Help me pick a computer

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Valuethinker
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Re: Help me pick a computer

Postby Valuethinker » Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:47 am

Slumlord wrote:I have a desktop that is about 7 years old and I think it's time to replace it. I can still browse somewhat effectively but it lags a bit when opening word documents and sometimes when viewing videos. I mostly just want a desktop that will last for a number of years like this one has without having to mess around with upgrading different parts. For a number of reasons I do not want to build a computer so please do not suggest building my own computer as an option.

I'd like some input on the following points:

i7 vs. i5 - My understanding is that unless you're doing really complex work like video editing the i7 with hyperthreading is overkill. I think the i7 adds about $100 to the price of the computer so it seems like an i5 would be fine for me. I've done some research and I don't think the new Ryzen processors are going to significantly affect the price of the "lower end" processors although they are certainly driving down the price of the high end processors significantly.


I'd buy the i7 for future proofing, unless the $100 is really an issue.

RAM - I have 4 gigs of RAM now and it's definitely not enough. When I view the performance analyzer it's having "faults" from time to time which means it is running out of RAM and writing to the hard drive which makes the computer move at a glacial pace. I'm thinking about getting 16 gigs of RAM (8 x 2) just to future proof it a bit. I realize I'm "overpaying" a bit but I don't want to have to deal with finding comparable RAM and seating it down the road.


or 32 GB. More is better, pretty much always. That above video card or processor.

Video card - I don't really game a lot other than say a flash game here and there when I'm bored and I don't see myself becoming a hardcore gamer either. Thing is, most of the computers I'm looking at with 16 gigs of RAM seem to come with higher end video cards. I'm just wondering if I'll realize any benefit at all from having a nicer video card (say, for example, a GTX 1060 vs. the integrated graphics cards that come standard).


I don't know on this one, I stayed with the integrated. However VR systems etc. are coming along, and watching streamed video is obviously much bigger than it was say 5 years ago. So I'd think about it.

HDD or SSD - I was thinking I'd like to have a smaller SSD for the boot drive and pair it with an HDD. From what I've read the SSD will improve loading time of programs like Word and Excel and also vastly improve boot up time.


SSD will make a big difference to speed.

Win 10 home or pro - I think as a basic user I would not need the pro version.


I always buy the pro system. I believe that there will be longer period of support for it from Microsoft, that more effort will be spent on security issues, and things like remote desktop *may* prove to be useful. I could be wrong.

The desktop I am strongly considering buying has the following specs: Intel Core i5-7500 Processor 3.40GHz; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5; 16GB DDR4-2133 RAM; 1TB HDD + 250GB SSD, Win 10 home. I can get this computer for $720.

Another option that I confirmed with Microcenter is that if I buy a lesser model computer I can customize the parts I want to upgrade and so long as I buy the parts at Microcenter they will install them for me for free if I buy a PowerSpec computer. The only exception is they will not configure the SSD as the boot drive and reinstall windows. I prefer not to have to do this myself.
[/quote]

Can't help you there.

Unless money is really an issue I would in the following order:

- get Win 10 professional
- get Intel i7
- get more RAM
- separate graphics card
- SSD (just rereading thread, this one should be higher up the list)
Last edited by Valuethinker on Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

Valuethinker
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Re: Help me pick a computer

Postby Valuethinker » Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:49 am

Slumlord wrote:
bloom2708 wrote:If you are going to "go big", why not get the specs you want in a laptop over a desktop?

Use an external monitor, keyboard and mouse (quite inexpensive) and you have a desktop that is also a laptop with built in UPS (battery of the laptop) and uses much less power.

It is very hard to take a desktop with you, but a laptop can be move quickly. You might spend $200 more but it seems worth it.


I just received a laptop from work that is ridiculously expensive for my job function (i7 processor, even has a touch screen interface) so if I need portability I can just use that. Also, as you noted, I would be paying a bit more for the same specs. The only thing I would really be doing that's mobile is browsing news stories or forums and I can do that on my phone.


A lot of software is going touch screen, part of the convergence of mobile devices with computing. It is becoming more essential.

Also, if you can believe it, up until now I was using a 10 year old laptop when I had to travel places. It's basically a brick and Internet Explorer will no longer even load up. Chrome will load but very slowly.


The risk around these is all about security. Conversely with older phones sometimes the simplicity gives *more* protection.

