Buyers Guide

Welcome to Dalacor's IT Buyer's Guide. Making informed IT purchasing decisions is crucial for your business. Our philosophy revolves around providing value for money, performance, reliability, simplicity, and security in IT solutions. With our expertise, we ensure that your technology investments align with your business needs and strategic goals.

Buyers Guide Menu

Servers

When looking to purchase servers, it's essential to consider factors such as processing power, RAM, storage options, and scalability. We'll guide you through choosing the right server to meet your business's specific performance and storage requirements.

Laptops

Choosing the perfect laptop involves considering factors like processor type, memory, storage capacity, and portability. We'll help you understand the options available and select a laptop that suits your needs, whether for work, travel, or entertainment.

Computers

When it comes to desktop computers, you'll want to think about factors like processor speed, memory, storage, and form factor. Our guide will assist you in finding the right desktop computer for your home or office setup.

Projectors

For projector buyers, it's crucial to consider aspects such as resolution, brightness, connectivity options, and usage scenarios. We'll walk you through the features to look for when selecting a projector that matches your presentation needs.

Projector Bulbs

Choosing the right projector bulb replacement involves factors like bulb type, lifespan, and compatibility with your projector model. Our guide will help you make an informed decision to ensure your projector stays illuminated during critical presentations.

Interactive Televisions

Interactive televisions are ideal for collaborative environments. Consider factors such as screen size, touch technology, and connectivity features when selecting an interactive TV. We'll assist you in finding the perfect interactive display for your needs.

Ipads

IPads offer versatility and mobility. Whether for work or personal use, consider factors like screen size, storage capacity, and compatibility with apps. Our guide will help you choose the right iPad model to meet your requirements.

Wireless

When setting up a wireless network, you'll want to think about factors such as wireless standards (e.g., G, N, AC), coverage area, security features, and scalability. We'll provide guidance on creating a secure and reliable wireless network for your home or business.

Servers

Buying a server involves knowing what components are inside the server to understand how server pricing works and why there is such a wide price range. You need to consider operating system, warranty period, build quality, memory, type of CPU, what type of hard drives and how many drives are installed within the server!

Choosing a CPU

The CPU is one of the main components that can considerably affect the price of the Server! Slower and older model CPU's mean that in three years time, your Server will be struggling with the workload as Windows Updates, SQL Server releases continue to demand more from the server over time! Cheaper Servers come with Dual Cores, whereas more expensive CPU's come with Quad Cores.

The clock speed is somewhat relevant in that a higher clock speed is faster than a slower clock speed, but unfortunately this only holds true for a like for like CPU! It is very common to see a higher clock speed CPU that is in reality actually slower than another CPU that has a lower Clock Speed. The reason for this is because they may have different number of cores and different L1 and L2 cache sizes! As CPU's are one of the biggest factors in prices of Servers and how the Server will perform in three to five years time, it is very important to understand the differences between CPU's to really compare two quotations!

Choosing a Hard Drive

When buying a server, one should look at what hard drives are being supplied in the server. Cheaper Servers contain Sata hard drives which have a lifespan of around five years and they get progressively slower over time. SAS hard drives are considerably more expensive but they have a longer lifespan and performance of these hard drives outperform Sata hard drives. A new technology known as SSD has become increasingly becoming popular in servers because of their speed as they are memory based. However, they are still quite expensive. Depending on size of hard drive requirements and budgets as well as what the server is used for, we would recommend SSD for most user cases. Sata is more suitable for Backup Servers or when large capacities are more important than performance. In some cases, SAS may be more suitable than SSD, but generally SSD is the future. As such, we don't generally recommend SAS anymore unless specific features offered by SAS are required. This is usually enterprise level rather than small businesses.

Another factor is how many hard drives the server has! At an absolute minimum a server should have two hard drives which are setup in a Raid mirror so that if one drive fails, you have an exact duplicate of the data on the second hard drive! Unfortunately, some companies are only interested in getting a sale and they are not interested in the safety of your data! So frequently servers are quoted with only one drive. Please note that having a duplicate hard drive ensures business continuity as the purpose of Raid is redundancy and uptime. Raid is not intended to replace a proper Backup System.

