I think I need a new computer

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margaritaville
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Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by margaritaville »

One thing to think about when considering putting money into a 6 year old laptop is that much of the architecture on that laptop is stuck in 2014. While you may be able to easily switch over to a SSD, you probably won't be able to change out the wireless adapter to take advantage of the newer/faster standards such as AC1750, AC1900, etc. If your wireless router is fairly recent, you'd be giving up some bandwidth since your laptop is probably stuck on the older 802.11n standard at best. You might be able to get an USB wireless adapter that's compatible with the newer AC standards, but then you'd probably be plugging it into a USB 2 port that would negate your throughput.

Newer laptops have also made progress in connectivity with Display Port connections for graphics and USB-C for improved bandwidth over the older standards. You may not need any of this if all you're doing is browsing and reading email, but it's something to consider. It also helps make the case for buying something like a small form factor corporate refurb (HP EliteDesk G2 or Optiplex) that gives you a lot more options in regards to upgrading things.
dbr
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Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by dbr »

see below
Last edited by dbr on Mon Jun 15, 2020 10:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
dbr
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Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by dbr »

margaritaville wrote: Mon Jun 15, 2020 9:49 am One thing to think about when considering putting money into a 6 year old laptop is that much of the architecture on that laptop is stuck in 2014. While you may be able to easily switch over to a SSD, you probably won't be able to change out the wireless adapter to take advantage of the newer/faster standards such as AC1750, AC1900, etc. If your wireless router is fairly recent, you'd be giving up some bandwidth since your laptop is probably stuck on the older 802.11n standard at best. You might be able to get an USB wireless adapter that's compatible with the newer AC standards, but then you'd probably be plugging it into a USB 2 port that would negate your throughput.

Newer laptops have also made progress in connectivity with Display Port connections for graphics and USB-C for improved bandwidth over the older standards. You may not need any of this if all you're doing is browsing and reading email, but it's something to consider. It also helps make the case for buying something like a small form factor corporate refurb (HP EliteDesk G2 or Optiplex) that gives you a lot more options in regards to upgrading things.
With computers I have always been very happy to keep something for a long time and then go whole hog with something new when the time comes. I am finally on Win 10 from Win 7 and a 2TB SSD, fast processor, etc. It is really good.
02nz
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Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by 02nz »

margaritaville wrote: Mon Jun 15, 2020 9:49 am One thing to think about when considering putting money into a 6 year old laptop is that much of the architecture on that laptop is stuck in 2014. While you may be able to easily switch over to a SSD, you probably won't be able to change out the wireless adapter to take advantage of the newer/faster standards such as AC1750, AC1900, etc. If your wireless router is fairly recent, you'd be giving up some bandwidth since your laptop is probably stuck on the older 802.11n standard at best. You might be able to get an USB wireless adapter that's compatible with the newer AC standards, but then you'd probably be plugging it into a USB 2 port that would negate your throughput.

Newer laptops have also made progress in connectivity with Display Port connections for graphics and USB-C for improved bandwidth over the older standards. You may not need any of this if all you're doing is browsing and reading email, but it's something to consider. It also helps make the case for buying something like a small form factor corporate refurb (HP EliteDesk G2 or Optiplex) that gives you a lot more options in regards to upgrading things.
I agree on the SFF corporate desktops (though I like Lenovo's ThinkCentre Tiny best), but your point about the changes in technology/architecture is only true to a limited extent. The Display Port connector is actually largely obsolete now. And USB-C does not necessarily offer faster data transfer - even 2014-era laptops likely have a USB-A 3.0 port, which is as fast many current laptops' USB-C connections (some have the even faster Thunderbolt port, but those tend to be expensive). USB-C is more for convenience - reversible connector and the ability to power the laptop (but not even all laptops with USB-C connectors support that). The main things that have changed since 2014 for laptops are probably quad-core processors instead of dual-core, and NVME SSDs instead of SATA, neither of which make a huge difference for typical uses like browsing and office applications.
margaritaville
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Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by margaritaville »

