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Author Topic: where to buy a new puter? some style and spec issues  (Read 3268 times)

Steven Avery

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where to buy a new puter? some style and spec issues
« on: November 20, 2019, 05:26 AM »
My main PC should be reasonably fast, used for business, Bible research, daily this and that.
It should have robust memory and related stacks for many browsers (yes, Onetab) and programs open.
No gaming, but lots of multi-tasking.
No laptop.

Windows 10 Pro (alternatives that will run my Windows programs well?  Windows 7??)
256 SSD (maybe 512)
1 Terabyte Disk is nice, but not necessity - maybe simply 512 SSD es suficiente
16 GB memory
Speedy Gonzalex processor and decent Graphics
chips are complex, since you have the i5 i7 i9, and various models, and AMD - this will probably be i7

It looks like the Dell Refurbs, and some HP are good deals through:

PC Mag
New Egg
Overstock (good variety)
Dell (if real special)

I also might want to check the good old PowerSpecs from Microcenter.
Probably pass on TigerDirect, Amazon, Ebay

Do you get a 3-year warranty for $50 ?  True, these are not printers, not much goes wrong.

The SFF, Mini, Tower, etc questions is a puzzle. I don't mind the Tower for long-term expansion and simplicity. If I have an SFF I could take it on a trip. I have one that is a few years old, Lenovo, maybe that is the one I would take.

Spiceworks good conversation in 2018, note the HP Mini got a solid nod
https://community.sp...-fixes-pros-and-cons

It looks like I want to spend $400-500 on the Black Friday specials, although if there was a reason I would go more. Gaming stuff is often in the 700-1000 range, but that has its own graphics specialties.

======

And do I want a separate Linux box for fun and play?  I do have a real old one, about 5+ years old. I probably should play with that one first (cost about $25, Craigslist)

Tablets - got my iPad  as the main one. Pretty happy there, know how to buy on Craigslist when needed.  Generally people want too much on Craigslist, but since Apple does not discount much, that is an exception. In the Android world, I am always wondering about playing with something like the Google Pixel, but the Apple iPad seems sufficient. Smooth.

Chromebook - a 4GB one for $100, new or refurb, might make sense. Maybe take in car. There are times where it might be more appropriate than the Tablet.

===========

Your thoughts!
« Last Edit: November 20, 2019, 05:48 AM by Steven Avery »

x16wda

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Re: where to buy a new puter? some style and spec issues
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2019, 05:54 AM »
Dell has a better support web site by far. That said, for my personal home PCs I have been getting HP because of deals, and I don't change it around much (added memory, changed out the spinning disk; not using another video card). Down side there is kind of odd internal configuration. But I want a full size tower for airflow and easier service.

For no gaming you won't need a killer video card, but for multitasking you want more cores (real ones), fast memory, and ssd.

Whatever you are using now ought to be fine for a Linux box.
vi vi vi - editor of the beast

Stoic Joker

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Re: where to buy a new puter? some style and spec issues
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2019, 06:57 AM »
Given all of the side channel attack issues, I'd avoid referbs these days and go with one of the latest processors in the hope of ducking the next wave of shenanigans.

I'm also a huge Dell fan (like above), but went with an HP Z440 workstation for my last machine due to (60% off) employee discount option.

Machine is a few years old now, but:
16GB of memory
Intel Xeon E5-1650
256GB NVMe SSD OS drive
2TB NL SATA RAID5 storage drive.
AMD FirePro W7000 video with 4 DP outputs - standard option in the Z4xx workstations.

With the VM's on the RAID array, I can run 3 or 4 VM's before it starts to noticeably slow down.

Steven Avery

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Re: where to buy a new puter? some style and spec issues
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2019, 10:21 AM »
Given all of the side channel attack issues, I'd avoid referbs these days

Presumably this some real low-level OS or firmware malware?  Hard to detect.

Do we have any reports of this happening in the major refurb channels.

Tuxman

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Re: where to buy a new puter? some style and spec issues
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2019, 11:55 AM »
Given all of the side channel attack issues

Get a better CPU! :D

Steven Avery

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Re: where to buy a new puter? some style and spec issues
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2019, 06:01 AM »
A Brief Peek Into the Fascinating World of Side Channel Attacks
Emily Gray-Fow
https://medium.com/s...attacks-809f96eabea1

"The only way to fully protect against side channel attacks is to use your digital devices in a room buried deep underground, accessed by a long tunnel with shielded doors, lined with a Faraday cage, and running off of your own portable power supply."

Not sure this is a refurbished PC issue, need more info if it will affect my buying decision!

Stoic Joker

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Re: where to buy a new puter? some style and spec issues
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2019, 06:57 AM »
Given all of the side channel attack issues, I'd avoid referbs these days

Presumably this some real low-level OS or firmware malware?  Hard to detect.

Do we have any reports of this happening in the major refurb channels.


I was referring to Specter, Meltdown, and friends. The original S&M patches took quite a few of the older machines right down to their knees performance wise...other's could not even be patched. And now - almost 2 years later - there are still new variants on this theme (like row-hammering) coming out constantly. So for my money, I'd go with a latest generation CPU in the hope of being able to patch it, without crippling it, when the next wave of shenanigans hits the wild.

Steven Avery

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Re: where to buy a new puter? some style and spec issues
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2019, 08:10 AM »
Spectre and Meltdown explained: What they are, how they work, what's at risk
https://www.csoonlin...k-whats-at-risk.html

Interesting, so with Intel you would recommend an i7 (recent generations) or i9, with AMD you have to check.  The high-end refurbs can be fairly modern, but this would be a reason to definitely avoid, e.g. fourth generation i5 and even many newer than that.

I was thinking about the really low level "control" malware, but this is different, the actual fixes to the fundamental problem really hurt the chips performance, newer chips are more likely to be designed robustly, at least for a year or two!

Thanks!

This site can help with chip performance comparison, but they should add the original release date, here is an example:
https://cpu.userbenc...-3800X/m710154vs4047

ADDED: Oh, they give the date, the quarter released.

Steven
« Last Edit: November 22, 2019, 05:28 PM by Steven Avery »

Steven Avery

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Re: where to buy a new puter? some style and spec issues
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2019, 06:13 PM »
Slickdeals does a good job of giving an overview of the current discounts, omits Overstock and some others
https://slickdeals.n...ange%5B%5D=9&r=1

TechBargains is also interesting
https://www.techbarg.../categories/desktops

PCMag
https://www.pcmag.co...ing-you-need-to-know

==================

SAMPLE

HP Elitedesk for 560 on Bestbuy
https://www.bestbuy....3531.p?skuId=6383531

Similar Dell Optiplex for 630
https://www.bestbuy....3547.p?skuId=6383547

============

Dell Business Desktop deals
https://deals.dell.c...rk/category/desktops

BestBuy
https://www.bestbuy....ed-desktop-computers

PCMag

New Egg
https://www.newegg.c...gory/ID-10?Tid=19096

Overstock

MicroCenter