Build Quality

Like computers and laptops, the build quality of Servers does vary from Manufacturer to Manufacturer. Two servers with identical specifications could have completely different build quality - the motherboard and hard drives in particular. We only provide Servers from Manufacturers that have a reputation for high build quality to ensure your business continuity.

Server Warranty Affects Price

A lot of companies supplying quotes for a server exclude the cost of the operating system and only offer a one year warranty! This causes major dissatisfaction for customers who have been under quoted and end up having to pay more than what they were quoted. Any Server you buy should come with a five year warranty and the supplier should check what your Microsoft Licensing status is and quote for a license if necessary.

Buying a Server from Dalacor

When buying a server from Dalacor, you can be assured that you are buying a server that is correctly licensed, has a five year warranty and should last around ten years before needing to be replaced. Our Servers will cope with an increasing workload over the years, however if you do buy Sata Hard drives, we would recommend replacing the hard drives at the five year mark as they do tend to slow down over time. A much cheaper priced server may appear to be better value for money but very often is built with cheaper components which could end up being insufficient for your future needs meaning it will need to be replaced sooner.

Laptops

Buying laptops is very hard for the average customer because laptops all seem to offer the same features but differ considerably in price! So, what do you need to look for when buying laptops?

Laptop CPU

As with buying Servers, one of the main costs is the CPU! The CPU will affect the lifespan of the laptop with regards to how long you can use the laptop before it becomes too slow to be usable. For example, buying a netbook today will mean it's fast enough to when new. However, in three years time, the netbook will be virtually unusable because it will be too slow! The CPU is the main factor here. As such spending more on a faster CPU will ensure that your laptop will last longer in service! Netbooks have largely been replaced with newer technologies as they unfortunately had a very short usable lifespan due to the fact that they were so underpowered. We don't recommend Netbooks, but they are a very useful example of why skimping on the CPU for a laptop is a bad idea. See the guide for Computer CPU for guidance on what CPU to consider for a laptop.

Build Quality

One of the hidden features of more expensive laptops is the build quality. You can take two laptops - one half the price of the other but they appear to have virtually identical specifications! So, what justifies the price difference? The answer lies in the build quality of the laptop. A cheaper laptop might have hardware issues in less than two years with the external ports such as usb, hdmi or sound ports, or the dvd drive or mousepad may no longer work properly etc!

For a home laptop, a cheaper laptop is not a problem as it generally does not get the same amount of use as a work laptop especially with external ports. However, in a working environment, where one is using the laptop eight hours a day and using the ports to plug in cables, build quality of the laptop is vital to ensure that you can get on with your job! You need a business class laptop.

Docking Capability

Docking Capability of laptops is one feature of business class laptops. If you are using a laptop in the same location every day, it makes sense to use docking stations where you plug all your cables into the docking station and you simply plug the laptop into the docking station! Cheaper laptops don't have docking stations or port replicators designed for them! Docking Stations have largely moved to using Port USB-C replicators but generally the port replicators are meant to be used for specific laptops that they are designed for. So, while they could in theory be used as universal devices for any laptops, it is generally recommended to pair a port replicator with the models of laptops that they were designed for to ensure optimal performance. These will be business class laptops, not home laptops.

Choosing a Hard Drive

Again, like Servers, understanding hard drive technologies helps to understand what specifications one should be looking at buying. Laptops are sold with either Sata Hard Drives or SSD Hard drives. Depending on how your laptop is being used and where your data is being stored will be the deciding factor in what type of hard drive would best meet your needs! Since Windows 10 2004 release we have found that Sata hard drives are simply too slow. We don't recommend Sata hard drives anymore for laptops or computers as the performance of Sata hard drives for modern operating systems is too slow to be satisfactory. SSD is the only drive type you should be buying today. Given that most data is usually stored on your servers or cloud, a large hard drive is not required anymore.

