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44 posts


#265534 26-Jan-2020 12:10
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Hi.  I'm a pretty basic user here.


I have a home PC to replace, as I'm on Windows 7.  Current PC is an HP Touch Smart 520, around 7 years old.


I mainly just do internet browsing and MS Office (Excel, Word, Outlook).  I do have a bad habit of having about a dozen tabs open when I browse.  No gaming whatsoever.


I want to stick to HP, as they never seem to give me any problems and last until I am forced to replace them because of some external issue - like the Windows 10 upgrade.


I was intending to get a 16GB RAM/ 128GB SSD/ 2 HDD TB storage model, which has an AMD Dual Core A9-9430 processor for $1574 this weekend.  It seemed liked heaps of storage/memory for the money to me and I don't know enough about anything else to really shop on anything else.


However, when looking in another store, I was told I would be better off buying an 8GB RAM/ 128GB SSD / 1TB storage model, because the processor was far better - an Intel i5-8400T and it would mean it booted faster and coped with multiple open tabs better and - perhaps importantly, since I tend to keep them for ages - would have better longevity.  But this means LESS memory/storage for about $1,000 MORE money (this model is about $2500).  I was told (salesman was helpful/not pushy though and seemed very knowledgeable) the AMD processor was the reason for the other model being cheap and was technology that had been around a long time now (i.e. was not as good).


My husband and I have tried online comparisons to figure out whether the CPU is worth spending the money on, but haven't gleaned much.  I really don't mind spending the extra money on the second model if it will last or perform better. 


I don't want to buy the cheapest just because it is the cheapest - I really thought the memory and storage sounded great, which is why I was drawn to it.  But I spend quite a bit of time on my desktop PC, so budget isn't really the issue and I'm happy to spend more if I'm going to notice the difference in CPU.


Am I likely to?









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6344 posts

Uber Geek

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  #2406992 26-Jan-2020 12:52
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If all you're doing is Office / Browsing, you're fine with the AMD.  The biggest performance boost for you will be the SSD that Windows runs on.  Since your first choice has the SSD you'll be fine with that one.  

539 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #2407006 26-Jan-2020 13:28
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With 16Gb of Ram and a 128Gb SSD for the OS you wont know your self.


The I5 is better performance-wise but if your only browsing and doing office things as @gehenna has said the AMD would suit you fine.


If you want to go for the I5 but want more ram you can always just pick up another 8GB stick of ram and add that to the system and should only add 60-100 to the total price if you are able to install it your self.




Where are you looking at purchasing? If you're in Hamilton I would suggest PB-Tech.


I'm sure someone here could point you in the right direction of a reputable Pc builder or reseller that could assist you.


44 posts


#2407014 26-Jan-2020 13:54
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Thanks for the helpful answers.  


The first ($1574) PC is at Noel Leeming; the second is at Harvey Norman.   Each store has different specs on their models so it's a bit hard to compare them (value-wise) - I guess maybe that's deliberate.  


We do have a PB tech locally and I did have a brief look there, but my impression was that they mostly build you a PC, whereas I've had three HP's and was happy enough to stick with that brand, especially given we have limited tech knowledge for modifying anything.





539 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #2407028 26-Jan-2020 15:05
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Thanks for the helpful answers.  


The first ($1574) PC is at Noel Leeming; the second is at Harvey Norman.   Each store has different specs on their models so it's a bit hard to compare them (value-wise) - I guess maybe that's deliberate.  


We do have a PB tech locally and I did have a brief look there, but my impression was that they mostly build you a PC, whereas I've had three HP's and was happy enough to stick with that brand, especially given we have limited tech knowledge for modifying anything.



If you want another option here is one from PBtech 9th Gen I7 9700 8core 16gb ram 240GB SSD and 2TB of spinning rust for $1459.35  and the comparison of the I7-9700 vs 5-8400T, in the end, your getting a little more bang for buck with the i7 priced $100 less than the AMD build that you are looking at Noel Leeming





901 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2407033 26-Jan-2020 15:16
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As others have already said, it's all just about using a SSD drive. You could probably chuck a $150 SSD into the existing Touchsmart and install windows 10 and run it until some critical component fails and demands a replacement. Seriously, for office productivity use even as low as 4GB of RAM is fine as long as you have an SSD.


The official free upgrade period for Windows 10 has passed, but I believe they don't care as you can still upgrade and activate just fine with a Win7/8/8.1 license.



568 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #2407047 26-Jan-2020 16:33
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You can run the windows10 upgrade on your current machine, it will upgrade without issue.