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Watty
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Re: Help me pick a computer

Postby Watty » Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:59 am

You may also want to get a larger monitor since the price on them has come down a lot. You can get a 24 in monitor for a bit over a hundred dollars now.

If you don't already have one that you can use it would be good to also get a large external hard drive and review your backup procedures. Be sure to make a good backup as soon as you get it configured the way that you want.

Also be sure to look through your software to see if you will be able to reinstall it on the new computer. If you use MS office then they really want you to go on the subscription model now which is way too expensive with for me. I have switched to LibreOffice and it has worked fine for me but I don't do anything too complicated.

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Cobra Commander
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Re: Help me pick a computer

Postby Cobra Commander » Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:19 am

whanaumark wrote:Depending on where you live (major city recommended) I would take a look at craigslist for desktop computers. It seems that gamers upgrade frequently and resell nearly new machines at a hefty discount to new

I recently got myself a home desktop for $600 including 2 monitors. i7, 24Gb ram, tip top graphics card.

One tip : use https://pcpartpicker.com/ to price out the computer based on the parts in the craigslist ad - you can feel good about the discount on new you are getting!


I'm in Northern VA and I've looked around and the prices people are asking on CL for newer computers seem to be higher than what I think I could get brand new on sale. Perhaps sellers expect some negotiation so they want to leave room to lower the price but when I use CL I prefer to just find something that's already reasonably priced and then ask them to take a few bucks off. Also, I like the comfort of buying something from a store where I know the Windows license is legit and there is a warranty on the parts in case something goes wrong.

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Cobra Commander
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Re: Help me pick a computer

Postby Cobra Commander » Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:28 am

covertfantom wrote:I'm going to buck the trend and say NOT to replace your computer. Not yet anyway. I would argue that you should do a full system reset (i.e. 'format the hard drive') and restore the system to stock. The reason I say that is because there's a good chance that you've never done it and you just have years and years of 'gunk' in the system that would melt away when you do a system reset.

The current computer you are describing is on par with current mid/low range hardware. Alot of mobile devices these days still come with 4 GB of RAM. My 6 year old i5 2500k is still more than powerful enough for the uses you are describing.

If you were slightly more technically inclined, I would recommend upgrading the RAM and SSD. You can get 8 GB of RAM for $40 on eBay and a 250 GB SSD for about the same. That would give you a computer on par with some of the fastest mobile laptops out there.

If you do decide on a new computer - WAIT for Ryzen. The reason it is only significantly affecting pricing on high end parts is because they've only release the high end version of Ryzen to compete with Intel. The mid/low end Rizen parts should be coming out in the next 3 months and will be a far better $/performance ratio than you can currently get.


I've thought about doing a system format and I know this makes me sound like an idiot but I'm not really comfortable that I won't screw it up. I'm actually not even sure if my Lenovo came with a backup disk to reinstall windows. I really have wanted to do it but I'm a bit scared of getting the blue screen of death and then not having a functional computer at all. I don't think I have a ton of bloatware on my machine though. I occasionally go into the task manager and Google each process that is running to make sure it is necessary. I've gone into msconfig and disable most of the junk on my computer.

I'm also considering waiting a bit for the lower end Ryzens to come out. OTOH, I wonder just how much room there is for Intel to lower their prices on their lower end processors like the i5 where there is less margin. I saw an article that they already cut the prices by about 25% on the lower end chips so the i5 is about $200. How much cheaper do you think a processor comparable to the i5 7500 is going to be?

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Cobra Commander
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Re: Help me pick a computer

Postby Cobra Commander » Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:32 am

Watty wrote:You may also want to get a larger monitor since the price on them has come down a lot. You can get a 24 in monitor for a bit over a hundred dollars now.

If you don't already have one that you can use it would be good to also get a large external hard drive and review your backup procedures. Be sure to make a good backup as soon as you get it configured the way that you want.

Also be sure to look through your software to see if you will be able to reinstall it on the new computer. If you use MS office then they really want you to go on the subscription model now which is way too expensive with for me. I have switched to LibreOffice and it has worked fine for me but I don't do anything too complicated.


I currently have two monitors: one is a wide screen dell that is either 22 or 24 inches and the other is a 17 inch old school square flat panel monitor. The 17 incher will probably be replaced at some point and I will move the other monitor over. I'm a lawyer so I really like having dual monitors when I review documents.