Buying a Laptop from Dalacor

In terms of build quality, not all laptops are made equal. Some models and manufacturers seem to be priced similar to other manufacturers and models, yet their laptops frequently fail within 36 months with a variety of hardware issues! Knowing what manufacturers provide quality laptops and indeed any IT equipment is an area where customers should rely on the expertise of a reputable company as unfortunately many people end up with laptops that are sluggish or unreliably and invariably disappoint!

When buying a laptop from Dalacor, you can be assured that we have the expertise and knowledge to provide you with laptops that are reliable, fast, well built, will suit your working environment and will provide many years service out of your laptops! We aim to get at least six years out of the laptops we sell.

Computers

Computer CPU

The key factors when buying a computer is to consider CPU, hard drive Size and Hard Drive Type. As highlighted in laptops and Servers, the CPU is one of the key factors when considering specifications for a computer. There are generally four categories of business class CPU's. A Core i3, Core i5, Core i7 and Core i9 which is the Intel range. AMD offer a similar sort of range! We don't bother with the Celeron, Pentium or Atom ranges as the speeds of the CPU is not acceptable as is underpowered. Generally speaking, core i3's are suitable for home and business use with light use such as checking email, browsing the Internet and generally using just one or two programs at a time. If budget is a concern, then core i3's offer a good balance between price and performance.

However, a core i3 will show its age quite quickly as time goes by and given that the price difference between a core i3 and a core i5 can be very small particularly with computers, it is clear that one will get better value for money from a core i5 for a computer! This differs from a laptop where the price differential between a core i3 and a core i5 can sometimes be quite considerable! Unless one is gaming or doing intensive video editing, a core i7 or core i9 is frankly overkill for the vast majority of users! We recommend Core i3's and core i5's depending on what the computer or laptop is being used for.

Choosing a Hard Drive

As with laptops, we no longer recommend Sata hard drives anymore. Since the release of Windows 10 2004 version, we have found that Sata is simply too slow to run Windows at a satisfactory speed. SSD has dropped significantly in price such that computers with SSD are easily affordable nowadays. In addition, as most data is stored on the cloud or on your servers, a large hard drive is no longer necessary.

Buying a Computer from Dalacor

Dalacor have many years experience in sourcing and installing computers that will meet your requirements. We know what to look for when considering computers. For example, did you know that if you want to encrypt your laptop, you will need a core i5 CPU and not a core i3 CPU because otherwise you will notice a significant impact on speed. With our expertise, Dalacor can save you frustration and buyer's regret.

Projectors

There are many different types of projectors such as LCD, DLP and bulb free projectors. But for all intents and purposes, there are only five things that one should be looking at when considering buying a projector! Choosing between Short Throw and Long Throw Projectors. Choosing how many lumens (how bright) the projector should be. Choosing the resolution of the projector such as SVGA, XGA, WXGA etc. The noise and power consumption. The last consideration (but most important) is the reliability and longevity of the projector

Short Throw and Long Throw Projectors

Short Throw Projectors are the optimal and desired style of projectors. There is no glare, no issues with high ceilings and it looks much more integrated with your whiteboard. However Short Throw Projectors have two main disadvantages! One is cost and the second issue is that Short Throw Projectors are not suitable for some types of displays such as pull-down white screens.

Bulb Brightness

The brightness of a bulb needs to be considered as different rooms will require different lumens. A large hall for example will require a projector with a far brighter bulb than a small room. If the room gets a lot of sunlight this will also affect the performance of the projector in that a brighter bulb will be required to offset the sunlight.

Widescreen or Standard Resolution

There are two main resolutions that one needs to consider when buying a projector. Standard 4:3 resolution and widescreen resolution. Your laptops, computers and whiteboards as well as budget will determine the appropriate resolution required for your projector. As virtually everything has moved to widescreen, there is no benefit to standard resolution anymore. We would suggest only using 16:9 widescreen resolution these days.

