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New Acquisition speculation: New lap- or possibly desktop computer.
I need a new personal (as oppposed to work) computer; my old Lenovo laptop is more or less dying. At first I just assumed I need a new lapper, but musing on it a little, I've started to think maybe a desktop box will give more "bang for the buck" -- cheaper ram, stuff like that. The desktop boxes and mini-towers of yore were too darn gigantic for me to really have any sensible place to put one, but I gather new form-factor cases have emerged during the last couple decades. Maybe even small enough to attach to the backside of a large(-ish) monitor (see separate post) -- or would that be so tiny as to drive prices up towards laptop territory again?

As mentioned in that other post, I can't see myself doing much gaming or graphical design, so no need for superfast processor or ultra-hyper graphics; as long as it's able to drive a (or perhaps even two?) 4K monitors. Lots of RAM and storage, though; DB and DW development, probably dual-boot Windows (10 is probably inevitable, sigh) and Linux... Or run one OS in a VM in the other; does that require more processor power after all, or is RAM the main bottleneck there? I'm thinking it's time to get more than the 8-year-plus-old Stinkpad's 16 GB, so maybe 32. (Will this be the most pricy part? If I go for 64, then it will, right?)

There are of course undeniable advantages to the protability of a laptop, but I can't make up my mind as to how important they are... Also, I've never assembled a PC myself -- only mucked about inside one or two for, I can't recall, adding RAM or a hard drive or something -- so that would be fun.

Recommendations?
--

   Christian R. Conrad
The Man Who (used to think he) Knows Fucking Everything


Mail: Same username as at the top left of this post, at iki.fi
New OK!
For the processor, AMD is the bang-per-buck option right now. Ryzen processors give you more cores and threads at any given price point. AMD boards are also considerably more economical. Intel is what you need for outright performance, but you pay for it both for CPU and board.

You'll want a decent graphics card to drive two big monitors, if only to get two HDMI outputs. Something like an Nvidia GTX 1060 or an AMD RX480 will be more than fine. These are a couple of generations behind, but still plenty good. But cheaper!

Windows 10 is fine unless you're one of those panty-waisted individuals who gets all bent out of shape because this car has the air con controls on that button and it's JUST NOT THE SAME. tl;dr: get over yourself, and do some work. I will brook no argument on this point. Anyone who gets religion over their inability to adapt to a UI should shut up and DO SOME WORK. None of them are perfect, all of them will annoy you. Do some work!

RAM is still at stupid prices, although slowly falling. 16GB is more than enough for regular office work and compiling stuff; if you're editing video then you need all the RAM and all the CPU. If you're running more than one VM then 32GB is likely advantageous, but spendy. Others will be better-placed than I to advise on database RAM requirements in 2019. If you're looking at 64GB you need to carefully check that your chosen CPU and motherboard will support this configuration, and also that your wallet has an emotional support animal, because it's gonna get traumatised.

SSD is mandatory for at least the OS volume, and likely also the volume you're building on. It's still very spendy for bulk storage, so consider something like a Seagate Firecuda hybrid SSD/HD, with costs per TB at about a quarter of SSD prices.

The best part about a desktop is that you can eschew the mewling of Apple-ites who are trying to keep the dust out of their butterfly keyboards and buy a proper mechanical chappy, for great typing! I have a Logitech G512 Carbon, with Romer-G Linear keyswitches - they provide mechanical travel without the click, which is what makes all the noise. Other keyboards and keyswitches are available.

You can fit all this (or, better, pay someone to fit all this) into a modestly-sized box that's still large enough to have nice big (aka quiet) fans. Liquid cooling is the definitive low-noise solution, but it adds cost and complexity and can leak.
New Only comment re: hybrid drives
We had bad luck in the office here with the hybrid drives causing great woe and destruction. Caveat emptor.
Regards,
-scott
Welcome to Rivendell, Mr. Anderson.
New oops
response to wrong post
Expand Edited by pwhysall May 20, 2019, 11:06:39 AM EDT
New Beware of PC Part Picker too :-P
Many of the parts they recommend get terrible reviews, and it's not always accurate.
Regards,
-scott
Welcome to Rivendell, Mr. Anderson.
New Not my experience, but ymmv
New Pick your budget first, then decide on the parts.
I recently put together a Ryzen2 2700x with an Asus motherboard for work. It was about $1800 all-up, with a high quality power supply, a big case with lots of fans, a ~ $250 graphics card, and 32 GB of RAM. It's for computation, general office work, some python coding, etc., not games or editing movies. It drives 2 x 1080p monitors - enough cheap desktop space for me for a while.

Get an NVMe SSD (sockets on the motherboard) for your boot drive - it's much, much faster than the SATA-based SSDs.

I used PCParts Picker, but just as a general guide. (I needed to get all the parts from one vendor - and not Amazon - so I got things that were in stock at Provantage.com)

I'm hoping it lasts until I retire. ;-)

I don't like Hybrid drives either. I got one back in the olden days (500 GB, maybe?). It wasn't any faster and wasn't as reliable as a plain-old high-quality hard drive, and you can get 1 TB NVMe SSDs for $110 now so there really isn't the need to compromise for fast storage. (And if you need something like 10TB of HD storage, then you really want something reliable like an Enterprise-grade drive and a good backup strategy and that's not cheap.)

HTH a little. Good luck!

Cheers,
Scott.
New 32GB?
Do you have a task that benefits from that much RAM? I've got 16GB in mine and I've only seen Photoshop use more than 75% of that on one occasion.

Lightroom is much less RAM-hungry - it's rare that it'll exceed 4GB in use, no matter what I'm up to.
New Pffft. Chrome.
Regards,
-scott
Welcome to Rivendell, Mr. Anderson.
New Yup.
Plus it wasn't that much money for 2x16 DDR4. $150? $200? I forget.

