I spend a large portion of my day to day developing products or working on SalesLogix customizations of one form or another. I find that I have to jump from one virtual machine to another to handle difference client requirements. I think this is pretty normal for a consultancy firm that does work for many customers. For the past 2 years I have been working on a Dual core x64 AMD machine custom machine with 4GBs of ram. For the most part it has been pretty snappy and been able to keep up with my general needs. However now that I am finding that I need to run the main OS and then one or two VM’s at a time the memory limitations were getting pretty difficult to manage.
We are also looking to add a new Jr. Developer here at BITtelligent and I wanted to ensure that our hardware choices would not be a limiter to any productivity. We use various 3rd party libraries in our solutions from Developer Express, or Infragistics, work with SQL instances, IIS Server and VS 2008. Given all of these different working parts I really wanted something with 8gb of ram or better. I have been investigating, looking for the right hardware at the right price given that I do not want a hardware purchase to impact our day to day cash flow. For example if I went to Apple hardware with decent specs I would be looking at around 5K per machine. I really wanted to go commodity hardware. Enter Future Shop. This is one of our big box electronics superstores here in Canada. The special flyer came as it always did and lo and behold, what I perceive as the first 8bg, 1TB, Quad Core machine that has entered the retail market at this level was on sale ….
I called and reserved 2 since they had none in stock. They are supposed to come on Tuesday (Monday is a holiday here). I went on a trek today to see my Grandfather, and before I got there I decided to duck into a Best Buy and one was available there for purchase. Like a kid in a candy store, I passed over my Credit Card, paid for it and headed out with anticipation for starting up the Bad Boy (Real Geek Moment).
Got it home and after about 1 1/2 hours I pretty much got my core development environment setup. Its definitely fast and copying seems somewhat surreal to me. I had a copy of SQL2005 SP2 on a WD MyBook USB drive. Its somewhat around 245 Mb. From the time I selected to copy the file to go over and create a folder and select paste, the operation was almost instantaneous.
It comes preloaded with Vista Home Premium and I was going to upgrade to ultimate but found that all of the core functionality I needed was available including IIS 7.0 support. I have decided to leave the OS alone and see how things go. So far the only downfall I have found with the machine is the maximum resolution supported which is 1920×1200 which seems somewhat strange to me as I have always used 1920×1600 but given the memory/processor and HD space I think I can overlook that.