Buying a Projector from Dalacor

Dalacor have many years experience in sourcing and installing projectors that will be suitable for your halls, classrooms and meeting rooms. However, while we still sell Projectors and Whiteboards, we do encourage our clients to invest in Interactive Televisions as the prices are continuing to drop and they eliminate all the issues of orientation and alignment that occurs with projectors and whiteboards. Interactive Televisions provide a far better audio visual experience.

Projector Bulbs

Original and Compatible Bulbs

One would think that buying a projector bulb would be as simple as looking up the model of the projector and then comparing the price of the bulb using the projector model to find your bulb! The reality is more complex. You get original bulbs, you get original bulbs in compatible housing and last you get compatible bulbs in compatible housing.

Some companies are honest and clearly state that the bulb that they are selling is a compatible bulb, but many Internet companies in our opinion deliberately make it extremely difficult for customers to determine whether the bulb is truly an original, has compatible housing or is 100% compatible bulb and housing!

One of the most common tactics is for these companies to state that the bulb is an original bulb and the customer assumes that the housing is original as well!

Buying compatible bulbs and compatible housings is like buying compatible ink for your printer. Great when it works, but unfortunately very frequently ruins your printer or your projector. We do not sell compatible ink or compatible bulbs/housings as we have seen too many cases where the product is of unsatisfactory quality!

Buying Projector Bulbs from Dalacor

Let Dalacor supply your projector bulb requirements and you can rest assured that you are getting the genuine article where you can rely on the quality!

Interactive Televisions

Interactive Televisions have now become mainstream and have largely replaced Projectors and Whiteboards. We recommend them as they eliminate problems such as projector glare, alignment between projector and whiteboard, noise of projectors as well as orientation issues with whiteboards. In addition, not having to clean projector filters all the time is an improvement!

The main considerations are the length of the warranty period and the build quality of the TV.

The two main problems with Interactive Televisions are the price and the fact that even the biggest TV is still smaller than the average whiteboard size!

Here at Dalacor, we provide a range of Interactive Televisions. We can even provide you with a height adjustable TV that will enable you to lower the height on demand for different users such as children versus adults.

Tablets

Computers and Laptops are the workhorse of the IT World and as such are likely to be around for a long time! However, our world has become increasingly mobile and portability of IT has become increasingly necessary. Laptops are fairly mobile and very useful if you want to do lots of office work. But tablets have a major advantage in that they are far more portable, have instant start and are well suited for multimedia usage or very specific task orientated apps. We don't believe that Ipads can replace laptops. Rather Ipads and laptops have different and complementary uses.

Apple Ipad

Ipads from Apple are also products that we support given the popularity of Apple. One of the biggest advantages of Ipads is the ease of use because virtually everyone has an Iphone or knows someone that has one! The Ipad OS is identical to the Iphone. Thus, Ipads are a good choice for users who want something easy and familiar to use.

Dalacor have expertise in sourcing your tablets and setting up the tablets and deploying them for your organisation. We can advise you on the advantages and disadvantages of different tablets as well as considerations for the different models.

As part of our IT Support Service, we highly recommend an MDM Solution where the Ipads can be centrally managed to deploy or update apps, to update the IOS and even more vitally to ensure Ipads are locked down and restricted ensuring appropriate suitable for work use.

Wireless

Wireless networking technology has evolved over the years, offering various standards with different capabilities:

  • Wireless G (802.11g): Provided speeds of up to 54 Mbps.
  • Wireless N (802.11n): Offered speeds of up to 300 Mbps.
  • Wireless AC (802.11ac): Delivered speeds of up to 1.3 Gbps.
  • Wireless AX (802.11ax), also known as Wi-Fi 6 (6th Generation): Offers even faster speeds, which can exceed 10 Gbps in ideal conditions.

It's important to note that these advertised speeds are theoretical maximums and real-world performance can be lower. Achieving a specific speed depends on several factors, including the capabilities of your devices and the wireless environment.

When designing a wireless system, two key factors to consider are capacity and coverage. Capacity refers to the number of devices that can connect simultaneously without performance degradation, while coverage defines the area where the wireless signal maintains good speeds.

