Buying a new computer could use advice

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ankonaman
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Buying a new computer could use advice

Post by ankonaman » Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:07 pm

My current computer is getting on in years, currently running Windows Vista which will no longer support some financial websites. The wife will be getting @ 500 bucks in Best Buy Gift Cards from unused airline miles. I use a Sanyo TV screen for my monitor (only a few years old) and would like to get a new tower/mouse/keyboard sans the monitor through Best Buy. Any recommendations?

HoosierJim
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Re: Buying a new computer could use advice

Post by HoosierJim » Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:17 pm

Sounds like you're not big on upgrading so I would purchase a Chromebook.

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yangtui
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Re: Buying a new computer could use advice

Post by yangtui » Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:19 pm

HoosierJim wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:17 pm
Sounds like you're not big on upgrading so I would purchase a Chromebook.
+1

You can plug everything into the Chromebook and treat it like a desktop. I am surprised you are using Vista. That has not been supported in years.

gtd98765
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Re: Buying a new computer could use advice

Post by gtd98765 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:20 pm

Lots of good info and opinions here: https://thewirecutter.com/electronics/computers/

Jags4186
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Re: Buying a new computer could use advice

Post by Jags4186 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:39 pm

Mac Mini?

mhalley
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Re: Buying a new computer could use advice

Post by mhalley » Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:43 pm

There is no need to buy a chromebook if you have no need for a laptop. They make a chromebox that is a desktop version. Another option would be to convert the vista or to a version of Linux such as mint or Ubuntu.
Or check out this list
https://www.lifewire.com/best-desktop-pcs-832103

mggray17
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Re: Buying a new computer could use advice

Post by mggray17 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:45 pm

If your looking at a Tower only, got my Mother this:

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/dell-inspi ... Id=6228201

i5, 12G RAM. She was completely frustrated with her 5/6 year old i3. Loves this computer. 0 issues for her.

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cheese_breath
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Re: Buying a new computer could use advice

Post by cheese_breath » Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:26 pm

Some solutions already given so I guess I'm the first one to ask, what are your requirements? What do you use the computer for? Any specific applications you need or want to run?
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

dumbmoney
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Re: Buying a new computer could use advice

Post by dumbmoney » Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:54 am

mggray17 wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:45 pm
If your looking at a Tower only, got my Mother this:

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/dell-inspi ... Id=6228201

i5, 12G RAM. She was completely frustrated with her 5/6 year old i3. Loves this computer. 0 issues for her.
"1TB Hard Drive"

It's baffling to me that they're still selling PCs like this with a slow hard drive instead of SSD. It's wrong for almost everyone.
I am pleased to report that the invisible forces of destruction have been unmasked, marking a turning point chapter when the fraudulent and speculative winds are cast into the inferno of extinction.

GrowthSeeker
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Re: Buying a new computer could use advice

Post by GrowthSeeker » Sat Apr 13, 2019 5:09 am

cheese_breath wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:26 pm
Some solutions already given so I guess I'm the first one to ask, what are your requirements? What do you use the computer for? Any specific applications you need or want to run?
+1

What you use it for will dictate what features are more or less important.
If used for gaming, you need very fast and a top notch graphics card.
If you store a lot of video, you need a lot of storage.
If you make giant spreadsheets, or write code to do intensive math calculations, you need a fast processor.
If you just surf the web, check email, and watch youtube, then you don't need uber fast or uber graphics or uber storage.
These issues are not as critical as they used to be, because even the cheapest computers are have faster processors and larger drives than they used to (Moore's Law), but operating systems and software are also getting larger.

But one definite feature is this: the main drive should be SSD, faster and more reliable than a hard disk drive.
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you.

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sunny_socal
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Re: Buying a new computer could use advice

Post by sunny_socal » Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:13 am

Jags4186 wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:39 pm
Mac Mini?
Yes, except a decent mac mini will still be $1k, far exceeding the OP's budget of $500. Assuming this must be purchased from Best Buy.

