Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

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vnatale
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Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by vnatale »

I'm attempting to decide which computer to buy which will meet my needs.

Currently, I am using this Compaq Presario computer (running Windows 7 Home Premium).

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00318 ... _pr_pb_opt

As you can see it has 45 reviews, which average a high 4+ stars. I believe it came out in 2010 and sold for about $300. I think I bought mine in 2011 used for $150.

I think it is a fine computer for the average user.

I don't think I'm the average user. I'm constantly backing up to multiple hard drives, using my e-mail software (Eudora), having a web browser open, having Excel open, plus having the computer do other resource intensive tasks. As a result the memory is constantly getting eaten up by all these programs running and the everything just goes slow or freezes.

For me, the memory is a major downfall. It came with 3GB of RAM, with 2.75 usable. It maxes out at 4GB so the most I could go would be 3.75GB usable.

If you go here, http://www.cpubenchmark.net you'll see that its CPU gets a score of 1,616.

In my office, up until last June, I was using a 2007 vintage Dell Optiplex 740 (running XP Professional) with 2GB of RAM and a CPU with a score of 589.

Then last June, that Dell was replaced by a Lenovo computer (running Windows 7 Professional) with 8GB of RAM and an Intel i5 CPU with a score of 5,899.

I've now reached the point with my home computer that I can no longer put up all the slowness I'm constantly encountering.

I'm looking at buying one of three computers and would like input as to which you think would best meet my needs.

Excel has always been my favorite software but, unfortunately, since Excel 2010, it seems like Microsoft has somehow created serious flaws in this formerly jewel of a software.

I tend to use one workbook to hold many, many worksheets. I think the most worksheets I've even had is one spreadsheet / workbook was 400 worksheets. Works quite well as linking between spreadsheets is fraught with errors while linking within a spreadsheet is never a problem.

I've had one main spreadsheet that I've been using in my office since October 2008. It is now about 25MB. Big but Excel is built to have much larger spreadsheets than that. I only use a fraction of the rows / columns available in a worksheet.

Up until several months ago, I was using that 25MB spreadsheet in Excel 2007. On both my new Lenovo, my old Dell, and this computer, I never encountered any problems. However, when we upgraded to Excel 2013, I started getting not enough resource errors! Even when all I had running was this one spreadsheet I'd get this error message! On a computer with 8GB of RAM and an Intel i5 CPU! Luckily, we'd left Excel 2007 on my computer and on the same computer, the file opened fine with NO error messages.

Seemed like an open and shut case to me that there is clearly a flaw in Excel 2013 when on the same computer it gives a resource error message on a file while Excel 2007 opens and runs it fine.

I called Microsoft to complain and they told me I'd have to pay them to talk to a software engineer about this problem. I told the person I was quite irate that I had to pay them to tell them that they now had a flawed product!

I went online and discovered that other people were having the same problem as myself and that the problem actually first manifested itself in Excel 2010. They'd had semi-large files that'd run fine in Excel 2007 but Excel 2010 / 2013 gave them problems.

I live in Excel both professionally and personally so I need a computer that can handle my files in Excel 2013. I've been impressed with 2 laptops I've used that had Intel i7's so I'm certain my next computer must have an Intel i7. And, at least 8GB of RAM. I don't know if I need 16GB. One thing I have not tried and should is opening the file on one of our office notebooks that have the Intel i7.

Unless someone can convince me otherwise, I have a strong bias against Windows 8 and towards Windows 7. I've looked at the differences between Windows 7 Home Premium and Professional and the two main advantages to me for Windows 7 Professional is that it goes beyond the 16GB RAM limit of Windows 7 Home Premium and it allows encryption of a hard drive. A question I have regarding this can it only encrypt the hard drive in the computer? Or, can it also encrypt external hard drives attached to the computer?

A few other things about the way I like to operate.

I love having at least two independent monitors and three is even better.

For about 7 years now, I've kept no primary / original data on my internal hard drive, using it only for the operating system and installed software.

All of my data is kept on a 3TB external hard drive which is then at least daily backed up on to several other external hard drives. And then backed up on to external hard drives in my office. I do this because it is a huge amount of data which would either take way too much time to recreate, if it could be, and much of it would be irreplaceable. Plus, if my computer dies (or I have no electricity) I can take that main external hard drive (or one of its backups) and put it on one of my spare computers or office computer and in less than an hour I'm fully back in business.

Sorry for the extensive background but it explains why I'm looking at these three computers and what I see as the pros and cons of each.

Each of these has the same Intel i7 CPU, which gets a score of 9,418

1) Lenovo IdeaCentre K450 Desktop

http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/desktops/i ... #techspecs

$849
5 reviews averaging a high 4+ stars
16GB RAM and 2TB hard drive
Windows 8 64

Pluses are the reviews and RAM. Big minus is Windows 8


2) Asus M11AD-US0060
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6883220517

$779
1 5 star review
16GB RAM and 2TB hard drive
Windows 7 Home Premium

Pluses are the RAM and Windows 7.

3) Asus BP6375
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6883220285

$840
3 reviews averaging 4 stars (however, if you go to Amazon, there are 6 total polar reviews - 3 give it 5 stars and 3 give it 1 star)
8GB RAM and 1TB hard drive
Windows 7 Professional 64-bit (with Windows 8 Pro upgrade disc)
3 yrs NBD on-site warranty
Support 3 independent displays
Iron Egg Price Guarantee (they'll match any advertised lower price within two weeks of purchase)

Pluses are the Windows 7 Professional, 3 year warranty, and supports 3 monitors out of the box.


I'm strongly leaning towards #3.

It has the far better operating system options without having to spend any more money on operating system upgrades.

It supports multiple monitors right out of the box so that I don't have to a) determine what is the correct video card to buy for the computer and b) getting it working in the computer.

It's warranty is 3 times as long as the other two computers.

With my reliance and need for a 3TB hard drive, which I have in my external (which may have to be replaced by a 4TB one), having a 1TB internal hard drive in my computer is more than enough for my needs. A 2TB internal hard drive is of only marginal value to me.

And, if the 8GB of RAM is not sufficient then I can expand it to 16GB. (According to this: http://www.asus.com/us/Commercial_Deskt ... ifications)

Should it be a concern that 16GB is the max that this computer can take? That actually negates one of the values of having Windows 7 Professional on it as the computer tops out at this 16GB of RAM, which is the limit for Windows 7 Home Premium.

Starting in the late 90s I did start building some of my own computers and was going to build my super one in 2007 using this web site -

http://www.mysuperpc.com but I discovered there were a ton of used desktops around for $100 to $125 so, instead, I stock piled those.

Looking at what he is recommending today, it looks like to build a comparable computer to #3 would cost around $1,100. So, a lot of time ordering, putting it all together, hoping it all works, and costs more!

If you've made it this far, you get a medal! And, you get five medals for any valuable advice you can give me.

Thanks

Vinny
brad.clarkston
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by brad.clarkston »

While I'm a big fan of Lenovo (I've bought lots of thinkpads/thinkcenter's for companies over the years it really comes down to price range.

