I need a new computer

Discussion of all things technological and/or gadgety
rightisright
Active Shooter
Posts: 4258
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:41 pm
Location: NJ

I need a new computer

Postby rightisright » Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:22 am

So, my Win XP machine is really starting to act up. I loathe having to transfer programs and files, so I have been putting off an upgrade... but it's time.

First off, I am not a power-user. Aside from the occasional crossword or other web based game, I do absolutely no power gaming. I also do not do heavy video editing. Some stuff for business here and there, but nothing too taxing. All of my CAD work is 2D (I have an engineer if I need AutoCAD stuff done). I do use a 3D program for outside landscape, hardscape, deck and pool designs. This one: http://www.ideaspectrum.com/arch_sysreq.php It actually works, albeit sometimes slowly, on my current box.

So I am looking for something that will power me through the next 4-5 years. Costco has a Lenovo H50-50 on sale for $650 w. the following specs:

Win10 Home 64
i7-4790 CPU
12GB DDR3
1 TB 7200 HD
GeForce GT730 2GB
Optical Drive
WiFi
Bluetooth
7 in 1 card reader


Erm, after typing all that, Costco.com has a linky: http://www.costco.com/Lenovo-H50-Deskto ... 30172.html

It comes w. Costco's great return policy and tech support. Yes, I could build my own, but at this price would it really be worth it?

User avatar
Jered
Good Christ I Need A Life
Posts: 7102
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 2:30 am
Location: The Misty Mountains

Re: I need a new computer

Postby Jered » Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:43 am

How much do you value quicker load times?

I built a computer, and I use it for gaming, so, I put in an SSD, which makes things a lot faster.

If you can do everything fine on your current box, that one should do you just fine.
The avalanche has already started. It is too late for the pebbles to vote.

BobbyK
Case Shiner
Posts: 338
Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2008 1:56 pm

Re: I need a new computer

Postby BobbyK » Sat Jan 09, 2016 3:21 am

That's a decent value, and I concur that it'd be well worth swapping the drive for an SSD. 1TB units are running right aroudn $300 now, and 512 GBs far cheaper.

User avatar
g-man
Trigger Junkie
Posts: 1032
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:40 pm
Location: Northern Calfrutopia
Contact:

Re: I need a new computer

Postby g-man » Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:00 am

Just upgraded my laptop to an SSD... TOTALLY worth it. Caught at 512TB drive on sale on Amazon for $110, I think it's $159 now, which still isn't bad. I would NOT buy a Lenovo laptop since they are now produced by the Chinese, and have been repeatedly found to have malware installed from the factory, if not backdoors built in as well. The ASUS X751LX on Costco's website appears to meet similar specs, and is only a bit more expensive. As far as RAM goes, I went from 8GB to 16GB recently since I do a lot of astrophotography processing, and only noticed a pickup when I was doing heavy lifting in Photoshop or other heavy lifting. The SSD was a FAR better bang for the buck than the RAM increase, at least if you're already running 8GB. Just my $.02.
Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum

Greg
Probably Unemployed
Posts: 8123
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 3:15 pm
Location: MO

Re: I need a new computer

Postby Greg » Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:50 am

+1 on the SSD.

My PC is 2009 tech and still runs great. One big thing I did was switch to an SSD.

For the RAM, it depends on what you're doing. My wife and I don't do much that's CPU intensive, but we both tend to stay logged in (Linux box, we can do that) and keep browser tabs open for future reference. A LOT of browser tabs.

I have an ancient CPU but 16GB of RAM, and sometimes I wish for more.

Odds are, if you don't do anything like that 8GB should keep you happy. Having 'extra' RAM doesn't get you much, but not having enough is a killer.
Maybe we're just jaded, but your villainy is not particularly impressive. -Ennesby

If you know what you're doing, you're not learning anything. -Unknown
Sanity is the process by which you continually adjust your beliefs so they are predictively sound. -esr

User avatar
mekender
Probably Unemployed
Posts: 13189
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:31 pm
Contact:

Re: I need a new computer

Postby mekender » Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:57 am

If I may make a suggestion...

http://www.amazon.com/ThinkServer-70A40 ... 00FJF4T76/

Or:

http://www.amazon.com/ThinkServer-TS140 ... 017RJ2HIY/

FAR more RAM and HDD space than you will likely use and plenty powerful. I got the Xeon version as a server for my home office 2 years ago and love it... Sucker is quiet too.

