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Topic: OT: Home computer

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MaximumSam

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OT: Home computer
« on: August 01, 2020, 10:31:04 AM »
So with schools looking to be online and worth my work also still being remote, I'm looking into buying a computer. Now, we have various computers, a couple cheap laptops and an array of tablets. But it's been a while since I looked at a desktop computer. I've been looking closely at an IMac, but not married to it. 

Thoughts, experiences, tips?

Cincydawg

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Re: OT: Home computer
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2020, 10:38:29 AM »
I have a Dell, nothing fancy, desktop.  The wife went for an Apple laptop and is always asking me questions about how to do stuff that is very easy on the Dell.

I've used Apples before, we had them at work for a while, but this was decades ago.  I personally don't think they are worth the premium.  She also runs out of memory all the time, but it's a laptop, two years old or so.

My stepson works for Apple.  I told him when he started to buy all the AAPL he could as he gets a discount.  I think he did.  I "made" a boatload of money yesterday, on paper.

Anyway, I am not a fan of the Mac, and I think some of the fans are cultilt in their adoration of it and don't realize Windows can do most of that stuff at half the price.

MaximumSam

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Re: OT: Home computer
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2020, 10:48:02 AM »
I don't disagree, and if it was just for me a Mac wouldn't be my preference. But it is also something I want the kids to be able to use with minimal hassles and be able to use some of the tools like the movie editing. While Windows has supposedly made some moves that way based on what I've read it's still substandard. My dad has a mac and I've noticed it's a lot easier for them to use that stuff compared to others.

ELA

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Re: OT: Home computer
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2020, 11:32:16 AM »
I don't disagree, and if it was just for me a Mac wouldn't be my preference. But it is also something I want the kids to be able to use with minimal hassles and be able to use some of the tools like the movie editing. While Windows has supposedly made some moves that way based on what I've read it's still substandard. My dad has a mac and I've noticed it's a lot easier for them to use that stuff compared to others.
Yeah, my wife uses her Mac laptop for movie editing and nothing else.

The kids are used to them from school, as I was at one point.  That was genius marketing.

bwarbiany

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Re: OT: Home computer
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2020, 12:13:45 PM »
I think Apple is overpriced for what you get. And a lot of their design elements make more sense in a thin & light laptop than a desktop.

Truth is that for most daily PC users, the computing power has grown FAR beyond what most of us "need". Granted, movie editing is one of those applications that takes a lot of resources. But if you're talking about once a month they're stitching together 2-3 minute videos from their phone, that's not exactly "movie editing". 

Two keys:


  • Get something that is SSD-based. For a desktop it's okay if you have a moderate-sized SSD for doing work and a larger HDD for bulk storage/archive, but you NEED to boot from an SSD. Booting from an HDD makes a very slow mechanical device the bottleneck in your system; an SSD is no longer the bottleneck.
  • Get more DRAM than you think you need. Much like SSD, this is one of the areas where paying a little more up front is worth it.

But beyond that, you don't need anything fancy unless you're a hardcore gamer, or if you're doing really intensive work that requires a lot of computing resources. For most of us, the computer is 98% browser-based and office applications at this point. Those don't take a lot of horsepower. 



847badgerfan

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Re: OT: Home computer
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2020, 12:30:02 PM »
Love my Windows Surface Pro, but very expensive.

I picked up a Dell laptop from Costco for the wife about a month ago. Works great, and was about $800 or so.
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MaximumSam

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Re: OT: Home computer
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2020, 12:37:48 PM »
I think Apple is overpriced for what you get. And a lot of their design elements make more sense in a thin & light laptop than a desktop.

Truth is that for most daily PC users, the computing power has grown FAR beyond what most of us "need". Granted, movie editing is one of those applications that takes a lot of resources. But if you're talking about once a month they're stitching together 2-3 minute videos from their phone, that's not exactly "movie editing".

Two keys:


  • Get something that is SSD-based. For a desktop it's okay if you have a moderate-sized SSD for doing work and a larger HDD for bulk storage/archive, but you NEED to boot from an SSD. Booting from an HDD makes a very slow mechanical device the bottleneck in your system; an SSD is no longer the bottleneck.
  • Get more DRAM than you think you need. Much like SSD, this is one of the areas where paying a little more up front is worth it.

But beyond that, you don't need anything fancy unless you're a hardcore gamer, or if you're doing really intensive work that requires a lot of computing resources. For most of us, the computer is 98% browser-based and office applications at this point. Those don't take a lot of horsepower.



What would you consider a good size for SSD and DRAM?

Re: video editing I'm not envisioning them making Jurassic Park but I do think being able to make videos is a direction schools (and eventually jobs) will be going so it seems like something they should be familiar with.

MaximumSam

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Re: OT: Home computer
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2020, 12:38:34 PM »
Love my Windows Surface Pro, but very expensive.

I picked up a Dell laptop from Costco for the wife about a month ago. Works great, and was about $800 or so.
I've heard those are very nice. Not sure I'm ready to jump from a chromebook to one though.

bwarbiany

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Re: OT: Home computer
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2020, 12:51:50 PM »
What would you consider a good size for SSD and DRAM?
I doubt you need anything more than a 500GB SSD. It should be an NVMe SSD though, not SATA. For any modern PC, it should support NVMe and the cost adder for the SSD is minimal for a large improvement in performance.

If you think you need more than 500GB storage, that's mostly going to be for large archival things which you can buy a multi-TB HDD pretty inexpensively to add later.

For DRAM, no less than 8GB under any circumstances. 16GB would be nice, but not if it comes at a huge premium. If you do only get 8GB, though, I would make sure that you can add another 8GB down the road IF you find that it's too little for you. 

Cincydawg

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Re: OT: Home computer
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2020, 01:04:32 PM »
I think I would get a Mac if doing a lot of "visual" stuff, and a Dell if just doing basic computer stuff.

I have an iPad which I do enjoy a lot.  I dislike typing on it.  It's ancient really but works fine, maybe 8 years old?

MarqHusker

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Re: OT: Home computer
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2020, 01:29:14 PM »
I put my home office emphasis on a quality dual monitor stand and tidy cord management.  The Dell laptop works great for all of my office related needs.

ELA

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Re: OT: Home computer
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2020, 01:47:53 PM »
I put my home office emphasis on a quality dual monitor stand and tidy cord management.  The Dell laptop works great for all of my office related needs.
Yeah, that's all I've got.  A docking station for a laptop with dual monitors.

847badgerfan

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Re: OT: Home computer
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2020, 02:10:56 PM »
Docking station for the surface is really handy.
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Brutus Buckeye

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Re: OT: Home computer
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2020, 03:03:51 PM »
What is the worst home computer that is currently available on the market? 
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