computer architecture analysis 1

You have just been hired by XYZ corporation as an IT Analyst. The programming department of your company writes high performance applications using a combination of C and x86 assembly. There are 12 programmers and they are complaining that the current systems they use are too slow. Plus they are interested in developing machine learning code based on the Tensorflow platform. Your company uses Dell to order computer systems.

The current systems are Dell Precision T3500 workstations with the following specifications

CPU: Intel Xeon E5506 @ 2.13GHz
Hard drive: 500GB SATA, 7,200 RPM
RAM: 4GB DDR3, 1066 MHz (4 slots filled)
Operating System: Genuine Windows® 7 Professional 64-Bit
Optical Drive: SATA CD-RW/DVD Combo
Graphics Card: 2x ATI FirePro V4800
Monitor: Dual monitors Model 1909WB
Software: Visual Studio 2019, Firefox, Microsoft Office

* Note: Systems are out of warranty

You are to provide an analysis of two different scenarios, an upgrade to the existing systems and configuration of a new system. You are to research and generate a report with the following sections.

  • Executive Summary
  • Requirements
  • Computing Options
    • Upgraded Configuration
    • New Hardware
  • Computer Architecture Analysis
  • Cost Analysis
  • Appendix A: Proposed system quote from Dell website
  • Appendix B: Other technical supporting documents

Requirements, is a bulleted list of all requirements

Computing options, discusses the specific hardware options for both configurations and maps to requirements

Computer Architecture Analysis – Develop an analysis comparing and contrasting the upgraded systems and a new system for the following. The expectation is that this area will reflect SIGNIFICANT research and will draw on computer architecture concepts for the following areas.

  1. Processers
  2. Operating Systems
  3. Chipset
  4. Memory
  5. Graphics
  6. Hard Drive
  7. Monitor
  8. Other relevant I/O devices

Cost Analysis comparison between the two choices including:

  1. Capital Cost
  2. Operating cost (electricity cost estimate)
  3. Estimate of maintenance cost over three year period.
  4. Other associated expenses

You are to develop a professionally formatted report. You will be graded on the quality of the report, the quality of the research of the computer architecture phase, and your overall recommendations. There is no specific page requirement, however, the expectation is that the content reflects an overall thoughtful approach. The submitted document is required to be a PDF document.

Questions Asked with response

  • For upgraded parts, should we specify the manufacturer and the model? i.e. 1TB Samsung 970 evo m.2 SSD
    • Yes
  • If we upgrade things like CPU, RAM, and/ or GPU, should we also include details (price, model, etc.) on the motherboard that will also have to be upgraded because of those changes?
    • Yes
  • Where should we get prices for upgrade parts? (amazon? newegg? manufacturer website?)
    • That’s part of what you decide and put in the report
  • Are there any limitation to what I can recommend should be upgraded? Could I technically upgrade all of the internals? Can I “upgrade” to the point that it is essentially an entire new workstation?
    • You can upgrade anything that you think would make sense, you could upgrade everything or instead choose to only upgrade a couple of areas.
  • When writing the cost analysis for the upgrade path, should I assume that the installation of the upgrades are free or that there will be a fee?
    • You should figure out how to account for this cost, could be going through a third party, or it could be your time (with a calculated cost). Just make sure you break out all of the costs.
  • For upgrades, if we want to upgrade to windows 10, should we use the price that microsoft charges for it?
    • Yes
  • For the new workstation from Dell, can we configure some of the specs (like RAM and storage) on the lower end and upgrade those ourselves to lower the cost of the machine? I did this with my laptop (configured it with a meh HDD and the smallest amount of RAM) then replaced them once I got them and saved about $200-300 (can’t remember exactly).
    • Yes
  • Does the new workstation have to be from Dell?
    • Yes
  • Should we assume the programmers use a wired connection to the internet?
    • Yes
  • How much effort should I put in on this.
    • I’m looking for you to demonstrate that effort was put into this assignment, students spending quality time on this can expect a good grade.
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