The first one has no OS but a bigger HDD and more RAM... The second has an OS but less RAM and a smaller HDD but comes with a keyboard and mouse.

The Xeon version is a tad more and usually comes without a HDD, but that is easy enough to fix.

This is the slightly higher up model from the one I have with the Xeon in it...

http://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-ThinkServe ... 00HEK9A8M/

Only 4gb of ram and no OS but at that price, it is well worth it IMO... Slap in 8gb of ram or more and an OS and you have a beast that is more powerful than almost any PC in your local stores. In fact, if that price stays that low, I will be getting one of them to have as a second server in my house this spring.
“I no longer need to run as a Presidential Candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democrat Party has adopted our platform.” - Norman Thomas, a six time candidate for president for the Socialist Party, 1944

User avatar
g-man
Trigger Junkie
Posts: 1032
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:40 pm
Location: Northern Calfrutopia
Contact:

Re: I need a new computer

Postby g-man » Sat Jan 09, 2016 5:30 am

Again, see previous comment about Lenovo hardware being wholly owned by the ChiComs and having been caught with spyware already: I would recommend against that brand.
Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum

User avatar
mekender
Probably Unemployed
Posts: 13189
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:31 pm
Contact:

Re: I need a new computer

Postby mekender » Sat Jan 09, 2016 6:01 am

There is zero chance that their server line has such things, unless you think the third (or maybe 4th) largest seller of servers in the world could do it and not get caught... And besides, two of the machines I linked have no OS and the one that does had it installed by the reseller.

But any consumer OS load from any vendor is going to have some level of bloatware or spyware on it... That is SOP for the industry.
“I no longer need to run as a Presidential Candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democrat Party has adopted our platform.” - Norman Thomas, a six time candidate for president for the Socialist Party, 1944

User avatar
JustinR
Trigger Junkie
Posts: 1852
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 3:53 am
Location: DFW Texas, the last free place on earth

Re: I need a new computer

Postby JustinR » Sat Jan 09, 2016 6:07 am

Just a fair warning, all of your XP programs may not install/run on Windows 10. It can be a PITA.
"The armory was even better. Above the door was a sign: You dream, we build." -Mark Owen, No Easy Day

"My assault weapon won't be 'illegal,' it will be 'undocumented.'" -KL

User avatar
mekender
Probably Unemployed
Posts: 13189
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:31 pm
Contact:

Re: I need a new computer

Postby mekender » Sat Jan 09, 2016 6:12 am

Greg wrote:I have an ancient CPU but 16GB of RAM, and sometimes I wish for more.

Odds are, if you don't do anything like that 8GB should keep you happy. Having 'extra' RAM doesn't get you much, but not having enough is a killer.



For 99.99% of computer users 16GB is more than enough... No game on the market today will utilize that much... About the only things that will are heavily involved video rendering and 3D modeling programs outside of server applications.
“I no longer need to run as a Presidential Candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democrat Party has adopted our platform.” - Norman Thomas, a six time candidate for president for the Socialist Party, 1944

Greg
Probably Unemployed
Posts: 8123
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 3:15 pm
Location: MO

Re: I need a new computer

Postby Greg » Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:20 am

mekender wrote:
Greg wrote:I have an ancient CPU but 16GB of RAM, and sometimes I wish for more.

Odds are, if you don't do anything like that 8GB should keep you happy. Having 'extra' RAM doesn't get you much, but not having enough is a killer.



For 99.99% of computer users 16GB is more than enough... No game on the market today will utilize that much... About the only things that will are heavily involved video rendering and 3D modeling programs outside of server applications.