44 posts


  #2407079 26-Jan-2020 17:48
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Yes, I did think I could do probably do the update to 10, but I just thought given the age of my PC, I might just go the whole hog and get something new.  My PC takes ages to boot and is getting quite noisy, so I think the end isn't that far off anyway ;)


7603 posts

Uber Geek


  #2407121 26-Jan-2020 17:55
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Hi, I would run a mile than purchase a PC from a high street retailer, but thats me, YMMV, I think you would be better off investing more time in seeing what the likes of PBTech can do for you.


Also based on the machine you currently have, if it were me, I would get a 128GByte SSD (as other have suggested) to give it an easy speed boost, and rather than stick with MS give Linux Mint a go, honestly you will hardly notice you are not using windows, except it just goes, goes and goes, yes you cannot run MS Office, instead you will have LibreOffice, but again, it works pretty much just the same unless you are doing some exotic stuff, which LibreOffice will probably also do, just a bit different.


My 2c









44 posts


  #2407923 28-Jan-2020 09:31
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Thanks Cyril.


I did end up taking your advice and went to a (different; tried to find the biggest) PB tech yesterday.


They sell a different model of HP desktop there (a business model) which had undeniably far superior specs, for far cheaper (under $2,000).


I didn't end up buying one, because my own personal quirk is that I have a strong preference for the glossy/reflective monitor on the Touchscreen models (which PB Tech no longer sell) and the business model has a matte screen - but there was no competition otherwise - PB's was much better value.



143 posts

Master Geek

  #2407946 28-Jan-2020 10:28
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These are all in one touchscreen PCs you are looking at?




If it was a regular desktop and it was me I'd just put an SSD in it and upgrade to windows 10 but if it's an AIO it's not so simple to do yourself.


PBtech might do it for you but I'm not sure if they'd do the windows 10 upgrade. The free upgrade offer ended a long time ago but for whatever reason it still works so a lot of people still do it. A PC retailer might have liability issues if they do it though. Doesn't hurt to ask.




But if what you want is a new PC and only use it for the things you mention then basically anything with an SSD boot drive and at least 8GB of RAM will do the job just fine, a fast CPU doesn't effect the experience much if you are not using it to it's potential.




I'd say pick one based on the features you want, your budget, and personal preference, and don't get too worried about the CPU or storage space.




I did buy and older 2nd hand AIO once from hungry PC - good guy to deal with - and slapped an SSD in it myself (there was duct tape involved) and it ran really well. The truth is for casual home PC use the CPU performance needed has not significantly risen in many years and an older PC is often perfectly fine. For gamers and power users this is less likely to be true.




The SSD boot drive is the biggest improvement in user experience the PC market has had in a very long time and can easily be added to almost any PC new enough to have a SATA hard drive. Changing the boot disk to an SSD and doing a fresh install of windows can make it feel like a totally different machine in most cases.

2127 posts

Uber Geek

  #2408053 28-Jan-2020 12:17
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My advice.


Dont buy something with a far too small SSD, they are just selling you old cheap SSD , or a old model PC .


Buy with a 500Gb SSD . Smaller SSD's often just need to be upgraded later when they get too full.
If it has less than a 500Gb SSD, that says alot about what you are buying (either its an old model or its made on the cheap)
I wouldnt buy (or sell) PC/notebooks with a 128GB SSD HD . Theres no reason to go that small in capacity .


Dont go for the 2 drive option, very small SSD + old school 1Tb HD etc , unless you are very good at managing HD space & know how to move default
doc folders etc. ie , for the av user , just avoid these , they are compensating for a cheap tiny capacity SSD rather than give a descent size SSD to start with


PB Tech can upgrade a new PC's SSD to a larger size as part of the package, Noel lemming etc probably cant/wont.
I often see users struggling to manage storage when the HD gets full , so storage (HD size) IS something that important .

44 posts


  #2411643 2-Feb-2020 18:28
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Thanks for the further replies.


Yes, I was looking at the AIO models.  Perhaps I do myself a disservice there, although my logic was that I am such a basic sort of user it was likely all I need.


I did end up buying a Pavilion, although rather worringly - from 1101's reply - it is a mix of SSD and HDD.  


But I have made my bed now and will lie in it!  


It was helpful to know that EITHER the AMD or the Intel would probably be perfectly fine for me and the SSD was the most important thing, when I was shopping.  I really couldn't find exactly the things I was looking for all in one model, so it was a bit of a compromise in the end.


Thanks very much for all your help :)  :)



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