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Author Topic: My list of potential new computers  (Read 3036 times)

renluop

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Re: My list of potential new computers
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2017, 09:51:24 AM »

Whats actually wrong wih your current computer?
Continuation of http://forum.kitz.co.uk/index.php/board,2.0.html, which seemed to abate for a time,but returned.

@everyone
I hope I am not coming across as a finicky fusspot! If I have failed to answer any point, please remind me!
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Weaver

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Re: My list of potential new computers
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2017, 10:15:52 AM »

I'm a big fan of Dell, have bought dozens, desktops and a couple of servers, although for laptops I was always buying Thinkpads before I retired. The Intel Haswell processors and above are very impressive, as for Skylake, I can't see the advantage although support for DDR4 RAM is nice, don't know about costs though.

Unsolicited advice: I wouldn't do self-build, I can't see how it makes economic sense given the fantastic pricing from the likes of Dell. What I would always recommend though is clean-installing Windows properly from a straight retail _Microsoft_ Windows installation DVD, not an OEM one. I know it seems like a waste of money, but its for peace of mind, freedom from bloat and you can repair / recover your installation. And whatever you do, stay away from the Home versions of Windows as they are crippled and _impossible_ to secure, use Pro or whatever it's now called in Win 10. Then as long as you (i) don't _ever_ make it possible for anyone log on as an admin, and don't log on as an admin ever yourself unless it's for maintenance, (ii) set the whole NTFS FS with strict ACLs thoroughly, including locking down the root, (ask) and (iii) set up SRP thoroughly ultra-strictly (ask), (iv) use local Group Policy and lock in secured MS Office settings, and finally (v) lock the BIOS and make it only boot from C:, then you'll be fine. Problem apps that don't play nice on a secured o/s can be put into VMs. I did always stick with IE as it is definitely the most secure browser because of its use of o/s low-privilege 'integrity levels', and is securable by GP. For reliability, no dodgy device-drivers or kernel-mode third-party s/w, keep it minimal, lean and mean and especially don't go near third-party anti-virus / firewalls /anti-malware stick to MS' built-in offerings, so your o/s won’t run like a dog and crashing all the time. That's how I have never ever had crash or a security incident on any of my users' dozens or so machines in eight years - and no third-party a/v running at all. Users were not able to run exes that they downloaded from the web, received in email or imported on removable drives. Despite having non-computer literate users as well. I used such an ultra-secured setup for myself all the time too (we eat our own dog food). You didn't ask for that lot, and prob knew it all already, but I feel better now. Apologies.
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roseway

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Re: My list of potential new computers
« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2017, 10:27:44 AM »

I'm sure everyone understands that you don't have an unlimited budget and you want to spend your money to the best effect for your type of usage. I think that just about any of the PCs mentioned in this thread would meet your performance needs, because you don't have challenging requirements. You're perhaps bothering unnecessarily about processors and their speeds, because your usage isn't processor-intensive. So other factors such as heat and noise might be more important - the Celeron processor is widely used in low power consumption products, and the lower power consumption should be reflected in quieter cooling fans.

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  Eric

parkdale

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Re: My list of potential new computers
« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2017, 10:48:11 AM »

As I see it, there are a couple of issues you can resolve on your current setup.

1. Dump the ATI graphics card, it's not really (Drivers only go up to Windows 8) Windows 10 compatible, get a Nvidia 710 1Gb £35.

2. Get a SSD disk as your main O/S drive, 250Gb will do nicely £70 - 90 (Samsung 850 evo best).

3. More Ram, 8Gb for Win 10 is ideal

4. I think the main issue was Power Supply, did you solve it?

I quite agree with you on being fussy, i'm struggling to find an excuse to upgrade my core i3 system but failling to find any 'Actual speed difference' to justify it.
The core i5 system I found on paper looks slower, but because it's got a bigger cache (6Mb) on the i5 core, will make it much quicker, and with turbo boost will go to 3.3Ghz.
If you look closely at the specs, it supports a M2 ssd card! pop one of these baby's in and your really hitting the max on processor thru-put.
Slowest component in it is the Hard disk which 5400rpm ...