Anything in the $200-$300 range doesn't matter just get it at Wal-Mart or Best Buy (chomebooks/linux would be the best of category).
Anything in the $400-$500 range is only good for light computing (e-mail/browsing/light games).
Anything in the $600-$1000 is about the same spec wise but the cases are going to be of different quality the Lenovo's are the best but not necessarily worth buying.
Anything $1000+ would be executive grade (low graphics, i7 max cores, 32gigs ram, 1tb drives) and/or custom built.

I would buy in the price range your already in and Win7/8 Pro would be the one key feature I would get. It's always best to go with pro ) for the advanced networking features you might need down the road.

It would be nice to find a model that goes up to 32gig's like this:

https://www.cdw.com/shop/products/Lenov ... %20Catalog

bumped up to 12gigs for starters. But any of your choices would be good.g

EDIT: Check out the tech specs if your not used to CDW it's dual monitor capable and very up-gradable. This is what I buy for exec's and accounting. I also bought one for my son for a gaming rig buy maxing the 32gig's and putting in a very high end half-hight video card.
lazyday
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by lazyday »

If Excel 2007 works and 2013 doesn't, why not stick with 2007?

One data option you might want to research if you haven't already is a NAS instead of the external hard drive. It can be accessed by multiple PCs on the network, if that helps. Some allow good security options, and auto backup.
brad.clarkston
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by brad.clarkston »

Office 2007 is buggy I wouldn't recommend it for any higher end Excel functions, pivot tables alone work much better in 2010.

I"m not a big fan of 2013 but 2010 is well worth it and cheap -- { http://www.getsoftwarekey.com/microsoft ... gr8pq9dla5 }.

getsoftwarekey is mostly legal they buy HP/DELL keys in bulk for enterprise customers and then sell to anyone so they are authentic keys that Microsoft will support no problem. I'd e-mail and ask for there paypal address to pay it's just easier than his CC company.

My recommendation would be uninstall MS Office from any new computer and buy a good standard copy of 2010 and clean install it, you will be a much happier camper.
DVMResident
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by DVMResident »

If you go with Lenovo, I highly recommend the Thinkpad line over the Ideapad line. The Ideapad line has awful service and it'll take months to replace any faulty parts. They function as 2 different companies under the same brand name.
brad.clarkston
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by brad.clarkston »

Yep the Thinkpad (laptop) and ThinkCentre (desktop) is business branding where Ideapad (laptop) is for home use.

The "Idea" cases are not as bullet proof as the "Think" brand and not as much memory capacity but they do tend to have much better graphics for things like gaming.
The "Think" brand is still butt-ugly black boxes so if looks matter that's something to ponder.
sls239
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by sls239 »

I tend to use one workbook to hold many, many worksheets. I think the most worksheets I've even had is one spreadsheet / workbook was 400 worksheets. Works quite well as linking between spreadsheets is fraught with errors while linking within a spreadsheet is never a problem.
Have you considered that the data you are using might be better stored in a database program like Access rather than Excel?
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vnatale
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by vnatale »

sls239 wrote:
I tend to use one workbook to hold many, many worksheets. I think the most worksheets I've even had is one spreadsheet / workbook was 400 worksheets. Works quite well as linking between spreadsheets is fraught with errors while linking within a spreadsheet is never a problem.
Have you considered that the data you are using might be better stored in a database program like Access rather than Excel?

Definitely not. I'm always creating / manipulating data using all the Excel functions. They are all definitely spreadsheet worksheets and not the compiling of information as would be in a database.
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vnatale
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by vnatale »

brad.clarkston wrote:Office 2007 is buggy I wouldn't recommend it for any higher end Excel functions, pivot tables alone work much better in 2010.

I"m not a big fan of 2013 but 2010 is well worth it and cheap -- { http://www.getsoftwarekey.com/microsoft ... gr8pq9dla5 }.

getsoftwarekey is mostly legal they buy HP/DELL keys in bulk for enterprise customers and then sell to anyone so they are authentic keys that Microsoft will support no problem. I'd e-mail and ask for there paypal address to pay it's just easier than his CC company.

My recommendation would be uninstall MS Office from any new computer and buy a good standard copy of 2010 and clean install it, you will be a much happier camper.

I was unaware of this and saw this as a possible option for some of my spare computers. However I later discovered Kingsoft Office which is free and seems to have picked up where Open Office left off. I installed it on an old computer and am using it right now on that computer.
patrick
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by patrick »

vnatale wrote:For me, the memory is a major downfall. It came with 3GB of RAM, with 2.75 usable. It maxes out at 4GB so the most I could go would be 3.75GB usable.
Increasing the installed memory to 4GB on an older machine may not make any difference at all. If you are using the 32-bit version of Windows 7 and/or using a motherboard that doesn't remap memory out of the I/O space, then 2.75GB or so may be the most memory that will be usable for you regardless of how much is installed.
vnatale wrote:Up until several months ago, I was using that 25MB spreadsheet in Excel 2007. On both my new Lenovo, my old Dell, and this computer, I never encountered any problems. However, when we upgraded to Excel 2013, I started getting not enough resource errors! Even when all I had running was this one spreadsheet I'd get this error message! On a computer with 8GB of RAM and an Intel i5 CPU! Luckily, we'd left Excel 2007 on my computer and on the same computer, the file opened fine with NO error messages.
That error may not actually mean that you need more RAM. Windows will allow a program to allocate more memory than is installed on the machine by using the swap file. You would get poor performance with insufficient RAM but it shouldn't prevent a program from working at all. Also note that if using the 32-bit version of Office it will be limited to using 2 or 3 gigabytes of memory -- if that is the case you might be able to fix the problem by switching to the 64-bit version.
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stratton
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by stratton »

I'd suggest an SSD. You won't believe the speed up you get from one.

Based on fiddling around and comments on s/w dev boards "SSD+X amount of ram" is equivalent to "spinning disk+2X amount of ram."

Data transfers will be about 4x a spinning disk and the 20 millisecond latency to access the "disk" moves down to about 0.1 or 0.2 milliseconds. Really speeds up my system. I have 16 GB ram, 480 GB SDD and 2 TB hard drive.

Paul
...and then Buffy staked Edward. The end.
Topic Author
vnatale
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by vnatale »

patrick wrote:
vnatale wrote:For me, the memory is a major downfall. It came with 3GB of RAM, with 2.75 usable. It maxes out at 4GB so the most I could go would be 3.75GB usable.
Increasing the installed memory to 4GB on an older machine may not make any difference at all. If you are using the 32-bit version of Windows 7 and/or using a motherboard that doesn't remap memory out of the I/O space, then 2.75GB or so may be the most memory that will be usable for you regardless of how much is installed.

VINNY: I just checked and it says I have a 64-bit operating system. It also says Installed memory (RAM): 3.00 GB (2.75 GB usable). My office computer says 8.00 GB (7.75 usable). It is possible that both of them are reserving 0.25 for the onboard video?

