Are Non-Branded PCs Better Than Branded Ones?

Published Date
01 - Oct - 2005
| Last Updated
01 - Oct - 2005
 
Are Non-Branded PCs Better Than Branded Ones?
Hurix is an e-learning services company that develops multimedia and Internet-based solutions
When it comes to deciding about PCs or any other infrastructure-related investment, the important factor we keep in mind is 'cost of downtime', which is very high for us. PC downtime can cost us $30 to $300 per hour depending upon the user. In a collaborative development environment, one PC down is the equivalent of failure of equipment in an assembly line… everything comes to standstill.

The second most important factor is service. Even if the PC crashes, the ability of the vendor to resolve the problem is important. Certainly, the expertise of the service engineer is always high in the case of a branded PC vendor as compared to assembled PC vendors; they don't resort to a quick-fix method. Other reasons for selecting branded PCs are reliability, employee satisfaction, consistency in performance, ease of upgrade, quality and finish of PC and total cost of ownership.

"There is a fine line between expense and investment. We believe in investments and not expense. Therefore, only the price is not a criterion"
Harish Satti, Practice Area Head, Technology, Hurix Systems

While buying branded PCs we choose from the volume leaders. The selection procedure is simple. Evaluate vendors on brand history, delivery time, service terms, configuration flexibility, usage experience, price, scope for upgradation and bundled software. We generally decide from two global brand leaders. We bought three brands in equal ratio when we started and are currently sticking to two.

At Hurix, we develop e-learning solutions which are rich in multimedia and performance. Our development team works on cutting-edge technologies, which demand a high performance PC. By high performance, we mean the latest processor and motherboard architecture, good memory and hard drive, backup options such as DVD-writers or tape devices, LAN and W-LAN options (to support collaborative network). Good low-noise keyboards, TFT monitors (desk space effectiveness), and USB ports are an added advantage.

There is a fine line between expense and investment. We believe in investments and not expense. Therefore, only the price is not a criterion. As mentioned, if you buy with the point of 'Cost of Downtime', you will never make a mistake.

The Sify iWay Cafes are a chain of broadband internet kiosks across the country
The current setup at my café has over 20 computers. In addition to this we also have a gaming zone. Considering the varied needs of each unit, a PC for surfing the Net and the other for the gaming zone, it made sense to go in for an assembled PC setup. Branded PCs do not give you the flexibility of choosing your components, and if your order is not huge then the price difference does become a major factor. The so-called low cost PCs offered by the branded PC sellers are shipped without an OS and most of them have a 128 MB RAM which is barely enough to run Windows XP. At the café the computers used for surfing are primarily Celeron-based units while those used for gaming have AMD 64-bit processors. This customisation would not have been possible if I went in for a branded PC supplier like a HP or LG.

"The 24 hour service offered by branded PC companies like Dell and HP are indeed enviable but the quality of service depends entirely on the system engineer who comes to service your unit"
Amberdeep Singh, Franchisee, Sify iWay Café

The 24 hour service offered by branded PC companies like Dell and HP are indeed enviable, but the quality of service depends entirely on the system engineer who comes to service your unit. You do run a risk of being taken for a ride by the service offered by assembled PC resellers, but then that threat is not entirely absent with branded PCs either.

The biggest draw towards assembled PCs for a small setup like ours is the high level of customisation and flexibility offered.

Also as a customer I can decide what components and Software I want and not be saddled with a pre-packaged utilities and hardware.

Assembled PCs also make upgrading single units possible and cheaper. With the price still differing by a fairly large margin it makes simple business sense to go in for assembled PCs from a reliable computer seller.



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