02nz wrote: Mon Jun 15, 2020 10:15 am I agree on the SFF corporate desktops (though I like Lenovo's ThinkCentre Tiny best), but your point about the changes in technology/architecture is only true to a limited extent. The Display Port connector is actually largely obsolete now. And USB-C does not necessarily offer faster data transfer - even 2014-era laptops likely have a USB-A 3.0 port, which is as fast many current laptops' USB-C connections (some have the even faster Thunderbolt port, but those tend to be expensive). USB-C is more for convenience - reversible connector and the ability to power the laptop (but not even all laptops with USB-C connectors support that). The main things that have changed since 2014 for laptops are probably quad-core processors instead of dual-core, and NVME SSDs instead of SATA, neither of which make a huge difference for typical uses like browsing and office applications.
The wireless architecture was the primary point I was getting at. I have an older Lenovo Yoga 2 that I tried to upgrade the internal wireless card on with no luck. The BIOS wouldn't allow the computer to boot with the card installed and whitelisting didn't help. The lack of Display Port and USB-C on older platforms as you point out can be a hassle from a convenience standpoint as lots of peripherals are still using the standards.
02nz
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Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by 02nz »

margaritaville wrote: Mon Jun 15, 2020 10:54 am
02nz wrote: Mon Jun 15, 2020 10:15 am I agree on the SFF corporate desktops (though I like Lenovo's ThinkCentre Tiny best), but your point about the changes in technology/architecture is only true to a limited extent. The Display Port connector is actually largely obsolete now. And USB-C does not necessarily offer faster data transfer - even 2014-era laptops likely have a USB-A 3.0 port, which is as fast many current laptops' USB-C connections (some have the even faster Thunderbolt port, but those tend to be expensive). USB-C is more for convenience - reversible connector and the ability to power the laptop (but not even all laptops with USB-C connectors support that). The main things that have changed since 2014 for laptops are probably quad-core processors instead of dual-core, and NVME SSDs instead of SATA, neither of which make a huge difference for typical uses like browsing and office applications.
The wireless architecture was the primary point I was getting at. I have an older Lenovo Yoga 2 that I tried to upgrade the internal wireless card on with no luck. The BIOS wouldn't allow the computer to boot with the card installed and whitelisting didn't help. The lack of Display Port and USB-C on older platforms as you point out can be a hassle from a convenience standpoint as lots of peripherals are still using the standards.
The whitelisting seems to be typical of Lenovos (I've seen this on desktops and laptops) from around 2014 and earlier. Newer Lenovos (like my ThinkCentre from 2015) seem not to have this issue; I replaced the m.2 wifi card on that computer with a newer Intel one, super easy. I have swapped out wifi cards on other older laptops (Dell et al.) without issue, but you do have to make sure to get the right form factor, e.g., mini PCI Express for older laptops.
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Artful Dodger
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Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by Artful Dodger »

Colorado Guy wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:41 pm
schmitz wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:31 pm My current one is just getting too slow. The lag is unbearable. Sometimes I click on something and wait 10-15 seconds for the computer to catch up.
As your computer is "getting too slow", that suggests there are programs running in the background that could be slowing things down. You could use CCleaner (free) to clean up your hard drive and your registry. For a little more power, you can purchase System Mechanic.

I assume you have sufficient malware protection programs.

Depending upon your techie skills, you may want to simply replace your existing hard drive with a SSD (Solid State Drive). That provides a fairly significant speed boost by itself. Transferring files and operating system to the new SSD is straightforward with the software coming with the SSD.

Alternatively, I recently purchased a Microsoft Surface Pro 7 at Costco that can do everything you indicated you use it for.
Thanks for the tip to run CCleaner. I downloaded, and my old x86 2006 computer is running much better. :D
jhsu802701
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Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by jhsu802701 »

Your computer is fast enough. Try booting up a Linux distro with a live DVD or live USB. (I recommend MX Linux.) I'll bet that your computer runs MUCH faster with a Linux live DVD/USB.

I used to use Windows. Every Windows machine I ever had (personal or work) slowed down over time and eventually wouldn't boot up properly, which meant that I had to drop everything I was doing, back up my personal files to an external drive, and reinstall Windows. Windows issues are more common than hardware issues, including bad hard drives. That's a reason I now use Linux.

Face it, Windows is bloatware and not ready for prime time. Some old computers that need an orange triangular placard when equipped with Windows need a radar detector when equipped with Linux.
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schmitz
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Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by schmitz »

Artful Dodger wrote: Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:28 pm
Colorado Guy wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:41 pm
schmitz wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:31 pm My current one is just getting too slow. The lag is unbearable. Sometimes I click on something and wait 10-15 seconds for the computer to catch up.
As your computer is "getting too slow", that suggests there are programs running in the background that could be slowing things down. You could use CCleaner (free) to clean up your hard drive and your registry. For a little more power, you can purchase System Mechanic.

