Thin Client to 'normal' PC

Discussion in 'Business & Enterprise Computing' started by Hybridion, Feb 20, 2018.

  1. Hybridion

    Hybridion Member

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    Hello awesome OCAU community. This is my first post in the modding section, so hopefully I've got this in the right place.

    I've never used a "thin client" PC, but from what I can see they have come a long way. Specifically, they now come with decent CPU's, RAM, even 128Gb+ SSD Hard drives...

    I'm wondering - can I buy a second hand thin client, maybe format the HDD and put a 'normal' copy of Windows onto it, and run it as a normal PC??

    Specifically, there are a bunch of Dell Wyse 7040 thin clients currently on sale on graysonline.com (graysonline-link), with: CPU: Intel Core i5-6500TE, RAM: 8GB 2133MHz DDR4, HDD: M.2 128GB SSD Class 20...
    Here is the dell page with information about the product (dell-website-link).

    The only differences between one of these thin clients, and a normal PC is:
    1. The version of the OS
    2. The total power (W) that the system is designed to use (Dell says it uses less than 12watts!)

    Thanks in advance :)
     
  2. power

    power Member

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    what do you want to do that the embedded version can't?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Hybridion

    Hybridion Member

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    I haven't used the embedded version. I'm not sure what the differences are. Basically, I want to know if I can use the PC as a normal PC. Could you set it up and give it to a 'lay person' and they wouldn't be able to tell the difference? What can't these machines do?
     
  4. power

    power Member

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    they can pretty much do anything you need to. AMA I mind a fleet of the bastards. (HP).
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Hybridion

    Hybridion Member

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    What does AMA mean in this context? :p

    Thanks for the replies power. If I understand you correctly, the different OS is not a limiting factor.

    Have you used one of these without it connected to a server? Will it work just like a normal PC? If I was to buy this PC today (graysonline-link), took it home, connected it up to my peripherals, booted it up... it would work just like a normal PC? Or would I need to make some modifications?
     
  6. power

    power Member

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    Ask Me Anything.

    they don't need to be connected to a server. they basically operate like a "real PC" but they have built in management tools.

    they have inbuilt controls that you would probably want to disable so you can install software - most software just works. We don't use ours as general use machines more for rds and basic internet, what are you looking to run anything weird and wonderful or just basic shit?

    be as specific about your use case as possible. Windows 7 and 10 on these are almost indistinguishable from their bigger cousins.
     
  7. havabeer

    havabeer Member

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    We have a couple of the thin clients at work, can’t tell the difference between it and the regular pc sitting beside it.

    But we only do basic things like word, internet, email and a couple of our in-house specific programs but no issues with it


    Also this probably isn’t really “modifying” a pc. Probably would have been better in the overclocking and hardware section of the general topics forums
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Hybridion

    Hybridion Member

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    To: power

    EDIT:
    from a professional perspective, I am the IT purchase influencer at my work, and it would be good to know whether or not thin clients can be used at work as general reception desktops for office workers. They use Microsoft Office 2013, including outlook for email. They also use Remote Desktop Connected to our Server, to access MYOB.

    From a personal perspective - I would want to buy one and set it up for my wife. Her PC at home crashes randomly. It is old, second-hand, and I don't want to spend many hours troubleshooting an old PC with terrible specs.

    Use case description:
    • 1 user
    • Home use
    • Connected to home router for internet (NBN 12/1)
    • 1x 22" monitor (might upgrade to 2x 22-24" monitors)
    • Microsoft Office 2007 (might upgrade to 2016)
    • Facebook. Youtube. Internet browsing. Online shopping. Outlook online for email.
    • Website coding. I'm not sure what CMS or editors or anything she will be using, yet.
    • Maybe low-spec games? (Maplestory)
    • Maybe outputting to our ~40" LCD TV (720p) for video file playback or youtube?
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
  9. OP
    OP
    Hybridion

    Hybridion Member

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    Do you have those thin clients connected to a server, or just being used like the "regular pc's" that it is sitting beside?

