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Rack-mount? Laptop? All-In-One???

PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 5:11 pm
by CJ Greiner
Looking to create a new primary system... but having trouble deciding on whether to put it together using a Rack-mounted computer, a laptop or an All-In-One...

What are your thoughts? If you could re-create your system, what would you choose and why?

Thanks! :yeah:

Re: Rack-mount? Laptop? All-In-One???

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:41 pm
by Dave Miller
If money were no problem....

I'd have a dedicated computer in the rack, but not necessarily a "rack mount computer". It could easily be a desktop model sitting within the rack.

The monitor would be a flat screen type on a fold-down mount. Keyboard and mouse on the top of the rack.

I feel that hiding the computer and just having the monitor with keyboard and mouse would be the most professional looking system.

Of course, that doesn't mean it's the best or most reliable.

And since money is a problem, I stick with a laptop.

I recently got a new MacBook Pro. Only because I had dropped my old PowerBook, and it was starting to act funny because of it.

Re: Rack-mount? Laptop? All-In-One???

PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:29 am
by CJ Greiner
I've nearly settled on how I'm designing my new system... you you almost hit the solution on the head!

I currently use a 22" HP All-In-One touchscreen computer, but it's not rack-mounted. It sits on the table next to my rack which contains all the rest of my DJ equipment.
My backup is a laptop that runs my lights, but can also do music if needed. (The 3rd screen on the right on the speaker pole is for karaoke.)
In the past I used a rack-mounted computer with a separate touch screen, keyboard and mouse.
Image Image Image

There are strengths to the rack-mounted computer, like it can always be upgraded...
The all-in-one is a nice package, but is more limited in "upgradability", as is a laptop.
In fact, the typical all-in-one is really a laptop motherboard inside a case with a large LCD screen, but no battery.

The one thing that helped me decide what I'm going to do is the UPS - Battery Backup.
To protect any kind of a computer other than a laptop, a UPS is necessary to protect it from glitches, brownouts, blackouts, etc.
With the All-in-one and rack-mounted systems, I've had to carry a 1U rack-mounted UPS all the time - that thing is heavy!
(Speaking of heavy, the 4U rackmount computer case I have is made of steel - that thing is heavy too!!!)

My solution:
"Rack Mount" a laptop - no UPS required. Use an external Touchscreen LCD, Keyboard and Mouse on top of the rack. Additional hard drive storage, audio and video via USB connections as needed.

Re: Rack-mount? Laptop? All-In-One???

PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:01 am
by dokai
I've been using a 1ru Supermicro rackmount server for a few years now and it's been working like a champ. However, the flatscreen monitor and keyboard it requires weighs as much as a laptop does. Also, as you pointed out, CJ, the rackmount UPS weighs a lot. I've also decided that upgrading a computer isn't worth the bother when I consider that a new computer comes with a warranty and an upgrade won't. I'm moving to a desktop-replacement laptop for the next evolution of my system. I've been testing the concept with my Alienware laptop and it's been just as fast and stable as the server is. Plus it has the glowing alien head logo for extra geek points. :D

One thing to keep in mind: without a UPS, your USB devices are going to be vulnerable to power outages. I've had issues where after a power failure my laptop wouldn't recognize my external drives until the laptop was rebooted. This happened even though the laptop survived the power failure by running on battery. I'm going to continue to use a UPS in my system, but it's going to be a much smaller UPS, not the heavy rackmount unit.

Re: Rack-mount? Laptop? All-In-One???

PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:44 pm
by LYoung116
I have my laptop and mixer in the same case (carry laptop in separate bag for storage). The lid to the Gemini case has a chain on it, so it hides the laptop perfectly.