I'm thinking that I'd get 3.75 usable on this computer if I added the addtional 1.0 GB of RAM. I may try it. It will only cost $25 and I'd have a 40% increase in memory. However, there is another caveat. You are supposed to have matched pairs of memory. This only has two memory slots. One has 2GB while the other had 1GB. If I buy a 2GB (for $25) i replace the 1GB with it. But then I don't have a matched pair (same manufacturer). So, I may be worse off. But it's worth a $25 gamble.

Don't know about the motherboard issue that you raise above.
vnatale wrote:Up until several months ago, I was using that 25MB spreadsheet in Excel 2007. On both my new Lenovo, my old Dell, and this computer, I never encountered any problems. However, when we upgraded to Excel 2013, I started getting not enough resource errors! Even when all I had running was this one spreadsheet I'd get this error message! On a computer with 8GB of RAM and an Intel i5 CPU! Luckily, we'd left Excel 2007 on my computer and on the same computer, the file opened fine with NO error messages.
That error may not actually mean that you need more RAM. Windows will allow a program to allocate more memory than is installed on the machine by using the swap file. You would get poor performance with insufficient RAM but it shouldn't prevent a program from working at all. Also note that if using the 32-bit version of Office it will be limited to using 2 or 3 gigabytes of memory -- if that is the case you might be able to fix the problem by switching to the 64-bit version.
VINNY: Our IT person in our office is quite insistent on buying 64 bit versions of all software we buy so I do not think that is the problem. And, it just puzzles me to no end how *GB of RAM cannot be sufficient for a 25MB spreadsheet. The RAM is 320 times the size of the spreadsheet!

When I open it under Excel 2013 with no other programs running on the computer, I get "insufficient resources" and it does not even open. Yet on the same computer with the same file and tons of other programs running Excel 2007 opens and runs the file with ease.

Tells me that Microsoft messed a used to be excellent program with their 2013 version. I've love to be their prosecutor in a courtroom on this and would pity the person attempting to be their defender.

Vinny
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vnatale
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by vnatale »

stratton wrote:I'd suggest an SSD. You won't believe the speed up you get from one.

Based on fiddling around and comments on s/w dev boards "SSD+X amount of ram" is equivalent to "spinning disk+2X amount of ram."

Data transfers will be about 4x a spinning disk and the 20 millisecond latency to access the "disk" moves down to about 0.1 or 0.2 milliseconds. Really speeds up my system. I have 16 GB ram, 480 GB SDD and 2 TB hard drive.

Paul
In my long analysis, I was not clear on one thing. That I really need a computer that has 3.0 USB. This computer has USB 2.0 while almost all my external hard drives are USB 3.0. Which means data transfers are taking 10 times as much time as they would if I had USB 3.0. A friend today just reminded me that I could buy a $35 3.0 USB card to put into this computer to take care of that problem.

In what ways and what applications do you see increased system speed with an SSD?

Other than when I'm copying across external drives, which I don't believe involves my internal hard drive at all, I don't think I do much that is internal hard drive intensive.

Vinny
inbox788
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by inbox788 »

stratton wrote:I'd suggest an SSD. You won't believe the speed up you get from one.

Based on fiddling around and comments on s/w dev boards "SSD+X amount of ram" is equivalent to "spinning disk+2X amount of ram."

Data transfers will be about 4x a spinning disk and the 20 millisecond latency to access the "disk" moves down to about 0.1 or 0.2 milliseconds. Really speeds up my system. I have 16 GB ram, 480 GB SDD and 2 TB hard drive.

Paul
Ditto on the SSD. Prompted me to ask if there was an off the shelf desktop with SSD and the pickings are slim. Did come across this:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Acer-Veriton- ... d/32782312
http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/pro ... 30GI74770X

I wonder if they stock these in the stores for immediate pickup.

Looks like Win 8 Pro, but you can install Win 7 Pro on first startup.

You may have to add memory, an internal hard drive, or just work with your externals. I comes with a couple of USB3 ports. Would need to add video card if you needed more monitors.

Acer isn't my favorite brand. Used to be bottom of the pile, but some years later, it was in the middle (and I preferred them over Compaq). Don't know about now or whether they have multiple classes, or good/better products on the high end. That 300W power supply is a little scary.

Adding an SSD requires installing an OS, so at that point, you might as well build or order a system with it built in. And if you're going to be adding memory, hard drive, video card, it's not that many more steps to building your own...
ubermax
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by ubermax »

Love Lenovo - almost 5 year old T400s laptop with 256GB SSD and a mere 3gig memory and Win 7 Pro (forget Win 8/8.1 or whatever ) - it replaced a desktop and it's perfect for home and travel - more than enough everything for me and I do quite a bit with Excel myself - it's been very reliable but I keep it clean - no extraneous crap or games or downloads - the current Lenovo laptop lineup would probably make me drool ( and buy , so I don't look :D ) .

the OP mentioned 400 worksheets I think - I guess that's the same as 400 tabs --- worksheets , workbooks, can't keep em straight - off topic but years ago I worked for a small company that did pension administration and the owner hired me to create a spreadsheet valuation system using Lotus - I had one person per tab and we probably had close to 400 lives on some of the pension plans - the computer was close to exploding due to overheating :( - those were the days !!!
Last edited by ubermax on Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by abuss368 »

I would select neither a look for a nice Apple Mac Book Pro Laptop or Mac Desktop.
John C. Bogle: “Simplicity is the master key to financial success."
lazyday
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by lazyday »

vnatale wrote:And, it just puzzles me to no end how *GB of RAM cannot be sufficient for a 25MB spreadsheet. The RAM is 320 times the size of the spreadsheet!
Might be a limitation of Excel, a bug, or "bloat".

Decades ago, systems and programs were carefully created to conserve computing resources. As time goes by, there has been a tendancy to be less careful about this, as systems and programs have become more complex, and resources have grown. This problem has generally been much less severe in the Linux world, but that probably won't help most Excel users.
cjking
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by cjking »

I'm not convinced your problems will be solved by a new computer. I think you need to get to the bottom of what is wrong with Excel, either find a different way to use it or revert to a version that works. (I'm assuming there is nothing else wrong with your computer that's slowing it down, that might be fixed by OS reinstall. Shouldn't be the case for Windows 7.)

I have a 2007 vintage desktop running Windows 8.1. I deliberately chose the 32-bit version of Windows because I can't conceive of needing more than 2 Gig. of memory, and if you don't need support for extra memory then I think 32-bit Windows is preferable to 64-bit. (My hardware requirements are actually going down with time, Windows 8.1 needs less memory than Windows 7. I no longer do local backups of my data, I've decided storing everything other than music in Skydrive is good enough safety.)

I did recently add a Sandisk SSD cache to my current computer to speed it up a little, this caches the existing drives.

http://www.sandisk.co.uk/products/ssd/sata/readycache/
lazyday
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by lazyday »

vnatale wrote:
brad.clarkston wrote:<snip>My recommendation would be uninstall MS Office from any new computer and buy a good standard copy of 2010 and clean install it, you will be a much happier camper.
I was unaware of this and saw this as a possible option for some of my spare computers. However I later discovered Kingsoft Office which is free and seems to have picked up where Open Office left off. I installed it on an old computer and am using it right now on that computer.
Would seem to me that Excel 2010 would be an easier transition, but if you can use completely new spreadsheet software, there are several options including Libreoffice:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sp ... t_software

For storing the data, you could choose from cloud, NAS, or continue to use external drives. It should be possible to add a USB 3 card to a desktop if needed.

