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Topic # 165750 19-Feb-2015 13:00
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Hi all

About to bite the bullet and upgrade from old PC (Pentium dual core 2.6GHz, 2GB RAM, Windows XP).

I use it for browsing, email, document processing, some streaming and video playback (VLC, Youtube) and a few other bits and pieces (Exact Audio Copy, Media Monkey, Calibre, Evernote, Notebook++) none of which need much in the way of CPU or graphics - no gaming.

Priorities (which are things that annoy me now) are -

- dependable wifi (about 5m in a straightline through one interior wall to Fritzbox - currently drops out a few times a day)
- fast boot (less than 1 minute)
- fast to open browser (Chrome and Firefox both take forever to load)
- average video and sound - don't really use anything flash elsewhere
- smallish case preferred but not essential

I'm not really a build from scratch person though would be happy to install a SSD into an existing box (which I think will be part of the solution).

So I'm looking for suggestion/recommendations either about currently available ready to go solutions that you know of (and where to buy) or else just general advice on suitable CPU, RAM, Windows OS to look out for on Trademe or elsewhere.

Budget - around $500 or even less would be nice but if it ends up $800 then that is still possible

Thanks in advance for your suggestions and advice

Lee

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  Reply # 1242280 19-Feb-2015 13:08
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If my sister came to me with this request, I would get her one of these (because in my considerable experience these machines are highly reliable) with an SSD.  Boot from the SSD and keep the 500Gb drive as storage for data.  You would need a short SATA cable and some double-sided tape to stick the SSD in place or buy an adapter tray to screw in the SSD.

http://www.trademe.co.nz/computers/desktops/no-monitor/auction-848162112.htm  





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  Reply # 1242286 19-Feb-2015 13:21
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$700 got me this a few months back - keeps me happy and games quite well ;)

I already had a 120GB SSD however, so you could probably swap something around and sneak a SSD in as well.

http://www.xpd.co.nz/?p=421




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  Reply # 1242289 19-Feb-2015 13:23
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If you are wanting a really cheap option, I picked up one of these for less than $40 http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=848141726  May not have quite a power or speed your a looking for, but you can adda wifi dongle to it, and I set it up with windows 10 technical release, and it performs well . I also stuck in another 2Gb stick of ram, to make it 4GB.  Best of all it is a very small form factor and has a 130W power brick, so has lower power use. Mine had a windows vista COA sticker and is 64 bit, although you should double check the specs for it on that auction. I solely use it as a PC for watching lightbox for my TV, as well as trying our windows 10, and it works well for that.

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  Reply # 1242290 19-Feb-2015 13:24
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dynamic


That's an excellent suggestion and you would not even feel the need for the ssd for a while.

If you want to go new etc lenovo have some good deals atm.

lenovo deals

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  Reply # 1242293 19-Feb-2015 13:26
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I don't think any of the recommended ones are an upgrade to the op's existing system?




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  Reply # 1242299 19-Feb-2015 13:36
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joker97: I don't think any of the recommended ones are an upgrade to the op's existing system?

 

Anything up from XP will be an upgrade. I am sure that is part of the problem. The processor they are using is probably better than some of these new budget laptops you can buy, which have very slow processors. Otherwise going to a PC shop and looking at their budget system with an i3 processor, and then installing a SSD maybe an option.

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  Reply # 1242301 19-Feb-2015 13:40
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My work laptop with an SSD boots to the windows login screen in 4 seconds. Not kidding, 4 seconds. My home PC which has a much older motherboard but is still a 2nd gen i7 takes more like 15 seconds, most of it with the bios boot sequence.

You're likely looking for second hand at this price.




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  Reply # 1242303 19-Feb-2015 13:42
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gzt:
dynamic


That's an excellent suggestion and you would not even feel the need for the ssd for a while.

If you want to go new etc lenovo have some good deals atm.

lenovo deals


Some of the specs on their small form factor ones look pretty poor, eg. the Intel® Celeron® Processor J1800 in the M53 looks to be half the performance of an older core 2 duo according to CPU Benchmark, and some of the others aren't much better. The SSD though should improve things quite a bit.

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  Reply # 1242329 19-Feb-2015 14:07
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are we asking OP to buy an SSD and install win 7 / win 10?




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  Reply # 1242335 19-Feb-2015 14:13
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joker97: are we asking OP to buy an SSD and install win 7 / win 10?


more than likely to buy a second hand system in the 250-500 range and then install a SSD with OS on that

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  Reply # 1242344 19-Feb-2015 14:33
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joker97: are we asking OP to buy an SSD and install win 7 / win 10?

The windows license fee would probably make it an unaffordable option, and false economy. Really depends what they want from the computer. If they are looking for something that will last 3 plus years that is really reliable, windows 8, 4GB of ram, and and i3 or 5 processor with an SSD, then it maybe a new  one will be the best solution, such as some of those lenovos.

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  Reply # 1242345 19-Feb-2015 14:36
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Jase2985:
joker97: are we asking OP to buy an SSD and install win 7 / win 10?


more than likely to buy a second hand system in the 250-500 range and then install a SSD with OS on that


You would need to make sure that the PC already had a windows 7 license. Then it will be upgradable to 10 in the future. There is this one currently at $60 http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=846941655 with windows 7, and 4GB of ram, although it is a core 2 duo processor, although faster than their current one.

gzt

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  Reply # 1242374 19-Feb-2015 14:50
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mattwnz:
gzt:
dynamic


That's an excellent suggestion and you would not even feel the need for the ssd for a while.

If you want to go new etc lenovo have some good deals atm.

lenovo deals


Some of the specs on their small form factor ones look pretty poor, eg. the Intel® Celeron® Processor J1800 in the M53 looks to be half the performance of an older core 2 duo according to CPU Benchmark, and some of the others aren't much better. The SSD though should improve things quite a bit.

Avoid celeron. Min core2 with 4gb will be an excellent upgrade from the present position, but ideally stretch to i3 (and ideally with 8gb). Ssd nice but not really needed and will be a cheap(er) upgrade later in life anyway.

Some of the value models will hit the ideal at the approximate price point if you have to go new.

Some all in ones are OK if getting rid of the mess is a priority over more proc.

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  Reply # 1242376 19-Feb-2015 14:51
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mattwnz: If they are looking for something that will last 3 plus years that is really reliable, windows 8, 4GB of ram, and and i3 or 5 processor with an SSD, then it maybe a new  one will be the best solution, such as some of those lenovos.

I'm happy to argue the for a 3ish year old computer with an SSD added - particularly if it is a reliable business series machine, not some of the rubbish sold to consumers.

My home computer for example is a 5 year old ex-lease HP Business Series computer (E6600 CPU, 4Gb RAM, 256Gb SSD) that I would argue runs better today than it did when it was new because of that SSD.  I have no plans to replace it any time soon, and I've just put a 28" UltraWide LCD on it which the onboard graphics (via DisplayPort) are coping with just fine for web surfing, facebook games, youtube, etc.




"4 wheels move the body.  2 wheels move the soul."

“Don't believe anything you read on the net. Except this. Well, including this, I suppose.” Douglas Adams

gzt

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  Reply # 1242380 19-Feb-2015 14:54
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Ticks all the boxes if the screen size is what you want:

lenovo all in one special

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