The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has stipulated Intel's latest Core 2 Duo processors must be at the heart of its Canberra desktop PC refresh due to be completed by mid-February 2007.
The regulator currently has around 350 desktop PCs in its Canberra facilities, with the majority (280) being Acer's 5500G model, which features a 2.6ghz Intel Celeron chip with 512Mb of RAM and a 40Gb disk drive.
However, according to tender documents released this week, those machines are to be wiped clean and sold off, with the department asking vendors for 290 new desktop machines.
The ACCC has stipulated its new machines must have the following specifications:
- Intel 965 Chipset or above
- Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 processor running at 2.17GHz per core or better
- 80Gb minimum hard disk drive with Serial ATA
- 1Gb RAM
- Gigabyte Network Card
- DVI/VGA video card with 128Mb dedicated memory
These requirements would make for pretty powerful desktop machines, especially given Intel first released the Core 2 Duo chipset in late July this year.
While the ACCC's IT manager Rudi Irgang declined to comment, a spokesperson for the ACCC told ZDNet Australia via telephone today the regulator was simply planning to have the best for the next few years until its next desktop refresh.
The move to new hardware was just part of the ACCC's regular desktop refresh cycle, she said. That cycle is believed to be four years, with the ACCC requesting a four-year on-site warranty for its new desktops.
While the new desktops will initially run Microsoft's Windows XP Service Pack 2 operating system, the steep hardware requirements are likely to prove capable of handling Microsoft's Vista operating system, due to be released late this year.
In tender documents, the ACCC said it also had 64 Dell GX280 and GX520 desktops, and seven other high-end Acer desktops that it would retain for the time being.
The new desktops will run Microsoft's Office 2003 desktop suite, with local area network authentication provided by Novell.
E-mail is handled by Microsoft's Exchange 5.5 collaboration suite, with a variety of corporate applications delivered via Novell's Application Launcher software. Novell 6.5 is being used for file and print management.
Unusually, the ACCC's staff also have local administration rights on their desktop machines.
The ACCC has outsourced support for all of its infrastructure services, service desk and database services to local integrator Exceed, which is part of the ASG group of companies.
"Internet links are provided by Cybertrust, and data carrier services by AAPT. All IT hardware is the property of the ACCC," the regulator said in tender documents.
As at 30 June the ACCC had 519 staff, with most of those in Canberra and Melbourne.