Technical specifications for ACER Aspire XC-780 Desktop PC
OVERVIEW Type    Desktop
Operating system    Windows 10 (64-bit)
SPECIFICATION Processor    - Intel® Core™ i5-6400 Processor
- Quad-core
- 2.7 GHz / 3.3 GHz (Turbo Boost)
- 6 MB cache
Memory (RAM)    8 GB DDR4 (32 GB maximum installable RAM)
Storage    3 TB HDD, 5400 rpm
Motherboard    SoniaH_2 H110
CONNECTIVITY Wireless    802.11 ac
Ethernet    No
Bluetooth    Bluetooth 4.0 LE
USB    - USB 3.0 x 3
- USB 2.0 x 4
Video interface    HDMI x 1
Audio interface    3.5 mm jack
MEDIA Optical disc drive    DVD/RW
Memory card reader    4-in-1 memory card reader
Expansion card slot    - PCIe (x1) x 1
- PCIe (x16) x 1
- M.2 (SSD) x 1
- M.2 (WLAN) x 1
FEATURES Mouse / trackpad    Wireless mouse
Keyboard    Wireless keyboard
Security features    - Security lock slot
- BIOS password
- User password
POWER PSU    220 W PFC (EuP), auto-sensing, 80PLUS Bronze
GENERAL Colour    Black
Box contents    - Acer Aspire XC-780 Desktop PC
- Power cable
- Wireless keyboard
- Wireless mouse
- Documents
Dimensions    298 x 100 x 419 mm (H x W x D)
Weight    7.9 kg
Manufacturer’s guarantee    1 year
Software included    * Full version of Microsoft Office not included
* Full version of anti-virus / internet security not included
- Acer Care Centre
- Acer Configuration Manager
- Acer User Experience Program Framework
« Last Edit: March 05, 2017, 10:50:30 AM by parkdale »
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Ronski

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Re: My list of potential new computers
« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2017, 10:55:24 AM »

I presume you mean this thread as the link above is to the board, I can see why you want to replace it, and given the problems it pretty much rules out reusing anything.

Inquisitive, as usual, I tried to make sense of the final scores with various averages unsuccessfully. Are the methods explained anywhere?

I really just look at the benchmark scores to try and get an idea as to how the CPU performs to one I know.

Prices seem to have risen quite a bit recently, so to get a good PC with a faster CPU than your existing one is going to cost more than £400, it may well be doable but you'll need someone who really knows their hardware and PC's well.

The fastest CPU in your selection is the i3 6100, this appears to give much better performance to your existing CPU

If you can afford to up the budget to £460 then this should make for a very nice PC, if you need more storage you could re-use your old HDD and fit it in the PC.
Or without the SSD at £412, but an SSD will make a lot of difference to the feel of the PC.

@Wearver I think most of that is well above the average users abilities, and since the average user is not going to be able to lock the system down I think recommending not using a good AV is a bad idea.
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renluop

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Re: My list of potential new computers
« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2017, 01:04:46 PM »

You found the right link! :)  I must be more careful. Lapse was probably triggered by a call; of nature or for coffee I don't know/ can't recall! :oldman:

@everyone
This has been an interesting and informative discussion. Thank you.

The comment about Ebuyer was a bit off putting, as I'd seen generally good reports. I'll dig further. Now, I have to make my mind up.
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Ronski

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Re: My list of potential new computers
« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2017, 02:03:03 PM »

I found that HP one at £430 on Laptops Direct, I think I've used them in the past but have used another one of their associated companies more recently and found they could offer a better price if I phoned. Note the price of £329 on website is after £100 cash back which only businesses can claim.

Also £437 on Ebuyer - who've I've never had a problem with.

The actual HP part number is 1EX45EA
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Weaver

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Re: My list of potential new computers
« Reply #22 on: March 05, 2017, 08:51:35 PM »

Quality SSDs are great. Goodbye to the terror of constant mechanical hard disk failures and the awful latency. Essential for laptops of course, as they get moved. Haswell is wonderful, but beyond that I don't think processors are that important for run-of-the-mill usage. Enough (or more) fast RAM. Chunky caches can matter, but very much depends on the useage. Moving up to Haswell you get all the modern instruction set add-ones.

