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Your suggestions please on buying a new desktop PC
Thread poster: Nikita Kobrin

Nikita Kobrin  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 14:27
English to Russian
+ ...
Aug 4, 2012

Hi folks:

I'm quite tired of my slow old laptop and am going to buy a new powerful and fast desktop PC and therefore would like ro hear your suggestions.

What I do:

- translate (el. dics, CAT tool, browser, some miner extras)
- listen to the music
- record voiceovers
- multitasking (sometimes about 10-15 programs and about 60 services are running)

What I don't do:

- practically never play games

I need a very fast PC but I don't want to pay for something that is not really needed and thus here are my questions:

1) Processor: i3 vs i5 vs i7?
2) HDD vs SSD? At the moment I have a 80 GB internal HDD which is almost full and 40 GB + 1 TB external drives which are 75% empty (thus storage capacity isn't a problem).
3) Integrated vs standalone video card?
4) RAM: 16 GB?
5) What is important to pay attention to buying a computer case?
5) OS: Windows 7?

Nikita Kobrin


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Dominique Pivard  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:27
Finnish to French
laptop vs. desktop Aug 4, 2012

Nikita Kobrin wrote:
I'm quite tired of my slow old laptop and am going to buy a new powerful and fast desktop PC

Your existing computer is not slow because it is a laptop. If you had a desktop of similar age and with similar specs, it would feel just as slow. Likewise, any modern laptop will feel speedy. Again, it's a question of specs, not laptop vs. desktop.
Nikita Kobrin wrote:
1) Processor: i3 vs i5 vs i7?

I don't think it matters in practice given your needs. I have a Core2 Duo in my laptop: although it is a previous generation CPU, it is fast enough for everything except video editing. I do have an SSD and 8 GB of RAM, which I believe play a much bigger role in perceived speed (see below) in normal use.
Nikita Kobrin wrote:
2) HDD vs SSD? At the moment I have a 80 GB internal HDD which is almost full and 40 GB + 1 TB external drives which are 75% empty (thus storage capacity isn't a problem).

Do get an SSD, it's probably the most important factor in perceived speed.
Nikita Kobrin wrote:
3) Integrated vs standalone video card?

I don't think it matters, if you are not into gaming, video editing and the like.
Nikita Kobrin wrote:
4) RAM: 16 GB?

Given your needs, 8 GB would probably be more than sufficient.
Nikita Kobrin wrote:
5) What is important to pay attention to buying a computer case?

No idea, I'm a hardcore laptop fan
Nikita Kobrin wrote:
5) OS: Windows 7?

Yes, but make sure you install the 64-bit version, in order to be able to take advantage of all the RAM you plan to install.


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Silvia D'Amico  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:27
English to Italian
+ ...
What I bought in January Aug 4, 2012

I have a refurbished Dell (desktop) and I am extremely happy with it. It's super fast and working on it is simply great! This is what I have:

- 23 inch monitor
- Windows 7 (64 bit)
- Processor i7
- RAM 8GB
- HDD 1.5 TB

Happy shopping!


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Nikita Kobrin  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 14:27
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I need a desktop now Aug 4, 2012

Thanks for your suggestions, Dominique.

Dominique Pivard wrote:

Your existing computer is not slow because it is a laptop. If you had a desktop of similar age and with similar specs, it would feel just as slow. Likewise, any modern laptop will feel speedy. Again, it's a question of specs, not laptop vs. desktop.

Yes, sure I understand that.

I just want to clarify: now I definitely need a desktop as for the same price you can buy a much more powerful desktop than laptop.

The matter is that actually I don't need a computer to work anywhere except my home office desk. For those quite rare occasions when I need to use computer somewhere else I have already got two laptops. That's enough for me.

So now I want a powerful enough desktop.

NK


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:27
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
A quick summary Aug 4, 2012

I recently bought an Acer desktop computer with an i5, 8 GB of memory, and 21'' screen (wide format) for 600 euros. It works beautifully! I think I would at least go for an i5 processor and the 8 GB, although my main work computer has an i7.