It's advisable to work with a professional wireless company to design and implement your wireless system. Factors such as the type of devices in use, the size of your organization, and the intended usage patterns throughout your building can significantly impact the system's design and performance.

One common challenge in wireless networking is addressing issues like slow speeds and dropped connections, which can result from various factors, including interference and device limitations.

Wi-Fi 6 (Wireless AX) significantly improves wireless performance by offering higher speeds and enhanced efficiency, making it an excellent choice for organizations seeking top-notch wireless connectivity.

Remember that for optimal performance, it's essential that both your wireless access points and devices such as laptops support the same technology, and that the network is well-designed to meet your specific requirements.

What does it all mean?

Choosing a CPU

Core i3, Core i5, SSD, SAS, Sata, RAM, Wireless G, Wireless N, Wireless AC! What do all these terms mean and what is actually important to know and what is just marketing Puff?

Looking at Intel CPU's, one gets Atoms, Celerons, Pentium Dual Cores, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7 and Core i9. If you want to do hardcore gaming or intensive video editing a core i7 or higher or the AMD equivalent will be the only thing that you want to look at in addition to an addon graphics card. For most businesses and home users, an addon graphics card is of no benefit and a Core i3 or i5 is suitable in most cases for laptops and computers.

We do not sell any equipment with Celerons, Atoms or Pentium Dual Cores as we do not consider them to be value for money. In around three years time you will find that your laptop or computer is very sluggish with this bottom of the range CPU's. We consider them to be appropriate for home use only, if barely!

Choosing Memory

Memory is usually sold in quantities of 4GB for new computers and laptops nowadays. If you are using a 64 bit operating system we recommend at least 8GB RAM as the minimum that your computer or laptop should be using today for good performance for general business office use. For most Servers acting as a file and print server with a small SQL Database we recommend at least 16GB RAM. However, this is general recommendation as it depends entirely on what software you are using and how you use your computer. But a good basis is to have at least 8GB RAM for a new laptop or computer and at least 16GB for a Server.

Choosing a Hard Drive

Hard drives come in three main different types. Sata, SSD and SAS. SAS hard drives only relevant to Servers and are overkill for computers and laptops. SSD is the ideal hard drive choice because it is the fastest and will maintain performance far longer than a Sata hard drive which has the disadvantage of getting slower as it gets older. The cost of SSD Drives is still sufficiently high that in some cases using Sata is still preferred. Especially when capacity (very large drives) is more important than speed.

SAS hard drives are much more durable than Sata hard drives and are much faster as well which makes them suitable for Servers. However, they also have a high cost and its common to mix SAS and Sata Hard drives to achieve a balance of economy and uptime! SSD to a large extent has replaced SAS in many new Servers. SAS should now only be used when specific features such as hot swopping for mission critical servers. As such when you are buying laptops, Computers and Servers one needs to understand the differences between different hard drives to understand what is being quoted.

When buying from Dalacor, whatever your IT purchases, you can buy with confidence that you are buying products that are quality, fit for purpose, reliable and brilliant after sales service!

Why Choose Dalacor?

At Dalacor, we are committed to your success. Here's why you should choose us as your IT partner:

  • Expertise: With years of experience, we have deep knowledge of the IT landscape.
  • Consultative Approach: We work closely with you to understand your needs.
  • Customer-Centric: Your satisfaction is our priority.
  • Long-Term Partnerships: We're here for the entire IT lifecycle.

Ready to make informed IT decisions? Contact us today to start a conversation about your IT needs. Proven Results: Explore our Case Studies to see how we've helped businesses like yours.

Choosing the Right IT Solutions

When it comes to IT, it's crucial to have the right solutions in place. Our approach involves:

  • Understanding Your Needs: We take the time to learn about your unique business requirements and goals.
  • Customization: We tailor IT solutions to match your specific needs and budget, ensuring you get the most value.
  • Seamless Integration: We make sure the new technology works smoothly with your existing setup, preventing disruptions.
  • Future-Proofing: We plan for long-term growth, so your IT investments continue to serve you well.

We are well-versed in various IT product categories, including servers, laptops, network infrastructure, and more.