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Desktop Computer rec.

Old 05-16-2018, 04:15 AM
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Default Desktop Computer rec.

I need a good desktop for a birthday gift. Doesn't have to be super fast just a good all around P.C. that won't be outdated in 2yrs. Budget $500. Thanks
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Old 05-16-2018, 04:21 AM
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Your specifications - "good desktop computer" aren't specifications at all. If the computer is going to be used to simply play on the internet, it's a very different computer from what a gamer would need. Take the word "desktop" out of your requirements. A laptop can work fine even if never moved or unplugged, and may in fact cost less. My 80+ year old mother has been using one for years, it never moves. Add a full sized keyboard and mouse and it's all set.

I'd strongly recommend you look at sites like CNET and PCWorld. THT is not a place that you're going to get recommendations that have any value, as they're totally subjective and only from a handful of people with totally unknown and likely different needs.

Note that if you belong to Costco, every computer comes with a 2 year warranty. Purchase with a Citi credit card, including Costco's, and add another 2 years to your warranty automatically.
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Old 05-16-2018, 04:56 AM
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that won't be outdated in 2yrs
Not needed for gaming, already has a laptop, Windows 7 is what I use but support ends 2020. I guess Ill figure it out on my own . Thought there were a lot of people in the industry that could recommend something that has adequate speed for most things Videos , "maybe" some editing etc.
Not a Costco member
Size isn't an issue
upgradable if needed
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Mine Now View Post
that won't be outdated in 2yrs
Not needed for gaming, already has a laptop, Windows 7 is what I use but support ends 2020. I guess Ill figure it out on my own . Thought there were a lot of people in the industry that could recommend something that has adequate speed for most things Videos , "maybe" some editing etc.
Not a Costco member
Size isn't an issue
upgradable if needed
So, FWIW rickboat is right. If you want advice on buying something, but don't say what, no one can give you a good answer.

Almost nothing that you buy today would be outdated in two years. The $450 Asus laptop we bought in 2009 runs just fine. A cheap upgrade to solid state drive and it's going to keep on running just fine for the foreseeable future.

If they already have a laptop, what is the point of a separate desktop computer? Have you considered getting a monitor and docking station?
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Old 05-16-2018, 11:04 AM
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Pick a vendor. If you can, buy something with an SSD hard drive and at least 8 GB of Ram. I'm in the industry and I remember when I'd upgrade monthly, then 2-3x a year, then annually.. the last desktop I bought myself was in 2014.

Unless you are a gamer, a run of the mill midline PC will do everything you need. The biggest challenge will be uninstalling all of the garbage software that comes preinstalled. Offhand I'd be looking at whatever Dell is on sale.

This looks reasonable to me in a 5 minute search, I forgot that it'll be tough to find an SSD config at the low end, since most consumers will only be looking at the total amount of hard drive space available. With an SSD this PC would be relevant for years, no problem. As it is I'm sure it would be fine: http://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell-...op/fdcwgam203s
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Last edited by Flot; 05-16-2018 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 05-16-2018, 11:32 AM
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If you already have the peripherals (Monitor keyboard mouse) then you just need a newer tower. Flots recommendation above is good. Just plug in play. I also haven't bought a desktop recently; and turned my old one into a server. Laptops can do everything desktops can do now a days, if not more. You would be amazed at the specs my "tablet" (surface book 2) has compared to my old desktop. And I can still just plug it into my USB 2.0 hub and acts and looks like a desktop.
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Old 05-16-2018, 11:49 AM
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I am inclined to ask... who is the birthday recipient? Will there be a future need to expand the capability of this computer (IE install a discrete video card)?

For example, if the recipient is for a fairly young child (say for example 10-14 years old), then you may actually need some level of gaming performance and just not know it. If it's for a spouse or adult that has other hobbies that is wanting/needing a computer for general usage, then I would still recommend a laptop over a desktop.

