Author Topic: Please Suggest a Desktop Computer  (Read 8362 times)

Please Suggest a Desktop Computer
« on: June 22, 2016, 11:49:10 PM »
I have a DELL Inspirion 531 with buggy on board graphics, NVIDIA GeForce 6150SE nForce 430. I added a buggy Creative X-Fi Audio Processor (WDM), which has low latency with ASIO4ALL. It's phased out, but it looks like I can get Win 10 drivers for it.

I'm on Win 7. I understand that newer OS and programs are built to tax resources instead of conserve them. I have very little running in the background. Should I stick with Win 7? I have a copy on CD.

I don't play graphics intensive video games, but it would be nice if I could play Settlers of Catan in 3D mode without the lag. It'd be nice to watch YouTube in fullscreen. Oddly, I used to watch YouTube in fullscreen, and I have no problem running Netflix fullscreen. I do a lot of 2D graphics work, which is fine on my computer. I occasionally do 3D work.

SMART says my drive is fine, but it doesn't sound fine. 500 GB is overkill for me. What do people do with all that space?

Tracktion 4 wants an Intel dual core. No idea why. Tracktion 3 worked fine on my machine until it caught a ghost. I did a painful uninstall and reinstall without the response server. Still haunted. There's no support for it, so I have to move on.

I'd like to spend $500-$600 for just the tower. I found an old KDS 17" monitor that doesn't bleed. It's literally a little rough around the edges, slight yellowing, but I'll take that any day over bleed.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2016, 01:21:48 AM by gentle_dissident »

Online Hydra009

Re: Please Suggest a Desktop Computer
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2016, 02:17:42 AM »
I'm on Win 7. I understand that newer OS and programs are built to tax resources instead of conserve them. I have very little running in the background. Should I stick with Win 7? I have a copy on CD.
Based on your requirements, I'd just stick with 7 for the time being.

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I don't play graphics intensive video games, but it would be nice if I could play Settlers of Catan in 3D mode without the lag.
Is this the video game you're talking about?  Shouldn't be too pricey to max that baby out.  :)

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SMART says my drive is fine, but it doesn't sound fine. 500 GB is overkill for me. What do people do with all that space?
You'd be surprised.  My Steam installation is sitting at about half that and most of those are older games.  A lot of new games clock in at 20-30 gigs now.

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I'd like to spend $500-$600 for just the tower.
I assume you're talking about the parts inside the tower rather than just the case.  :P

I recommend looking at logical increments for a general idea of what you want, which'll probably be somewhere in the very good or great range.  From there, it's just a matter of looking over your options and refining your search to whatever will work best for you.  r/buildapc and r/buildapcforme are good communities for tips.

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I found an old KDS 17" monitor that doesn't bleed. It's literally a little rough around the edges, slight yellowing, but I'll take that any day over bleed.
That sounds bad.  Are you sure you can't spring for a new monitor?  You should be able to get something decent and slightly bigger in the $100 to $200 range.

Re: Please Suggest a Desktop Computer
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2016, 11:06:52 AM »
My Steam installation is sitting at about half that and most of those are older games.  A lot of new games clock in at 20-30 gigs now.
I've got crap loads of games from Humble Bundle. I don't keep them on my hard drive. That's the beauty of cloud storage. Besides, I'll play a PC game about once a month. I have little time or interest for them. I mostly play virtual pinball on my Fire gen 2 during my morning constitutional. I'm usually looking at Pinterest, though.

I recommend looking at logical increments for a general idea of what you want, which'll probably be somewhere in the very good or great range.
Thanks, that's a nice site. Looks like it prefers a widescreen monitor. I don't remember encountering a site that does before. We have a CRT in our living room. It hasn't been a problem, but I can't find The Force Awakens in 4:3.

From there, it's just a matter of looking over your options and refining your search to whatever will work best for you.  r/buildapc and r/buildapcforme are good communities for tips.
I was hoping to be told to go buy some ready made job. It's going to take enough of my time chasing down installers and setting up a new PC.

Are you sure you can't spring for a new monitor?  You should be able to get something decent and slightly bigger in the $100 to $200 range.
Last I read, I'd have to pay $1000 to avoid bleed. Has that issue been fixed recently? It's too bad plasma isn't manufactured anymore.

I don't know if I could handle a much bigger screen. When working on art and music, my eyes are all over the place. I'd think more area to cover would wear me out and be less precise. I could Window everything. T3 didn't Window. Maybe T4 does. I don't usually watch video for the visuals. I'm after the content.

Re: Please Suggest a Desktop Computer
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2016, 12:40:20 PM »
I have no idea which brand or model of graphics processor is the best for the money. I'm guessing there are compatibility issues with motherboard slots and programs. Is there a particular brand of computer I should look at? Are modern on board graphics chips OK?

Is Win 10 OK compared to Win 7? I really liked XP. It let me use my computer for work. Win 7 added tons of "user friendly" features that made doing actual work a pain. I had to tweak the freak out of the registry to make it functional. It still does things like running off with a file after I rename it and turning my music project folders into commercial music folders.

Offline Atheon

Re: Please Suggest a Desktop Computer
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2016, 12:59:50 PM »
I'm partial to EVGA Nvidia graphics cards.
"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful." - Seneca

Re: Please Suggest a Desktop Computer
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2016, 01:08:43 PM »
I'm partial to EVGA Nvidia graphics cards.
Thanks. Do all new computers support them?