I assume you have sufficient malware protection programs.

Depending upon your techie skills, you may want to simply replace your existing hard drive with a SSD (Solid State Drive). That provides a fairly significant speed boost by itself. Transferring files and operating system to the new SSD is straightforward with the software coming with the SSD.

Alternatively, I recently purchased a Microsoft Surface Pro 7 at Costco that can do everything you indicated you use it for.
Thanks for the tip to run CCleaner. I downloaded, and my old x86 2006 computer is running much better. :D
how safe is ccleaner? when I do a quick google search on it, I find lots of people recommending not using it anymore.
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PoultryMan
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Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by PoultryMan »

I was ready to trash my 7 year old iMac. Got a SSD repacking the hard drive and it is literally better than when new. Unreal
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Artful Dodger
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Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by Artful Dodger »

schmitz wrote: Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:28 pm
Artful Dodger wrote: Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:28 pm
Colorado Guy wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:41 pm
schmitz wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:31 pm My current one is just getting too slow. The lag is unbearable. Sometimes I click on something and wait 10-15 seconds for the computer to catch up.
As your computer is "getting too slow", that suggests there are programs running in the background that could be slowing things down. You could use CCleaner (free) to clean up your hard drive and your registry. For a little more power, you can purchase System Mechanic.

I assume you have sufficient malware protection programs.

Depending upon your techie skills, you may want to simply replace your existing hard drive with a SSD (Solid State Drive). That provides a fairly significant speed boost by itself. Transferring files and operating system to the new SSD is straightforward with the software coming with the SSD.

Alternatively, I recently purchased a Microsoft Surface Pro 7 at Costco that can do everything you indicated you use it for.
Thanks for the tip to run CCleaner. I downloaded, and my old x86 2006 computer is running much better. :D
how safe is ccleaner? when I do a quick google search on it, I find lots of people recommending not using it anymore.
I did read several reviews from multiple sites before downloading, and almost all were good with the caveat that it's a free solution, and there were others at some cost. I did opt out of the AVG software, and it wouldn't have been easy to spot if I hadn't seen it mentioned in some reviews. I deleted tons of old files, registry files, dubious programs, etc., and it's running much faster. I plan to go back sometime, and delete the multiple duplicate files it identified, but didn't have the time when I first ran it. It's a 15 year old computer, bought 8 or 9 years ago with windows 10 installed, and I thought what can I lose. I do have carbonite, so all my files are backed up. I had already bought a SSD computer for use at home about two months ago at the beginning of the shutdown, and didn't want to automatically spend another $500 without trying something less expensive. So far, I'm a happy camper.
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schmitz
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Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by schmitz »

Artful Dodger wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 11:41 am
schmitz wrote: Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:28 pm
Artful Dodger wrote: Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:28 pm
Colorado Guy wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:41 pm
schmitz wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:31 pm My current one is just getting too slow. The lag is unbearable. Sometimes I click on something and wait 10-15 seconds for the computer to catch up.
As your computer is "getting too slow", that suggests there are programs running in the background that could be slowing things down. You could use CCleaner (free) to clean up your hard drive and your registry. For a little more power, you can purchase System Mechanic.

I assume you have sufficient malware protection programs.

Depending upon your techie skills, you may want to simply replace your existing hard drive with a SSD (Solid State Drive). That provides a fairly significant speed boost by itself. Transferring files and operating system to the new SSD is straightforward with the software coming with the SSD.

Alternatively, I recently purchased a Microsoft Surface Pro 7 at Costco that can do everything you indicated you use it for.
Thanks for the tip to run CCleaner. I downloaded, and my old x86 2006 computer is running much better. :D
how safe is ccleaner? when I do a quick google search on it, I find lots of people recommending not using it anymore.
I did read several reviews from multiple sites before downloading, and almost all were good with the caveat that it's a free solution, and there were others at some cost. I did opt out of the AVG software, and it wouldn't have been easy to spot if I hadn't seen it mentioned in some reviews. I deleted tons of old files, registry files, dubious programs, etc., and it's running much faster. I plan to go back sometime, and delete the multiple duplicate files it identified, but didn't have the time when I first ran it. It's a 15 year old computer, bought 8 or 9 years ago with windows 10 installed, and I thought what can I lose. I do have carbonite, so all my files are backed up. I had already bought a SSD computer for use at home about two months ago at the beginning of the shutdown, and didn't want to automatically spend another $500 without trying something less expensive. So far, I'm a happy camper.
ok good to hear. thanks!
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schmitz
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Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by schmitz »

had another computer question and figured id just leave them all in here instead of making a new thread.