LiterallyIronic
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Re: Help me pick a computer

Postby LiterallyIronic » Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:40 am

Valuethinker wrote:Unless money is really an issue I would in the following order:

- get Win 10 professional
- get Intel i7
- get more RAM
- separate graphics card
- SSD (just rereading thread, this one should be higher up the list)


Eh, if it were me, I'd put the list in this order:

1) SSD - computer will boot far faster if the OS is on an SSD. They're expensive on a per gigabyte basis, so I don't yet recommend massive SSDs, but maybe a 256GB or 512GB drive, then a 2TB or bigger for everything else. I'd put the OS and a few of your most used programs on the SSD.

2) Graphics card. Huge performance increase between dedicated graphics card and on-board, unless you're doing very basic stuff.

3) RAM, if you're going from 4GB to 8GB, this would be huge. If you're going from 8GB to 16GB, not so much. If you're going from 16GB to 32GB, upgrading RAM would be last on my list

4) Intel i7. I normally always recommend an i7. But OP is doing basic stuff, so an i5 would be fine and jumping to an i7 would result in pretty much the same performance.

5) Windows 10 Pro. I wouldn't recommend it at all. I recommend Windows 7 Pro. Windows 10 has telemetry (note: Windows 7 now does too, unless you specifically declined the telemetry updates), forced updates, tiles, Windows Store, and Cortana - all of which I hate. Windows 7 will still be getting security updates for a few more years. Also possibly worth noting, that supposedly the Kaby Lake and later Intel processors won't have drivers for anything prior to Windows 10. Have not confirmed if that really is the case.

Watty wrote:You may also want to get a larger monitor since the price on them has come down a lot. You can get a 24 in monitor for a bit over a hundred dollars now.

Also be sure to look through your software to see if you will be able to reinstall it on the new computer. If you use MS office then they really want you to go on the subscription model now which is way too expensive with for me.


Re: Monitors. They have become complicated these days. It's not just the size, but also the resolution, refresh rate, g-sync vs v-sync, IPS, etc, that factor into the price.

Re: MS Office. Agree. I don't buy subscription software. I recommend avoiding Office 365, but can recommend Office 2016 as good stuff.

rgs92 wrote:Do power supplies have a short lifespan? I had only one die in my experience, but I didn't know they were that vulnerable to failure. Thanks for any insight here.


I wouldn't call it a short lifespan, no. But when I built my most recent machine, I had the option of continuing with my nine-year-old PSU or replacing it. I didn't trust my new parts to such an old power supply, so I replaced it with another 850 watt PSU. They should last a long time, but you really don't want it going out on you. OP would be pushing his/her luck with including a seven-year-old one in a new machine.

iamlucky13 wrote:I'm trying to think when the last crash of my either my Win 7 or my old Win XP home computer was. Probably somewhere around XP service pack 2?

Can it really have been 12 years? Even if it's been more recent, it's obviously so rare as to make no impression on me.


For me, I had some six-year-old RAM that was going out on me in my previous Win 7 machine, which caused Blue Screen Of Death on a semi-frequent basis on bootup. I later ran into an issue with a brand new SSD drive (the manufacturer agreed it had a problem and replaced it) which caused Win 7 crashes. Since buying new RAM and having the manufacturer send me a replacement SSD, I have not had Win 7 crash on me. But it was, in fact, crashing on me this calendar year. Windows 7 is quite stable, yes, but hardware can still bring it down.

To OP: yeah, the machine you linked is not a bad deal at all, in terms of what you're getting for the price.

pochax
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Re: Help me pick a computer

Postby pochax » Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:16 pm

just saw this post as well:
https://www.cnet.com/news/get-a-vr-read ... or-649-99/

HP desktop
Core i5-6400
8 GB RAM
128 GB SSD/ 1TB HDD
Radeon RX480 graphics card

$649 with coupon code in the link.

JDP
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Re: Help me pick a computer

Postby JDP » Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:37 pm

Have you used the website slickdeals.net? I use it periodically for various electronic deals and cheap flights.

