Custom Configurations

Custom Configurations

Different computers require different configurations for specific applications. These computers with their customised configurations are:


Such computers require extended performance in following areas:

  • CPU Enhancements: Require above average CPU performance for processing in professional graphic software.
    • Graphic Design Workstations:
      • Used by desktop publishers to create high-quality copy of professional text and graphical images.
      • Used in advertising, marketing, specialized documentation.
    • CAD/CAM workstations:
      • Used in the design of engineering and architectural documentation, including blueprints in both two and three dimensions.
      • Example: automotive parts, such as metallic engine parts, wheel rims, works of art.
  • Video Enhancements:  use graphics adapters with better graphics processing units (GPUs) and additional RAM on board to keep up with the demand of graphic design applications.
  • Maximized RAM:
    •  Applications require CPUs to process their instructions and RAM to hold these instructions during processing.
    • More accessible RAM, better overall performance.


Multimedia editing requires workstations that excel in:

  • Video Enhancements:
    • Use graphics adapter with multiple video interfaces that can be used simultaneously.
    • To improve video-editing performance,  use graphics adapter that supports
      • Parallel computing architecture for breaking down larger processing tasks into smaller tasks and processing them simultaneously on a GPU.
      • E.g. CUDA, OpenCL.
    • Specialized Audio:
      • Audio Controllers use analog codec with two-channel arrangement.
      • Add-on adapter may be used.
    • Specialized Drives:
      • Use separate drives for system and data files – reduces need for multitasking by a single drive.
      • Data drive should be large and fast.
      • For external drive connection:
        • Use E-SATA port over USB 2.0 to avoid internal delays.
        • For high capacity, use RAID 0 or RAID 5 that are cheap and offer high writing, reading speed.


Virtual machines (VM) share the following resources with host system:

  •  CPU cycles
  •  System memory
  •  Drive storage space
  •  Systemwide network bandwidth

Extended specification for these systems is required in:

  • CPU Enhancements:
    • Multiple cores CPUs offer each core to VM as virtual CPU.
    • More the CPUs with multiple cores, more CPU cycles assigned to VMs.
    • Maximized RAM:
      • Workstation should be equipped with enough RAM to support VMs and itself.
      • Constraints on maximising the RAM are:
        • CPU’s address-bus width
        • OS maximum supported RAM
        • Motherboard’s maximum supported RAM

Smallest constraint dictates the maximum RAM used.


Enhancement must be considered in:

  • CPU Enhancements:
    • CPU is overclocked by making changes in BIOS.
    • Overclocking exceeds manufacturer recommended clock frequency for better performance.
    • CPU’s life span is compromised.
    • Video Enhancements:
      •  RAM installed on graphics adapters has breached the 1GB mark.
      • CUDA, OpenCL-capable GPUs used for video editing.
      • Monitor should be compatible with high resolution, 3D capability adapters.
    • Specialized Audio:
      • Technologies such as S/PDIF and HDMI produce high-quality digital audio.
      •  HDMI provides for state of- the-art digital video as well.
    • Enhanced Cooling:
      • Required to prevent excessive heating due to overclocking.
      • High-end graphics adapters come equipped with their own cooling mechanisms to keep them properly cooled under extreme circumstances.


  •  Multiple capabilities, such as storing large amounts of video media and streaming it to an output device etc.
  •   Allow easy access to local storage.
  •  Built on a chassis that adheres to the HTPC form factor.

Its specialisations include:

  • Video Enhancements:
    • Graphics adapters have one or more HDMI interfaces.
    • Monitor should be at par with output capabilities of HTPC.
    • Specialized Audio:
      • High-end digital audio should be 7.1 analog surround sound.
      • It is achieved by HDMI or copper-optical S/PDIF.
    • Special Chassis and TV Tuner: Various components comprising the HTPC include:
      • HTPC chassis – 17x17x7’’ and 150W HTPC power supply.
      • Motherboard mini-ITX (6.7n6.7g) with integrated HDMI video.
      •  HDD or SSD – 21⁄2 g portable form factor.
      • RAM—DIMMs for mini-ITX motherboard; SODIMMs for many pre-built models.
      •  Blu-ray drive, player minimum.
      •  PCIe or USB TV tuner card.


  • Standard configuration that allows the definition of custom configurations.
  •  Able to attach to a network and accept a configuration that attaches it to one or more servers.
  •  Better performance by using recommended/higher specifications instead of minimum.


  •  Divests itself of all or most local storage and varying levels of RAM and processing power without necessarily giving up all ability to process instructions and data.
  • Have no offline capability, requiring constant network connectivity.


Home Server PCs behave as a server to the home network. It’s essential features include:

  • Media Streaming Capabilities:
    • Stream music photos and videos to other devices, including those not PCs.
    • Windows 7 provides HomeGroup which
      • Work hand in hand with libraries enabling media streaming.
      •  Share installed printers among member computers.
    • File and Print Sharing Services:
      • Allow static transfer of files to or from the server’s hard drive or array.
      • While streaming is one directional, file sharing is bi directional.
      • Files are accessible to all the clients in home network but not in enterprise network.
    • Gigabit NIC:
      • Server is attached to a wired switched port in an Ethernet switch or in the wireless access point providing gigabits speed.
      • All devices should not run at such speeds to avoid saturation.
    • RAID Array:
      • Provides with data redundancy (for data backup) and fault tolerance.
      • Extends to tetrabytes of storage.

Includes hot-swappable drives so that it can be rebuilt on the fly while still servicing client requests during the loss of a single drive.

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