im looking for an automatic file backup program. I used to use mozy but they are gone now and I was looking for a good replacement. one that does automatic off-site backups (daily?).

any recommendations?
Colorado Guy
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Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by Colorado Guy »

schmitz wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 12:56 pm had another computer question and figured id just leave them all in here instead of making a new thread.

im looking for an automatic file backup program. I used to use mozy but they are gone now and I was looking for a good replacement. one that does automatic off-site backups (daily?).

any recommendations?
I have used AllSync for years. Very robust. It will examine both the source and target locations, and then copy over the new or modified files. While I use it manually to maintain an offline hard drive for backup, you can set this up for auto backup. I haven't used that functionality, though.
InvestingGeek
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Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by InvestingGeek »

Chromebooks are the perfect fit for the use-cases you've outlined: browsing, zoom, openoffice. Except for Firefox which I don't know if they run.

For much less than your budget (~$300-400), you'd get a very reliable, fast-starting, appliance-like computer.

The performance you get on day one is the performance you'll get forever.

Don't have to deal with backups, virus software, system updates, reboots or whatever it is with Windows these days (I haven't used Windows since 2004 but I keep hearing about it in the news).

Don't have to learn any technospeak about computers or install or uninstall random things. It looks, works and is an appliance.

That's my kind of personal computer. And definitely my wife's.
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schmitz
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Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by schmitz »

Colorado Guy wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:11 pm
schmitz wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 12:56 pm had another computer question and figured id just leave them all in here instead of making a new thread.

im looking for an automatic file backup program. I used to use mozy but they are gone now and I was looking for a good replacement. one that does automatic off-site backups (daily?).

any recommendations?
I have used AllSync for years. Very robust. It will examine both the source and target locations, and then copy over the new or modified files. While I use it manually to maintain an offline hard drive for backup, you can set this up for auto backup. I haven't used that functionality, though.
is allsync the same as https://allwaysync.com/

I assume yes but just wanted to be sure.

any advantages of not doing an automatic backup?
Colorado Guy
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Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by Colorado Guy »

schmitz wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:28 pm
Colorado Guy wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:11 pm
schmitz wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 12:56 pm had another computer question and figured id just leave them all in here instead of making a new thread.

im looking for an automatic file backup program. I used to use mozy but they are gone now and I was looking for a good replacement. one that does automatic off-site backups (daily?).

any recommendations?
I have used AllSync for years. Very robust. It will examine both the source and target locations, and then copy over the new or modified files. While I use it manually to maintain an offline hard drive for backup, you can set this up for auto backup. I haven't used that functionality, though.
is allsync the same as https://allwaysync.com/

I assume yes but just wanted to be sure.

any advantages of not doing an automatic backup?
Apologies for the incorrect reference. Yes, I use Allway Sync. Good catch.

There are several ways you can back up your hard drive. Others may have different ways to do this.

You can attach a separate online hard drive via USB or other connection. You can use this to automatically back up your data files. Just need to keep it connected.

Automatic backup is a good thing, except I am a bit paranoid and have two backups: one is online (a separate hard drive in case one fails), and one is offline, in case of a virus hit. If you get one of those encrypting viruses that take over your system, and then extort you to pay a ransom for the encryption key, then offline backup would actually save you. But, you would need to be consistent in your backup routine to that drive. If you decide on the same setup, you can have your online backup automatically backed up (assuming it is connected to your laptop), and then manually update the offline backup (generally kept in a fireproof safe) when desired.

FYI, for virus protection, I use a combination of MalwareBytes and Norton Security.



It depends upon how you operate your laptop. If you want to keep a hard drive attached to it, auto backup is fine.
Chris001122
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Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by Chris001122 »

I love my new Microsoft Surface Pro 6. It's small but runs Windows 10 and Office 365. It works with a nice pen. I like pens.
"It's always been a mistake to bet against the United States since 1776." - Warren Buffett
Momus
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Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by Momus »

I'm comfortable running JUST windows defender. Yes, it's that good nowadays or better than most anti virus. Don't believe me, look it up.

If I wanna get fancy, I add avast (free).