As others have said, you might find that a new PC is not needed for your spreadsheet problem. Generally spreadsheets run fine on somewhat old hardware.

Your OP (which I read very quickly, may have missed something) also mentioned overtaxing the computer in general, with email, web, etc. So you might still want a new computer, but it may not need to be very powerful.
You might be able to improve on your procedures of "constantly backing up to multiple hard drives" and make this automatic. For example, some NAS boxes come with automatic backup a bit like Apple's Time Machine, automatically keeping multiple versions. Google Docs does this spectacularly, but Google Sheets may be too simple for you.
lightheir
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by lightheir »

Have you tried google docs? I suspect it'll do everything you need and then some. It's come a long way from its early days.
lazyday
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by lazyday »

If that's an option:
I don't know if it may be important to install the Google app and maybe use Chrome browser in order to best use a combination of local and cloud storage, with automatic backup from local storage. This may be automatic with a Chromebook, but not sure.
traumadoc77
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by traumadoc77 »

I find it a lot cheaper(and fun) to build my own. I've built 3 so far over the years and it is fairly simple. If you need help check out the [H] forums http://hardforum.com/, they can help putting one together, advice on what to include or what to leave out.

http://www.pcreview.co.uk/articles/Cons ... ur_own_PC/
ajcp
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by ajcp »

traumadoc77 wrote:I find it a lot cheaper(and fun) to build my own. I've built 3 so far over the years and it is fairly simple. If you need help check out the [H] forums http://hardforum.com/, they can help putting one together, advice on what to include or what to leave out.

http://www.pcreview.co.uk/articles/Cons ... ur_own_PC/
I agree, but I'm not sure that's something I would recommend for op.
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vnatale
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by vnatale »

abuss368 wrote:I would select neither a look for a nice Apple Mac Book Pro Laptop or Mac Desktop.
I'm a dedicated Windows person. Know a ton about them and they seem to offer much better value than Apple computers. And, all software is available for Windows computers. QuickBooks for Apple computers is problematic. Windows is the standards. And, that is the same reason why I chose to buy an iPad for a tablet. Apple is the standard for tablets. A developer is going to first make software for an iPad and then, maybe, think of creating it for other types of tablets. So, I own zero Apple computers but own two iPads, an iTouch, about 5 iPods of various types. Those products are all great. And, to me represent great performance.
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vnatale
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by vnatale »

lazyday wrote:
vnatale wrote:And, it just puzzles me to no end how *GB of RAM cannot be sufficient for a 25MB spreadsheet. The RAM is 320 times the size of the spreadsheet!
Might be a limitation of Excel, a bug, or "bloat".

Decades ago, systems and programs were carefully created to conserve computing resources. As time goes by, there has been a tendancy to be less careful about this, as systems and programs have become more complex, and resources have grown. This problem has generally been much less severe in the Linux world, but that probably won't help most Excel users.
Now here is the extremely weird thing. Friday I tried opened this file that Excel 2013 was giving me problems. It opened fine with no error messages! And, then this week it's worked fine. In my long saga I left out that we tried opening this file on a co-worker's computer whose was identical to mine and she got the same messages as me as when I tried to open it on another co-worker's non-identical computer.

But on the same day, last Friday, we encountered another Excel 2013 problem. On a timesheet file (small, small) that I'd created for a coworker to use, she came to me to tell me that twice when she tried to print it, Excel closed. We tried it both on my computer and another co-worker's computer and the same thing happened. However, when I opened it and tried to print in Excel 2007, ZERO problems! Seems like Excel 2007 is the rock steady performer while Excel 2013 is iffy!
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vnatale
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by vnatale »

cjking wrote:I'm not convinced your problems will be solved by a new computer. I think you need to get to the bottom of what is wrong with Excel, either find a different way to use it or revert to a version that works. (I'm assuming there is nothing else wrong with your computer that's slowing it down, that might be fixed by OS reinstall. Shouldn't be the case for Windows 7.)

I have a 2007 vintage desktop running Windows 8.1. I deliberately chose the 32-bit version of Windows because I can't conceive of needing more than 2 Gig. of memory, and if you don't need support for extra memory then I think 32-bit Windows is preferable to 64-bit. (My hardware requirements are actually going down with time, Windows 8.1 needs less memory than Windows 7. I no longer do local backups of my data, I've decided storing everything other than music in Skydrive is good enough safety.)

I did recently add a Sandisk SSD cache to my current computer to speed it up a little, this caches the existing drives.

http://www.sandisk.co.uk/products/ssd/sata/readycache/
I concur with you that a new computer may not solve the problem and that it is an Excel 2013 problem. And, I cannot get to the bottom of what the problem is when Microsoft wants to arrogantly charge me to talk to a software engineer about what is clearly an obvious flaw in their product (based upon me easily finding many other users having similar complaints / problems).

I need to think about your other suggestions above.

Thanks

Vinny
lightheir
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by lightheir »

As another heads up, you can open most Excel and office files regardless of year, in Google Docs. The converter is very good as well, I've had very few glitches in mine.
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vnatale
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by vnatale »

lightheir wrote:Have you tried google docs? I suspect it'll do everything you need and then some. It's come a long way from its early days.
I'm fairly certain that it would fail miserably. This is a fairly complex, intricate spreadsheet. Plus, I'd be dependent upon internet access and could possibly have speed issues.

Vinny
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vnatale
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by vnatale »

traumadoc77 wrote:I find it a lot cheaper(and fun) to build my own. I've built 3 so far over the years and it is fairly simple. If you need help check out the [H] forums http://hardforum.com/, they can help putting one together, advice on what to include or what to leave out.

http://www.pcreview.co.uk/articles/Cons ... ur_own_PC/
This is something I am definitely considering. However, it seems like the manufacturers all get a huge break on Windows operating software, which we consumers do not. And that narrows the price difference considerably.

And, this is a site I've had my eye on for years:

http://www.mysuperpc.com

When I add up his recommendations, it seems like a prebuilt one is either less expensive or has more in it.

Plus, building your own has no warranty (actually not that big a deal to me since I do my own computer support) but there is no guarantees everything is going to work once you put it all together. Plus, all the time to place the orders and all of that. I have built a few in the past but once I found that you could buy these used computers for dirt cheap at computer shows that became my route to go.

This is my first time I'm seriously considering buying a brand new name brand computer.

Vinny
ajcp
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by ajcp »

vnatale wrote: And, this is a site I've had my eye on for years:

http://www.mysuperpc.com

When I add up his recommendations, it seems like a prebuilt one is either less expensive or has more in it.
The reason for this is that the prebuilts usually skimp on things like power supply and video card, which aren't as apparent to most computer buyers as ram or cpu ghz.
lightheir
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by lightheir »

vnatale wrote:
lightheir wrote:Have you tried google docs? I suspect it'll do everything you need and then some. It's come a long way from its early days.
I'm fairly certain that it would fail miserably. This is a fairly complex, intricate spreadsheet. Plus, I'd be dependent upon internet access and could possibly have speed issues.