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Nikita Kobrin  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 14:27
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Screens are already here Aug 4, 2012

Thanks, for your quick summary, Tomás!

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

21'' screen

Now there is no need to mention a screen as I have already got what I need: 2 beautiful Dell monitors - 23" (main wide screen which will be used in landscape mode) and 20.1" (additional 4:3 screen which will be used in portrait mode). I like to work on two screens.

NK


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:27
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I forgot the obvious Aug 4, 2012

Make sure the video card in the computer has two connectors, so that you can use two screens without an additional video card installed. Our HP models (the ones with i7) have such cards as standard.

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Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 13:27
English to Czech
+ ...
Two screens Aug 4, 2012

Nikita Kobrin wrote:
Now there is no need to mention a screen as I have already got what I need: 2 beautiful Dell monitors - 23" (main wide screen which will be used in landscape mode) and 20.1" (additional 4:3 screen which will be used in portrait mode). I like to work on two screens.


Then you shouldn't forget to specify that you need two graphic card outputs (probably HD?). (ETA: I see Tomás was quicker with this one...)

As regards the other things, I'd definitely go for i7, at least 8 MB RAM, an SSD hard-drive for the OS (boots and works faster) and a larger HDD at at least 7,200 rpm and reasonable cash size.

I use a home-based server with i7, 16 MB RAM, 128 GB SSD + one external 4 TB HDD with cable and wireless LAN functionality. I use this external HDD also as a storage device for my home cinema: the external HDD has its own power source so I don't need to boot the server each time I want to play a movie. If you have a wireless-enabled TV set, this might also be worth-considering.

Just as an extra thought...

[Upraveno: 2012-08-04 17:40 GMT]


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Szabolcs Király  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 13:27
Portuguese to Hungarian
+ ...
hi, some ideas Aug 4, 2012

1) Processor: i3 vs i5 vs i7?

Any of them is perfectly enough for your needs. For office uses _now_ a Core2Duo is enough and the Ivy Bridge series are beyond Core2Duo in performance; of course no one can see into the future. I've been using the same C2D processor since 6 years and it's still not the bottleneck of the machine.

2) HDD vs SSD?

Definitely SSD for the system and programs.

3) Integrated vs standalone video card?

You only need a discrete GPU for 3D apps and video rendering. Since you don't play, it would only generate more heat and noise in the case.

4) RAM: 16 GB?

If you feel like. (But have your PC ever used more the 3? If you want to spare money make it 8. It's still a tremendous amount. Be sure to use a 64-bit OS as 32-bit versions can only address 4 GB memory max, including GPU memory.

5) What is important to pay attention to buying a computer case?

The material used, sturdyness of the case, ventilation and mounting capabilities, connectivity/wiring... e.g. you will not likely to have any problems with a Chieftec case. Check where you can mount the fans. Also, check the power supply if it has one built-in. This must be of a reliable brand. Some cases have the power supply in the lower part; it's a good idea - the air is not heated up by the internal components - unless you plan to put it on a carpet (dust...).

5) OS: Windows 7?

Depends on your needs. Mainstream CAT tools need Win anyway.

You could maybe check a Dell, HP or Lenovo workstation. They are reliable and usually come with 3 years' warranty. I hope I could help.


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maxpda
Local time: 19:27
English to Malay
Hi, some ideas from IT savvy Aug 4, 2012

1) Processor: i3 vs i5 vs i7?

I would recommend i3 since a core i3, which is only a dual core, can actually serve two threads per core. 4 threads can run simultaneously and i5 do not support this hyper threading.


2) HDD vs SSD? At the moment I have a 80 GB internal HDD which is almost full and 40 GB + 1 TB external drives which are 75% empty (thus storage capacity isn't a problem).

SSD are super fast, good for gamer actually and expensive. HDD is enough for you.