For op: reset + SSD, or reinstalling clean windows 10 via USB boot drive + SSD will be your #1 solution for this slowness problem. It literally takes 1 hour at most. Or, you just buy a new one I recommended before if you don't have the technical skills (it ain't much) .
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schmitz
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Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by schmitz »

the SSD recommendation seems to be by far the best thing I should do.

but it sounds pretty technical to install? I would have to open up my computer and literally change parts around?
how do I know if my computer can even physically handle an SSD? (I feel like I read a post where someone said not all older computers can hold one? Im going to go back and see if I can find what I thought I read)
02nz
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Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by 02nz »

schmitz wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 7:20 pm the SSD recommendation seems to be by far the best thing I should do.

but it sounds pretty technical to install? I would have to open up my computer and literally change parts around?
how do I know if my computer can even physically handle an SSD? (I feel like I read a post where someone said not all older computers can hold one? Im going to go back and see if I can find what I thought I read)
On older computers it's actually relatively easy. If you post the exact model number here (not just the series, e.g., Lenovo Ideapad, but the specific model number), we can probably do a quick lookup and maybe even point you toward a video showing you how it's done.
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schmitz
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Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by schmitz »

02nz wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 7:42 pm
schmitz wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 7:20 pm the SSD recommendation seems to be by far the best thing I should do.

but it sounds pretty technical to install? I would have to open up my computer and literally change parts around?
how do I know if my computer can even physically handle an SSD? (I feel like I read a post where someone said not all older computers can hold one? Im going to go back and see if I can find what I thought I read)
On older computers it's actually relatively easy. If you post the exact model number here (not just the series, e.g., Lenovo Ideapad, but the specific model number), we can probably do a quick lookup and maybe even point you toward a video showing you how it's done.
I know its a lenovo z50.
I went to system information and it says model 20354
02nz
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Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by 02nz »

Service manual: http://support.lenovo.com/docs/UM020202
YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqOWxfVbDg4

You need a 2.5-inch SATA SSD. Crucial, Western Digital, or Samsung would be my recommendations.
Topic Author
schmitz
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Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by schmitz »

02nz wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 9:22 pm Service manual: http://support.lenovo.com/docs/UM020202
YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqOWxfVbDg

You need a 2.5-inch SATA SSD. Crucial, Western Digital, or Samsung would be my recommendations.
thank you for finding those links.

but I do have to admit, again I am way over my head. I am hesitant to take apart my computer and install new hardware. it may be easy to a lot of you but i have no idea what I will be doing. I am pretty sure it wont be as easy as popping out the old HD and popping in the new SSD. not like changing batteries in the remote! :)

I am going to watch the videos and read more on it and see if I can get my confidence up to give it a try.
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cheese_breath
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Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by cheese_breath »

schmitz wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:31 pm My current one is just getting too slow. The lag is unbearable. Sometimes I click on something and wait 10-15 seconds for the computer to catch up.

I do want another PC laptop (and I dont think I want a chromebook as I read they arent as powerful)
However, I may consider a desktop if its a far better choice for me. But if possible, I really want to stick to laptops.

What I currently have
A lenovo laptop
Intel Core i7-4510U CPU @2.00 GHz 2.60 GHz (no idea what most of this means)
8 GB RAM
bought in 2014
system type 64 bit operating system x64 based processor (just copying this from my computer specs)

What I need a computer for
internet browsing, email, etc - "normal" stuff
I use programs like zoom, open office, firefox (often have a lot of tabs open at the same time if that matters)
nothing too crazy - no gaming, no digital work/video editing/graphic design
(also I really like having a ten key pad on the keyboard)

Budget
not exactly sure, doing some quick browsing it looks like laptops go from anywhere from $200 to over $1000
I am willing to spend, dont want a cheap model because I want a quality laptop that will last me a few years at least (this current one is pushing 6 years) but I dont wan to overspend on things I dont need. I really want the computer to be fast. I think that comes from RAM?

so maybe $600-800 would do the trick? would that get me a good laptop?

Brand
no preference really
are there any brands better than others?
any brands to avoid?

last question: where should I buy one? in person? or online?
is it worth buying a computer at costco?

thanks for any suggestions/help!
I didn't read the other 123 posts, but here's my initial thoughts.

i7 with 8 Gb RAM, and you're having performance problems doing such simple stuff? Yes, having lots of tabs open will affect performance a little, but I doubt to the degree you're describing.

Your machine is better configured than the one I'm typing on right now... eight year old i5 CPU with 6 GB RAM, and I'm not having your problems.

What OS are you running. If it's Win/7 you're probably loaded with malware by now. Microsoft stopped supporting that OS last January. Have you tried running things like MalwareBytes, SUPERAntispyware, or CCleaner to get the bloat out?