Vinny
Ok that might cause you problems.

Just for my curiosity sake - what complicated things do you do in Excel that you suspect won't translate over to the gdocs?

And as well - are you often without internet? I hesitated at first to use gdocs because of the internet-dependence issue, but it has been totally not a problem. I just use free Libreoffice in the rare moments I have to access spreadsheets offline (like on a plane trip), but it's been over 2 years since I've done that.

I bring up these thing just because if you're running into obsolescence problems now, they will only get worse with time if you put it off.
lightheir
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by lightheir »

Also as an aside, I'd be surprised if you're really pushing the processor with your Excel demands. I could be wrong, but that would have to be a pretty impressive spreadsheet to do that!

I have a laptop core i5 that's 1.5 years old now, with 4gb ram, and I've not once been CPU power limited with office tasks, video watching, etc. on it. The only thing that would drag it down are 3d games(no graphics card) but that's not what I use it for. I've actually been surprised how excellent the laptop ($600 purchase prices) has been - I often run many things simultaneously and it handles them with aplomb. It's Win7.
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by Ged »

traumadoc77 wrote:I find it a lot cheaper(and fun) to build my own. I've built 3 so far over the years and it is fairly simple. If you need help check out the [H] forums http://hardforum.com/, they can help putting one together, advice on what to include or what to leave out.

http://www.pcreview.co.uk/articles/Cons ... ur_own_PC/
I agree with this completely. You pick up a nice skill, are much more likely to get a machine suited for your particular needs, plus you have access to a much wider range of components than just what a box seller offers.

Generally what I end up with isn't so much as saving money with the initial build as it is having a machine that has more capacity or higher quality parts for the same money. Prebuilts often have some nice specs but when you dig into them you always find something was skimped on, say like the number of bays, or power supplies that don't support video card upgrades, etc. Plus when you buy quality stuff you often find it possible to reuse components from one machine to the next.

Disclaimer: I've never owned an off the shelf PC. My first two PCs were put together for me by a systems integrator in his living room, and then subsequently I've always built mine from parts from places like NewEgg.
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by 3CT_Paddler »

lightheir wrote:Also as an aside, I'd be surprised if you're really pushing the processor with your Excel demands. I could be wrong, but that would have to be a pretty impressive spreadsheet to do that!

I have a laptop core i5 that's 1.5 years old now, with 4gb ram, and I've not once been CPU power limited with office tasks, video watching, etc. on it. The only thing that would drag it down are 3d games(no graphics card) but that's not what I use it for. I've actually been surprised how excellent the laptop ($600 purchase prices) has been - I often run many things simultaneously and it handles them with aplomb. It's Win7.
I know from personal experience it can be done (although its rare). Combine some VLookup functions with several 800k row tabs and things get dicey real quick. :)

If the OP is truly running against memory/processor constraints, the main issue is probably the inefficiency of Excel calculations. I would bet if the OP sat down with someone who had a decent grasp of database and/or programming, his issues would be a thing of the past. I don't think the issue for the OP is the need for a new computer, but more the need to make some tweaks to the data/spreadsheet. Although a new computer is always nice. :)

When looking at laptops a couple months ago, it was originally between the Asus 13" Vivobook and the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro. The Yoga is a little nicer, but then once you hit that price point ($1100), the 2012 MacBook Pro's are actually cheaper... and that decision was an easy one. If you don't want to go above $800 for a laptop, I would go with Asus.

Edit: I somehow missed that the OP was talking about a desktop computer. :oops: I would agree with others that a build your own is a good route to take.
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vnatale
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by vnatale »

ajcp wrote:
vnatale wrote: And, this is a site I've had my eye on for years:

http://www.mysuperpc.com

When I add up his recommendations, it seems like a prebuilt one is either less expensive or has more in it.
The reason for this is that the prebuilts usually skimp on things like power supply and video card, which aren't as apparent to most computer buyers as ram or cpu ghz.
I am aware of that. As far as power supply goes, that could be an issue, although I don't think it's ever been an issue with any of these used computers that I buy. And, far as video cards go, I'm not a gamer and, generally am using the computer similar to a business user so onboard user is generally good enough (except when it steals some precious needed RAM - but that'd not be an issue with an 8GB RAM new computer. Also, staying on the video cards. My special video need is to run two monitors, which I usually go by either installing two video cards or one card with dual outputs, which in both cases takes out the onboard video.

Thanks

Vinny
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vnatale
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by vnatale »

lightheir wrote:
vnatale wrote:
lightheir wrote:Have you tried google docs? I suspect it'll do everything you need and then some. It's come a long way from its early days.
I'm fairly certain that it would fail miserably. This is a fairly complex, intricate spreadsheet. Plus, I'd be dependent upon internet access and could possibly have speed issues.

Vinny
Ok that might cause you problems.

Just for my curiosity sake - what complicated things do you do in Excel that you suspect won't translate over to the gdocs?

And as well - are you often without internet? I hesitated at first to use gdocs because of the internet-dependence issue, but it has been totally not a problem. I just use free Libreoffice in the rare moments I have to access spreadsheets offline (like on a plane trip), but it's been over 2 years since I've done that.

I bring up these thing just because if you're running into obsolescence problems now, they will only get worse with time if you put it off.

I think my most complicated, intricate spreadsheet had 400 worksheets in it, with many formulas linked back and forth between them. Plus, I use a ton of different cell formatting. And, that spreadsheet was a direct cause of the CPA firm I was working at deciding to make the switch from 2003 to 2007. I had so many different formats in that one spreadsheet that Excel 2003 would not let me do one more different type cell format. Excel 2003 told me I'd reached the Excel 2003 limit! After we upgraded to Excel 2007, I was back to creating more different type cell formats as Excel 2007 limitations in this area (and others) was far greater than was Excel 2003.

Vinny
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vnatale
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by vnatale »

lightheir wrote:Also as an aside, I'd be surprised if you're really pushing the processor with your Excel demands. I could be wrong, but that would have to be a pretty impressive spreadsheet to do that!

I have a laptop core i5 that's 1.5 years old now, with 4gb ram, and I've not once been CPU power limited with office tasks, video watching, etc. on it. The only thing that would drag it down are 3d games(no graphics card) but that's not what I use it for. I've actually been surprised how excellent the laptop ($600 purchase prices) has been - I often run many things simultaneously and it handles them with aplomb. It's Win7.
I agree. Not a CPU problem. It used to be in the old, old days. Whenever I'd make a change somewhere, I'd literally have to with for the change to ripple through everywhere. No more like that. Unless I'm hitting against RAM problems like I sometimes do with this home computer I'm using right now (with only 2.75 usable GB of RAM).

The error message I (and others) get with my large Excel file on my 8 GB / i5 Intel office computer is that the computer does not have resources. It does not specify if this is RAM or CPU. And, when I was opening it only 2GB of 8 GB was being used. So, hard to believe that a remaining 6GB of RAM was not enough resources for a 25MB Excel file.