Anyway, here is a decent desktop deal for $689.99 w/promo code:
Dell XPS 8910
Intel i7-6700 CPU
16GB DDR4
1TB HDD
Nvidia GeForce GTX 750Ti 2GB GDDR5
DVDRW
Win 10 Pro

https://slickdeals.net/f/9866324-dell-xps-8910-desktop-i7-6700-16gb-ddr4-1tb-hdd-gtx-750ti-dvdrw-win-10-pro-690-free-shipping-less-w-amex?src=SiteSearchV2_SearchBarV2Algo1

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Cobra Commander
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Re: Help me pick a computer

Postby Cobra Commander » Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:03 pm

JDP wrote:Have you used the website slickdeals.net? I use it periodically for various electronic deals and cheap flights.

Anyway, here is a decent desktop deal for $689.99 w/promo code:
Dell XPS 8910
Intel i7-6700 CPU
16GB DDR4
1TB HDD
Nvidia GeForce GTX 750Ti 2GB GDDR5
DVDRW
Win 10 Pro

https://slickdeals.net/f/9866324-dell-xps-8910-desktop-i7-6700-16gb-ddr4-1tb-hdd-gtx-750ti-dvdrw-win-10-pro-690-free-shipping-less-w-amex?src=SiteSearchV2_SearchBarV2Algo1


Yes, I am a huge fan of slickdeals. That's actually where I found the Powerspec deal I posted. I was considering this one as it would be a good deal especially getting 10% cash back with Ebates. The only drawback is not having the SSD and I lack the technical skill to reconfigure the computer to boot from a new drive.

Edit: I just saw this Lifehacker article (http://lifehacker.com/5837543/how-to-mi ... ng-windows) maybe I can handle moving over to an SSD. Doesn't seem all that difficult.

JDP
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Re: Help me pick a computer

Postby JDP » Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:57 pm

There are tutorials for mounting SSDs in the XPS 8910, configuring BIOS, and installing OSes on them, but if it's something you don't want to deal with I understand.

If you do purchase a smaller SSD and larger HDD combo desktop, I would suggest getting at least a 256GB SSD. Personally, I keep the OS and main use programs on the SSD. I like to keep it clean and below 2/3 full capacity. Everything else (pictures, videos, music and all non main use programs and files) goes on the HDD. You can reconfigure your Windows user files/folders to the HDD.

inbox788
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Re: Help me pick a computer

Postby inbox788 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:40 pm

Valuethinker wrote:I'd buy the i7 for future proofing, unless the $100 is really an issue.
...
Unless money is really an issue I would in the following order:

- get Win 10 professional
- get Intel i7
- get more RAM
- separate graphics card
- SSD (just rereading thread, this one should be higher up the list)


Or do what I did, which is spend $100 buying a used chromebook that's been surprisingly useful to me.

It all depends on what the tasks it's used for, and I'm still unclear about OPs requirements. There was mention of Citrix (I'm not familiar with it), and found that there is some chromebook support. I'd be curious as to how a chromebook compares to a 7 year old desktop (core 2 duo? BTW, besides low memory, the processor performance is getting a bit long in the tooth as well). Heck, there's mention of Raspberry Pi!?!

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/deta ... lnem?hl=en
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/12/14 ... pberry_pi/

And Citrix on Linux is probably better supported. It's possible that putting Linux on the 7 year old desktop PC will run better than under Windows. And on a modern PC, the difference may be less. Still, this seems more than what OP wants to tackle.

Virtual remote access used to be limited by the network bandwidth, and it still plays a big part. A faster processor is helpful for encryption/compression. Extra RAM (>8GB) might help a little. Not so sure about SSD, but that helps in other ways. And a discrete graphics card may be helpful if doing graphic intensive tasks, but only if the remote software is optimized for it.

https://virtuallyvisual.wordpress.com/2 ... ot-easier/

OP, if you know someone with a chromebook, give Citrix a try.

Add, more proof of concept, but interesting...
http://tech.daneyoung.com/the-77-comput ... -displays/

petiejoe
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Re: Help me pick a computer

