by David Bennett, AMD WW Commercial Sales, Corporate Vice President
Today’s small business requires PCs that drive productivity and collaboration without the premium price tag. Whether it’s the clarity from visualizing data, the smoothness of streaming media or the responsiveness of modern apps, every detail matters to effectively run a small-to-medium-size organization.
When searching for a PC that best suits small business, whether it’s a desktop or a laptop, be sure to consider the following features and capabilities.
Outstanding performance with turbo core technology. Online presentations, video conferencing and modern business apps require smooth, virtually uninterrupted visual and audio performance. Many small businesses need pro-level processing for seamless performance, online collaboration and productivity.
Companies can find this level of performance in systems that have turbo core technology which dynamically adjusts to give employees a performance boost just when the operating system requests the highest processor performance. If a core is operating below maximum limits and your workload demands additional performance, the processor frequency will dynamically increase until the upper limit of frequency is reached. As your workload subsides, the core returns to normal frequency. Ultimately, this helps boost notebook and desktop PC performance when you need it, and helps save energy and battery life when you don’t.
Security, manageability and virtualization tools. Small business owners don’t need to purchase a high-priced processor for robust silicon-level security, integrated virtualization support and manageability features. But they do want a PC built on industry-leading open standards so the business can choose what’s best for them, rather than being locked in by proprietary solutions or costs. When choosing a PC, it’s important to look for DASH functionality and secure virtualization:
- DASH functionality – A system based on DASH (Desktop and Mobile Architecture for System Hardware) standards will enable your PC to be compatible with a broad range of software and technology on desktop and mobile systems. DASH-based systems offer highly competitive out-of-band manageability feature sets, enabling greater management flexibility in a multivendor client environment, at a business-friendly price.
- Secure virtualization – A system with secure, built-in processor virtualization will offer a small business peace of mind with firewall-like technology that helps protect physical storage from attack. Memory will stay safe from peripheral-based threats with I/O virtualization, which allows guest virtual machines to directly and securely use peripheral devices such as Ethernet, accelerated graphics cards and hard drive controllers.
Professional user experiences. Small businesses need professional user experiences on their PC to enhance their productivity and simplify the way employees interact with their systems. A few of the most important professional experiences to have on your desktop or notebook are below:
- Face login – Instead of having to memorize lengthy usernames and passwords, you can simplify the way you log on to the most visited sites on your laptop with face login capabilities. You can set the accuracy level to “high” so that you have to blink to log in to add some additional security to this convenient feature. You can also use the face-out feature, which can either automatically put your PC to sleep or lock your PC screen when you leave your computer.
- Gesture control – Gesture control capabilities allow you to control your notebook virtually hands-free. It allows you to wave your hand in front of your laptop’s built in camera to advance to the next Microsoft® PowerPoint slide or skip to the next video. There are various versions coming available, some work with existing hardware while others require new hardware, some give basic functionality while others offer contextual controls and menus to maximize the utility of this amazing new user experience.
- Multi-display technology – Multi-display technology expands the traditional limits of desktop computing by multiplying your screen area. With multiple monitors, workstations become more useful and employees can become more productive. This technology enables viewing large scale models and multiple applications across several screens like they were a single display to prevent wasting time and potentially missing information by switching between applications on a single display. Use two displays. with one to research and one to write. Use three displays to preview video edits on one, show the timeline on a second and display common tools on the third while video editing. The options are endless.
Quality visual collaboration. Video conferencing holds many opportunities for small businesses today to fulfill the increased demand for wider-reaching communications and provide employees with the opportunity to work from home or while traveling. The benefits go beyond saving time and expense of travel, increased speed of business, and improved human connection with real-time feedback. Small business owners should look for superior quality graphics and audio features in a laptop to ensure the best and most productive video conferencing experience.
Superior quality graphics provide greater non-verbal cues that are integral to fostering conversation and understanding during a video conference. Image enhancement technologies and dedicated video encoding and decoding are built in to the latest Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) to ensure messages do not get lost by laggy, low-quality conferencing.
Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC) is also a fundamental feature of quality video conferencing. Echo can be caused by many factors, such as a microphone picking up the audio from a speaker and allowing that audio into the transmitted signal with a slight delay. If unchecked, this can lead to several problems including the remote party hearing their own voice, strong reverberation making the voice channel useless, and howling created by feedback. This can be addressed through potentially expensive microphones and audio equipment, or using a system with the ability to clean up the audio signal.
Choosing systems that support industry standards can open options down the road and prevent being locked into a proprietary standard. Using the latest benchmarks like PCMark® 8 v2 Work and getting a system that has the latest in APU technology can ensure businesses have the performance they need today and a solid foundation for tomorrow. Ultimately, the less time and money spent maintaining PCs and managing technical issues, the more time spent on what really matters, growing the business.
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