My recommendation:
- Buy a computer for about $400
- Make sure it includes at least 8GB memory (prefer 16GB)
- Budget $50 for a 256GB SDD, buy it at the same time. Or $100 for a 512GB drive.
- Install the SSD as your 'system drive', use the HD that came with the system for your data files (ie. pictures, videos, downloads)

You'll end up with a machine that feels very 'fast' for not a lot of money. Use your existing monitor.

Examples:
https://www.bestbuy.com/site/acer-refur ... Id=6202748
https://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-refurbi ... Id=6298347

Jags4186
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Re: Buying a new computer could use advice

Post by Jags4186 » Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:12 am

sunny_socal wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:13 am
Jags4186 wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:39 pm
Mac Mini?
Yes, except a decent mac mini will still be $1k, far exceeding the OP's budget of $500. Assuming this must be purchased from Best Buy.

My recommendation:
- Buy a computer for about $400
- Make sure it includes at least 8GB memory (prefer 16GB)
- Budget $50 for a 256GB SDD, buy it at the same time. Or $100 for a 512GB drive.
- Install the SSD as your 'system drive', use the HD that came with the system for your data files (ie. pictures, videos, downloads)

You'll end up with a machine that feels very 'fast' for not a lot of money. Use your existing monitor.

Examples:
https://www.bestbuy.com/site/acer-refur ... Id=6202748
https://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-refurbi ... Id=6298347
OP didn’t say budget was $500 just that he had a $500 Best Buy gift card. Yes, if that is the hard budget, it won’t work, but I do think the Mac Mini is a great option for his described situation.

squirm
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Re: Buying a new computer could use advice

Post by squirm » Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:25 am

Just get a modestly priced Windows laptop...you'll be fine.

stan1
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Re: Buying a new computer could use advice

Post by stan1 » Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:35 am

Absent any specifics other than you don't want to upgrade very often I'd go with minimum 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD. The faster speed of the SSD makes using the computer more enjoyable.

Get on Win 10, turn on Windows Defender and auto updates, and stay current.

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ankonaman
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Re: Buying a new computer could use advice

Post by ankonaman » Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:59 am

Sorry it took so long to respond but work always seems to get in the way. I do no gaming. We use our computer for online banking, investments, internet research (which would include video perusing). I grade collectible coins, photograph them and sell/assist clients to sell their coins. Hence the giant TV monitor to check for die varieties, flaws, etc. We also utilize Netflix, Prime & Hulu for TV. Thanks for the great suggestions, I will be researching them out and would gladly entertain more ideas.

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ankonaman
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Re: Buying a new computer could use advice

Post by ankonaman » Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:07 am

yangtui wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:19 pm
HoosierJim wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:17 pm
Sounds like you're not big on upgrading so I would purchase a Chromebook.
I am surprised you are using Vista. That has not been supported in years.

Hey if it works don't fix it. My son-in-law actually added this hard drive when we got the blue screen of death a few years back. I'd keep using the dinosaur except for the aforementioned increasing loss of access to sites that my computer won't support. I'm more of an outdoors guy, computers are not my thing. I'm more at home playing with big bass, gators, and wandering through places most people will never see. Spent many years as a fishing and scuba guide but now at 62 I enjoy bass fishing (no people where I go) and watching the wildlife. Thanks everyone for all the ideas. :sharebeer

bampf
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Re: Buying a new computer could use advice

Post by bampf » Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:11 am

Asus Chromebox. Dirt cheap. Never needs to be upgraded (Chrome does it for you). Nothing really to fail. Assuming it ever does fail, nothing to transfer. Super easy to use.

tibbitts
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Re: Buying a new computer could use advice

Post by tibbitts » Sat Apr 13, 2019 12:27 pm

sunny_socal wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:13 am
Jags4186 wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:39 pm
Mac Mini?
Yes, except a decent mac mini will still be $1k, far exceeding the OP's budget of $500. Assuming this must be purchased from Best Buy.