And if that doesn't do it I'd start looking at the modem, router and ISP to see if they're the problem. I remember coming home from long vacations, and somehow the router got messed up when we were gone. Thruput was down to a trickle. But if was simple to fix, just unplug the router and modem, let them sit a couple minutes, then plug them back on and let them reset themselves.

I can't imagine you need a new system. But if you WANT one go for it.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.
nitpick
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Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by nitpick »

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0854GWK2Y/?r ... w_la_ds_dd
LG gram is pretty lightweight and their 17 inch screen laptops are similar to lenovo 15.6 size. Battery life is more than 15 hours. I have this laptop and absolutely love it.
sarahjane
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Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by sarahjane »

Ditch the tech talk and join the Chromebook crowd! Make life easier! One less thing to obsess about (unless you are into obsessing!).
Jason95357
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Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by Jason95357 »

Typing this on a circa 2011 Dell Inspiron N5110 which was $350 new from Costco on sale around Black Friday/Christmas time period. I bought two so the wife could have one and not mess with mine. Shipped with Windows 7, it's just an Intel i3 Celeron, 6gb RAM, 500gb HDD. Nothing amazing, by far, but the first thing I did was reformat it with CentOS 6 (free version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which is what we use with commercial support at work), which was a newly released OS that year. CentOS6 has another 6 months of OS support (Windows 7 support died 1.5 years ago). I'll probably install CentOS 7 which has support until 2024, or maybe even CentOS 8 which has support until 2029, or maybe move to Ubuntu LTS... Ubuntu works great on an ever older (but more powerful laptop) that we used to use for a multimedia PC connected to the TV, and on my top-notch workstation at work. Looks like the latest Ubuntu LTS was released a few months ago and has support for 5 years until 2025.

I know Linux isn't for everyone, but it sure does seem to extend the lifetime (which includes updates for security). As mentioned above, the system has 6gb of RAM, but is using just under 3gb and running Firefox with a dozen tabs, and it's using 1.2gb to cache some disk, with 1.9gb doing nothing - so pointless to upgrade to the 8gb maximum.

This laptop is used for light surfing, but mostly just doing my financials. Firefox, Gnucash (FOSS accounting/checkbook software), LibreOffice Calc, and VNC for remoting to my Windows 10 mini-desktop PC (think Intel NUC clone, but only $200). As Firefox has bloated, the startup time is definitely felt. But mostly it does just fine... except the Cashflow spreadsheet from MMM is a dog when editing certain fields, but liveable (if it wasn't, I'd just load it on my Win10 box, but I try to keep that for fun projects and keep all financials off of it).

The hard drive in this thing died in 2014, just within the no-cost extended 3-year AMEX/Costco warranty period, so a free replacement was sent. Possibly on borrowed time here 6 years later.

I could replace the drive with SSD, but being frugal, it's kinda like driving my cars until the wheels fall off, so I'm not going to jump the gun and do it until the drive fails. Either when the drive fails, or in November when the CentOS 6 spport ends, I'll buy a replacement SSD drive and try the performance of CentOS7 vs. CentOS8 vs. Ubuntu LTS 20.04.

I run a backup to an trio of external hard drives that I rotate through (rotated between work and my parents' house in case of fire or whatever), so losing the drive in the laptop doesn't hurt, other than time to reinstall, which is mostly automated with CentOS' Kickstart system and some post-install automation scripts for third-party stuff I've added. Actually, what I should do is find my wife's laptop and test it with C7 vs. C8 and transition over to it with an SSD, so virtually no downtime. She hasn't really used that laptop in years since nicer cellphones have been coming from the Google store and do everything she needs.

It's amazing to me how much folks will spend on a laptop or a cell phone. We stick with the discount Google-branded phones (Pixel, Nexus before that) every 2 years - replacing them just before the support ends (and no more security updates). Keeping up with the Jones, we are not. Even when we've bought gaming systems, we always wait a few years, get them on sale. XBox One for $200 3 or so years ago as an example, half off launch price, is how we roll.

Upgrade hardware just for OS support to keep up to date on security (Windows 7 has been EOL for 1.5 years, move to Windows 10). Upgrade the OS so long as the hardware can support it within spec (usually with adding extra ram, or in this case, moving to the fastest SSD supported).
jbourne99
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:00 pm

Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by jbourne99 »

10-15 seconds to open a new application wouldn't be completely abnormal. Just for fun I opened excel and it took around 17 seconds. I have an older i3 with 8gb and ram and HDD. I feel my PC is pretty well optimized on windows 10.

