Hardware resources

GIS software and processes often involve complex and computationally intensive processing as well as significant levels of graphical processing. This requires high-end hardware capability. A summary of council responses to questions relating to 2008 hardware for regular desktop computers is shown in table 10.4. This indicates that councils who keep hardware up to date will not face difficulties running desktop GIS applications such as ArcGIS or MapInfo.

Table 10.4    Hardware capability of local and regional councils (2008)

 

Standard

Better

Best

Processor speed

<2GHz

2-3GHz

>3GHz

All

17%

60%

23%

ESRI users

14%

61%

25%

MapInfo users

14%

57%

29%

 

 

 

 

RAM

<1GB

1-2GB

>2GB

All

27%

53%

20%

ESRI users

29%

50%

21%

MapInfo users

29%

43%

29%

 

With the majority of hardware profiles sitting in the ‘Better’ category, councils appear to be sufficiently resourced to run GIS software. Specialised workstations within some councils had higher specifications, but these were not considered to be desktop computers. There is no clear distinction between the hardware capabilities of those that run ArcGIS for desktop GIS and those that run MapInfo. Running GIS analysis through a client/server model will put more of the demand on the server and less on a client computer when compared with desktop GIS applications.