My recommendation:
- Buy a computer for about $400
- Make sure it includes at least 8GB memory (prefer 16GB)
- Budget $50 for a 256GB SDD, buy it at the same time. Or $100 for a 512GB drive.
- Install the SSD as your 'system drive', use the HD that came with the system for your data files (ie. pictures, videos, downloads)

You'll end up with a machine that feels very 'fast' for not a lot of money. Use your existing monitor.

Examples:
https://www.bestbuy.com/site/acer-refur ... Id=6202748
https://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-refurbi ... Id=6298347
It's not entirely trivial to install an SSD. I've installed several and all had some issues, although all worked eventually.

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yangtui
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Re: Buying a new computer could use advice

Post by yangtui » Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:07 pm

ankonaman wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:07 am
yangtui wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:19 pm
HoosierJim wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:17 pm
Sounds like you're not big on upgrading so I would purchase a Chromebook.
I am surprised you are using Vista. That has not been supported in years.

Hey if it works don't fix it. My son-in-law actually added this hard drive when we got the blue screen of death a few years back. I'd keep using the dinosaur except for the aforementioned increasing loss of access to sites that my computer won't support. I'm more of an outdoors guy, computers are not my thing. I'm more at home playing with big bass, gators, and wandering through places most people will never see. Spent many years as a fishing and scuba guide but now at 62 I enjoy bass fishing (no people where I go) and watching the wildlife. Thanks everyone for all the ideas. :sharebeer
In a sense Vista doesn't work anymore; MS stopped offering security patches several years ago. I would avoid connecting a machine to the internet that is running an OS that does not receive regular security updates. I definitely wouldn't access online sensitive data with one. A Chromebook would probably make the most sense for your needs.

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ankonaman
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Re: Buying a new computer could use advice

Post by ankonaman » Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:09 pm

yangtui wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:07 pm
ankonaman wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:07 am
yangtui wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:19 pm
HoosierJim wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:17 pm
Sounds like you're not big on upgrading so I would purchase a Chromebook.
I am surprised you are using Vista. That has not been supported in years.

Hey if it works don't fix it. My son-in-law actually added this hard drive when we got the blue screen of death a few years back. I'd keep using the dinosaur except for the aforementioned increasing loss of access to sites that my computer won't support. I'm more of an outdoors guy, computers are not my thing. I'm more at home playing with big bass, gators, and wandering through places most people will never see. Spent many years as a fishing and scuba guide but now at 62 I enjoy bass fishing (no people where I go) and watching the wildlife. Thanks everyone for all the ideas. :sharebeer
In a sense "Vista" doesn't work anymore; MS stopped offering security patches several years ago. I would avoid connecting a machine to the internet that is running an OS that does not receive regular security updates. I definitely wouldn't access online sensitive data with one. A Chromebook would probably make the most sense for your needs.
I do employ Norton on the computer. Would this not help/prevent hacking attempts?

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yangtui
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Re: Buying a new computer could use advice

Post by yangtui » Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:12 pm

Maybe...As a best practice you should never use an OS past its expiration date unless you know what you are doing.

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ankonaman
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Re: Buying a new computer could use advice

Post by ankonaman » Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:42 pm

Just bought an ACER Chromebook Spin 15. Went and looked at all the different options and this has everything I need and nothing I don't. Even sprung for a new wireless mouse. :mrgreen: A big thanks to everyone who chimed in with suggestions. Great forum where I can not only get good investing information but also help with buying a computer. :sharebeer

Trader Joe
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Re: Buying a new computer could use advice

Post by Trader Joe » Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:47 pm

ankonaman wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:42 pm
Just bought an ACER Chromebook Spin 15. Went and looked at all the different options and this has everything I need and nothing I don't. Even sprung for a new wireless mouse. :mrgreen: A big thanks to everyone who chimed in with suggestions. Great forum where I can not only get good investing information but also help with buying a computer. :sharebeer
Excellent choice. I bought the same. Enjoy.

josehde
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Re: Buying a new computer could use advice

Post by josehde » Sat Apr 13, 2019 6:02 pm

dumbmoney wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:54 am
mggray17 wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:45 pm
If your looking at a Tower only, got my Mother this:

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/dell-inspi ... Id=6228201

i5, 12G RAM. She was completely frustrated with her 5/6 year old i3. Loves this computer. 0 issues for her.
"1TB Hard Drive"

It's baffling to me that they're still selling PCs like this with a slow hard drive instead of SSD. It's wrong for almost everyone.
I'd pick SSD no matter how large the hard drive. Less headaches because of smooth performance.

