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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    I am looking for a new desktop computer

    My current hardware is:

    HP model m9040n with 3 GB memory, Intel Core 2 Quad CPU q6600 @ 2.40 GHz,

    Widows Vista Home Premium, 32 bit OS

    Purchased 5+/- years ago.



    I usually spend several hours a day on the computer.

    I play music thru iTunes on my computer and/or thru airport express, 100MGB of music, some video

    I manage (Synch) 2 iphones and one iPad thru iTunes. icloud keeps photos and calendars synched and backed up.

    Manage finance with Quicken for over 20 years and am frequently in/out of that system. I access about 6 online credit cards, and banks.

    Turbotax in Dec- April timeframe.

    I am doing a lot of genealogical research using Family Tree Maker. Part of my work is to scan ~1000 documents and another 1-2000 slides and pictures.

    I have about 50,000 photos and scanned items using 100GB. Primarily processing thru Picasa but sometimes using Lightroom3

    I typically have IE9 open with 6-8 tabs and Chrome open with the same number.

    I use Norton Internet Security for web surfing, email and anti virus. I keep uptodate with Microsoft updates.

    My "Documents" folder has about 25,000 docs and requires 20 GB of space.

    I have about 400GB backed up continuously with Carbonite.

    As I write this I have 118 active processes and am at 72% memory utilization.

    I usually have 4-6 applications running with multiple browser windows open at the same time.

    I use Microsoft office 2003 (excell, word and powerpoint)

    I use Google desktop to index and find stuff.

    Internet connection (ATT U-Verse) timed by PCPitstop is 11.44 gbs down and 1.46 gbs up. Seems adequate to me.

    I only reboot when some thing locks up ~ once a week, or performance is extremely slow, or MS updates does it for me. I frequently have to kill programs the are "non-Responsive" (after waiting 5- 10 minutes usually).


    So, why am I looking at new computers?

    I like the convenience of being able to switch applications on a moments notice. This has been increasingly problematic. Full shutdown and restart is on the order of 10-15 minutes to get things settled down ( cpu and I/O quiesce to minimal loads.) Switching apps can put me into a state that I have to walk away and comeback 5-10 minutes later and hope they sorted things out.


    What size desktop computer and operating system would you recommend. I definitely want to go to 64 bit windows 7, which version., I think 8-12 GB ram and some multicore chipset. (Intel i5?) My hope is that with 64 bit OS, lots of ram, I can work in an uninterrupted fashion, switching around between apps, add running 2-3 things in the background at the same time. I want multiple USB 3.0 ports native and will probably still have a powered hub for less frequently used devices. I would like to get 5-10 years out of this purchase.



    I would welcome your advice, especially anything I may be overlooking in security and system performance.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    5 years is a long time in computing. I recently built a system last fall that I think might stand a chance at another 2 to 3 years;

    i7 990X, 6 core processor, liquid cooled with 12 GBs RAM @ 1600 MHz.
    Nvidia GTX 580 graphics card.
    PCIe SSD with multiple internal high capacity storage drives.
    What kind of price range are we looking at here?
    With the amount of multitasking and usage you have going on here, a cheap budget box should not be in your vocabulary.

    I would recommend a 3 GHz 6 core processor, you'll get the best multitasking from that, which is what you clearly are going to need. At the very least nothing less than a 3GHz quad core.
    As far as memory goes, 8 or 12 GBs running a minimum default speed of 1300-1600 MHz, nothing less than that.
    You'll also need a decent GPU to compliment the CPU, no cheap XP era garbage either.

    An audio card is optional and would be highly dependant on how much value you place on listening to music on your computer, and what the quality of your music is. If your music's quality is cheap you'll get little benefit from a high end card, your music may even sound worse.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2012-07-04 at 00:25.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I would also recommend a system with more than one hard drive, you should consider an SSD for the primary drive and a couple of 1 TB drives for storage.
    The combination of a decent processor, memory, GPU, and an SSD, will give you very good performance with faster bootup times and better overal system responsiveness when it comes to multitasking resource intensive applications.

    Windows 7, 64 bit would be the natural choice. I would go with the professional version simply because it has gpedit if nothing else.

    Most of your newest hardware will have USB 3, USB 2 will also be in ample supply.
    For an Internet carrier virtually anything cable will do provided you read the fine print on the caps and get a plan that suites your specific needs.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2012-07-04 at 00:29.

