before. Confined to our homes without the ability to socialise, shop, exercise and even go to our places of work like before has put more emphasis on what we have in our homes. Whether it’s the tech we use to communicate, to entertain ourselves or to even do our job at home, we need it to function to the best of its ability.

    Buying the right desktop computer can seem a daunting task if you don’t know much about it. Even if you do know a lot, there is so much choice out there than it can be difficult to select the right one. If you’ve read our blog ‘Desktop vs laptop – you decide’, you’ll already have made your choice on that particular matter. If you’ve chosen a desktop, do you know what type you want? For example, did you know there is the choice of a PC and a workstation? Let’s take a look at that in more depth…

    What is the difference between a desktop PC and a workstation?

    First of all, both of these machines look similar. They will literally sit on the top of your desk and will need wiring to your monitor, keyboard and mouse, connecting to your internet and of course being plugged into the mains power supply.

    But there are some intricacies of them that should not be overlooked when you are seeking a new piece of tech. The key points are:

    Cost – on the surface, it appears very much that PCs are better value for money. Whilst they are indeed lower priced (for the most part), that doesn’t necessarily make them better value. Find out why in the points below…

    Durability – a workstation actually has a higher standard of internal parts than those of a PC. The CPU, RAM, motherboard, drives, graphics card etc are all expected to have to work harder than those in a PC so they are more robust from the outset.

    Performance – a standard PC will be able to complete tasks such as browsing the internet, emails and word processing. Some can even do multiple functions at the same time but a workstation will do so much more. From data analysis to video editing and even CAD, workstations are far more powerful than PCs. In today’s demanding workplaces where we might need to access complex systems and handled large files, you might find a PC is less able to handle the demands you place on it.

    So what’s the best workstation?

    Our personal favourites are the Dell Precision Towers – we have two in stock. They are:

    1. Dell Precision Tower 3620 Workstation Intel Core i7-6700 CPU 3.40GHz 16GB RAM 250GB Hard Drive

    This impressive machine benefits from an Intel Core i7 processor which has Intel Hyper-Threading Technology which delivers two processing threads per physical core. Your tasks will therefore get completed sooner thanks to more work being done at the same time in the highly threaded application.

    It also has Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology to enable high performance whilst also ensuring the power-conservation needs of mobile systems are met.

    Data transfer has been speeded up thanks to the ADATA Premier DDR4 2400 unbuffered U-DIMM memory upgrade. The 288-pin design has an operating voltage of just 1.2 reducing power consumption by 20% too. This in addition to the multiple idle states which work to save power when the processor is not in use mean it is an environmentally friendly machine too.

    As a refurbished workstation, you can customise it with all the elements you need. You can also rest assured you’re getting great value for money and it has been fully tested and verified for quality too. Read more about it here.

    Dell Precision Tower 3620 Workstation

    1. Dell Precision Tower 3620 Workstation Intel Xeon E3-1240 V5 CPU 3.40GHz 16GB RAM 250GB Hard Drive

    The Intel Xeon processor E3-1200 v5 product family-based platforms that are found in this machine offers access to data that is incredibly fast whilst never compromising its integrity. Data is king in today’s business environment so if you invest in this machine, you will have the peace of mind that yours will be handled appropriately.

    As with the machine above, it also benefits from the ADATA Premier DDR4 2400 unbuffered U-DIMM memory upgrade with 288-pin design and is just as power-conscious too!

    Again, refurbished, you can trust this machine will handle all the data you need it to so it’s the perfect machine for heavy loads. Customise it to your tastes too! Read more about it here.

  • Technology – the world’s saviour

    As the world continues on its odd trajectory, it’s time to take stock of a few things. The changes we have undergone have been huge and it is by no mean feat that individuals and businesses alike have adapted to them with apparent ease. There has never been such a need to innovate as there has been throughout this global pandemic and innovate we have, most of it centred around technology and its use.

    We have been fortunate enough to have so much at our fingertips that we are navigating extremely difficult times much more easily than we otherwise would have. In fact, technology helps businesses and consumers even more than you might realise and will continue to do so in the future. Read on to find out how…

    Communication

    In a previous blog, we talked about ‘The importance of connectivity in today’s world’ and that has been one of our most critical coping mechanisms. We’ve been able to not only talk to our loved ones, but physically see them too thanks to video calling. We’ve been able to interact with businesses to get the supplies we need, even mental health professionals, nutrition experts, and physical trainers are offering services online, all through the power of tech.

    But beyond that, colleagues have been able to interact with one another on a daily basis. This means the needs of businesses are being met, as are the needs of employees and not to mention their customers too. Communication is absolutely vital for mental well-being but also for business success and much more besides. It will be our ability to communicate better that will help bring us out of this very difficult situation in the months and years to come.

    Not only is our software assisting this but our hardware too – having the right equipment enables you to see the person you are talking to. If you need to upgrade your kit, browse our bundles which come with a top-quality monitor too. This Dell Optiplex 7020 Intel comes with not one but two monitors and is reduced from £329 to £314.99!

