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We work hard behind the scenes so annoying technology issues don't slow your business down.

Our mission is to help businesses like yours increase productivity and get more out of the technology you invest in.
We specialize in solutions that safeguard and protect your data and keep operations running smoothly.

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Intelligent remote monitoring, proactive maintenance, and behind-the-scenes remote support.

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Protect your business from threats like malware, viruses, phishing attacks, hackers and other threads.

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When you just want IT to work!

There are a lot of computer shops out there that you can call up to fix an issue or install a piece of equipment. They might be able to get you out of crisis mode, but they aren’t looking at the full picture.

At Eclipse Integrated Systems, we understand business. We consult. We provide solutions to solve everyday challenges. We just happen to fix computers as well.

We believe (and have proven) that if you proactively manage technology, run maintenance religiously, and monitor a business network, everyday issues and downtime will be greatly reduced.

This is what makes us different than your typical tech support company. Sure, we can fix computer issues when you have them, but our specialty is preventing them in the first place.

Are you looking for a partner you can trust your IT with? Sign up for a FREE IT Assessment to get started today.

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Free IT Whitepaper

This whitepaper will evaluate the differences between traditional technical support practices and modern managed IT practices and the pros and cons of both in regards to small and medium-sized businesses.

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What Our Clients Say

  • Amazing!

    Doing business with Eclipse Integrated Systems has been a pleasure.  Marc Buonocore and team are a great bunch to work with!  They really know their stuff when it comes to eliminating annoying computer issues and making technology actually WORK for businesses.

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All You Need to Know Before Buying a Computer, Part IV

How Many Monitors Do You Need?

Many users won’t think twice about having just one monitor in their home office, but what about at work? You can get so much more done with more monitors, as you will be able to move between tasks easier and more efficiently. We highly recommend going this route, as you can get more done without sifting through an endless number of windows. Many desktops support dual monitor support from the get-go. However, you’ll need to check to see if your new desktop comes with two or more ports for monitors. Here are some examples of ports for your monitors:

  • VGA/DVI: These older connections with big plugs and little pins need to be tightened and connected with screws. Older monitors will have these outputs, but you can buy adapters for them so they can plug into newer ports. Even budget desktops still have at least one VGA port, but it’s inevitable that they will eventually disappear.
  • HDMI: HDMI is standard these days. It’s the cable that you likely use on the back of your flat-screen television. Modern game consoles and Blu-Ray players use them as well.
  • DisplayPort: DisplayPort is similar to HDMI in that it can carry both video and audio. DisplayPort is gradually becoming the standard, and on the technical side, there are some differences between these two, but you should be able to go with either of them.

If you’re on a budget, we recommend making sure that you have enough ports on your computer to ensure you have enough connections for your monitors. For example, if your desktop only has DisplayPort or HDMI, and you only have VGA connectors, you will need to find a way to connect them.

Integrated Video vs Dedicated Graphics

These terms will undoubtedly come up while you’re looking for monitors. Basically, integrated video means that the computer processes video and graphics from hardware that is already built into the motherboard, whereas dedicated graphics means that your computer has a dedicated device built into it to render video. Simply put, most office PCs won’t need dedicated graphics, and to fair, opting out of these expensive graphics cards can save your organization a considerable amount of capital.

Most graphics card chipsets have multiple models, and some even get produced by multiple companies with several brands to sell their own brand of hardware. Since purchasing a graphics card can be just as complex as purchasing the rest of your desktop, it’s probably in your best interest to work with an expert to determine your needs.

Thankfully, if you’re not too concerned about gaming, 3D rendering, video editing, and so on, you can just use the built-in hardware for your desktop.

Purchasing Monitors for Your Desktop

There are countless options out there for computer displays, but you should consider the following specifications when you’re making your decisions.

  • Resolution: This is the number of pixels your monitor will display. Over the past decade, this has been standardized to the 16:9 aspect ratio, or widescreen. There are other ultra-wide monitors that break this rule, but most of the time, your monitor will probably be either HD, FULL HD, Ultra HD, or 4K. But what do these even mean?
    • HD: Believe it or not, HD is the low end of this spectrum. This resolution tends to look best on small screens with a resolution of 720p. It’s typically seen on budget laptops.
    • FHD: FHD is known as 1080p, and it’s the most common resolution. You should aim for at least this.
    • UHD: Ultra HD has a resolution of 3840x2160. It may not be supported by low-end desktops without dedicated graphics cards or integrated video that supports higher resolutions. This is especially true if you want to have multiple monitors.
    • 4K: 4K is technically a higher resolution than UHD, but some brands throw this term around thinking that it’s UHD. Either way, these displays are expensive and way more than any typical office workstation needs, unless being in the office means high-end gaming, video production, graphic design, and other visual tasks.
  • Refresh Rate: This is rated in milliseconds, and it measures the speed that your monitor can update its image. High refresh rates give you the impression that the time between you moving or clicking your mouse and the time it takes for the computer to register the movement is delayed. This used to be a much bigger problem than it currently is. Gamers should shoot for 1-5ms.