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yangtui
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Re: Buying a new computer could use advice

Post by yangtui » Sat Apr 13, 2019 6:13 pm

Solid choice. You should be able to hook up your monitor, keyboard, and mouse without any issues.

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ankonaman
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Re: Buying a new computer could use advice

Post by ankonaman » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:50 am

Loving the new Chromebook. Easy to set up and utilize. Hands down the smoothest experience I have ever had setting up a new computer system.

HoosierJim
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Re: Buying a new computer could use advice

Post by HoosierJim » Sun Apr 14, 2019 11:38 am

running on Vista is not very secure I would recommend you change all your financial site passwords and enable two-factor authentication. Don't ever use the same password on multiple sites or better yet get a password manager. Secure your email with two factory also.

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ankonaman
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Re: Buying a new computer could use advice

Post by ankonaman » Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:24 pm

HoosierJim wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 11:38 am
running on Vista is not very secure I would recommend you change all your financial site passwords and enable two-factor authentication. Don't ever use the same password on multiple sites or better yet get a password manager. Secure your email with two factory also.
How do you secure your email with 2 factor authorization?

HoosierJim
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Re: Buying a new computer could use advice

Post by HoosierJim » Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:28 pm

Gmail lets you use a yubikey which I keep on my key chain. Google your email service name and " 2 factor"

Since your email is the key to password resets, you need to secure it well.

Check your email on Troy hunts site https://haveibeenpwned.com

bhough
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Re: Buying a new computer could use advice

Post by bhough » Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:24 pm


gtd98765
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Re: Buying a new computer could use advice

Post by gtd98765 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:09 pm

bhough wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:24 pm
I recommend this: https://system76.com/desktops/meerkat
Looks great, but it runs Linux, which appeals to only a small percentage of highly computer-literate people.

Blandrew
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Re: Buying a new computer could use advice

Post by Blandrew » Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:46 pm

Some Chromebooks require an internet connection to work, thats something to be aware of. If your a privacy conscious person, Google is a company you might want to be a little wary of.

The simple route:

Buy any computer that has at least an i5 processor, 8GB RAM and a SSD. Personally I would go with Windows 10 for your OS.

The cheap route:

Buy a business-class used laptop on ebay for about $200. This would include models like Dell Latitude and Precision or XPS, HP ZBook and EliteBook, Lenovo ThinkPad, and a few others. The build quality on these laptops is dramatically better than any comparably priced new Windows laptop or Chromebook. These things usually have much better keyboards and screens than their home user-oriented counterparts and are built to last.

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Re: Buying a new computer could use advice

Post by phxjcc » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:54 pm

Blandrew wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:46 pm
Some Chromebooks require an internet connection to work, thats something to be aware of. If your a privacy conscious person, Google is a company you might want to be a little wary of.

The simple route:

Buy any computer that has at least an i5 processor, 8GB RAM and a SSD. Personally I would go with Windows 10 for your OS.

The cheap route:

Buy a business-class used laptop on ebay for about $200. This would include models like Dell Latitude and Precision or XPS, HP ZBook and EliteBook, Lenovo ThinkPad, and a few others. The build quality on these laptops is dramatically better than any comparably priced new Windows laptop or Chromebook. These things usually have much better keyboards and screens than their home user-oriented counterparts and are built to last.
Agree with this.
Plus, if you buy a Dell latitude, you can also get a docking station for use at your home office, and enjoy not having to connect everything every time you take it with you on vacation, or into the living room. Latitudes are built for traveling professionals and have shock absorption built into the frame.

I have used Overstock the last 2x to buy, but you have to be careful because their highest priced is not necessarily the "best" computer for the money.

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