It can start to be expensive to wait too long to upgrade RAM. Older RAM generations seem to become profit centers for someone. E.g. Crucial 2x16 DDR3 is around $280 on Amazon at the moment.

The Prime X470 Pro motherboard still has another pair of RAM slots available, also too.

One thing I didn't appreciate on ordering everything was the throbbing multicolor LEDs on the AMD fan and the motherboard. It's kinda pretty, but if you don't want to be distracted by them don't get a case with a glass window. ;-) (There may be a way to turn them off, but I haven't bothered to check.)

Cheers,
Scott.
New phillips screwdriver, works on warning lights in dash as well
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" – Richard Feynman
New Ooh, get her with her dollar dollar bills, y'all.
£165 is the current asking for a 2x16 kit from Crucial.

I've got a CoolerMaster Silencio 550 case - plain black mid tower, with extra sound insulation. And no window. There could be a disco going on in there, and I can't hear or see it :D

I need to do some maintenance. The front fan is a bit grumbly after six years and needs replacement, but I'm lazy and haven't bothered. This is shocking because it's both easy and cheap to do.

I also need to replace the power supply with a fully-modular one (the cable management is :sadface:), and the current boot disk which is a SATA SSD needs replacing with an M.2 NVME equivalent.
New Thanks, guys, great food for thought!
But I'm beginning to think I'll keep this desktop advice on the side for a while, and go with a laptop (and a Big Honking Screen to go with it) first.

If anyone wants to pitch in with more advice on laptops, I'm listening.
--

   Christian R. Conrad
The Man Who (used to think he) Knows Fucking Everything


Mail: Same username as at the top left of this post, at iki.fi
New I got an Lenovo L390 for work, too.
Faster and substantially cheaper than a comparable Dell. It seems pretty good.

(My previous Dell E7450 developed a motherboard fault just outside the 3 year warranty - I had to cut the clock speed in half to keep it from spontaneously shutting down.)

Good luck.

Cheers,
Scott.
New Asus GL703GE
It sits at the lower end of Asus's gaming range. We got one about a month ago to replace my falling apart Toshiba A215. What a difference :-)

It is not a lightweight but in return it is solid. The keyboard feel and operation was a pleasant surprise. The trackpad, although it does not have separate buttons, is nowhere near as obnoxious as the ones HP foists on you.

The fans do seem to run most of the time but they are quieter than any other laptop I worked with, especially when something (say, the Washington Post website...) gives the CPU a workout.

Sign of the times: it does not have a DVD drive. I didn't even notice at first but it did lead to some headscratching later on.
New Frist p0st...!
...from my new little red-headed beauty, that is.

Now to figure out how to multi-boot her... Will put that question in the appropriate forum as soon as I figure out which one that is.

[Edit] OK, here it is. [/Edit]
--

   Christian R. Conrad
The Man Who (used to think he) Knows Fucking Everything


Mail: Same username as at the top left of this post, at iki.fi
Expand Edited by CRConrad Oct. 21, 2019, 05:27:57 PM EDT
New and its purty too!
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" – Richard Feynman
New Nice. Never had you down as a fashionista, but every day's a schoolday.
New Not "fashionista", more work aversion (and some "reverse male insecurity").
Had it been available in pretty much any other colour -- blue, green, black, gold, whatever -- I'd probably have taken that, but it was this red or silver. And silver reminds me so much of my work machine -- a corporate (HP) laptop so thoroughly locked down I can't even install the required extensions to a freaking text editor to be able to make an insert-timestamp macro, not to mention another text editor altogether -- that this became the only choice left.

Not, I suppose, without overtones of "I'll take the girly-coloured one just to show how I'm not insecure in my mascuinity at all", which any psychologist will probably tell you is just over-compensating, thus disproving itself.

At least the "Red Edition" didn't cost more than the boring-corporate silver default.
--

   Christian R. Conrad
The Man Who (used to think he) Knows Fucking Everything


Mail: Same username as at the top left of this post, at iki.fi
Expand Edited by CRConrad Oct. 22, 2019, 05:39:53 PM EDT
New Re: OT: "Red Edition"
Communist! :)
Alex

"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."

-- Isaac Asimov
     Acquisition speculation: New lap- or possibly desktop computer. - (CRConrad) - (20)
         OK! - (pwhysall) - (5)
             Only comment re: hybrid drives - (malraux) - (1)
                 oops - (pwhysall)
             Component Pricing - (pwhysall) - (2)
                 Beware of PC Part Picker too :-P - (malraux) - (1)
                     Not my experience, but ymmv -NT - (pwhysall)
         Pick your budget first, then decide on the parts. - (Another Scott) - (5)
             32GB? - (pwhysall) - (4)
                 Pffft. Chrome. -NT - (malraux) - (3)
                     Yup. - (Another Scott) - (2)
                         phillips screwdriver, works on warning lights in dash as well -NT - (boxley)
                         Ooh, get her with her dollar dollar bills, y'all. - (pwhysall)
         Thanks, guys, great food for thought! - (CRConrad) - (2)
             I got an Lenovo L390 for work, too. - (Another Scott)
             Asus GL703GE - (scoenye)
         Frist p0st...! - (CRConrad) - (4)
             and its purty too! -NT - (boxley)
             Nice. Never had you down as a fashionista, but every day's a schoolday. -NT - (pwhysall) - (2)
                 Not "fashionista", more work aversion (and some "reverse male insecurity"). - (CRConrad) - (1)
                     Re: OT: "Red Edition" - (a6l6e6x)

It's like watching someone try to explain quantum physics to a goat.
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