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Desktop recommendations?

Discussion in 'Tech Forum' started by wildturkey, Nov 16, 2017.

  1. wildturkey

    wildturkey Well-Known Member

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    Been using my Thinkpad laptop for years now, its on its last legs, and I think I want to just get a nice desktop to replace it instead. But its been years and years since I've used one at home. What are the best brands and value out there right now? I don't need anything fancy for gaming or anything.Just basic surfing and streaming, possibly some engineering software (mostly data acq). I don't think I need quad core processors. Dual should be enough, right?
     



  2. WizardHawk

    WizardHawk Fuck the off season

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    If your current rig is that old then even any entry level cheap PC will likely feel like light speed compared to it.

    Can you get by with a dual core PC? Sure, if you aren't doing anything heavy then an Intel i3 (or equiv AMD) will be more than solid with surfing and basic streaming. I'd still advise 8G ram just because windows can be such a hog and higher end video can take up a fair amount of memory.

    You can save money by getting a basic PC with a standard hard drive instead of solid state, but I simply won't ever go back to a computer booted from hard drive again after using a solid state. They speed up the overall experience by a large factor particularly in how fast they boot and how quickly you can get into doing things after a machine is turned on.

    Today's integrated on IC graphics are way better than they were even just 5 years ago, but the versions on the i3's are not nearly as good as what they put on the i5's. IMO it's typically worth getting an entry level i5 rig over an i3 as much or more because of those extra graphics capabilities as much as the extra cores and turbo boost speed that you do not get with i3's.

    Asus, Lenovo, HP, and Dell have all been around for a long time and make good units with solid support. Acer and cyberpower are 'value' brands that have been around long enough to look at.

    Honestly they have changed the market quite a bit and now you have many more choices than simply laptop or minitower desktop. They come as small as Intel Compute Sticks that are just larger than a thumb drive and plug into an HDMI slot directly on your TV, to many smaller appliance sized units that are ever increasingly stronger machines. It's worth looking into your options and finding something that more fits your style if you aren't looking for gaming quality.

    Prices for a basic PC these days runs around $400-$450 for something that's not so lame that it breaks down or gives you issues but doesn't break the bank. You can find decent i5's with 8G ram for that price point too, particularly in the next two weeks for the black friday madness. That is already underway so I'd go look for the deals with places like Newegg.com or just google black friday PC specials.
     
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  3. wildturkey

    wildturkey Well-Known Member

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    Good info. Much appreciated. Is Intel that much better than AMD? I've been looking over a few different models and the ones with AMD processors seem to be cheaper. Wondering if its worth saving a few bucks there or not
     
  4. WizardHawk

    WizardHawk Fuck the off season

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    They have been back and forth for years. In general both CPU's themselves are pretty solid. The difference is more who makes the MB chipsets for each. I haven't worked with AMD boards in several years, but I know there are plenty of people very happy with their rigs. I'm just not expert enough to suggest them. Intel CPU's go on Intel's chipsets and much of the equipment I work with require them so that's all I have, including at home.

    Look up reviews on some of the models you are interested in and see what peoples experiences are with it.

    I pretty much stick to ASUS boards and Intel chips and build my own, but we do buy from most of those vendors for just plain desktop units for our staff.
     
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  5. Manster7588

    Manster7588 5>>>1

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    Just bought a new Dell desktop to replace an old Vista.
    We have dual monitors and tried to use the Video card from the old PC, but it wouldn't work.

    Took a good look at the new PC and realized it has an HDMI output also. Discovered it would push dual monitors without the old card.
    Went and bought a DVI-HDMI cord and dual monitors worked.
    We spent $550 on the PC and its more than we need, since all its really used for is my wifes job (Teacher) and her Facebook.
     
  6. night

    night Undocumented PhD

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    I bought a middle of the road Dell desktop for $500-600 with an i5 processor 3-4 years ago and I've never had any problems. I don't know anything about how well something like this would run engineering software but I feel like most modest setups would suit your needs well.
     
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