Until someone can convince me otherwise I remained convinced that Excel 2013 flawed. Never once have a trouble with this file in Excel 2007 on the same computer but have the same problem with the file on other identical or similar computers running Excel 2013.

Vinny
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vnatale
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by vnatale »

Ged wrote:
traumadoc77 wrote:I find it a lot cheaper(and fun) to build my own. I've built 3 so far over the years and it is fairly simple. If you need help check out the [H] forums http://hardforum.com/, they can help putting one together, advice on what to include or what to leave out.

http://www.pcreview.co.uk/articles/Cons ... ur_own_PC/
I agree with this completely. You pick up a nice skill, are much more likely to get a machine suited for your particular needs, plus you have access to a much wider range of components than just what a box seller offers.

Generally what I end up with isn't so much as saving money with the initial build as it is having a machine that has more capacity or higher quality parts for the same money. Prebuilts often have some nice specs but when you dig into them you always find something was skimped on, say like the number of bays, or power supplies that don't support video card upgrades, etc. Plus when you buy quality stuff you often find it possible to reuse components from one machine to the next.

Disclaimer: I've never owned an off the shelf PC. My first two PCs were put together for me by a systems integrator in his living room, and then subsequently I've always built mine from parts from places like NewEgg.
For about 10 years I had a similar belief. I had only computers I'd built or had built for me at computer shows. And, I was about to do the same until I met a guy at a computer show who was the head of the IT department of a local community college. He pointed out to me a used IBM Think Centre desktop for $150 and showed me all the room for expandability that it had. I bought it and I continued on that path of buying used computers for $100 to $150. And, adding such things as two video cards or one dual video card.

Vinny
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vnatale
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by vnatale »

I agree. Not a CPU problem. It used to be in the old, old days. Whenever I'd make a change somewhere, I'd literally have to with for the change to ripple through everywhere. No more like that. Unless I'm hitting against RAM problems like I sometimes do with this home computer I'm using right now (with only 2.75 usable GB of RAM).



Vinny[/quote]

I now have to immediately take this back.

Normally, I keep all my worksheets in one workbook / spreadsheet file and all linking is done only between those worksheets within that workbook / spreadsheet..

However, I recently bought some software which requires me to keep multiple Excel workbooks open at once because there are links between these different workbooks.

As I'm using it, I'm seeing that changes are not happening immediately. There is a slight pause after I make the change. This is directly related to the speed of the computer's CPU (not great in the case of this computer).

Even though I only have 2.75 usable GB of RAM as I write this, I still have nearly 1/3 of it available so that is not the cause of the delay. It is an underpowered CPU for what I am currently doing.

Vinny
lazyday
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by lazyday »

lightheir wrote:I hesitated at first to use gdocs because of the internet-dependence issue, but it has been totally not a problem. I just use free Libreoffice in the rare moments I have to access spreadsheets offline (like on a plane trip), but it's been over 2 years since I've done that.
[/quote]
I haven't tried this, but seems you can get offline access to your docs:
https://support.google.com/drive/answer/2375012?hl=en

I don't know if complicated sheets run well when online only, or if a combination of offline&online lets them run faster.
inbox788
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by inbox788 »

vnatale wrote:
abuss368 wrote:I would select neither a look for a nice Apple Mac Book Pro Laptop or Mac Desktop.
I'm a dedicated Windows person. Know a ton about them and they seem to offer much better value than Apple computers. And, all software is available for Windows computers. QuickBooks for Apple computers is problematic. Windows is the standards. And, that is the same reason why I chose to buy an iPad for a tablet. Apple is the standard for tablets. A developer is going to first make software for an iPad and then, maybe, think of creating it for other types of tablets. So, I own zero Apple computers but own two iPads, an iTouch, about 5 iPods of various types. Those products are all great. And, to me represent great performance.
Off topic, but I've accumulated my share of smartphones, tablets, iTouch, etc. not to mention desktops and laptops used by the household. One day, I realized that I had setup so many automatic logins on my kids tablet that it is a huge security risk. So many of these are portable and easily lost or stolen. Apple provides some remote wipe capabilities with their devices, but that requires the network be accessible, and I've had times when the device lost power or just had network connectivity issues, so FindMyiPhone couldn't locate or lock down my device.

These days, I use an iPad as much as a laptop or a desktop, depending on the activity. Sometimes I use both at the same time. Don't think OP can give up the desktop mainly because of Excel, but if he can offload some of the other multitasking, and make his old desktop mainly for Excel use and use something else for other tasks, he might not need a new desktop, which seem to be going out of style these days. Especially if the performance issue is fixable as some have suggested. This way, money can be spent on laptop or tablets. There are many things that one does that doesn't have to be done or have simpler, easier, newer ways of doing. For example, there's a discussion/poll about balancing checking account. I tried Quicken a long time ago, and gave up because it was too much trouble and not worth the time. There's always Mint or other online trackers, but I've managed without them, so haven't spent much time with that either. Took me a long time to accept automatic bill pay, but once I did, it saves me hours, but have to admit I'm only scanning bills occasionally now, which might mean I'm missing something.

Still, the most expedient thing is to just bite the bullet and buy another desktop, which would allow OP to do things mostly the same way as before. This all depends on how much change OP wants to go through if any.
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vnatale
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by vnatale »

vnatale wrote:I'm attempting to decide which computer to buy which will meet my needs.

Currently, I am using this Compaq Presario computer (running Windows 7 Home Premium).

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00318 ... _pr_pb_opt

As you can see it has 45 reviews, which average a high 4+ stars. I believe it came out in 2010 and sold for about $300. I think I bought mine in 2011 used for $150.

I think it is a fine computer for the average user.

I don't think I'm the average user. I'm constantly backing up to multiple hard drives, using my e-mail software (Eudora), having a web browser open, having Excel open, plus having the computer do other resource intensive tasks. As a result the memory is constantly getting eaten up by all these programs running and the everything just goes slow or freezes.

For me, the memory is a major downfall. It came with 3GB of RAM, with 2.75 usable. It maxes out at 4GB so the most I could go would be 3.75GB usable.

If you go here, http://www.cpubenchmark.net you'll see that its CPU gets a score of 1,616.

In my office, up until last June, I was using a 2007 vintage Dell Optiplex 740 (running XP Professional) with 2GB of RAM and a CPU with a score of 589.

Then last June, that Dell was replaced by a Lenovo computer (running Windows 7 Professional) with 8GB of RAM and an Intel i5 CPU with a score of 5,899.

I've now reached the point with my home computer that I can no longer put up all the slowness I'm constantly encountering.

I'm looking at buying one of three computers and would like input as to which you think would best meet my needs.

Excel has always been my favorite software but, unfortunately, since Excel 2010, it seems like Microsoft has somehow created serious flaws in this formerly jewel of a software.

I tend to use one workbook to hold many, many worksheets. I think the most worksheets I've even had is one spreadsheet / workbook was 400 worksheets. Works quite well as linking between spreadsheets is fraught with errors while linking within a spreadsheet is never a problem.

