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Thread: What type desk top PCs are good these days?

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    Member hippypants's Avatar
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    What type desk top PCs are good these days?

    I currently using a Dell that has been pretty good. It's about 8 years old, but makes a noise upon start-up and it does it for a while until I guess it warms up some. I don't know if that's the hard drive or the fan, I'm not that computer literate--just surf the web, email, do some art with it, would like to use it to perhaps create some music, etc. I've never used Apple, but have thought about it ever so often, however, will probably stay with Windows a bit longer.

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    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Asus, Lenovo, and others.
    But you should look at what hardware is inside. That's what it is all about, not the make!
    Things I look for:
    64-bit operative system (they usually are), HD type and size, RAM type and how much (minimum 8 GB), graphic card, screen resolution, size of screen, DVD-Rw-drive or not (do you need one?), slots for USB, HDMI, card, type of processor, make of processor, number of cores, speed...

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    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    I'm getting by pretty well on an Acer laptop that has a DVD burner and cost just around $300. I just bought it a few months ago. I know you said laptop, so maybe you have specific needs.

  4. #4
    Sounds like you need to go at your computer innards with a can of compressed air! It can get dusty in there and foul things up! A good cleaning can fix a lot of issues!
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    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    If it's 8 years old there's a good chance the drive is going, which is the absolute worst thing to happen. You can and should blow out the innards with compressed air but the average hard drive just doesn't last that long.

    Dell is still fairly reliable (according to some IT guys I know) but I also hear good things about Lenovo. Be sure to check out the prices on Newegg.com because they're pretty reasonable with a good selection. They were meeting and/or beating the prices I was seeing at Amazon and Costco.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hippypants View Post
    I've never used Apple, but have thought about it ever so often, however, will probably stay with Windows a bit longer.
    If you spend some time exploring Apple — say, at a friend’s house or in an Apple store — you’d probably change your mind about sticking with Windows.

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    Member hippypants's Avatar
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    I might try that dust can trick, I haven't done that in a while, and probably can't hurt. I'll check out newegg.com too. They have an Apples store in town, and it might be fun to go see what they have. Thanks for the advice.

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    Howdy Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    my $.02...

    IF things are starting to get slow and loud, it could be your disk drive going, so back up your important files as soon as you can.

    If you're not too computer literate as you say but you pretty much know your way around Windows, I'd suggest sticking with Windows rather than spending multiples of what you'd spend on a PC and have to relearn a lot of things. I often suggest to my non-savvy about computers acquaintances that they get a Dell and keep the support plan until they think they're going to be getting a new machine pretty soon.

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    Member hippypants's Avatar
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    Yeah, oddly enough it's not running slow or having trouble loading anything. That part of it seems to run pretty smooth once it gets up and running, it's just on the start-up that the noise occurs. So you might be right about the disc drive. I see something called a SSD, I believe. Does that function the same way, it's just not mechanical? That seems to be a good idea. I've noticed that some replace the drives with that.

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    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    SSD is a solid state drive. Far more reliable because as yeah, not mechanical, no moving parts. But they are a bit more expensive. Some laptops and Apple products have just the SSD but the memory is usually quite smaller. Many desktops are combining a SSD with a conventional hard drive.

    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...9SIAA0S7B79631

    What you do is put the operating system on the SSD, because it can meet the heavy demand better and then store your extraneous shit on the conventional drive.

    https://lifehacker.com/this-video-sh...-in-1782548805
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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    Member nosebone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hippypants View Post
    I currently using a Dell that has been pretty good. It's about 8 years old, but makes a noise upon start-up and it does it for a while until I guess it warms up some. I don't know if that's the hard drive or the fan
    Same thing happened to my 2009 Dell XPS desktop last month.

    I had a new main drive installed with all my files reinstalled.

    It cost around $120 and its running like a new computer!
    no tunes, no dynamics, no nosebone

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    I MUCH prefer working on a desktop PC to a laptop, and I reached the point last year where I was thoroughly sick of carting a heavy laptop between the UK and China, so I decided to buy a new PC to keep permanently at my Mother's in the UK from these guys:

    http://www.zoostorm.com/

    The machine I ultimately picked up is absurdly powerful for my needs (i7 6700, 256 Gb SSD, 3TB HD, Nvidia GTX980 graphics card, 32Gb RAM), but I wanted it to be a long-term investment, easily upgradeable, and the powerful graphics capability is for photo editing in Lightroom. It might well be worth considering something similar from a US-based company, depending on your budget of course.

