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Old 03-04-2016, 01:53 PM   #1
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Default Need new "non-fancy" home computer... kids getting older!

Currently have an 8yr old Dell 200-something. Running XP and a bootleg set of Office programs from same era. It does everything I have ever needed it to do, which is to surf the internet and general word-processing stuff. I doubled the factory RAM at some point and didn't make any difference in speed, which means I wasted $10... but times change.


My kid turns 8 here shortly and needs a modern set of Office products to avoid compatibility issues as she migrates stuff from school to home (yes, already using PowerPoint in 2ndGrade), and the wife is the PTA President and is hampered by the same issues.


So... need a new computer to do the same **** we've always done, except run the latest editions of everything, latest USB tech, double-monitor ready, etc... I'll also need the latest edition of Windows and Office stuff. No gaming or video editing or ****.


I'm not even gonna pretend to know where to start or what it might cost, and because of that, I have no budget... cheaper is better though.


Help a brother out... where to look/start... what to buy?


-Sammy
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Old 03-04-2016, 02:15 PM   #2
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Avoid Lenovo.
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Old 03-04-2016, 02:26 PM   #3
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Laptop, desktop, AIO, laptop/tablet?

Do you need the whole 9 yards? Monitor, mouse, keyboard, ect?


Laptop should be in the $6-700 range. You may get by with a $500 laptop but you may not see 8 years out of it.
Desktop in the $4-600 range should work.

Look for 8+gb of ram. Quadcore is also something I would recommend. 1+tb of hard drive space is nice.

Go to best buy and buy what they have. Make sure you get the model number and make them price match the lowest priced unit you can find on the internet.
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Old 03-04-2016, 02:41 PM   #4
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Assuming desktop, literally any machine you can buy new today will work just fine. I wouldn't even bother to look at brand names, just hit the local big-box store and walk out with whatever costs $349.

Desktops these days are so ridiculously over-powered relative to basic computing needs that unless you buy a Mac, it's literally impossible to do it wrong.
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Old 03-04-2016, 02:49 PM   #5
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I don't know about that Joe.
Lenovo Desktop - AMD E1-Series - 4GB Memory - 500GB Hard Drive Black H30 - 90BJ005BUS - Best Buy

This is just garbage. Not the brand, but the specs. Reviewers even state how slow it is.

On the contrary, a few more bucks and you get something that I would only consider a 3 year computer.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/dell-ins...&skuId=9405441
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Old 03-04-2016, 03:04 PM   #6
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I use a refurbished HP Compaq business desktop at work. It was $265 at Newegg 2 years ago, including a copy of Win7-64. 3Ghz Core2 Duo, 4gb RAM, 320gb HD. Add your own monitor and sound card. For internet/browsing, it is every bit as competent as my <1yr old Thinkpad which was 3x+ the price.

e: ****, this is cheap. Intel processor, 250gb HD. A little light on RAM, but that's cheap to rectify. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...g&gclsrc=aw.ds
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Old 03-04-2016, 03:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erat View Post
I don't know about that Joe.
Lenovo Desktop - AMD E1-Series - 4GB Memory - 500GB Hard Drive Black H30 - 90BJ005BUS - Best Buy

This is just garbage. Not the brand, but the specs. Reviewers even state how slow it is.
I said $349, not $249.

And there's nothing wrong with that machine that $50 worth of RAM won't fix, for the purposes which Sam describes. Yeah, the E-6010 CPU is a dog by modern standards, but its Passmark score is 3x that of the U1400 CPU in my 2006-vintage Vaio laptop, and I still use that machine for simple tasks.
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Old 03-04-2016, 03:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
I said $349, not $249.

And there's nothing wrong with that machine that $50 worth of RAM won't fix, for the purposes which Six describes. Yeah, the E-6010 is a dog by modern standards, but its Passmark score is 3x that of the U1400 CPU in my Vaio laptop, and I still use that machine for simple tasks.
You also said "literally", twice.

Edit*
Double monitor output may end up putting him into the $400+ range anyway.
Plus we should not set him / his child up for failure by having to buy a new machine in a few years.
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Old 03-04-2016, 03:31 PM   #9
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Chromebox or alternatively a chromebook? All the office apps are available in Chrome.
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Old 03-04-2016, 03:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erat View Post
You also said "literally", twice.
True, and while this is unusual for me, by "literally" I meant "literally." Any Win86 PC which you can buy new at a store in the US today will either work fine as-is, or can be made to work fine, for under $350, for everyday applications.


Quote:
Double monitor output may end up putting him into the $400+ range anyway.
$30:

MSI GeForce 8400 GS DirectX 10 N8400GS-MD1GD3H/LP 1GB 64-Bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Low Profile Video Card - Newegg.com

Last edited by Joe Perez; 03-04-2016 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 03-04-2016, 04:07 PM   #11
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Keep your eyes peeled on Slickdeals: The Best Deals, Coupons, Promo Codes & Discounts

Always have computer deals going, and like what was said earlier, if you need a basic computer, almost anything nowadays will suffice
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Old 03-04-2016, 05:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
True, and while this is unusual for me, by "literally" I meant "literally." Any Win86 PC which you can buy new at a store in the US today will either work fine as-is, or can be made to work fine, for under $350, for everyday applications.