If you have an application open and it is taking 10-15 seconds to respond to mouse clicks then you have a problem. For that I'd look into the Windows 10 reinstall feature (without reinstalling from DVD). You could try this and removing all unused apps as well as the non-windows antivirus stuff. The stock antivirus is all you need.

Your apps once open should be pretty snappy for basic user interface stuff and loading web pages. If your computer is otherwise responsive once an app is open and you just want it to load faster a SSD should help. I just leave chrome open and sleep my computer between uses so I never really have to reopen it. I reboot the machine only when required as part of updates so I easily go weeks at a time between reboots.

Windows 10 automatically defrags the hard drive so you don't need to worry about that.
beastykato
Posts: 139
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:59 pm

Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by beastykato »

schmitz wrote: Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:28 pm how safe is ccleaner? when I do a quick google search on it, I find lots of people recommending not using it anymore.
I personally would not use CCleaner anymore either. It may be fine to use now but it was laced with trojans/spyware in the past when they were compromised. I also believe the original creators of CCleaner when it was good are no longer in control of the software. I could be wrong, but I do know there are many other application out there.

I personally run Privazer and hear many recommend bleachbit, although I've never personally tried the latter.
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patrick013
Posts: 3032
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:49 pm

Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by patrick013 »

jbourne99 wrote: Sat Jun 20, 2020 11:50 pm
Windows 10 automatically defrags the hard drive so you don't need to worry about that.

That's one of the reasons I left Windows and went to Linux. Even now tho
excessive writes are possible especially for a SSD.
age in bonds, buy-and-hold, 10 year business cycle
02nz
Posts: 5726
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:17 pm

Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by 02nz »

patrick013 wrote: Sun Jun 21, 2020 10:15 am
jbourne99 wrote: Sat Jun 20, 2020 11:50 pm
Windows 10 automatically defrags the hard drive so you don't need to worry about that.

That's one of the reasons I left Windows and went to Linux. Even now tho
excessive writes are possible especially for a SSD.
Not sure what this even means. You can easily turn off the automatic defragging. And Windows 10 is intelligent enough not to attempt to defrag SSDs, only HDDs. For SSDs, the program runs TRIM, which helps prevent performance degradation as an SSD gets filled up. Excessive writes are not a concern for anything normal people do with SSDs. Even after years of using an SSD, I've never even come close to the stated life in write cycles. Even if you reach that, you don't lose your data - the SSD just becomes read-only. Use Linux if Linux is right for you, but SSD "excessive" writes are just not remotely a concern with Windows or any other desktop OS.
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patrick013
Posts: 3032
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:49 pm

Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by patrick013 »

02nz wrote: Sun Jun 21, 2020 10:57 am
patrick013 wrote: Sun Jun 21, 2020 10:15 am
jbourne99 wrote: Sat Jun 20, 2020 11:50 pm
Windows 10 automatically defrags the hard drive so you don't need to worry about that.

That's one of the reasons I left Windows and went to Linux. Even now tho
excessive writes are possible especially for a SSD.
Not sure what this even means. You can easily turn off the automatic defragging. And Windows 10 is intelligent enough not to attempt to defrag SSDs, only HDDs. For SSDs, the program runs TRIM, which helps prevent performance degradation as an SSD gets filled up. Excessive writes are not a concern for anything normal people do with SSDs. Even after years of using an SSD, I've never even come close to the stated life in write cycles. Even if you reach that, you don't lose your data - the SSD just becomes read-only. Use Linux if Linux is right for you, but SSD "excessive" writes are just not remotely a concern with Windows or any other desktop OS.
An SSD can get fragmentation just like an HDD. Running around
looking for file fragments may not slow it down much but will cause
some excessive reading wear. Check it with the shareware Defraggle
program, I'm sure you'll find thousands of fragments on the SSD.
Not the best file system on Windows.

Linux writes to SSD's in a way to spread writes throughout the SSD
so large SSD's should last longer than smaller ones as more areas
can be overwritten. Very few if any fragments ever as files are
written to areas where no fragmentation will occur if possible.
So most Linux systems never defragment where Windows needs it
periodically. Auto-defrag helps as Windows does get fragmented
and excessive fragmentation can slow any system even those run
on SSD's. One block can be read alot faster than several hundred
or more if some database has that many frag's. Ever talk to customer
service for an hour while they try to read a fragmented database ?

