OSN Custom Built Systems
Many of our customers have been frustrated with the quality of server
and desktop systems available from vendors today. We have often found
that systems, even those from the "big name" companies, are using the
cheapest components available. We see higher rates of DOA systems, infant
mortality, and problems due to overheating. New systems are often filled
with proprietary components, makine upgrades difficult or impossible.
Worse yet, configurations seem to change weekly. It's hard enough to
maintain your systems when they are all the same. If the system you buy
this week has different components than the one you bought last week,
each of those components can require different drivers. That can make
maintenance and upgrades a nightmare.
We've found that the only way around this problem is to design and build
our own systems. We select the highest quality components and apply a few
simple design principles to bring you the most reliable high-performance
systems that you can buy:
It is not possible to build the lowest cost systems using these principles;
it is not possible to build the best systems without them. The surprising
result is that the best system costs only a little more to build than a
cheaper alternative, over the life of the system, the cost advantage goes
to the quality system.
We select quality components to build quality systems. Visit our partners
page to view the companies whose products go into our systems and you'll
see names you recognize. Even so, before we
build a system for a customer, we research the components and test
them in our lab computers for performance and compatibility. Many
component manufacturers publish reliability and standards compliance
data for their products. That data, along with the results of our own
testing, is used in the selection process.
Every item that plugs into the system must adhere to the standards for its
interface. PCI, AGP, USB, IDE, and SCSI all have published standards
compliance documents. Often new technology is introduced before the interface
standards have been firmly established. For business systems, it is rarely
necessary to be on the bleeding edge of technology. Our designs are
conservative, based on technology we know will work. As important, they
are based on technology we know will be around in the future.
Look inside many low-cost systems, and even some "high-end" ones, and you'll
often see no boards plugged into the motherboard's PCI bus. It cost vendors
far less to buy an "integrated" motherboard than to buy all of the individual
components -- video cards, sound cards, modems, network interfaces, SCSI
controllers -- and a less integrated motherboard. It seems like a reasonable
design decision, until you look a little closer.
If the video fails on an integrated motherboard, the entire motherboard will
need to be replaced. Not only does that mean that a more expensive component
(the motherboard) needs to be replaced, but the time and expertise
required to replace a motherboard is far greater than that required to replace
a video card. Consider upgrading the video on your PC to support a new
high-resolution monitor. If the video is built in to the motherboard, you
have to disable it in the BIOS, possibly reset jumpers on the motherboard,
and hope that the new video card is compatible with every other device on
the motherboard. On the other hand, if the video card is installed into
an AGP slot, it's just a matter of removing the old card and installing
the new one.
We feel that the "economy" of an integrated motherboard is a false one. We
often hear the claim that integrated components leave more PCI slots available.
But integrated motherboards often have fewer PCI slots to begin with. Most
quality motherboards have 5 or more PCI slots, more than most users will
The most compelling argument against integrated motherboards is the lack of
ability to select the exact components that you want when building a system.
If you need a RAID controller, the built-in SCSI controller does you no good.
If you need a digital video card for an LCD display, a built-in analog video
display does you no good. And if you simply want the best components when
building your system, you'll seldom find those on an integrated motherboard.
It's a compromise we're just not willing to make.
At OSN, we don't make compromises when we build systems. If you demand the
best, we've got what you need. Check out the sample configurations here,
then call us to discuss your requirements. We guarantee that if you let us
build a single system for you, you'll be back for more.
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