I've had one main spreadsheet that I've been using in my office since October 2008. It is now about 25MB. Big but Excel is built to have much larger spreadsheets than that. I only use a fraction of the rows / columns available in a worksheet.

Up until several months ago, I was using that 25MB spreadsheet in Excel 2007. On both my new Lenovo, my old Dell, and this computer, I never encountered any problems. However, when we upgraded to Excel 2013, I started getting not enough resource errors! Even when all I had running was this one spreadsheet I'd get this error message! On a computer with 8GB of RAM and an Intel i5 CPU! Luckily, we'd left Excel 2007 on my computer and on the same computer, the file opened fine with NO error messages.

Seemed like an open and shut case to me that there is clearly a flaw in Excel 2013 when on the same computer it gives a resource error message on a file while Excel 2007 opens and runs it fine.

I called Microsoft to complain and they told me I'd have to pay them to talk to a software engineer about this problem. I told the person I was quite irate that I had to pay them to tell them that they now had a flawed product!

I went online and discovered that other people were having the same problem as myself and that the problem actually first manifested itself in Excel 2010. They'd had semi-large files that'd run fine in Excel 2007 but Excel 2010 / 2013 gave them problems.

I live in Excel both professionally and personally so I need a computer that can handle my files in Excel 2013. I've been impressed with 2 laptops I've used that had Intel i7's so I'm certain my next computer must have an Intel i7. And, at least 8GB of RAM. I don't know if I need 16GB. One thing I have not tried and should is opening the file on one of our office notebooks that have the Intel i7.

Unless someone can convince me otherwise, I have a strong bias against Windows 8 and towards Windows 7. I've looked at the differences between Windows 7 Home Premium and Professional and the two main advantages to me for Windows 7 Professional is that it goes beyond the 16GB RAM limit of Windows 7 Home Premium and it allows encryption of a hard drive. A question I have regarding this can it only encrypt the hard drive in the computer? Or, can it also encrypt external hard drives attached to the computer?

A few other things about the way I like to operate.

I love having at least two independent monitors and three is even better.

For about 7 years now, I've kept no primary / original data on my internal hard drive, using it only for the operating system and installed software.

All of my data is kept on a 3TB external hard drive which is then at least daily backed up on to several other external hard drives. And then backed up on to external hard drives in my office. I do this because it is a huge amount of data which would either take way too much time to recreate, if it could be, and much of it would be irreplaceable. Plus, if my computer dies (or I have no electricity) I can take that main external hard drive (or one of its backups) and put it on one of my spare computers or office computer and in less than an hour I'm fully back in business.

Sorry for the extensive background but it explains why I'm looking at these three computers and what I see as the pros and cons of each.

Each of these has the same Intel i7 CPU, which gets a score of 9,418

1) Lenovo IdeaCentre K450 Desktop

http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/desktops/i ... #techspecs

$849
5 reviews averaging a high 4+ stars
16GB RAM and 2TB hard drive
Windows 8 64

Pluses are the reviews and RAM. Big minus is Windows 8


2) Asus M11AD-US0060
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6883220517

$779
1 5 star review
16GB RAM and 2TB hard drive
Windows 7 Home Premium

Pluses are the RAM and Windows 7.

3) Asus BP6375
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6883220285

$840
3 reviews averaging 4 stars (however, if you go to Amazon, there are 6 total polar reviews - 3 give it 5 stars and 3 give it 1 star)
8GB RAM and 1TB hard drive
Windows 7 Professional 64-bit (with Windows 8 Pro upgrade disc)
3 yrs NBD on-site warranty
Support 3 independent displays
Iron Egg Price Guarantee (they'll match any advertised lower price within two weeks of purchase)

Pluses are the Windows 7 Professional, 3 year warranty, and supports 3 monitors out of the box.


I'm strongly leaning towards #3.

It has the far better operating system options without having to spend any more money on operating system upgrades.

It supports multiple monitors right out of the box so that I don't have to a) determine what is the correct video card to buy for the computer and b) getting it working in the computer.

It's warranty is 3 times as long as the other two computers.

With my reliance and need for a 3TB hard drive, which I have in my external (which may have to be replaced by a 4TB one), having a 1TB internal hard drive in my computer is more than enough for my needs. A 2TB internal hard drive is of only marginal value to me.

And, if the 8GB of RAM is not sufficient then I can expand it to 16GB. (According to this: http://www.asus.com/us/Commercial_Deskt ... ifications)

Should it be a concern that 16GB is the max that this computer can take? That actually negates one of the values of having Windows 7 Professional on it as the computer tops out at this 16GB of RAM, which is the limit for Windows 7 Home Premium.

Starting in the late 90s I did start building some of my own computers and was going to build my super one in 2007 using this web site -

http://www.mysuperpc.com but I discovered there were a ton of used desktops around for $100 to $125 so, instead, I stock piled those.

Looking at what he is recommending today, it looks like to build a comparable computer to #3 would cost around $1,100. So, a lot of time ordering, putting it all together, hoping it all works, and costs more!

If you've made it this far, you get a medal! And, you get five medals for any valuable advice you can give me.

Thanks

Vinny


Sorry for the long, long, long quote but I really was quite thorough in my current description of what I want / need from a computer.

And, I never did end up buying either a new Asus or Lenovo computer. Instead, I've stayed with the Compaq Presario I've been using for about 3 years now.

Today, I received an e-mail from Staples offering $100 off computer purchases. That set me off looking just at Asus desktops.

This is the one that has now caught my eye.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6883220576

It says it's a gaming computer. I play no games but I assume having a gaming computer would be way more than enough to handle my needs?

The pluses I see are:

Price - $700 (after Visa Card Rebate) (compared to another place on Amazon also selling a refurbished one but for $1,000).

3TB hard drive

16GB RAM

Total of 10 USB ports with four of them being 3.0

CPU - i7-3770 (about 5% slower than the I7-4770 but I assume it will be screaming fast compared to this computer. I will not buy any computer new or refurbished unless it has an I7.)

Separate video card which can run dual monitors

The only negative I see is that it only has a 90 day warranty rather than one year for a new computer. However, I find this is greatly mitigated by it being a refurbished computer. I favor refurbished over new from my belief that new items are only spot checked while refurbished ones are individually checked.

Finally, I'm in the Bogle Forum because I'm always seeking great value.

This computer seems to represent great value. Anyone disagree that this does NOT represent great value or suggest a better alternative?

Thanks

Vinny
Dyloot
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by Dyloot »

Take it from a tech who orders, configures, and deploys hundreds and hundreds of workstations in a business environment: get a Solid State Drive. Your comparison of 3rd and 4th generation Intel i7 processors is geek bliss, but if you're actually looking for real life performance you'll want a good mix of CPU/RAM/SSD. Go for the large, magnetic drive and you'll be bottle-necking that powerhouse CPU and power-user amount of RAM.

If you need extra hard drive space, I'd re-evaluate what your storing on your hard drive and consider storage options. You seem like a technical individual so I'm guessing you'd have no issue finding good solutions for your personal needs. Adding a second or third hard drive to your desktop or purchasing an external storage device with redundancy will take care of most users' needs.