"discard" is Linux's TRIM command.

ext4 with journal_data_writeback is probably the best file system
for SSD's but only works with Linux.

Curious what brand SSD do you use ? Looking at a WD Blue but not sure
if I will buy one.
age in bonds, buy-and-hold, 10 year business cycle
02nz
Posts: 5726
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:17 pm

Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by 02nz »

patrick013 wrote: Sun Jun 21, 2020 1:12 pm
02nz wrote: Sun Jun 21, 2020 10:57 am
patrick013 wrote: Sun Jun 21, 2020 10:15 am
jbourne99 wrote: Sat Jun 20, 2020 11:50 pm
Windows 10 automatically defrags the hard drive so you don't need to worry about that.

That's one of the reasons I left Windows and went to Linux. Even now tho
excessive writes are possible especially for a SSD.
Not sure what this even means. You can easily turn off the automatic defragging. And Windows 10 is intelligent enough not to attempt to defrag SSDs, only HDDs. For SSDs, the program runs TRIM, which helps prevent performance degradation as an SSD gets filled up. Excessive writes are not a concern for anything normal people do with SSDs. Even after years of using an SSD, I've never even come close to the stated life in write cycles. Even if you reach that, you don't lose your data - the SSD just becomes read-only. Use Linux if Linux is right for you, but SSD "excessive" writes are just not remotely a concern with Windows or any other desktop OS.
An SSD can get fragmentation just like an HDD. Running around
looking for file fragments may not slow it down much but will cause
some excessive reading wear. Check it with the shareware Defraggle
program, I'm sure you'll find thousands of fragments on the SSD.
Not the best file system on Windows.

Linux writes to SSD's in a way to spread writes throughout the SSD
so large SSD's should last longer than smaller ones as more areas
can be overwritten. Very few if any fragments ever as files are
written to areas where no fragmentation will occur if possible.
So most Linux systems never defragment where Windows needs it
periodically. Auto-defrag helps as Windows does get fragmented
and excessive fragmentation can slow any system even those run
on SSD's. One block can be read alot faster than several hundred
or more if some database has that many frag's. Ever talk to customer
service for an hour while they try to read a fragmented database ?

"discard" is Linux's TRIM command.

ext4 with journal_data_writeback is probably the best file system
for SSD's but only works with Linux.

Curious what brand SSD do you use ? Looking at a WD Blue but not sure
if I will buy one.
This is much ado over a $50 (for 500GB) component that is among the most reliable and easily replaced things found in a computer.
new2bogle
Posts: 1610
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:05 pm

Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by new2bogle »

schmitz wrote: Tue Jun 16, 2020 12:56 pm had another computer question and figured id just leave them all in here instead of making a new thread.

im looking for an automatic file backup program. I used to use mozy but they are gone now and I was looking for a good replacement. one that does automatic off-site backups (daily?).

any recommendations?
iDrive is 95% off for the first year right now. there are some good recommendations here on it. I do not have it but for $3.95 for the first year, I'll try it out:
https://www.idrive.com/idrive/signup/el ... 1383772000
p.b.mathlete
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:19 am

Re: I think I need a new computer

Post by p.b.mathlete »

I would also recommend the system reset or clean install:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/hel ... -reinstall
If you need to buy a Windows key:
https://www.gamivo.com/product/windows-10-professional
(I've used this for games and Office, seems entirely legit.)

The SSD and/or RAM upgrade option could also be very effective, although it requires following a tutorial or some know-how and bravery.

If you end up deciding on a "new" laptop, I always find refurb Lenovo business models from ebay great bang for buck and more powerful and portable than the competition: the Lenovo X and T series are great.
First number is ~ screen size, Second number ~ year in 2010s. So X230 - 12.5in from 2013, T460 - 14in from 2016.

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=le ... 70&_sop=15
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=le ... 70&_sop=15
I link to the 2017 models as they come with USB-C which can be handy these days.
Keep an eye out for / avoid parts only, cracked screen or chassis, and opt for one with a SSD if you won't fit your own.
The older you go the cheaper they get, and the more easily upgradable they are. The T440 is particularly popular with upgraders.

Money no object a Dell XPS is a great buy,
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=10710U+xps&_sop=15 / https://www.dell.com/en-uk/shop/laptops ... 300-laptop
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=10750h+xps&_sop=15 / https://www.dell.com/en-uk/shop/laptops ... 500-laptop

YMMV & best of luck
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