For most folks I think 16GB is still overkill. But just web browsers can eat up that much on a 'lightly loaded desktop' if you push it. ;)
Maybe we're just jaded, but your villainy is not particularly impressive. -Ennesby

If you know what you're doing, you're not learning anything. -Unknown
Sanity is the process by which you continually adjust your beliefs so they are predictively sound. -esr

User avatar
mekender
Probably Unemployed
Posts: 13189
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:31 pm
Contact:

Re: I need a new computer

Postby mekender » Sat Jan 09, 2016 10:47 am

Greg wrote:
mekender wrote:
Greg wrote:I have an ancient CPU but 16GB of RAM, and sometimes I wish for more.

Odds are, if you don't do anything like that 8GB should keep you happy. Having 'extra' RAM doesn't get you much, but not having enough is a killer.



For 99.99% of computer users 16GB is more than enough... No game on the market today will utilize that much... About the only things that will are heavily involved video rendering and 3D modeling programs outside of server applications.


For most folks I think 16GB is still overkill. But just web browsers can eat up that much on a 'lightly loaded desktop' if you push it. ;)


Meh...

As I type this, I have 3 instances of Chrome open, the one this box is in has 12 tabs open, one with a paused youtube video, behind it is a second instance with one tab... My right screen has another instance of Chrome, 9 tabs with a streaming 1080p youtube video and an open explorer window... My left screen has an explorer window open and a 720p .avi file that is running plus an instance of Task Manager... Also on my main screen, behind Chrome is an instance of Onenote, an instance of Excel and an Explorer window... In the background, not paused but actually running, I have an instance of Diablo III running at max video settings. Oh and for gigles, I just opened a 4th instance of chrome on my main screen with 40 tabs worth of live, streaming video cameras... AND to top that off, I opened a 1080p video file and it is running behind Chrome on my main screen.

I am at 90% CPU use but only at 78% memory use right now with a 16gig system.

After closing Diablo III and the 1080p video, it drops to 67% and 67%... Closing the video streams, Onenote and the instance of Chrome with only one tab drops it to 24% and 47%.

Now, I have a rather high end CPU, about the highest end you can go without going into the Extreme Edition Intel chips... And even with that, the CPU maxxes out before the RAM does. Lower end CPUs are going to bottleneck even earlier and slow a machine to a crawl.

Benchmark results on various articles back that up pretty handily... And for many people the hard drive will bottleneck things even further long before RAM becomes the problem.
“I no longer need to run as a Presidential Candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democrat Party has adopted our platform.” - Norman Thomas, a six time candidate for president for the Socialist Party, 1944

Greg
Probably Unemployed
Posts: 8123
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 3:15 pm
Location: MO

Re: I need a new computer

Postby Greg » Sat Jan 09, 2016 11:07 am

That's a start.

Now picture an actual multiuser system, with multiple users logged in at all times, each with a graphical session (and X server)... And each user had at least 3 browser windows open, with a dozen or more open tabs per window, streaming videos, the occasional browser game....

The Phenom II X4 CPU was nice in it's day but it's elderly now, and it holds up fine until paging becomes an issue.

Maybe not a common usage pattern, but it's not difficult.

The real point to make, is to be aware of what you generally do with the computer so you can anticipate your hardware needs.
Maybe we're just jaded, but your villainy is not particularly impressive. -Ennesby

If you know what you're doing, you're not learning anything. -Unknown
Sanity is the process by which you continually adjust your beliefs so they are predictively sound. -esr

User avatar
g-man
Trigger Junkie
Posts: 1032
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:40 pm
Location: Northern Calfrutopia
Contact:

Re: I need a new computer

Postby g-man » Sat Jan 09, 2016 2:28 pm

mekender wrote:There is zero chance that their server line has such things, unless you think the third (or maybe 4th) largest seller of servers in the world could do it and not get caught... And besides, two of the machines I linked have no OS and the one that does had it installed by the reseller.

But any consumer OS load from any vendor is going to have some level of bloatware or spyware on it... That is SOP for the industry.


Good points. I re-checked the articles I've seen, and they mention the other lines, but not the ThinkServer equipment. I did see another article that mentioned now might be exactly the right time to buy from them, considering they're under a microscope and are less likely to try foolishness. That said, I'd still recommend a matched-spec machine from another manufacturer at the same price point on general principle. But that's just me.