    *Sorry about putting this into the wrong section. If mods move it, that is fine. It's because I thought more custom modifications might have to be made in order to get a thin client to act as a normal PC
     
  10. power

    power Member

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    the only thing that rings bells there is outlook 2007 - please don't use it it's now out of support.

    everything else would be fine, although unsure about games. never tried to load games, but the gpu's aren't normally up to much in these.

    thin clients are very hassle free, I assume you store your data on a share in the house?

    hooking it up to a large display will only be limited by the machine. Most i've done with ours is 1080P over displayport they support dual screens with DP and DVI. (these are quite old too so newer ones will be better) most of our current fleet are HP t610's. We also have mobile thin clients as well and they are just as good.

    https://support.hp.com/lamerica_nsc...exible-thin-client/5226816/document/c03235347

    what throws many people is new price - thin clients can be expensive new - but used they are normally a bargain. Our 610's were all under $100 ea
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
  11. OP
    OP
    Hybridion

    Hybridion Member

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    To: power

    At home, I am not using shared storage. I am thinking about moving to a basic home NAS at some point.

    At work we use network drives for storage, so the 128Gb SSD would be more than sufficient for a system partition with Office 2013.

    One more question: How can Dell rate this as using "less than 12 watts", when the TDP of the CPU is 35W by itself? Maybe they lock its CPU [and integrated GPU] clocks really low? I wonder if there would be a way around this?
     
  12. power

    power Member

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    we don't modify them and it varies from model to model whether things like RAM/storage can be changed. power usage i've never even considered sorry.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Hybridion

    Hybridion Member

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    to: power

    At work, we need Win7/10 pro OS, as we connect to a domain (as far as I know this is the only feature we use that isn't available in the 'home' versions of the OSes). We have a Windows 2012 Server, doing DHCP, DNS, network storage, MYOB, outlook 2013.

    Would these thin clients OS also work in this situation? Thanks again :)
     
  14. power

    power Member

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    ours are not on the domain, and i can't see a need to (we use RDS for everything still).

    they also come pre-loaded with citrix and shit like that you could probably even just publish apps - the idea is that they don't do much and the server does all the work.

    I would encourage you to get one or two and have a play and see if they suit your needs. They are cheap and for an admin absolutely a much better way to manage a fleet over fat clients.

    they've come a long way since the earlier Linux and XP thin clients of old - so even if you have previous experience the newer machines are much better.

    I use HP windows based devices in conjunction with HPDM for management which allows complete control over everything on the machines themselves. Have a mix of WES7E and 10 IoT mostly.
     
  15. havabeer

    havabeer Member

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    networked to a server. all running windows 8. i was considering replacing my dell optiplex 780 i had in our lounge room with a thin client until we bought a smart TV instead.

    how are you the IT purchase influence and you have to ask if a thin client needs modifying to work?? or is that just a wierd title because everyone just ask's you the IT questions at work? you will honestly be surprised with how normal they are, i could get a model number for you for the ones we use at work when i go back there on the weekend but they're tiny
     
  16. OP
    OP
    Hybridion

    Hybridion Member

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    One-man-IT-department. But ultimately the business owner makes the purchase decisions, so I referred to myself as the purchase influencer. It's a small company. We are moving up to 9 PC's now. Previously 7. We don't have any thin clients, this is my first job in professional IT, and the only application that my colleagues use on the server is MYOB (and one person also uses Outlook on the server). We all start somewhere, and I figured I would ask questions about thin clients before recommending for my boss to invest in any.

    Anyway, thank you both for your help. I'll close the thread as it has turned completely away from any discussion of modding.

    To: Power,
    Thank you again for your help, recommendations and insights. At some point in the future I will probably get one and see if it will meet the needs of our business (or my home) into the future.

    EDIT: As it turns out, I'm not sure how to close the thread - since the changes to OCAU forum software... I just changed the title
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
  17. gords

    gords Oh deer!

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    I've moved it to a more appropriate forum so we can leave it open for further discussion.
     
  18. Soarer GT

    Soarer GT Member

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    First things first... Fuck off MYOB and move to Xero or something less of a headfuck with multiple users. Your boss will thank you for it.
    Second thing... Are you running MS Exchange or just 1 mailbox? You mention 1 person uses "Outlook on the server". Managing email with a single server/MX record is easy when everything works. It's horrible when something doesnt work. If you are running your own mail server/spam filter, outsource that if you can.


    If you want cheap machines 2nd hand, look at ebay. GraysOnline's markup and delivery means it's just not cost effective for small (under 10) lots. The only time it might make sense is if you were buying maybe a bulk load of big ass Dell R730XD's or some hard to find piece of equipment spec... but even then, ebay is probably cheaper. For my workstations, I've been loading up on ebay Dell Optiplex 9010 which are SFF machines and I add in a small 128gb SSD for OS and keep the standard HDD as dump storage. The advantage is they all come with a Windows COA which can be used to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro... and being a Dell workstation, everything pretty much works off the bat.
     

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