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    Member Top Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hippypants View Post
    I currently using a Dell that has been pretty good. It's about 8 years old, but makes a noise upon start-up and it does it for a while until I guess it warms up some. I don't know if that's the hard drive or the fan, I'm not that computer literate--just surf the web, email, do some art with it, would like to use it to perhaps create some music, etc. I've never used Apple, but have thought about it ever so often, however, will probably stay with Windows a bit longer.
    I'd stick with your Dell and just spend the money on a good solid state hard drive. Not sure which OS you're using, but I personally have gone back to Windows 7 and absolutely hate 10. Of course my life and internet activity doesn't revolve around a smart phone or similar, and it seems Windows 10 has the graphics and layout to attract younger smartphone users, so they make the OS similar.

    I would stay away from Apple, I've heard more and more people getting fed up with their Apple products and operating systems and the constant barrage of messages and updates from Apple trying to sell them upgrades and other Apple products. My daughter and her husband have been decades long Apple fans, using them for both personal and work. They are ready to jump the Apple boat and go PC because of poor Apple quality and the general operation of Apple and decline in Apple products under the leadership of Tim Cook.


    If you are familiar with Microsoft products and operating systems, you would have to relearn your computer skills because Apple is quite a different beast.
    Like I said, you can update your present system and save quite a bit of money by simply upgrading to solid state, OS and perhaps RAM if you want.
    We've become a throw away society, when things can still be used by upgrading.

    I bought another desktop to use solely as my music computer for recording in my studio, and kept my PC for the internet and personal stuff. I picked it up on ebay, new for just under $500(back in 2016). Intel core I5 6 Gen 6400 8GB DDR4 1TB HDD WiFi Windows 7 Desktop PC Computer(Not Dell).
    Soundcloud page: Open Window, musical meanderings https://soundcloud.com/precipice

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    Member hippypants's Avatar
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    J & ditto Kid: that Lenovo is a pretty fierce creature. Pretty pricey too, but I bet it's great.


    Nose: Yeah, I'm a pretty thrifty guy, waste not, want not. I think I'm going to turn off the computer and dust it out. We have computer type repair in town and a Geek Squad. Trying to get a straight answer out of them at times can be daunting, that part I'd have to play by ear, if I need to go that route. But yeah, I don't mind repairing things. It's been a good computer.


    TC: Yeah, I've toyed with that idea too. One computer for art stuff, and I might possibly not even tie it to the net, the other for email and surfing and whatnot. At a certain point computers do upgrade enough where possible a new computer might be in order, but I don't think I'm quite there yet. Who knows what it will be like in another eight years?

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    Member Top Cat's Avatar
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    I found a wifi connector with an attached remote switch which allows me to use one monitor and one wireless keyboard/mouse. All I have to do is hit the switch and it switches between computers and the new computer pops up on the screen with my recording software. I think it cost me less than $10 on ebay.
    Made my life a lot simpler instead of plugging in/out manually all the time.
    I do have the second one connected to the internet, but only to download software for my studio(recording) because sometimes it has to have the license for that one computer.

    Good luck
    Soundcloud page: Open Window, musical meanderings https://soundcloud.com/precipice

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    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    The only reason I use PCs today is because I started out with one, and have been on the upgrade path ever since. When starting out, Macs were overpriced beasts with problems of their own. It wasn't until Steve Jobs' return to Apple that Macs became usable. I'm still waiting for truly usable DAW software that runs on Linux, at which point I'll dump Microsloth Windoze forever.

    BTW: in my experience as an IT Specialist in a previous life, the noise is probably, most definitely coming from a fan. Guess you could say you're being heckled by a fan.
    Last edited by progmatist; 08-05-2018 at 04:09 PM.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

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    Member hippypants's Avatar
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    Guess you could say you're being heckled by a fan.

    Yeah, it's been getting better, knock on wood. I opened it up and it was pretty dirty with dust and dirtballs. I guess mine has two fans. So I got out the vacuum, and got everything out. I then got one of those Swifter dusters and cleaned the bottom of it, and whatever I thought might help. Then got out the compressed air can and shot it toward the fans, and cleaned those. I think that helped quite a bit. But I've also cleaned a bunch of saved files off of it, which might have helped some too.

    I ordered another computer anyway, it's a cheaper model Acer Aspire. I won't use it for the internet. I'll use it for trying to maybe compose music, art, and maybe some gaming.