3) Integrated vs standalone video card?

since you do not play games or watching hd movies, it would not matter, a cheap integrated gpu is enough.


4) RAM: 16 GB?

you don't even need 8GB for your system, 4GB is more than enough. my laptop with 66 processes only use 1.1GB RAM.



5) What is important to pay attention to buying a computer case?

a good computer case should have a good air ventilation on it, a gaming casing would be suitable for you since it has all the criteria needed.

5) OS: Windows 7?

since many software support windows 7, yes.


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Dominique Pivard  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:27
Finnish to French
Noise Aug 5, 2012

Nikita Kobrin wrote:
So now I want a powerful enough desktop.

Fair enough. One factor (not included in your list) you may want to consider is noise, unless you use your computer to play heavy metal to cover its noise
Nikita Kobrin wrote:
I definitely need a desktop as for the same price you can buy a much more powerful desktop than laptop.

True, but bringing a powerful desktop's noise level closer to that of a laptop will cost you some extra money: a fast CPU and a dedicated video adapter produce a lot of heat, which requires a fan, which produces noise; quiet fans are expensive and fanless cases with fancy cooling systems are even more expensive.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:27
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not relevant Aug 5, 2012

Dominique Pivard wrote:
Nikita Kobrin wrote:
So now I want a powerful enough desktop.

Fair enough. One factor (not included in your list) you may want to consider is noise, unless you use your computer to play heavy metal to cover its noise

I don't think this is a relevant factor. When not in use, my i7 machine runs at 100% in all processors doing distributed computing and its noise is hardly noticeable.


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Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:27
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
agree with Dominique (re. noise) Aug 5, 2012

If you are going to use the desktop for recording voice overs you might want to look into getting a water-cooled system. They are no longer as expensive as one might think. I got water-cooling thrown in when I recently bought my custom-built desktop from PC Specialist (http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/computers-uk/ ) and a Cooler Master case for not that much extra.

I would also recommend using an external audio interface so as to avoid recording any hums from inside your computer case.

Michael


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Inge Luus  Identity Verified
South Africa
Local time: 13:27
Member (2008)
German to English
+ ...
i3 vs i5 and Windows 7 home vs professional edition Aug 5, 2012

I have an HP laptop with an i3 processor and Windows 7 home edition. My husband has an HP laptop with an i5 processor and Windows 7 professional edition. My laptop is streets faster than his. We have been told that this so because the professional edition uses more more computer capacity than the home edition, even though his processor is faster than mine.

It may be worth doing the homework and using an OS that is lighter on your PC's processing capacity. I don't know how Windows 8 compares. Good luck!


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Nikita Kobrin  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 14:27
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
* Aug 5, 2012

Szabolcs Király wrote:

1) Processor: i3 vs i5 vs i7?

Any of them is perfectly enough for your needs. For office uses _now_ a Core2Duo is enough and the Ivy Bridge series are beyond Core2Duo in performance; of course no one can see into the future. I've been using the same C2D processor since 6 years and it's still not the bottleneck of the machine.

I see that still some colleagues say that it should be i7 or at least i5. Is there any strong reason behind that? My habit of multitasking perhaps?



Szabolcs Király wrote:

3) Integrated vs standalone video card?

You only need a discrete GPU for 3D apps and video rendering. Since you don't play, it would only generate more heat and noise in the case.

Would only generate more heat and noise? Oh, that is something to consider as the factor of noise is important for me.



Szabolcs Király wrote:

4) RAM: 16 GB?

If you feel like. (But have your PC ever used more the 3?

No, so far I have never used more than 2 but they say that there can't be too much of RAM especially taking into consideration that RAM isn't very expensive at the moment. Isn't that so?



Szabolcs Király wrote:

5) What is important to pay attention to buying a computer case?

Also, check the power supply if it has one built-in. This must be of a reliable brand.

AFAIK computer cases have a built-in power supply block. Isn't that true? What is meant under 'reliable brands'? What factors make a power supply block so important?

NK


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