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  1. #1
    Apr 2014
    Corona CA

    Ultimate Excel Workstation Build Help

    I know that sounds boring but I need the forums help

    I work as an exempt employee in a large corporate environment where the efficiency at which I do my job determines whether I work 45 hours a week, or 55. We're on windows machines built in '06 with Core 2 processors, a 1280x1024 display and all the slowness that goes with that. We upgraded from XP to 7 a few months back, we use Office 2010 and I use Excel and Access extremely heavily.

    I may have the opportunity to assemble my own hardware and let my employer manage the software as a test for those who's work will benefit from upgraded technology. I'd like to build a PC from the ground up, as affordably as possible, that meets my specific needs. I've never done this before and would love feedback from the forum.

    Processor: i7 if Excel '10 supports hyperthreading of if there is substantial gain over an i5
    GPU: Digital support for 3 1920x1080 displays (3x hdmi or 3x DVI)
    Storage: PCIe SSD 256ish or maybe 512ish
    Memory: up to 16, not sure whats necessary but it's cheap
    Components Not Listed: affordability is priority

    Other Notes: Cheap sound is fine, I just plug in stereo speakers or a usb headset. I don't connect external drives etc but wouldn't mind a couple USB 3 ports just in case. I use Lync to video conference internationally but do nothing I would consider as GPU intensive like gaming. If I left anything critical out please let me know!

    Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
    May 2014

    Re: Ultimate Excel Workstation Build Help

    We have a similar setup. You will not notice a difference between a core i5 or core i7 for Excel. Ram is only necessary for background tasks depending on how much corporate programs are needed on the workstation. If you are using Office 2010, it is likely the 32-bit edition since Microsoft to this day has just started supporting the 64-bit edition in Office 2013 and even that has no performance benefit unless your Excel file is larger than 2 gb. That's huge. So since you likely have 32-bit Office, then it cannot address more than 2GB of ram because it assumes that your OS is 32-bit and the windows kernel is reserving the other 2gb of addressable memory space. With that said:
    Core i5 2.0 ghz or faster - any generation will do
    Ram - 8GB is good and cost effective now
    SSD - Windows and corporate background processes love the speed. 256GB - unless you are a local hoarder, then 512GB
    Graphics - Integrated is fine if you are doing dual screen and the Intel graphics version is 4000 or higher. Lync 2013 (when you get there) takes advantage of better cards slightly. So possibly a low to mid range depending on how much you want to spend.

  3. #3
    May 2003

    Re: Ultimate Excel Workstation Build Help

    Since you have the chance to build the box yourself, you may want to consider
    these items depending on budget
    gigabit network port
    quiet, dependable, power supply
    high quality motherboard
    filtering incoming air to fans
    low noise fans
    a spare ssd or hd for a backup image
    improved desk lighting
    improved seating
    wireless kybd & mouse or seperate numberpad
    multi-monitor stand

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