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Old 07-27-2018, 08:12 AM   #1
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New desktop

Hi, I find myself wanting a newer computer even though this one is quite functional and far surpasses my needs. I think I am more into the tire kicking stage than immediate purchase mode.

My problem is that I no longer know how to tell what is better as there is no catch all labels like 286, 386, 486 to go by. I know that more ram is a better thing and lots of hard drive space is nice.

I have a hp-envy
Processor AMD A10-8750 Radeon R7, 12 Compute Cores 4C+8G, 3600 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 12.0 GB
System Model 750-116

I have two hard drives, 2 gig and 3 gig as well as two nvidia video cards, each running two monitors so I prefer at least two open slots. It is hooked up to label printer, high speed scanner, and docking bay.


Seems I bought this a couple years ago for maybe $700 from office depot. That was for tower, keyboard and mouse.


Anyone know what I would have to upgrade upto to notice any significant difference? It is ok to tell me to keep it for a few more years. Mostly I do spreadsheets (huge) on excel and open many windows to download end of day stock stuff.

I do some AV in back ground as well. So I use the four monitors every day.

I cut and paste even though I did write code to retrieve automatically but links kept breaking.

I'd like to keep the cost for the tower around $700 or so which may mean waiting a few more years to get bang for the buck.


Thanks for any ideas.
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Old 07-27-2018, 08:36 AM   #2
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That A10 is kind of low-mid range for what you are doing, and a new generation of CPUs has come out since you bought your rig. But bang-for-the-buck wise, a whole new rig is probably not your best bet.

Your best upgrade is large SSD for your boot/system drive, say 1TB which can be had for ~$200. It makes a huge difference in the responsiveness of your system and you will notice it.

Then in a few of years you might want to replace your rig with the equivalent of an Intel I5 or AMD Ryzen 5 system. These days, the level of a mainstream CPU is indicated by -3, -5, or -7 in both Intel and AMD space. Hence the I5 and Ryzen 5 are midrange CPUs with six physical cores (12 logical cores).
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Old 07-27-2018, 09:14 AM   #3
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Putting the system on a SSD is the most bang for the buck.
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Old 07-27-2018, 09:14 AM   #4
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OK, I"ll bite: What about a tablet like my Surface Pro 3? I use it like a desktop, docked in my home office and in my lake home office. Full-sized monitor, keyboard, and mouse. Its computing power is entirely adequate for me (mostly Excel, Word, PP) , though probably not for someone who is doing really CPU-intensive work like large image processing.

When I'm away from the office, for example when I am mentoring SCORE clients, my computer is with me attached to its chicklet keyborad and with its wireless "Arc" mouse. Works great for setting future appointments, checking email, etc. though I would not want to use that keyboard to write a book.

In the morning, in my recliner chair with OJ and coffee, I use it strictly as a tablet/no keyboard and navigate with its pen. I have a set of news tabs that I open as a set and read, also a set of forum tabs. I can check and read email, though responding with the on-screen keyboard or via handwriting recognition is a bit tedious, so responses are usually delayed for later in the morning when the machine is back in its dock.

I have been doing basically this with laptops, tablets and docks for maybe 20 years, but until this machine they have been somewhat bulky and heavy. No more.

Someday I will get a newer, faster, Surface Pro or similar but I absolutely hate the two days it takes me to fully set up a new machine. So I'm in no hurry.
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Old 07-27-2018, 09:38 AM   #5
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OK, I will bite and chew...

My old Lenovo desktop with probably a Pentium chip, Windows 8 and 6 GB of memory has an on-off switch that has to be played with at length to get the machine to turn on. One day soon, it will not work and I will be locked out. I'm a fairly light user - e-mail, Office, Youtube videos on how to repair stuff, that sort of thing. I have always bought cheap because the lives of these gadgets are short. Cheap today looks like this.

https://www.staples.com/hp-slim-desk...oduct_24330667

Is this the appropriate level of computing power or do I need to up the price point? Anything in particular to consider?
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Old 07-27-2018, 09:57 AM   #6
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This is relevant to me as I just got a used (new to me) desktop yesterday through ebay. However, I didn't buy out of want but necessity as when Win 7 goes away, I'll be using this (Win 10) as my main system. If not for the system change, I'd be happy to plug along with my older desktop.
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Old 07-27-2018, 09:59 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Another Reader View Post

https://www.staples.com/hp-slim-desk...oduct_24330667

Is this the appropriate level of computing power or do I need to up the price point? Anything in particular to consider?
I have the same requirements and have a one year old Dell with similar specifications that I've been very happy with. It's currently on sale (with a faster processor) for $20 less than the HP you linked.

https://slickdeals.net/f/11863531-de...s-10-dell-home
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Old 07-27-2018, 10:39 AM   #8
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1. Upgrade to 32GB of memory for $300ish.
2. Replace spinning rust main drive with SSD. $300ish for 1TB
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Old 07-27-2018, 10:46 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Ready-4-ER-at-14 View Post
Anyone know what I would have to upgrade upto to notice any significant difference? It is ok to tell me to keep it for a few more years. Mostly I do spreadsheets (huge) on excel and open many windows to download end of day stock stuff.
As others have suggested, you should upgrade your hard drive to an SSD. You will notice a great increase in performance. You say you have two hard drives. Hopefully, it's set up with Win10 and programs on one and files on the other. That would make it easier to swap in an SSD. Otherwise, you might need a larger SSD or do some transferring of files to minimize the size of SSD required for an upgrade. SSD prices are good right now: Fry's Electronics has a 1 TB Samsung Evo available through tomorrow for $220 and free shipping.