Given the bottlenecking discussion, SSD is a big help, but also looking at a 4-core vice a 2-core processor would be something I'd also note.
Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum

User avatar
Odahi
Loose Cannon
Posts: 641
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 4:21 am
Location: Baltimore

Re: I need a new computer

Postby Odahi » Sat Jan 09, 2016 3:08 pm

I like the specs on the original machine, I'm not familiar with Win 10 (yet) as I tend to wait until I buy or build a new machine to migrate to a new OS. For what you describe as your usage, I would think it will be just fine. I'd also recommend going to an SSD, you will be very impressed with the performance increase. But that's something that can be done down the road, if you want to minimize your outlay right now. I'd also suggest you consider a "downgrade" to an earlier version of Windows, if you're concerned about compatibility with older programs. I'm currently running 8.1 Pro, which is working well for ME. YMMV. http://www.amazon.com/Windows-Premium-Builder-Refurbished-Installation/dp/B00LG0K4MM/ref=sr_1_1?s=software&ie=UTF8&qid=1452348224&sr=1-1&keywords=windows+7+home+premium Win 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1, for less than $60. Again, I'm not an IT professional, nor do I play one on TV. I would go that route, though, if I were buying that system for what you are using it for.
Birds gotta swim, fish gotta fly, assholes gotta ass.

"Common sense" is an oxymoron.

rightisright
Active Shooter
Posts: 4258
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:41 pm
Location: NJ

Re: I need a new computer

Postby rightisright » Sat Jan 09, 2016 6:23 pm

Looks like I will be getting an SSD. 512GB should more than suit me.

The Lenovo spyware thing is concerning.... but I am having a hard time finding anything w. similar specs for the same price. Plus, Costco's customer service is outstanding.

If the OS is preinstalled, how much of a PITA is it to reinstall it on the SSD? Do these things even come w. backup discs anymore? :?

User avatar
g-man
Trigger Junkie
Posts: 1032
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:40 pm
Location: Northern Calfrutopia
Contact:

Re: I need a new computer

Postby g-man » Sat Jan 09, 2016 10:30 pm

OS should have a way to burn recovery discs, or you can google Windows 10 installation media and download a copy. I'd just do that as soon as you boot the machine, and save yourself having to reinstall anything if you wait and upgrade to SSD later.
Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum

User avatar
mekender
Probably Unemployed
Posts: 13189
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:31 pm
Contact:

Re: I need a new computer

Postby mekender » Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:21 am

rightisright wrote:Looks like I will be getting an SSD. 512GB should more than suit me.

The Lenovo spyware thing is concerning.... but I am having a hard time finding anything w. similar specs for the same price. Plus, Costco's customer service is outstanding.

If the OS is preinstalled, how much of a PITA is it to reinstall it on the SSD? Do these things even come w. backup discs anymore? :?


They dont come with discs... And if the OS is installed, as in an off the shelf machine, then you have to reinstall from the manufacturer's restore policy, not the MS website... If you try to use the MS website, they will tell you to contact the manufacturer once you put in your license key.

With 10, most of the install process is done via the website and you have to put in a key to do it... Now you can go to another Win 10 machine and make a bootable USB key for another machine, that is how I do the ones in my house.
“I no longer need to run as a Presidential Candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democrat Party has adopted our platform.” - Norman Thomas, a six time candidate for president for the Socialist Party, 1944

User avatar
mekender
Probably Unemployed
Posts: 13189
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:31 pm
Contact:

Re: I need a new computer

Postby mekender » Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:34 am

Greg wrote:That's a start.

Now picture an actual multiuser system, with multiple users logged in at all times, each with a graphical session (and X server)... And each user had at least 3 browser windows open, with a dozen or more open tabs per window, streaming videos, the occasional browser game....

The Phenom II X4 CPU was nice in it's day but it's elderly now, and it holds up fine until paging becomes an issue.

Maybe not a common usage pattern, but it's not difficult.

The real point to make, is to be aware of what you generally do with the computer so you can anticipate your hardware needs.


Right but that goes into the realm of a server and exceeds the usage patters of almost every home user...