But there is the perennial problem that app authors and o/s designers dare not rely on the presence of modern instructions, often a 10-15 year time lag. Either that or they have to put in a great amount of difficult work to make code adaptive, or else build multiple versions of components, all of which has a huge cost in terms of development time, complexity and is a testing nightmare. (Although I have seen some tools that offer mechanisms to deal with this issue automatically and hide the difficulties from the developer.) So apps that do not take advantage of the instruction set that you actually have are still a big shame.
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renluop

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Re: My list of potential new computers
« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2017, 10:46:02 PM »

Daft Question

Is the storage capacity for data more with SSD greater than SATA @ same advertised size? I ask because SSDs appear much smaller.
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tickmike

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Re: My list of potential new computers
« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2017, 10:52:27 PM »

I have use this firm a few times http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/

With your Dell I would test it by
1 Un-plug at mains wall socket.
2 Open case and disconnect the power supply lead to the DVD drive/s and the Hard drive/s only leaving the power supply connected to the motherboard .
3 Temporary close case and plug in the mains plug and boot up, it will only boot into 'Bios'
Leave on and monitor it for a day or so.
If it re-boots it could be the motherboard  or power supply unit ( you have cleaned all the dust out of the power supply unit ?).
4. if ok plug in the dvd drive and repeat.
5. If still ok plug in the hard drive and test.
6. if all seems to work ok with it booted-up and the sides off genitally poke around with a insulating stick/wood or plastic rod etc.to see if there is anything loose.
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roseway

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Re: My list of potential new computers
« Reply #25 on: March 05, 2017, 10:56:44 PM »

Daft Question

Is the storage capacity for data more with SSD greater than SATA @ same advertised size? I ask because SSDs appear much smaller.

No it's not. SSD's tend to be smaller because silicon memory is more expensive to produce than rotating disks. That will no doubt change over time.
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  Eric

Ronski

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Re: My list of potential new computers
« Reply #26 on: March 06, 2017, 06:21:56 AM »

@tickmike if you read this thread linked to earlier you'll see that he's already tried numerous things.

http://forum.kitz.co.uk/index.php/topic,18621.0.html

I've also used PC Specialist  for all our work PC's, and they are great, but currently a lot more than his budget.

I'm sure some SSDs used to use hardware compression, but don't know if this is still the case.

Cost of SSDs has fallen dramatically, I recently bought a 960GB SSD which cost less than my first 80GB SSD, but still around three times the price of a good HDD the same size iirc.
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renluop

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Re: My list of potential new computers
« Reply #27 on: March 06, 2017, 07:00:38 AM »

@tickmike

Nevertheless thanks for that post! Ilove this bit from it,
Quote
6. if all seems to work ok with it booted-up and the sides off genitally poke around with a insulating stick/wood or plastic rod etc.to see if there is anything loose.

There are some risks, that I will not take! :D
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parkdale

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Re: My list of potential new computers
« Reply #28 on: March 06, 2017, 06:23:55 PM »

The best rule of thumb, buy as much 'Tech' as you can afford.
Things to consider are Ram (as much as possible) 4Gb ok 8Gb best these days,
Processor, currently Skylake, pays to get it if possible, Pentium/Celeron have limited on board 'Cache' i3 and up use much bigger 'Caches' more is defiantly faster.
USB 3.0 this is the fastest usb at present, with lots on the system (for your keyboard, mouse use usb 2.0) faster usb 3.0 used for attached harddisks, flash drives etc.
SSD Drives are mainly used for your o/s (You put all your documents etc on to the Rotating Harddisk)  but can be used to supplement standard rotating harddisks, as a cache.
Included Harddisk/s should be as big as possible! most people think they will never use it all but you would be surprised at how much pictures, music etc uses.
Windows 10 home is ok for day to day general use, if you don't have a number of computers networked, there's not much point in getting the 'Pro' version.

The system I found represents extremely good value, and with a £100 reduction on price it's well within your budget.
Some company's that I know of , have sent Windows 10 computers back to the suppliers, and have ordered Windows 7 versions instead!. Worth bearing in mind before dismissing any 'Manufacturer refurbs', as they can't sell them as new, they are effectively never been used. This applies to Dell HP etc.
 
 
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parkdale

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Re: My list of potential new computers
« Reply #29 on: March 06, 2017, 08:55:00 PM »

Daft Question

Is the storage capacity for data more with SSD greater than SATA @ same advertised size? I ask because SSDs appear much smaller.

The main reason SSD's are used in computers is to do with speed. My computer (Core i3 + Intel 535 240Gb) takes about 15-20 seconds to boot from cold! if you had a Rotating disk as your main drive, booting from cold generally takes about 1-3 mins depending on how much 'Stuff' you have loading up at boot time, and how fast the disk spins.

http://www.storagereview.com/ssd_vs_hdd
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