Anyway... generally speaking... right now the biggest performance gap in computers exists in hard drive technology. As long as you get a medium performing processor, the memory and motherboard and things will fall in line on their own. More memory is better of course. But as previously mentioned, an SSD will be the best performance improvement in regular computing devices.... And then you'd need to figure out if a discrete video card is required, or if the computer would need the capability to install one down the road or not.
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Old 05-16-2018, 11:57 AM
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Dell Optiplex line
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Old 05-16-2018, 03:04 PM
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What you need is a desktop with 8gb ram, 1 tb hard drive and either an AMD A Series or Intel i3 or i5 processor.
I am a fan of the HP's, with Envy models being my first choice and Pavilions a somewhat distant second.
At $529, this Envy is pretty good: https://store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/hp-en...op---750-555qe
For less money ($429) this will also work: https://store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/hp-pa...op---570-p015z
If you wanted to bust the budget some ($579), this Envy with an AMD Ryzen 3 processor, 8gb ram, 1tb hard drive and a video card with 4gb ram would be a really good solution and would give reasonably good performance for 4-6 years. https://store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/hp-en...ktop-750-625rz
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Old 05-16-2018, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Smitty_81 View Post
I am inclined to ask... who is the birthday recipient? Will there be a future need to expand the capability of this computer (IE install a discrete video card)?

For example, if the recipient is for a fairly young child (say for example 10-14 years old), then you may actually need some level of gaming performance and just not know it. If it's for a spouse or adult that has other hobbies that is wanting/needing a computer for general usage, then I would still recommend a laptop over a desktop.

Anyway... generally speaking... right now the biggest performance gap in computers exists in hard drive technology. As long as you get a medium performing processor, the memory and motherboard and things will fall in line on their own. More memory is better of course. But as previously mentioned, an SSD will be the best performance improvement in regular computing devices.... And then you'd need to figure out if a discrete video card is required, or if the computer would need the capability to install one down the road or not.

Quote: medium performing processor, what would you recommend?

My soon to be 21yr old son asked for it for his birthday. He is a college student and has his realtor license. Current laptop I think is over 5 yrs. old. The desktop he had bit the dust when Microsoft sent out updates. I believe he wants his desktop back because he kept his realtor key or something plugged into it to keep it updated. The laptop may make its way to his office at the realtor or travel with him. I want to get him something that will serve him for a few years. I'm not up on the current processors or even the previous ones so I have no clue what it takes to get decent speed . I don't want a turtle and know from reading that ssd's are preferred for speed but I don't think it is needed at this point just a good combination of components in an upgradeable case

Last edited by Mine Now; 05-16-2018 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 05-16-2018, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by LI32 View Post
What you need is a desktop with 8gb ram, 1 tb hard drive and either an AMD A Series or Intel i3 or i5 processor.
I am a fan of the HP's, with Envy models being my first choice and Pavilions a somewhat distant second.
At $529, this Envy is pretty good: https://store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/hp-en...op---750-555qe
For less money ($429) this will also work: https://store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/hp-pa...op---570-p015z
If you wanted to bust the budget some ($579), this Envy with an AMD Ryzen 3 processor, 8gb ram, 1tb hard drive and a video card with 4gb ram would be a really good solution and would give reasonably good performance for 4-6 years. https://store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/hp-en...ktop-750-625rz
Sounds about right, thanks Ill take a look at those.
Are the older I3's slow?

Last edited by Mine Now; 05-16-2018 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 05-16-2018, 04:32 PM
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I think I might go with this one
XPS Tower
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Old 05-16-2018, 05:12 PM
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I wanted a new desktop for the house. for THT and also for my real job - to remote in from the house. I could not believe the limited offerings out there and the prices are steep for what you got. I took a leap and bought this refurnished one on Amazon - it is fast as hell. also to get the same specs in a new computer would have been a grand or more.


2017 Lenovo ThinkCentre M82 SFF Business Desktop Computer, Intel Quad-Core i5-3470 Processor 3.2GHz (up to 3.6GHz), 12GB RAM, 2TB HDD, DVD ROM, Windows 10 Professional (Certified Refurbished)

I paid approx $270.00 I am very pleased with the purchase
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Old 05-16-2018, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by THT Mod 7 View Post
I wanted a new desktop for the house. for THT and also for my real job - to remote in from the house. I could not believe the limited offerings out there and the prices are steep for what you got. I took a leap and bought this refurnished one on Amazon - it is fast as hell. also to get the same specs in a new computer would have been a grand or more.


