Computers: Rackmount vs. Laptop for your CCTV Inspection Unit

Computers: Rackmount vs. Laptop for your CCTV Inspection Unit

A lot of people seek advice on whether a full-size, rackmount pc or laptop should be used inside a cctv unit? So, “Should we buy a laptop or a full-size PC to use in the CCTV van?”

We assembled a short list of benefits for the different types of systems to consider.

Brian and Jonathan discussing advantages of each  type of computer.
Brian and Jonathon at ITpipes discussing computer options.

Benefits of Rackmount:

  • Better cooling that is provided with the extra fans.
  • Mounting limits jostling, except when the truck is in motion.
  • Upgrades and repairs are usually easier and less expensive!
  • Can be faster, i.e. more powerful, than a laptop.
  • Typically less expensive overall than laptops, especially when performance is considered.
  • Rackmount systems can often be “opened” by a user and repaired locally.

Benefits of a Laptop:

  • Greater mobility to move from the truck into the office or hotel room.
  • Less noise
  • Doesn’t require a separate monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
  • Most components such as Wi-Fi are pre-installed.
  • Portability! If you are a single CCTV unit client or have one person doing all inspections, QA/QC, and deliverables, this is a great option as the laptop can go from the truck to the shop.
  • Laptop systems often can be purchased with a replacement warranty, meaning if something goes bad, a new pc is to you within a day or two.

Another sidenote: Keep in mind some software applications require special video card hardware and a laptop may not be optional.

So, the answer varies per client and depends on whether portability is important!

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