It doesn't look like there's a significant CPU upgrade available for your PC. You could add some memory to a total of 16 GB but frankly, I doubt that would achieve much.
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Old 07-27-2018, 11:06 AM   #10
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1. Upgrade to 32GB of memory for $300ish.
2. Replace spinning rust main drive with SSD. $300ish for 1TB
Specs for the system indicate 16 GB memory maximum.
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Old 07-27-2018, 11:09 AM   #11
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I have the same requirements and have a one year old Dell with similar specifications that I've been very happy with. It's currently on sale (with a faster processor) for $20 less than the HP you linked.

https://slickdeals.net/f/11863531-de...s-10-dell-home
Thanks! I'm trying to figure out how the coupon works, but it's a strong competitor. And I appreciate the validation on the level of computing power as well.
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Old 07-27-2018, 11:12 AM   #12
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There will be a spot to input the INSPDT code when you check out at Dell.
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Old 07-27-2018, 12:25 PM   #13
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There will be a spot to input the INSPDT code when you check out at Dell.
I ordered it. It's $20 less than the HP and will arrive at my door next week. Now comes the fun part of moving everything over! Not turning the Lenovo off until that is done...

Thanks again!
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Old 07-27-2018, 12:29 PM   #14
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Hope you are as happy with it as I have been with mine.
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Old 07-27-2018, 02:49 PM   #15
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Putting the system on a SSD is the most bang for the buck.


+1

I attached an SSD drive - via a Thunderbolt 2 port - to my now 7 year old iMac and itís like the fountain of youth. I run the OS and most software from it. Boot up times and PhotoShop startup times dropped in the area of 70%. Yes, it still has older versions of USB, Bluetooth, and other hardware related stuff, but overall itís a winner.
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Old 07-27-2018, 03:54 PM   #16
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Thanks for the ssd suggestions. I checked and I am only using 350gb on the c: drive and about 10gb on the recovery drive which also is on the main drive I believe. 180 gb are in three data files, (audio, scanned docs, and iso files) that could be easily moved to the 3 tb drive with mouse clicks.

So the big question is how hard is it to move the win 10 OS to the ssd?

Do I have to buy migration software? buy a new OS? Backup and restore?
Call MS and beg? : ) A quick Goog** search suggests making a system image, but this was oct of 2017...
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Old 07-27-2018, 07:12 PM   #17
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Some "retail" packaged SSDs come with cloning software, but I usually get the cheapest drives which do not. I've successfully used Macrium Reflect as discussed here (second part of article) https://www.pcgamer.com/how-to-clone...-drive-or-ssd/

A couple of hints:
1. Clean up and back up your boot drive before you go to install the SSD. Replacing a boot drive is a good opportunity to delete software you are not using, archive old data, etc.
2. When you hook up the SSD for cloning, disconnect all other drives except your boot drive - better safe than sorry.
3. With a good sized SSD (500GB+) you will be able to keep your current work on it. As it appears that you are already doing, you can then move finished products and less-used files to the HDD.
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Old 07-30-2018, 07:40 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by USGrant1962 View Post
Some "retail" packaged SSDs come with cloning software, but I usually get the cheapest drives which do not. I've successfully used Macrium Reflect as discussed here (second part of article) https://www.pcgamer.com/how-to-clone...-drive-or-ssd/

A couple of hints:
1. Clean up and back up your boot drive before you go to install the SSD. Replacing a boot drive is a good opportunity to delete software you are not using, archive old data, etc.
2. When you hook up the SSD for cloning, disconnect all other drives except your boot drive - better safe than sorry.
3. With a good sized SSD (500GB+) you will be able to keep your current work on it. As it appears that you are already doing, you can then move finished products and less-used files to the HDD.

I successfully replaced the boot drive with a SSD drive. I had a 480 gb ssd drive I got about 2 weeks ago for data backup.

I used home free version marcrium redirect as suggested after getting as much off the C: boot drive as possible. About the only mistake I made somehow was ending up with one more partition than before, but I labeled that drive games and moved the entire small SSD game drive there.

It is significantly faster on boot up and shut down. I think excel loads a little faster and my games were already on a SSD so no difference there.


Thanks to all who commented.
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Old 07-30-2018, 07:49 PM   #19
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1. Upgrade to 32GB of memory for $300ish.
2. Replace spinning rust main drive with SSD. $300ish for 1TB
+1. I deploy machines at MegaCorp and see that machines with 16GB of RAM and an older CPU match or even outperform newer CPUs with 8GB RAM.

I just got a new desktop after nearly 8, needing much of what you did (such as two monitors, multiple HDD slots), and getting the SSD boot drive was a great idea.

You may not need two actual slots for your two monitors--most machines now come with an HDMI or DisplayPort jack built in, and often both, along with VGA.

Upgrading the existing machine also prevents a lot of the headaches of reinstalling programs, etc.

ETA: Oops! Should have scrolled to the end of the thread! :-)
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Old 07-31-2018, 10:40 AM   #20
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I've been working on moving my Win 7 machine to a Win 10 machine. About 20% done. See why I procrastinated so long as not one of the most fun things to do. Sometimes I have 3 machines on at the same time .
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