Did you find this guide helpful? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the next part.

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All You Need to Know Before Buying a Computer, Part III

My Personal Interest in Computer Storage
Data storage has developed rapidly in the past few decades. At the risk of dating myself, we’ve moved from punch cards to floppy disks (and then less-floppy disks), to rewritable compact discs, and from there, to the various data storage media we currently utilize today.

Your standard double-density floppy diskette measured in at 3.5 inches wide, and could contain 1.44 MB (megabytes) of information - which was huge at the time. A text file with no formatting and anywhere from 600 to 800 pages could fit on one disk, while an mp3 file of an average-length song would require three or four of them.

A CD can contain around 650 MB of data, while a DVD can hold 4.7 GB. For reference, a single DVD can contain the same amount of data that would require 3,342 3.5-inch floppy disks. A Blu-Ray disk can store about 10 times as much as a DVD can, so the equivalent storage capacity in floppy disks would stack up to be taller than your standard telephone pole.

Today, there is a ton of data out there - estimates place Google’s data stores at 15 exabytes. If stored on Blu-Ray disks, you would need 26.2 million of them to hold it all. If using floppy disks, your pile of disks would reach several miles high, and would cover a 100-mile radius.

That’s a lot of floppy disks.

How Your Use Affects Your Storage Needs

The first thing you need to consider when selecting your computer’s storage is how you intend to utilize the device.

For instance, if the computer is going to be assimilated into your office’s network, and most of your data is stored in a centralized server or cloud solution, it probably isn’t going to require very much onboard storage space. As long as you have enough room for the operating system, any programs not accessed via the cloud, and a little breathing room (you shouldn’t completely fill an active hard drive), you should be okay. If your new computer is more for personal use, gaming, or a home office, you’ll want to invest in a little more storage. The same goes for any gaming PCs or those dedicated to video production, as both media types tend to be storage-intensive.

Comparing HDD and SSD Storage

When you’re looking at your options, the devices will have at least one of these acronyms describing its storage. A laptop will generally have SSD storage, while a desktop could have either HDD or SSD (or both). Let’s take a closer look at each.

Hard Disk Drives (HDDs)

Hard Disk Drives are the components that computers have used to store data for more than three decades, composed of tiny electric motors, a spinning stack of magnetic platters, and a small arm to read and write data on these platters all housed in a heavy metal construction. They actually operate in a very similar way to a record player, albeit one that achieves 72,000 rotations per minute. These drives are often called “mechanical drives” due to their moving parts.

HDDs are known for their capacity to hold massive amounts of data, but they are comparatively slower than the alternative option and draw more power in order to function. They can also be fragile, especially while in use, so it can be easy to lose data by inadvertently roughing one up. This is primarily why laptops generally don’t use HDD storage - both the battery life of the device and its overall durability would be compromised.

However, it cannot be denied that for high-capacity storage needs (like, multiple terabytes), an HDD is the more cost-effective option.

Solid State Drives (SSDs)

Unlike HDD storage, there are no moving parts in a solid-state drive. Instead, all data recorded to them is stored electronically. While these drives used to be notorious for inflating the cost of a device, their prices have leveled out as time has passed.

Not only are SSDs more durable than HDDs, they work faster than they do as well. Furthermore, they use less power, making them the best choice for a laptop. They also offer considerable longevity, as modern drives disprove the rumors that SSDs would wear out after so long.

The primary drawback to SSDs is their limited capacity, and the price hikes that come with the higher-capacity options. For comparison, a budget HDD with 3 terabytes of storage would set you back less than a single terabyte SSD at the time of this writing.

What Are Your Storage Needs?

Again, this is primarily influenced by how you’ll utilize your computer. Having said that, you may want to start your considerations with an SDD being implemented. If your use of your PC is relatively limited (like checking your email or surfing the web), you’ll find that a 128 or 256 GB SSD will be perfectly sufficient. If your data is primarily stored on the office network, you won’t need much on your device itself.