Btw, the TS140 with 8GB of ram is the server in my office that runs my DC and about 5 VMs,
“I no longer need to run as a Presidential Candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democrat Party has adopted our platform.” - Norman Thomas, a six time candidate for president for the Socialist Party, 1944

Greg
Probably Unemployed
Posts: 8123
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 3:15 pm
Location: MO

Re: I need a new computer

Postby Greg » Sun Jan 10, 2016 6:57 pm

mekender wrote:
Greg wrote:
Maybe not a common usage pattern, but it's not difficult.

The real point to make, is to be aware of what you generally do with the computer so you can anticipate your hardware needs.


Right but that goes into the realm of a server and exceeds the usage patters of almost every home user...


OK, that's silly.

I may be lazy and in the habit of opening things (apps, browser tabs, whatever) and not using or closing them, and use the 'bazillion open browser tabs as a filing and note keeping system', but it's not server usage. :)

I suspect over time and as the average desktop OS gets more stable, more people will become packrats this way like me.

Btw, the TS140 with 8GB of ram is the server in my office that runs my DC and about 5 VMs,


My server is a dual core Athlon 64 with 4GB of ram. I'd run vm's on it if the CPU supported it, but it doesn't. (Special/single purpose server vm's don't need much RAM. You need for more RAM either for virtualizing a desktop, or for a heavy duty server VM.)
Maybe we're just jaded, but your villainy is not particularly impressive. -Ennesby

If you know what you're doing, you're not learning anything. -Unknown
Sanity is the process by which you continually adjust your beliefs so they are predictively sound. -esr

rightisright
Active Shooter
Posts: 4258
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:41 pm
Location: NJ

Re: I need a new computer

Postby rightisright » Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:40 am

Just bought this guy to get started: http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-BX200-480 ... ywords=ssd

rightisright
Active Shooter
Posts: 4258
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:41 pm
Location: NJ

Re: I need a new computer

Postby rightisright » Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:07 pm

I went to Costco today for boneless short ribs* and found they dropped the price on the Lenovo another $50. Now, to add the SSD and migrate data and programs from my old box. Ugggh.

*For $6.99/#, these things are amazing. Salt and pepper, let sit for a few hours, take out 30 mins prior and grill or sear them HOT. Mmm...beefy goodness.

http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/05/the- ... art-3.html

User avatar
Denis
Good Christ I Need A Life
Posts: 6570
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2008 6:29 am

Re: I need a new computer

Postby Denis » Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:10 am

rightisright wrote:I went to Costco today for boneless short ribs* ...
*For $6.99/#, these things are amazing. Salt and pepper, let sit for a few hours, take out 30 mins prior and grill or sear them HOT. Mmm...beefy goodness.

http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/05/the- ... art-3.html


Those sound delicious. Now how do I explain them to my butcher?

rightisright
Active Shooter
Posts: 4258
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:41 pm
Location: NJ

Re: I need a new computer

Postby rightisright » Mon Feb 01, 2016 5:30 pm

Denis wrote:
rightisright wrote:I went to Costco today for boneless short ribs* ...
*For $6.99/#, these things are amazing. Salt and pepper, let sit for a few hours, take out 30 mins prior and grill or sear them HOT. Mmm...beefy goodness.

http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/05/the- ... art-3.html


Those sound delicious. Now how do I explain them to my butcher?


They come from the lower part of the chuck. Judging from this diagram, it would be the collier in French: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cut_of_beef#French_cuts

Here's what they look like (not my image): http://2.bp.blogspot.com/--KfTxD4AYsE/U ... C04110.jpg

User avatar
Denis
Good Christ I Need A Life
Posts: 6570
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2008 6:29 am

Re: I need a new computer

Postby Denis » Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:51 pm

rightisright wrote:They come from the lower part of the chuck. Judging from this diagram, it would be the collier in French: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cut_of_beef#French_cuts

Here's what they look like (not my image): http://2.bp.blogspot.com/--KfTxD4AYsE/U ... C04110.jpg


Perfect. Thanks. I'll print that and take it to the butcher. Unfortunately, our local artisan butcher closed up shop, but the supermarket has a good guy in-house, and there's always the Argentinian wholesalers at the commercial market...


Return to “Tech Talk”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest