Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Custom Laptop For Virtual Deeds

Happy New Year folks.  I'm having a real sort out of my computer equipment, I've just finished clearing up my desk, setting new power bars onto the wall, and clearing out a load of mess from under my work area.

Part of this effort is because it was getting to be a real mess under there, part of it is because I needed to clean the machines, as they've got a years worth of skin flake dust in them.  But it is mainly because I'm going to be getting a new laptop, and this laptop is going to be a beast with an i7 processor capable of VT-d (direct device IO for virtual machines).

So, I needed to sort out my real machines which could become virtual boxes.  I may come back with some pictures of the beast of a laptop I'm going to buy later, but its a race between a completely custom machine from PCSpecialist:

Or an off the shelf machine from Dell...

I would of course love it to be a sexy thing like the new Asus Zenbook

But as I'm a mortal man with a wife to support, I can't justify over a grand for the machine.

In fact its interesting the Dell Prices, I'm going to end up specifying a really low spec DELL and then buying the parts for it from other places, their XPS 15 machine, putting 8GB of ram into it costs over £200... buying an 8GB (2x4GB) Samsung brand SODIMMs from Amazon is only £35.  So how do Dell justify the hike?  They don't....

My major stumbling block is not the cost of the machine though, its trying to ensure all the parts I buy are going to work under the Linux environment I put on, I want to base the machine on Ubuntu or even vSphere and then host virtual machines on it to do my work (hence the need for VT-d).

But Dell don't supply, or easily make available, a way to get the refund on the Microsoft License, which I don't want.  Microsoft say its up to the reseller of Windows to refund you, Dell say "not us".

Interestingly, Canonical (the maintainers and supporters of Ubuntu) taut Ubuntu Dell partnerships on their site.  When you go ask DELL however, they say "not us".

1 comment:

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