If your computer is for personal use, like a gamer’s would be, that’s a different story. It may be worth it to invest in a 512 GB or 1 TB SSD. Depending on where you get your computer, it may not even influence the cost of the PC all that much, although the other components required for gaming (like the CPU and RAM) will likely cost more.

For a home office desktop without a centralized server or network-attached storage device for your data storage needs, you may consider adding an additional hard drive to your computer for use as a data drive. Using an SSD to run your operating system and programs will keep your system running efficiently, and you could utilize a high-capacity HDD for your data.

A gaming PC would also benefit from this setup, as these storage-intensive programs can fill up even a terabyte pretty quickly. The same can be said if you have a lot of media (like photos, videos, or music) to store. If you’re involved in video production, you absolutely HAVE to have additional storage. Even casual hobbyists often find themselves needing to augment their storage with external drives or NAS devices, as photography and video requires a lot of digital space.

Final Verdict

Ultimately, an SSD will be the superior option as your primary drive, regardless of whether you get a laptop or a desktop. If you’re unsure of your storage needs, it’s probably safe to get a 256 or 512 GB drive, unless your system is more high-end. With exception of the slim form-factor cases, desktops have room in the case to add at least one additional hard drive. This means you likely have space for additional expansion later on.

You also want to avoid resorting to the cheapest option, as you don’t want to put your data at risk. On that note, you should always (read: ALWAYS) keep a data backup.

Need additional help obtaining your next computer? We’re here to help! Reach out to us at 800-340-0505.

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All You Need to Know About Buying a Computer, Part II

Our first article in this series focused on the CPU or processor for your desktop, where we covered both high-end and low-end options. We’ll do the same this time around for the amount of RAM your device should have.

Random Access Memory is more commonly referred to as simply RAM or memory. Some confuse this with the amount of data that a computer can store, but this is a far cry from the truth. RAM is used to temporarily store data so that it can be recalled without recalling it from the computer’s storage. Think of it like short-term memory pulled from a human’s brain.

How much RAM you have determines how much can happen at once. The CPU handles instructions and processes the data that the RAM holds. More RAM means the larger the amount of data that the CPU can process, and the faster a CPU is, the faster that data will be processed. In other words, the two work together to make your computing experience easier.

How Much RAM Does Your Computer Need?

Most computers these days have pretty limited options for RAM. While there are plenty of brands to choose from with their own clock speeds, PC manufacturers generally take care of this for you. If you’re building your own PC, however, it can be a little complicated. This guide will try to oversimplify it for you to determine your needs. The speed and type of RAM is determined by the manufacturer’s model, so what you need to focus on is how much RAM is included with the device.

  • Skimping the Budget End: The smallest amount of RAM that you should see in a Windows 10 device will be four Gigabytes, and while you technically can get Windows 10 to run on less, you probably shouldn’t. 4GB is pretty meager, so you will only be able to handle some light document editing and Internet browsing.
  • Low-End: Most reasonable budget PCs start with 8 GB of RAM, which is plenty to handle the operating system in addition to editing documents, photo browsing, surfing the Internet, and whatever else needs to be done.
  • Mid-Range: 16 GB is achievable for a lot of organizations, even if on a budget. The price difference isn’t that noticeable, and the investment is sure to be worth it. 16 GB of RAM is nice because it’s also the entry point for gaming systems, and while 16 isn’t necessarily the catch-all number for anything intensive, it is certainly the way to get the most bang for your buck.
  • High-End: Of course, the ceiling for RAM is quite impressive, but the cost is commensurate with it. For example, the new Mac Pro can achieve 1.5 TB of RAM--about 1500 GB--but some experts have estimated the price of such speeds could be as high as $20,000. If you’re trying to build a gaming rig, video editing system, or server, you will likely need more than 16 GB of RAM, and at that point, we recommend discussing the build with professionals.

Wrapping Up

Depending on the device, you can always try to upgrade your RAM later, but it’s more likely to be done with desktops than laptops. Overall, we recommend shooting for no less than 8 GB, but you should realistically be looking at options at 16 GB.

We hope you found this helpful. Part three is just around the corner, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for it. And remember… for any assistance with purchasing hardware, be sure to consult the experts at Eclipse Integrated Systems.

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Latest News

Eclipse Integrated Systems launches new website!

Eclipse Integrated Systems is proud to announce the launch of our new website at www.eisystems.com. The goal of the new website is to make it easier for our existing clients to submit and manage support requests, and provide more information about our services for prospective clients.

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