On Excel: I've seen crazy results from finance professionals who convert Excel spreadsheets with a multitude of tabs, formulas, images, etc, from 2003 to 2007 to 2010 to 2013. Often a little digging and an extra set of eyes can root out the problems. I understand that's a major pain in the butt and I don't blame you if you stick with 2010. It's one reason why organizations opt against upgrading to newer versions. The problem with that strategy is that eventually that legacy software is so obsolete that it must be abandoned--and that can cost a ton of money or resources. As a poster above mentioned, I saw that happen first hand when pivot tables become musts and 2003 and 2007 wasn't cutting it anymore. Adapt or watch others who do your job complete your work loads much, much faster.
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vnatale
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by vnatale »

Dyloot wrote:Take it from a tech who orders, configures, and deploys hundreds and hundreds of workstations in a business environment: get a Solid State Drive. Your comparison of 3rd and 4th generation Intel i7 processors is geek bliss, but if you're actually looking for real life performance you'll want a good mix of CPU/RAM/SSD. Go for the large, magnetic drive and you'll be bottle-necking that powerhouse CPU and power-user amount of RAM.

I

Question on the SSD. If I buy the computer I proposed and later want to add the SSD drive how do I get the operating system on the SSD drive? Particularly when one is not supplied the operating system CD with this particular computer?

If I'm perceiving the problem correctly are you really advising to buy a computer already with an SSD drive and, therefore, with the operating system already on it?

Thanks

Vinny
ajcp
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by ajcp »

vnatale wrote: Question on the SSD. If I buy the computer I proposed and later want to add the SSD drive how do I get the operating system on the SSD drive? Particularly when one is not supplied the operating system CD with this particular computer?

If I'm perceiving the problem correctly are you really advising to buy a computer already with an SSD drive and, therefore, with the operating system already on it?

Thanks

Vinny
I believe some companies do provide easy ways for you to create your own DVD. Even if this computer doesn't, you can download the iso from Microsoft and create your own.

Buying a computer that comes with an ssd is also an option, but it can be hard at lower price points.
DSInvestor
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by DSInvestor »

vnatale wrote: Question on the SSD. If I buy the computer I proposed and later want to add the SSD drive how do I get the operating system on the SSD drive? Particularly when one is not supplied the operating system CD with this particular computer?

If I'm perceiving the problem correctly are you really advising to buy a computer already with an SSD drive and, therefore, with the operating system already on it?

Thanks

Vinny
It's quite easy. You treat it like a hard drive upgrade. You plug in the SSD either internally or via USB and then clone the HD to the SSD. Cloning will put everything that is on original HD onto the SSD and eliminate the need to install OS, updates, apps and migrate data. Make sure that the SSD is large enough to hold all the data that you have on the HD. Once the clone is complete, remove the old HD and install the SSD. You may need a mounting bracket to make the 2.5" SSD fit in a 3.5" bay. Once the SSD is operational, you can continue to use the old HD as extra storage or keep it aside as a backup.

Here are a couple of short youtube videos:

This sandisk video shows the USB cable and mounting kit:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s51GCZZ9x2Y

This crucial video shows the screens for the cloning software:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vRCgNylkOo
Last edited by DSInvestor on Wed Aug 06, 2014 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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ajcp
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by ajcp »

DSInvestor wrote:
vnatale wrote: Question on the SSD. If I buy the computer I proposed and later want to add the SSD drive how do I get the operating system on the SSD drive? Particularly when one is not supplied the operating system CD with this particular computer?

If I'm perceiving the problem correctly are you really advising to buy a computer already with an SSD drive and, therefore, with the operating system already on it?

Thanks

Vinny
It's quite easy. You treat it like a hard drive upgrade. You plug in the SSD either internally or via USB and then clone the HD to the SSD. Cloning will put everything that is on original HD onto the SSD and eliminate the need to install OS, updates, apps and migrate data. Make sure that the SSD is large enough to hold all the data that you have on the HD. Once the clone is complete, remove the old HD and install the SSD. You may need a mounting bracket to make the 2.5 in SSD fit in a 3.5in bay. Once the SSD is operational, you can continue to use the old HD as extra storage or keep it aside as a backup.

Here are a couple of short youtube videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s51GCZZ9x2Y

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vRCgNylkOo
I wouldn't advise cloning an HD to an SSD. Better off to start fresh.
DSInvestor
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by DSInvestor »

ajcp wrote:I wouldn't advise cloning an HD to an SSD. Better off to start fresh.
Life's too short to waste that much time reinstalling windows, all the windows updates, all the apps, and migrating data. If the computer is working well and no viruses, why not clone? I can see using a fresh install when someone wants to install SSD and upgrade to a new OS but I don't think OP is asking about that.

I must admit that I'm not an expert on SSD so I may be missing something. Assuming SSD is the only change to the system and the SSD is large enough to hold all data on the HD, what are the advantages of a fresh start over a clone?

Cloning is not a good option if the SSD is smaller than the data on the HD. Some folks like to use a small SSD to boot windows and use HD for storage. Some folks use a small SSD and create a hybrid SSD/HD like Mac's Fusion drive where the small SSD is used to cache the big HD (Intel SRT Smart Response Technology).
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vnatale
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Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by vnatale »

Since I've not yet bought the computer, it seems the two options are to:

1) Buy the computer and a separate SSD drive. Before I install any of my personal software on the computer, I get all that is on the installed drive in the computer to the SSD drive. This will require some education and time.

2) Buy a computer that already has an SSD installed with the operating system on it. I don't really need a large internal drive. I get by fine with a 500GB installed hard drive on this computer. I keep all my data on external drives.

Vinny
ajcp
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Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:44 pm

Re: Which Lenovo or Asus desktop computer to buy?

Post by ajcp »

DSInvestor wrote:
ajcp wrote:I wouldn't advise cloning an HD to an SSD. Better off to start fresh.
Life's too short to waste that much time reinstalling windows, all the windows updates, all the apps, and migrating data. If the computer is working well and no viruses, why not clone? I can see using a fresh install when someone wants to install SSD and upgrade to a new OS but I don't think OP is asking about that.

I must admit that I'm not an expert on SSD so I may be missing something. Assuming SSD is the only change to the system and the SSD is large enough to hold all data on the HD, what are the advantages of a fresh start over a clone?

Cloning is not a good option if the SSD is smaller than the data on the HD. Some folks like to use a small SSD to boot windows and use HD for storage. Some folks use a small SSD and create a hybrid SSD/HD like Mac's Fusion drive where the small SSD is used to cache the big HD (Intel SRT Smart Response Technology).
There are many differences between an HD and SSD (Defragging is bad, TRIM, superfetch is unnecessary, etc.). With a fresh install, Windows will detect that you're using an SSD and act differently based on that. If you just clone the drive, Windows will still act like you have an HD.

Fresh installs are also good for cleaning out a bunch of junk that's been installed over the years and can provide a speed boost. This isn't really relevant for OP's situation since he probably wouldn't have it that long before upgrading, but reformats can also be useful for extending the life of a computer.
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