Postby petiejoe » Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:57 pm

My $.02:
* Definitely go with the SSD. I think that one is pretty unanimous in this thread. It will lead to an incredible improvement in how fast your computer starts up and how responsive it is for the first few minutes after it boots (it's amazing how many programs are waiting for disk even after you log in to the computer). External hard drives are cheap and easy to use. They're a bit slower (you wouldn't want to run an OS or anything), but they're great for dumping music, pictures, movies, etc. If you get in the habit of putting all the stuff you actually want to keep on your external hard drive, you'll feel a lot more comfortable when it comes time to reformat or reinstall windows a couple years from now.
* RAM really depends on your utilization. On my work computer, I regularly have anywhere from 10-100+ tabs open in firefox, plus a few in Chrome, plus a couple dozen emails open in Outlook, plus 5-10 excel, word, powerpoint, etc. I have 8 GB of RAM and I can't remember the last time that RAM was my bottleneck. If you do video processing or run CAD software, that can eat through RAM like crazy. Gamers love having more RAM. But I probably wouldn't pay to overscale to 16 GB without a specific application in mind.
* If you're not doing anything computationally intensive, I'm not sure you're likely to notice the difference between the i5 and i7, especially after you get the SSD.
* A few others have mentioned that Chromebooks are great for people who are mostly just looking for a browser. My wife has a chromebook that does 98% of what she needs and about 80% of what I need. The biggest downside of Chromebook isn't its specs, it's that it's a very different way of thinking about computing - it makes the assumption that you don't ever want to do anything with the computer other than use a browser. I probably wouldn't suggest buying a Chromebook as an only computer, but it makes a great second computer (and you can still use your old desktop for the things that the Chromebook can't do).
* I find win7 and win10 fairly comparable. I use win7 at work and win10 at home and rarely run into issues jumping back and forth between them. Just stay away from win8 which is probably the most schizophrenic OS ever. I'd probably recommend going with win10 just because it will probably be end of life much later than win7. I have nothing against Linux, but I still probably wouldn't recommend it for a casual computer user. It's definitely going to be more bang for the buck (you can probably breath new life into your old computer), but will take some futzing to learn. Macs are nice mostly because they have full control over the whole experience. They have gotten much better about playing nicely with peripherals and whatnot, but on a mac your software choices are going to be somewhat restricted (unless you install windows; I love it when a mac fanboy draws that as their trump card). I just can't justify paying the extra money to buy a Mac.
* integrated video card is fine for pretty much everything except gaming or CAD-type stuff.

Doom&Gloom
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Re: Help me pick a computer

Postby Doom&Gloom » Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:10 pm

Slumlord wrote:
JDP wrote:Have you used the website slickdeals.net? I use it periodically for various electronic deals and cheap flights.

Anyway, here is a decent desktop deal for $689.99 w/promo code:
Dell XPS 8910
Intel i7-6700 CPU
16GB DDR4
1TB HDD
Nvidia GeForce GTX 750Ti 2GB GDDR5
DVDRW
Win 10 Pro

https://slickdeals.net/f/9866324-dell-xps-8910-desktop-i7-6700-16gb-ddr4-1tb-hdd-gtx-750ti-dvdrw-win-10-pro-690-free-shipping-less-w-amex?src=SiteSearchV2_SearchBarV2Algo1


Yes, I am a huge fan of slickdeals. That's actually where I found the Powerspec deal I posted. I was considering this one as it would be a good deal especially getting 10% cash back with Ebates. The only drawback is not having the SSD and I lack the technical skill to reconfigure the computer to boot from a new drive.

Edit: I just saw this Lifehacker article (http://lifehacker.com/5837543/how-to-mi ... ng-windows) maybe I can handle moving over to an SSD. Doesn't seem all that difficult.


A few years ago I bought a Dell XPS 87xx. I had never taken the back off a PC before, but I put an SSD in it shortly after purchase. I had a couple of very minor hiccups (which I blame on the cloning software), but it wasn't nearly as daunting as I had feared.

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GK4321
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Re: Help me pick a computer

Postby GK4321 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:29 pm

Slumlord wrote:
Edit: I just saw this Lifehacker article (http://lifehacker.com/5837543/how-to-mi ... ng-windows) maybe I can handle moving over to an SSD. Doesn't seem all that difficult.


If this is what you're considering, you might consider buying a SSD and the additional 4GB RAM for your old computer first. Be a good practice run and you might end up liking your old computer again. It can make an amazing difference. You can always use the SSD in a different computer later. You Tube has a video for almost any old computer on how to do this.

patrick
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Re: Help me pick a computer

Postby patrick » Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:08 pm

Slumlord wrote:I believe I have a Lenovo Lenovo H230. There's no stickers on the side and I didn't write this information down so the sole source of that information is the Crucial system scanner so I assume that thing works. With the RAM I just bought something that matched the specs of what the Crucial scanner said my systems takes but I tried to find a cheaper one so I got DDR3 1600. There's other stuff too like amps and current or whatever that I might have gotten wrong. I know I seated the RAM properly though because I tried using only the new RAM and when that didn't work I put the old sticks back in and they worked. I realize for computer types all of this stuff is like playing with legos but for me its not. I barely managed to install a new power supply and a cheap video card in this computer but that's about the extent of my upgrading abilities.