  18. #18
    Member hippypants's Avatar
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    I found a wifi connector with an attached remote switch which allows me to use one monitor and one wireless keyboard/mouse. All I have to do is hit the switch and it switches between computers and the new computer pops up on the screen with my recording software. I think it cost me less than $10 on ebay.

    Would you happen to have a picture of this switch or an eBay link to it? So I assume you have to computers and the switch allows going from one to the other? Thanks.

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    Member Top Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hippypants View Post

    Would you happen to have a picture of this switch or an eBay link to it? So I assume you have to computers and the switch allows going from one to the other? Thanks.
    Yes, I have one Dell Pc and another off brand PC which share an Acer monitor.
    I was $10 off on the price, they retail around $20 new. Available at Amazon, ebay, and other outlets including I believe Best Buy.
    Here is detailed info from Tiger Direct.
    Any questions I would be happy to help.
    I'm using a logitech wireless keyboard and mouse.
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...?EdpNo=4443917
    Soundcloud page: Open Window, musical meanderings https://soundcloud.com/precipice

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    Member hippypants's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks for the follow up TC. I'll look into this.

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    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    About a year ago my wife and I swapped desktop PCs. Both of these are old Dells but mine was starting to stagger under multitasking. She just uses hers for writing recipes, surfing the net, etc. Cut to this spring and the one I swapped to her died. She got a bare bones Dell but with a decent amount of RAM to handle Windows 10. She's happy. A week ago the hard drive on the one I was using, which has always been noisy, started groaning under heavy usage or shutting down. I've seen that shit before. So a new one is ordered and it will be here Wednesday.

    Now, this model has both a SSD and a conventional 2tb drive. Does anyone have any experience with having a couple of drives and how do you make them work together?
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    ^^ It used to be tricky with old IDE drives. One drive on a channel had to be jumpered to master, the other to slave, and only 2 drives could be on a channel. Having a slower drive like a DVD/CD drive would slow down the hard drive on the same channel, so the former had to hog its own channel. In the days before the system BIOS (Basic Input Output System) could auto-detect drive parameters, one had to manually enter the number of heads, tracks, clusters, et cetera. And don't even get me started with SCSI ("scuzzy") drives. With newer SATA drives, simply plug them in and you're done...no muss, no fuss.
    Last edited by progmatist; 09-30-2018 at 03:56 PM.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  23. #23
    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
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    The dual drive thing sounds a bit better than I found it to work out.
    Most of the time they give you a fairly small SSD boot drive ( 128-320GB ) and a big 'D' drive.
    The benefit is a quick boot up from the SSD, and the small SSD's are pretty cheap these days.
    Windows likes to install applications on the c: drive, and most applications default to using the c: drive ( or where your login profile resides ) to store data and temp files.
    The d: drive is where you would save videos, photos, documents, etc. But you have to choose an alternate file save location to make this happen for most applications.
    To be fair, most applications will allow you to choose an alternate installation location ( d:\Program Files for example ).
    Windows will still use the C: for temp files and the 'library' locations ( My Documents, Videos, Music, Downloads, etc )

    If the computer is used for basic surfing , not a problem.
    It gets to be a small issue when you use it for more intensive stuff, Photo, Video, or Music editing.
    The big 'd' drive is very slow in comparison to the SSD and installing the applications there slows things down.
    The media editing programs tend to be fairly large in disc footprint so a smaller SSD can get filled by the application and swap/working files of the application.
    I ended up tossing the 128gb ssd and getting a 1tb. The price on these now is less than 200$. Then I can use the c drive for applications and swap and just use the d drive for storage.

    Since you will be getting Windows 10 in all of its "We Know What Is Best For You" glory, Microsoft has announced a 'smart disc usage' upgrade in an upcoming release.
    This upgrade is supposed to try and keep your local drive 'cleaner', in part by strongly encouraging you to use One Drive ( AKA 'The Cloud') to store your files.
    They will also, thoughtfully, delete redundant files from you local storage if a copy exists in One Drive.

    So anyway. Long story short. For casual use the dual small fast SSD boot drive, slow big D setup is ok.
    For more intensive use I prefer a large SSD, larger slow D ( with additional external drives for backup. (no cloud, thanks )
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  24. #24
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    I disable just about any mention of One Drive or any other cloud service from any machine I have
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  25. #25
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    What are the odds that Dell did the smart thing on my machine and loaded W10 onto the SSD, and not the HDD?
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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