Building a cost-effective lab?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by jiker, Jul 20, 2004.

  1. jiker macrumors member

    Apr 12, 2002
    My boss approached me today and told me that he was looking to construct a computer lab at his studio. This would be mainly used for Photoshop and FCP.

    He was looking for the most cost-effective solution, however, and I didn't know how to respond. I told him that I'd look into it and get back to him.

    The lab must have (let's say 5) workstations. Now of course he can go buy 5 G5s with 20" monitors and 5 licenses for both FCP and Photoshop, network them together, and go. But is there another way? Is there some way to share CPUs by just having 5 monitors, keyboards, and mice connected to a couple of xServes? (I realize that there would be a lack of places to connect said monitors, etc, but you get the idea.) What about xGrid? (sorry, I'm not familiar with what it does exactly.) Would that allow a workstation to use the processor of another machine on a network? Does FCP and Photoshop have a "family pack" (for lack of a better term) license, like OS X does?

    How would you build the most cost-effective lab?
  2. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    Would suggest that you look at total costs and not just initial costs.

    Many times this approach shows how it is even more beneficial to use a Mac solution.

  3. MacAztec macrumors 68040


    Oct 28, 2001
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    I believe you can get a Dual 2.0GHz G5 (older model) for $2100. Then, pick up some of those nice Dell 19" LCDs for 700 a piece. I think that will be much less than you were looking to spend, (13-14,000?)
  4. micsaund macrumors 6502


    May 31, 2004
    Colorado, USA
    Also, at the current time, you can get the Dell 2001FP LCD for $749, which is the lowest I've seen it (it routinely bumps $760-ish, but $750 is pretty much the lowest at this time). I'm not vouching for the Dell monitor as I do not own one, but the reviews seem to be pretty decent.

    More details on the deal (today only it looks like):,54590,.shtml

  5. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus


    Oct 5, 2001
    San Diego, CA
    For some great information on Mac labs check out

    It's targeted at university labs, but should give you an idea about the tools, setups, management, etc. that people do with Mac labs.

    Good luck!

Share This Page