I guess I use the computer mostly on the days I telework. While I do have a work laptop I like sitting at my big U shaped desk and using Citrix to log in. Sometimes I take breaks from work to play a game or two. :)


Was the cheap video card you installed sufficient for your games? Depending on just how cheap it was, it may well turn out that the integrated graphics on a new computer is better than the video card you have now -- and if not you could always move the video card to the new computer.

RandomFly
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Re: Help me pick a computer

Postby RandomFly » Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:48 pm

For your needs, I think that machine is an overkill. I bought a gigabyte brix for ~ 300$ from Amazon and added 16 GB memory / 250 GB ssd for another 100$. I have a boot time of less than 10 seconds to windows and every application I use works well. I don't play any games, but my kids play typical browser based games and works fine for that. On top of that, it uses a low power processor which means that it has no fan i.e., it is dead silent and consumes very little power. You can try this if you want an i7 processor:

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 856164030R

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Cobra Commander
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Re: Help me pick a computer

Postby Cobra Commander » Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:34 pm

patrick wrote:
Slumlord wrote:I believe I have a Lenovo Lenovo H230. There's no stickers on the side and I didn't write this information down so the sole source of that information is the Crucial system scanner so I assume that thing works. With the RAM I just bought something that matched the specs of what the Crucial scanner said my systems takes but I tried to find a cheaper one so I got DDR3 1600. There's other stuff too like amps and current or whatever that I might have gotten wrong. I know I seated the RAM properly though because I tried using only the new RAM and when that didn't work I put the old sticks back in and they worked. I realize for computer types all of this stuff is like playing with legos but for me its not. I barely managed to install a new power supply and a cheap video card in this computer but that's about the extent of my upgrading abilities.

I guess I use the computer mostly on the days I telework. While I do have a work laptop I like sitting at my big U shaped desk and using Citrix to log in. Sometimes I take breaks from work to play a game or two. :)


Was the cheap video card you installed sufficient for your games? Depending on just how cheap it was, it may well turn out that the integrated graphics on a new computer is better than the video card you have now -- and if not you could always move the video card to the new computer.


The old video card is a Radeon R7 2000 Series. The benchmarks for the card are slightly better than intel HD 630 (http://gpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/In ... 724vsm8791) but I'm not sure if its worth the effort to move it over. I also replaced the power supply when I got this card so the PSU in my old computer is probably still good for a few years.

The video card is ok. I experience some lag on the more intensive flash games I play although I'm not sure if it's a RAM issue or a video card issue or both. Crucial tells me the type of RAM that will work with my computer (http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/compatibl ... enovo-h230) but I tried buying what I thought was the same RAM but cheaper and it didn't work. I guess I could try the Crucial RAM and if it doesn't work just return it.

I checked around and I have this Lenovo Win 7 drivers pack on a CD that came with the computer. I have no idea if that's sufficient to reinstall windows with though. It does seem noble to try to save my old computer. OTOH, it's also a lot of work with no guarantee of success.

iamlucky13
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Re: Help me pick a computer

Postby iamlucky13 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:59 pm

Valuethinker wrote:A lot of software is going touch screen, part of the convergence of mobile devices with computing. It is becoming more essential.


If it runs in a non-mobile environment, it needs to be keyboard and mouse compatible, which as far as I understand Windows 10, should require little to no effort on the part of the developer.

Trying to force desktop users to endure a clumsier, less efficient, less ergonomic input method would be silly. Touchscreens are for mobile devices, and one of the goals of Windows 10 was enable easy switching between devices or between configurations for multi-function devices like 2-in-1's so there could be true convergence, not to sabotage convergence like Windows 8.

covertfantom
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Re: Help me pick a computer

Postby covertfantom » Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:17 am

Slumlord wrote:
covertfantom wrote:I'm going to buck the trend and say NOT to replace your computer. Not yet anyway. I would argue that you should do a full system reset (i.e. 'format the hard drive') and restore the system to stock. The reason I say that is because there's a good chance that you've never done it and you just have years and years of 'gunk' in the system that would melt away when you do a system reset.