2017 Lenovo ThinkCentre M82 SFF Business Desktop Computer, Intel Quad-Core i5-3470 Processor 3.2GHz (up to 3.6GHz), 12GB RAM, 2TB HDD, DVD ROM, Windows 10 Professional (Certified Refurbished)

I paid approx $270.00 I am very pleased with the purchase
Sounds like a good deal. I wasn't expecting him to say he wanted a computer so I was somewhat caught off guard. If I had more time to research this it would have been easy, 3days left ugh. Hookers and drinks would have been easier.

Also if I buy the refurb and something goes wrong I will be labeled a cheap b*stard and scorned by the family

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Old 05-16-2018, 05:39 PM
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If it was me I would stay away from dell. Dell uses non atx cases, you can't just go buy components like motherboards and such unless they're dell specific.
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Old 05-16-2018, 06:44 PM
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I prefer business class machines. The Lenovo mentioned above is a nice one. I would also pick a smaller fast SSD over a slower but bigger hard drive every time. They make a huge difference in speed. If you are need a serious gaming pc, or you do a lot of 3d rendering, you'll really care about memory, cpu, and gpu. But for run of the mill stuff, an SSD will make a big difference. Both desktops at the house are old - one is 5 years and the other around 7. The keys to longevity are NOT installing stupid crap you don't need and having an SSD.
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Old 05-17-2018, 03:49 AM
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Originally Posted by sinjun View Post
If it was me I would stay away from dell. Dell uses non atx cases, you can't just go buy components like motherboards and such unless they're dell specific.
then what brand would you recommend?
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Old 05-17-2018, 04:01 AM
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Xi Computers. I have 2 desktops and a laptop by them for my business. We run a lot of CAD type programs.

Very good computers with components you can pick and choose for your liking. I always would buy the biggest, fastest computer I could afford, that way it lasts longer. I have had mine for 5 years, only upgrade was a newer, bigger hard drive. The Xi computers also only come with the operating system, no BS programs you find on Dell or the other consumer type boxes. Then put on it what you want.
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Old 05-17-2018, 04:06 AM
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Originally Posted by pmichael View Post
Xi Computers. I have 2 desktops and a laptop by them for my business. We run a lot of CAD type programs.

Very good computers with components you can pick and choose for your liking. I always would buy the biggest, fastest computer I could afford, that way it lasts longer. I have had mine for 5 years, only upgrade was a newer, bigger hard drive. The Xi computers also only come with the operating system, no BS programs you find on Dell or the other consumer type boxes. Then put on it what you want.
Thats my thinking with these things, buy the latest and greatest you can afford and it should last a while

How about this one? over budget but has ssd
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...0I&ignorebbr=1

Last edited by Mine Now; 05-17-2018 at 04:18 AM.
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Old 05-17-2018, 04:32 AM
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Originally Posted by sinjun View Post
If it was me I would stay away from dell. Dell uses non atx cases, you can't just go buy components like motherboards and such unless they're dell specific.
Go back and read the OP's post as to why his son needs a new computer. Basically, a Windows update caused his old computer to be inoperable. Basic computer knowledge would have you reformat the hard drive and all would be well, assuming that a repair of the OS wasn't possible. Of course that would have required the owner creating recovery disks when they first used the computer, and knowing how to use them. If someone is buying a new computer instead, do you expect them to be replacing motherboards and other components?

I agree with your comment about Dell being non-standard, and also having little interest in the consumer market. I used to buy only Dell, stopped about a decade ago, and have bought Lenovo laptops since then. The desktops that I have acquired have been 3 year old used computers bought for $100 U of Michigan clears them out. Reminds me, need to see what they're selling now.

Originally Posted by pmichael View Post
Xi Computers. I have 2 desktops and a laptop by them for my business. We run a lot of CAD type programs.

Very good computers with components you can pick and choose for your liking. I always would buy the biggest, fastest computer I could afford, that way it lasts longer. I have had mine for 5 years, only upgrade was a newer, bigger hard drive. The Xi computers also only come with the operating system, no BS programs you find on Dell or the other consumer type boxes. Then put on it what you want.
Engineering workstations would be inappropriate for his needs. As to buying the biggest, fastest computer you can afford, that's simply wasting money for 95% of people.
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