If you are considering purchasing a new workstation, here are some questions to ask yourself to ensure that you get all the features you need!

First, be sure to review the CU*BASE workstation hardware and software requirements on our best practices page: http://cuanswers.com/client_pm_bp_network.php

When purchasing any workstation, consider:
  • 32 or 64-bit Operating System?  CU*BASE and ProDOC are compatible with either operating system - but CU*Answers cannot make any guarantees about third party applications and peripheral hardware.  A 64-bit operating system is considered the standard these days, and allows for greater expansion of memory (speed), but not all programs are 64-bit compatible.  Before ordering a 64-bit workstation, confirm with your software vendors that their applications are compatible and ensure that you can find 64-bit drivers for your hardware (printers, scanners, etc.).  Many of the legacy devices listed here do not have 64-bit driver support, so be sure to review your hardware for support!
  • How much processing power is needed?  Review the workstation requirements for CU*BASE here.  If you are running additional software, you should refer to that software's documentation for its requirements.  If you are running CPU/memory intensive applications, like Photoshop, consider getting an upgraded processor and memory.
  • Does this workstation need a serial/COM port?  Some devices only interface through a serial or COM port on the workstation, especially TCDs, TCRs, and coin dispensers.  You should also look at your printers and see if any require a serial port.
  • How many USB ports do you need?  Most new peripherals, including the keyboard and mouse, use USB ports.  Many workstations come with 8 or more USB ports, but it is worth checking how many USB devices run off your workstation to ensure you are getting enough.  If the workstation itself doesn't come with enough ports, you can purchase a powered USB hub to allow for more ports.
  • What version of Microsoft Office is required?  Microsoft offers various versions of their Office suite.  Compare the versions here to ensure you are getting the programs you need: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/buy/compare-microsoft-office-products-subscription-plans-FX102898564.aspx
When purchasing a desktop, consider:
  • What size monitor is needed?  How many monitors?  Will you need two monitors?  What size is needed (17", 19" wide, 20" wide, or larger)?  Will you be viewing screens using the new L and XL sizes, which require higher resolutions?  
  • Does the workstation need a rewritable drive?  Do you need the ability to burn CDs or DVDs?
When purchasing a laptop, consider:
  • What size display?  The larger the display, the less "portable" the laptop becomes.  Standard sizes range are 13", 14", and 15" screens.
  • Does the workstation need a rewritable drive?  Do you need the ability to burn CDs or DVDs?
  • Docking station?  Do you need a docking station for your desk?
  • Carrying case?  Will you need a carrying case for the laptop?