$30:

MSI GeForce 8400 GS DirectX 10 N8400GS-MD1GD3H/LP 1GB 64-Bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Low Profile Video Card - Newegg.com
Implying the machine being bought can be expanded on. Sure, you and i would buy a machine with expandable memory slots, extra PCI-E 2.0 slots, extra SATA connectors, a unit built in a case sufficient to handle upgrades, and a big enough power supply to add additional parts.

Here's the way i see it, you want to go fast you either buy the V8 now, or you spend the time effort and money to stuff the V8 into it.
Pros and Cons.
The kid is only going to get older and the computer use is only going to increase. Geo Metros weren't built to last.
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Old 03-04-2016, 05:22 PM   #13
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If you've got a budget in mind I can pick you out a list of parts on newegg.

Not much room for improvement over OEMs at $350 price point though, if you buy windows. Good thing would be the computer case, power supply, and maybe other things like storage would all be useful if you ever upgraded again.
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Old 03-04-2016, 05:40 PM   #14
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If possible buy something with a SSD; makes the user experience so much better on any machine.

The rest of the specs is mostly irrelevant as already posted, Moores law is coming to a hold as we are hitting physical boundaries of lithography and physical atoms.
Back in the early 2000's PC basically got 2x as fast for the same coin every 2 years, nowadays they barely get 1,5 times the performance in 5 years.. (comparing i5-2500 vs i5-6600 as example).
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Old 03-04-2016, 05:48 PM   #15
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Keep your eye on Yugster.com. Daily deals place. I bought my refurb HP from there. No indication it wasn't new except for the refurbished sticker on the box.
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Old 03-04-2016, 06:23 PM   #16
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Dell DFS Referbs: https://dfs.dell.com/Pages/DellRefurbished.aspx

Dell has an outfit called Dell Financial Services that leases machines to, you guessed it, financial institutions. They lease the machines for 2-3 years and then return them for new ones and Dell cleans them up and resells them through the DFS Referbs outlet. You can get some serious deals on some solid hardware through these guys. Its not going to be bleeding edge, but for your needs this is a no brainier.

I've made about $3,500 worth of purchases through them over the years and have only had one issue with a monitor, and I'm pretty sure its because FedEx banged it up. DFS paid shipping both ways and replaced it no questions asked.

Edit: ****, apparently they have their own site now, I loaded the previous link from a bookmark. The above will direct you here: http://dellrefurbished.com/
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Old 03-04-2016, 06:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erat View Post
Implying the machine being bought can be expanded on.
The $250 Lenovo you linked to has a PCIe-16 expansion slot, and the RAM is expandable to 16 GB.

16 GB is enough to simultaneously run WireCAD, AutoCAD, an instance of VMWare with Win7 running inside of it, 25 Chrome tabs, MS Publisher, Outlook (full version) and a few other minor apps. I know this because that's what I have open right now. Half that is more than adequate for users who aren't simultaneously running multiple CAD programs and VMWare.

Personally, I'd have started with a $349 machine that comes with 8GB of RAM and a "real" CPU: HP Desktop Computer EliteDesk 705-G1 (N8P12US#ABA) A6-Series APU A6 PRO-7400B (3.50 GHz) 8 GB 180 GB SSD Windows 8.1 64-Bit - Newegg.com



That said, the Dell refurbs are excellent. I bought an off-lease laptop from them 4 or 5 years ago, and it's still rockin'.
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Old 03-04-2016, 06:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
The $250 Lenovo you linked to has a PCIe-16 expansion slot, and the RAM is expandable to 16 GB.

16 GB is enough to simultaneously run WireCAD, AutoCAD, an instance of VMWare with Win7 running inside of it, 25 Chrome tabs, MS Publisher, Outlook (full version) and a few other minor apps. I know this because that's what I have open right now. Half that is more than adequate for users who aren't simultaneously running multiple CAD programs and VMWare.

Personally, I'd have started with a $349 machine that comes with 8GB of RAM and a "real" CPU: HP Desktop Computer EliteDesk 705-G1 (N8P12US#ABA) A6-Series APU A6 PRO-7400B (3.50 GHz) 8 GB 180 GB SSD Windows 8.1 64-Bit - Newegg.com



That said, the Dell refurbs are excellent. I bought an off-lease laptop from them 4 or 5 years ago, and it's still rockin'.
Excellent choice, windows 8.1 can suck it, but i think the win10 upgrade is free. Or it was for me anyway.
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Old 03-04-2016, 07:00 PM   #19
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Excellent choice, windows 8.1 can suck it, but i think the win10 upgrade is free. Or it was for me anyway.
It's free for everyone who has a licensed copy of 7 or 8 until the end of July.
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Old 03-04-2016, 07:56 PM   #20
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You guys are great... lots of good points.

Has to be a desktop... prefer built-in card reader, plenty of USB, dual monitor outputs, small'ish. Our current model is a Vostro 200... bought from Dell outlet (I think '07), think I paid $200. It's outlasted 3 monitors... also don't need any peripherals.

Looks like a single copy of Office with my mil discount is $134 for the basic home version... Word/Excel/PP... should be enough.

Also hate built-in bullshit software/bloatware, but I guess that stuff is mostly unavoidable and can also be deleted.

Can somebody break down the current versions of Windows that I see coming in new computers... 7, 8, 8.1(copy, suck it), 10, 10Home? Anything that one does better than another?

Last edited by samnavy; 03-04-2016 at 08:19 PM.
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