Online Hydra009

Re: Please Suggest a Desktop Computer
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2016, 01:53:18 PM »
I have no idea which brand or model of graphics processor is the best for the money.
Since you rarely play video games and nothing you've listed so far has high requirements, you'd be fine with a mid or low-tier graphics card.  We're talking anywhere from around $100 to $160.  Something like this or earlier would be a more than enough for Catan and 3D work.

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Are modern on board graphics chips OK?
You could go that route, yes.  But you'd get poor performance for anything graphically intensive.

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I'm guessing there are compatibility issues with motherboard slots and programs.
Yes.  First, you have to make sure the form factors match between the motherboard and the case.  ATX is the most common form factor.

Next, you have to make sure the CPU will fit the motherboard.  Any decent motherboard listing will tell you what CPU it can support, usually by describing at as ___ socket.  For example, this motherboard will support this CPU.

There are sites that can help point out any incompatibility issues.  If you plug the components into PCPartPicker, it'll warn you if you pick incompatible components.

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Is there a particular brand of computer I should look at?
Not really.  Some people are married to AMD or Nvidia for graphics and AMD or Intel for the CPU, but honestly, the brand isn't terribly important.  I'd just check out the reviews and make sure people were happy with the component they got.  If the comments section is filled with horror stories, I'd rethink my purchase.

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Is Win 10 OK compared to Win 7? I really liked XP. It let me use my computer for work.  Win 7 added tons of "user friendly" features that made doing actual work a pain. I had to tweak the freak out of the registry to make it functional. It still does things like running off with a file after I rename it and turning my music project folders into commercial music folders.
??  Running off with a file after you rename it?  Like moving it from its current folder to a new one?  Or are you talking about sorting it in its folder according to some undesired sorting method?

As for the Windows 7 My ___ libraries, I don't like it either.  I shunned that feature early on and haven't had a problem with it since.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2016, 03:21:28 PM by Hydra009 »

Re: Please Suggest a Desktop Computer
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2016, 02:04:28 PM »
XP would leave my file right where I renamed it and not move it by whatever parameter the folder is set. It let me break the grid for organization. Win support says these are features and not bugs. Win support is annoying. I stopped communicating with them.

Win 7 automatically changes the folder type to commercial music. It even screws up my commercial music folders by deleting or corrupting folder.jpg's. Win support said it was a known issue they had no intention of fixing.

Anyway, The only building I'm going to do is insert a low latency sound card and eventually a compatible graphics card. I really just need to know what ready built computer would be best for this. I'd also like to know if Win 10 is closer to XP and far far far removed from Win 8.

Online Hydra009

Re: Please Suggest a Desktop Computer
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2016, 02:09:53 PM »
We have a CRT in our living room.
I recommend replacing that ASAP.  There's pretty much zero reason to keep CRTs around anymore.

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I was hoping to be told to go buy some ready made job.
You could go that route.  Lots of people do.  But generally speaking, it costs more for a prebuilt machine than buying the components for said machine and either assembling it yourself or getting a friend to assemble it.

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Last I read, I'd have to pay $1000 to avoid bleed. Has that issue been fixed recently? It's too bad plasma isn't manufactured anymore.
$1000?!  Some poorly-manufactured or damaged monitors have noticeable bleed.  But the vast majority do not have noticeable bleed.  Mine certainly doesn't, and I spent far, far less than $1000!

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I don't know if I could handle a much bigger screen. When working on art and music, my eyes are all over the place. I'd think more area to cover would wear me out and be less precise.
I thought so too when I went from 19" to 27".  Now, I'll never go back.

Re: Please Suggest a Desktop Computer
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2016, 02:11:40 PM »
either assembling it yourself or getting a friend to assemble it.
I have no time, knowledge, or friends.

Re: Please Suggest a Desktop Computer
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2016, 02:17:24 PM »
I recommend replacing that ASAP.  There's pretty much zero reason to keep CRTs around anymore.
An LCD screen is going to cost a lot to get the height our CRT has. We'll just be gaining a little extra on the sides. We only watch Midwife anyway. I'd watch the premier of BattleBots if I didn't have to work. If we had a bigger place that wasn't a duplex, I might set up a projector with surround sound to watch Star Wars over and over again. However, I've watched Star Wars repeatedly on a 1.5" square screen. It's the content I'm after.

Online Hydra009

Re: Please Suggest a Desktop Computer
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2016, 02:18:40 PM »
I'd also like to know if Win 10 is closer to XP and far far far removed from Win 8.
Windows 10 fixed a lot of the interface issues that windows 8 introduced, yes.  Public opinion goes both ways on it.  Some people upgraded and love it, some people were dissatisfied, some people even went right back to 7.  Personally, I plan on sticking with 7 for a while.  It's stable, it has all the features I need and not many that I don't.

Online Hydra009

Re: Please Suggest a Desktop Computer
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2016, 02:19:37 PM »
I have no time, knowledge, or friends.
You sound like me when I was 15.  Now I at least have some time and knowledge.  :P

Re: Please Suggest a Desktop Computer
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2016, 02:43:51 PM »
In the 80's, I had access to 7 different types of computers. I liked them all for different reasons. I was just happy to compute. Now there's really just one type of computer worth having, IMHO, but there are many more options.

BTW, There's a Laser 50 sitting behind my monitor.

Online Hydra009

Re: Please Suggest a Desktop Computer
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2016, 02:47:09 PM »
BTW, There's a Laser 50 sitting behind my monitor.