SoftXpand 2011 Setup Guide
About this guide:
Contents of this guide:
- Sizing hardware properties: How to scale the CPU + RAM for SoftXpand system.
- Setting up workstations: Connecting additional monitors and peripheral devices to the computer.
- Before installing SoftXpand: Software preparations before installing SoftXpand.
- Configuring SoftXpand: How to assign devices per each workstation, how to configure audio devices.
Before you start:
- How many simultaneous users will be sharing each SoftXpand computer?
- What are the typical applications being used:
- Basic word processing / office work.
- Video playback.
- Graphic design.
- Video editing.
- 3D gaming.
* Motherboard: ASRock Z-78 Extreme7-Gen3, or Z-77 Extreme9, both motherboards have 5 x PCIe slots and 4 x memory slots, plus integrated graphics with 2 heads (2 active ports).
- Connecting monitors to dedicated video-cards, or Zero-Clients.
- Connecting keyboards, mice and other USB peripherals – requires a USB hub per each workstation.
- This option has the benefits of lowest cost per user, and highest graphic performance.
- Highly recommended for new computer builds where the entire hardware can be specified in advance.
- Highly recommended for graphic design, video-editing, 3D CAD and 3D Gaming.
Notes about choosing Video cards for SoftXpand 2011:
- Windows Aero theme can only be applied using Dual-Head cards.
- Cards have to be PCI-Express type (not PCI or AGP).
- Cards are required to have updated drivers for Windows 7.
- Number of Heads refers to the number of video ports active simultaneously.
- Recommended Dual-Head video cards: Nvidia 210, 1GB RAM, typical cost 35 USD (cost per user = 17 USD).
- On-board video cards are supported by SoftXpand.
- We received reports about system crashes when using Nvidia 8400GS cards, therefore we recommend that you avoid them.
- Flat-screen TVs with HDMI interface are supported by SoftXpand.
- When using cards with Display-Port (e.g. AMD Radeon 6970), please refrain from using DP—VGA adaptors.
- SoftXpand does not support NVidia SLI or ATI CrossFireX.
- SoftXpand does not support passive splitters, such as VGA splitters.
EVGA GT-210 Video-Card - Dual Head, available for 35 USD.
This option has the benefits of expanding existing computers, without any hardware changes.
Notes about using USB Extenders for SoftXpand 2011:
- SoftXpand 2011 does not support Display Link devices, only SMSC.
- Please refer to SMSC setup guide prior to installation.
- The following products were tested with SoftXpand 2011:
- HP T200 Zero Client.
- Spina Systems Multas-1000.
- Icreon SPC-860.
HP T200 Zero Client has both USB interface..
Option 3: LAN extenders (also known as: Zero Clients)
- Individual (per-user) – keyboard, mouse, Flash-drive, webcam, USB audio adaptor, touch interface of multi-touch screens.
- Shared (for all users) – speakers, printer/scanner, DVD-R/W, external storage.
- It is highly recommended to use active (powered) hubs.
- When using USB extenders or LAN Zero-Clients, it’s not necessary to add USB hubs.
Most computers have only one or two accessible audio channels (Rear and Center Audio Channels cannot be used).
Therefore it is highly recommended to deploy USB Audio-Adapters for all workstations, and connect them via the USB hubs.
USB Audio Adapter, typically available for 15-25 USD.
1. Run Windows Update: make sure to include SP1 and .NET in these updates.
2. Install the latest drivers for graphic cards (note: do not install AMD/ATI bundled software, including Video-Transcoder, as it may crash).
3. Set all connected screens as “Extended Desktop” (under Screen Resolution).
4. Disable any anti-virus, Firewall or Smart-Security programs.
5. Install and activate SoftXpand.
6. After reboot, re-enable the anti-virus and any security programs.
AntiVirus programs, such as Avast, should be disabled before installing SoftXpand
After installation and activation of SoftXpand, each Workstation shows its ID (1,2,3 etc) in the following pop-up window:
Step 1: Assigning devices to workstations
The easiest way to assign devices is by using the keyboard shortcut, as shown in the Workstation-ID window:
You can also use the Drag & Drop function of the Configuration Manager:
Step 2: Configuring Audio Devices
When using USB Audio Adapters and USB hubs, all devices are automatically assigned to workstations.
In the case of multiple audio devices, use SoftXpand Configuration Manager to detect each device:
Configuring Audio Devices in SoftXpand 2011