  4. #4
    New Lounger
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    Thanks for the reply. Can you tell me the price range for your config? How big should the SSD be? Good catch on the sound card.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    For my system, approx. 3500.00 minus the monitor and several mechanical hard drives. They where holdovers from my previous system. This is a home built system.

    For a decent SSD size, somewhere between 120 & 240 GBs will do.

    Definitely consider the six core processor, it's fantastic for multitasking, I certainly don't regret it.

  6. #6
    New Lounger
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    I would get rid of Norton Internet Security. I would bet that if you did a clean install you would run fast enough. If you are looking at a new machine, an I5 class would be great. Your machine has a passmark of about 3000, an I5 would be about 6000. I believe you have a lot of software to clean up. Also, if you have not already, you can get the MS file converters so you can deal with Docx and XLSx.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    One of the i5 Ivy Bridge CPUs would do nicely if you want to keep the price down, they list for approx. 200 dollars.

    I agree with getting rid of the Norton and Cleaning things up a bit. Having 118 processes running, as one example, is too much.

    Of course, if you prefer not to change software or habits you will need to have a beefier system to accommodate your usage.

  8. #8
    Gold Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhodie View Post


    I would welcome your advice, especially anything I may be overlooking in security and system performance.
    rhodie,
    Hello...one other thing to consider for a "Home Built" if your deciding to go that route, is your "case" choice .. I recently installed a Corsair Obsidian 650D See This thread I'm glad that i did ...great case.... Regards Fred
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  9. #9
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    Two things that I'd want answered first. Time frame and budget.

    If you can wait a bit I'd wait until Windows 8 is released. I believe you'll see a big wave of new systems from all the big OEMS in the 4th quarter. Plus, with your workload Windows 8 will most likely perform better than Windows 7 from what I've been reading. There will be a learning curve with Windows 8. For a short period after Windows 8 is released you will still be able to get Windows 7 if you really want to stay with it. Since you stated that you want the system to last 5 - 10 years operating system support may be important. See Windows 7 lifecycle support for more details.

    Money wise it is hard to beat the pricing a big OEM can bring to the table. While you have total control over the components if you build it yourself, do you have the time & energy to do the research and assembly. You can get a really, really good OEM system without a monitor for well under $2000 USD.

    Joe

  10. #10
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Joe's got a good point, here are some customizable OEM's from:

    Dell: http://configure.us.dell.com/dellsto...en&s=dhs&cs=19

    HP: http://www.shopping.hp.com/en_US/hom...ktops/Desktops

    Examples of two customizable OEMs that you might want to look into.
    Some of the major weaknesses in OEM systems are their power supplies, they tend to be minimalistic.
    There will also be need for some considerable decrapification with these systems.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2012-07-05 at 11:58.

  11. #11
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I might go a little further and recommend that if you are going to consider Win 8, you might want to set up a dual boot with your original OS and Win 8 RP so you can get through the short learning curve and customizations ahead of time. In my case I have everything set up so that I can put everything I wish to install in a folder on my data drive. This way my installation and customizations will take 2 or 3 hours tops.

    As we get close to the Win 8 release you will start see Compatible with Win 8 and Designed for Win 8 designations. If you can hold off on new H/W for 2 or 3 months you might be amazed at the options.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  12. #12
    Star Lounger
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    I recently purchased this desktop bundle from Walmart.com:

    Walmart.com: Acer AM3970G-UW10P Desktop PC with Intel Core i5-2320 Processor, 8GB Memory, 23" Monitor, 1TB Hard Drive and Windows 7 Home Premium: Computers

    After about three weeks of use, I couldn't be happier. I've added a second 1TB internal drive identical to the OEM drive and put them into a RAID 1 configuration. I'm getting fantastic performance plus much improved reliability. See my questions and answers on the Walmart web page about adding the drive and setting up RAID. This system also comes with several undocumented features like an Easy Swap Expansion Bay which would permit a third SATA drive to be installed. Acer computers are also extremely easy to work on and they use standard parts. For the money, I don't think you could get a better package. Just plan on about $100 more for an additional drive and another $80 for a hefty UPS.

  13. #13
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    You might want to review this:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...lock,3159.html

    Jerry

  14. #14
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    You ought to consider a system from the Microsoft store either on-line or bricks 'n mortar if you are lucky enough to live near one. The systems they sell have no crapware on them and have been tuned to run extremely well.

    Joe

  15. #15
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I would think the lack of crapware would be a huge draw. It can be so time consuming getting rid of this junk, and there is a chance of something breaking when doing so.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

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