    Dell Office Bundle

    Marketing

    With smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops all around us all the time, we are constantly being sold to. There are adverts on the social media channels we use, our contacts try to sell us products from their personal ventures, we have ads popping up on the games we play and on the videos we watch, sidebars on the websites we visit. And they are clever too – they know what our interests are, what we have browsed online and what we are likely to need and when. All this means the marketing we are subjected to is highly personalised and relevant, meaning we are far more likely to buy from it. To not have an online marketing presence is commercial suicide for many companies and this only looks set to become more important in the years to come.

    Research

    With said devices always being on hand, it is now easier than ever to research anything at all. Whether it’s the answer to a question we want to know or looking into our next purchase, we’ve never had access to such a huge amount of information so readily. Finding trusted sources on the other hand can be difficult, and that’s where an extra level of investigation is required. But being informed is what has changed us as consumers so again, this trend only looks set to continue growing as no one would ever choose to return to a less-informed state, especially not when it comes to buying products.

    If you request multiple pieces of information from your machine at the same time, or want to do a lot of things at once, you’ll need a fast processor such as an i7 which can be found in this refurbished Dell OptiPlex 990 PC.

    Customer relationships

    We’ve already discussed the importance of communication and how companies can better target customers with the information our systems hold. But further to that, consumers now demand even more personalisation in terms of the contact companies make with them. For example, a vegan who regularly shops at a major supermarket would not want to see special offers for meat. They are much more likely to engage with a piece of marketing about a new plant-based product launch. Technology allows businesses to hold information about consumer behaviour and certain personal details to better target them with what they might want to buy, reminders that a product they use should be about to run out, notifications of when things are on sale or even a free glass of fizz to celebrate a birthday if you visit an establishment for a meal. All of this builds better relationships and is likely to result in repeat custom.

    Technology has changed the face of consumerism as well as many other industries too. It has enabled us to get through the most recent difficult time in a more connected and more serviced way than we could have imagined 10 years ago. It will be hard to predict what future advancements we will see but the reality is that they should only continue to improve our lives and streamline businesses for the better. The future seems bright because it will be even more tech-based.

  • PCs and gaming PCs – what’s the difference?

    We’re stuck at home with much less to entertain us than ever before. We can’t go out anywhere (the supermarket doesn’t count), we can’t go on holiday, we can’t have friends and family to visit. All in all, it’s more challenging than ever to fill our days, particularly if you can’t work too.

    But whilst it’s harder than ever to be occupied, it’s actually easier than ever too, thanks to the plethora of tech we have at our disposal. From smartphones laden with social media and video calling apps, to tablets for online shopping, to our computers whether they be laptops or desktops (or both). Like many, you’re probably finding that you are using your IT more than usual and possibly more than it can handle, with gremlins regularly revealing themselves. Or perhaps you’re trying to use it in ways it hasn’t been designed for – hardcore gaming on a low-end desktop, for example.

    If you’ve tried this, you’ll no doubt have realised that it does not work as you believe it should. In fact, it might be a painful experience not to be repeated. But what is the difference between a regular PC and a gaming PC? And can their utilities be crossed over?

    The internal hardware

    Ultimately, PCs and gaming PCs have the same components. They both have a CPU (Central Processing Unit), a permanent storage space (hard drive, SSD or even cloud storage), temporary storage space (RAM or Random Access Memory) and input/output devices such as a mouse, keyboard, monitor, headset etc.

    The key difference between a PC and a gaming PC

    The main difference is that the gaming PC will have a much more powerful CPU, more RAM and permanent storage space. PLUS it will have a much more advanced video or graphics card. The reason for this is very simple – the games produced nowadays (and the ones gamers want to play) make huge demands on the internal resources of a machine.

    Have you ever noticed how lifelike the characters on, from the way they look to the way they move? Have you ever seen how involved players can get in a game with countless options available to them and an almost limitless number of scenarios to explore? Have you seen the speed at which things change and need to load? All of this would place too much strain on standard hardware elements thus necessitating the better kit of a gaming PC.

    Desktop PCs

    Brand new or refurbished, these will be great for your everyday use. From browsing the web to answering emails, using spreadsheets etc for work, newer ones can handle multiple functions even at the same time. If that’s what you’re after, choose a machine such as this HP ProDesk 600 G1 Intel Core i7-4770 CPU. It’s customisable so you can upgrade your RAM and hard drive too.

    HP ProDesk 600

    Gaming PCs

    These can also be refurbished to get more bang for your buck and there is a great range available. One of our most popular is the HST Horizon Ryzen with an AMD Ryzen 7 2700 8C/16T 3.2Ghz CPU, Corsair Vengeance LPX 8GB DDR4 3000Mhz RAM and Toshiba P300 1TB 7200rpm HDD.

    HST Horizon Ryzen

    All our gaming PCs in general have been so popular that we’ve actually sold out but don’t worry – plenty more are on their way!

    Conclusion

    Gaming PCs can be used for pretty much anything you would want a standard computer to do. They have excellent capability to process a whole load of programmes and as such will not only be capable, it will be efficient too.

    If you do want to use your machine for gaming, you will need to fork out for some upgraded pieces of kit as the more basic components won’t be able to handle what modern games throw at them. Games these days are so advanced, that the processing of them needs to match up in order to get the right gaming experience.

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