The current computer you are describing is on par with current mid/low range hardware. Alot of mobile devices these days still come with 4 GB of RAM. My 6 year old i5 2500k is still more than powerful enough for the uses you are describing.

If you were slightly more technically inclined, I would recommend upgrading the RAM and SSD. You can get 8 GB of RAM for $40 on eBay and a 250 GB SSD for about the same. That would give you a computer on par with some of the fastest mobile laptops out there.

If you do decide on a new computer - WAIT for Ryzen. The reason it is only significantly affecting pricing on high end parts is because they've only release the high end version of Ryzen to compete with Intel. The mid/low end Rizen parts should be coming out in the next 3 months and will be a far better $/performance ratio than you can currently get.


I've thought about doing a system format and I know this makes me sound like an idiot but I'm not really comfortable that I won't screw it up. I'm actually not even sure if my Lenovo came with a backup disk to reinstall windows. I really have wanted to do it but I'm a bit scared of getting the blue screen of death and then not having a functional computer at all. I don't think I have a ton of bloatware on my machine though. I occasionally go into the task manager and Google each process that is running to make sure it is necessary. I've gone into msconfig and disable most of the junk on my computer.

I'm also considering waiting a bit for the lower end Ryzens to come out. OTOH, I wonder just how much room there is for Intel to lower their prices on their lower end processors like the i5 where there is less margin. I saw an article that they already cut the prices by about 25% on the lower end chips so the i5 is about $200. How much cheaper do you think a processor comparable to the i5 7500 is going to be?


If you are running Windows 10, Microsoft has made it ridiculously easy to restore your computer back to 'stock': http://www.qoncious.com/questions/how-r ... y-settings

Ryzen 5 has been announced for a April 11 release date. A Ryzen 5 doesn't really line up with an i5... it lines up more squarely against the i7.
http://www.pcworld.com/article/3180799/ ... tions.html

ulrichw
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:17 am

Re: Help me pick a computer

Postby ulrichw » Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:22 pm

OP: It sounds like you want a new computer. But in case you don't, I'll suggest a different path: Just upgrade to an SSD that is large enough to replace your current hard drive.

Most SSDs come with imaging software which will make an exact copy of your existing drive. After that you swap the hardware and you're done. (I do this kind of stuff myself but maybe somebody like GeekSquad or Microcenter can do this for you).

If you're not having other flakiness on your computer, that's probably all you need to do (adding a little more RAM may help, but I'm guessing that the faults aren't so much the culprit as a hopelessly fragmented and slow hard drive - because SSDs are random access, they don't significantly slow down with fragmentation, so never need to be defragged, so you'll never have issues with this again)

As far as i5 vs. i7 - go cheap: my VR gaming rig has an i5 - CPU power is no longer much of an issue and I'd disagree with the "future-proofing" argument - you're better off waiting until you have a need for the CPU power and buying something that meets those specific needs - it'll be cheaper and faster then (these days, it's things like the graphics cards that end up being much more of where you need the power for specific applications anyway, so the extra $100 on a core processor would be a waste, IMO).
The GTX-1060 is a decent gaming card, and is probably a large portion (maybe 30%) of the cost of your new computer - I'd recommend against getting it unless you play games that take advantage of the card.

I would not recommend Linux or reinstalling your OS even though I've done both myself (I write software for a living). Linux is still too much of a compromise, and reinstalling the OS too cumbersome and painful to get all of your applications back.

I wouldn't get more than 16Gb of RAM, and IMO 8Gb is likely to be more than enough for virtually anything you'd do.

samsmith
Posts: 82
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:33 am

Re: Help me pick a computer

Postby samsmith » Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:31 pm

I have been following this thread (since I also needed a new computer).
For what its worth, I went to Microcenter and purchased (based on much of the feedback in this thread).

Intel Core i5-7500 Processor 3.40GHz
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit
16GB DDR4-2133 RAM
1TB Hard Drive
250GB Solid State Drive
Intel HD Graphics 630 (so no video card)

Price was $599
My computer needs are somewhat similar to original poster - so felt I did not need video card or an 17.
I got s SSD based on much of what was said in this thread.
So thanks to all


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