Results 1 to 22 of 22

Thread: Buying a computer

  1. #1

    Default Buying a computer

    Hi all,

    Iíve no doubt most of you know more about IT than me, so looking for some advice.
    previously Iíve had a MacBook, itís lasted years and years and has been great.

    Im now looking to get a new computer. I only really need it for standard office stuff, but would like it to have some welly for amateur photography/video work (no, not redtube type stuff)

    Iím looking to keep it reasonably cheap, and wonít be gaming on it. Donít mind what OS.

    so...
    1. laptop or desktop? Iím preferring the latter due to cost, I donít really need mobility.
    2. Where to buy from? I donít want to build something myself
    3. Any top tips?

    roughly speaking I was thinking of getting something with a ssd, 8 or maybe 16 Ram...

    im sure I could go on, but donít want to lose your interest. Thoughts welcome please. R

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Cusp of a wave
    Posts
    18,931

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Red View Post
    Hi all,

    Iíve no doubt most of you know more about IT than me, so looking for some advice.
    previously Iíve had a MacBook, itís lasted years and years and has been great.

    Im now looking to get a new computer. I only really need it for standard office stuff, but would like it to have some welly for amateur photography/video work (no, not redtube type stuff)

    Iím looking to keep it reasonably cheap, and wonít be gaming on it. Donít mind what OS.

    so...
    1. laptop or desktop? Iím preferring the latter due to cost, I donít really need mobility.
    2. Where to buy from? I donít want to build something myself
    3. Any top tips?

    roughly speaking I was thinking of getting something with a ssd, 8 or maybe 16 Ram...

    im sure I could go on, but donít want to lose your interest. Thoughts welcome please. R
    Buy a business class machine that is just out of lease. They are far better built and specced than anything you could buy for double the price new. Something like this
    https://www.tier1online.com/292-dell...-4770-quad-sff

    I've bought from Tier 1 and it was immaculate and still happily flying through work three years on. Their warranty is at least as good as buying new also.
    Last edited by buctootim; 04-01-2020 at 07:22 PM.

  3. Default

    I was advised to get an iMac & took the plunge. 3 years later itís still as quick & running as well as the day I installed it. The kids moaned a bit because they were used to windows, and the old lady was useless with it for a long time, it can be a bit of a struggle if you use windows at work a lot. But value for money, Iíve absolutely no complaints.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Gotham City
    Posts
    29,523

    Default

    I line MacBooks / iMacs.... just very expensive.

    I took the plunge with a new laptop last month. HP thing and very quick. Cost £650 from £950 from PC world in their black tag deal.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    John 3:16
    Posts
    2,143

    Default

    MacBook all the way. You can always add things like excel if you need to

  6. #6

    Default

    Good price if you don't mind finding and installing windows yourself : https://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/awd...wd-259-3376688

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by buctootim View Post
    Buy a business class machine that is just out of lease. They are far better built and specced than anything you could buy for double the price new. Something like this
    https://www.tier1online.com/292-dell...-4770-quad-sff

    I've bought from Tier 1 and it was immaculate and still happily flying through work three years on. Their warranty is at least as good as buying new also.
    I hadnít thought about this route. Thanks.
    they seem to get good reviews. I guess itís just a bit of a gamble, despite the warranty, seeing as you donít know what the machine has done, and itís theoretically 3 years out of date already - not sure how much that matters any more.
    Dellrefurbished is incredibly cheap with discounts, but has terrible reviews so Iíll probably steer clear of that one!

    A mac is always an option, I have apple phone and tablets, just annoyed at being tied to them and their ridiculous pricing... you do get reliability though.

    In short, Iím still not sure what to do.

  8. #8

    Default

    Apple fanboys have always banged on about Macs.

    Windows 10:with a SSD is perfectly good these days.
    Most of the stuff is via a browser now anyway.

    Iíd advise a laptop over a desktop as well.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Gotham City
    Posts
    29,523

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by whelk View Post
    Apple fanboys have always banged on about Macs.

    Windows 10:with a SSD is perfectly good these days.
    Most of the stuff is via a browser now anyway.

    I’d advise a laptop over a desktop as well.
    agree. I do like Mac's but for not far off half the price, I got a machine much more powerful in a windows laptop.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Sunny Shirley
    Posts
    2,010

    Default

    If you can tolerate visiting Portsmuff, Novatech are very good and are happy to give good advice.

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Rothschild and Soros HQ
    Posts
    19,751
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    It’s a lot of money but the microsoft surface book 2 (15 inches) is a thing of beauty (the surface book 3 should be out at some point this year). I rarely change my hardware (my last laptop lasted 8 years and my ipad air 2 is knocking on 6 years), so was happy to fork out for a premium product.

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Cusp of a wave
    Posts
    18,931

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by shurlock View Post
    It’s a lot of money but the microsoft surface book 2 (15 inches) is a thing of beauty (the surface book 3 should be out at some point this year). I rarely change my hardware (my last laptop lasted 8 years and my ipad air 2 is knocking on 6 years), so was happy to fork out for a premium product.
    Its all about opinions and what you need it for - but I had a surface pro 2 as my work machine and hated it, horrible to type on and barely ever used it. For me its only advantage is its very light and portable. But the OP says he wants to keep the cost down and doesn't need mobility so....
    Last edited by buctootim; 05-01-2020 at 06:32 PM.

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Rothschild and Soros HQ
    Posts
    19,751
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by buctootim View Post
    Its all about opinions and what you need it for - but I had a surface pro 2 as my work machine and hated it, horrible to type on and barely ever used it. For me its only advantage is its very light and portable. But the OP says he wants to keep the cost down and doesn't need mobility so....
    Surface Book 2, not Surface Pro 2. Very different machines (not least in price!).

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by buctootim View Post
    Its all about opinions and what you need it for - but I had a surface pro 2 as my work machine and hated it, horrible to type on and barely ever used it. For me its only advantage is its very light and portable. But the OP says he wants to keep the cost down and doesn't need mobility so....
    In truth, I could still sway for a laptop as I don’t see that there are huge differences between them and static machines. Maybe I’m being naive.
    I bought my previous MacBook in 2010 I think and it’s still going ok, a bit clunky no doubt. So it has proven to be good value for money.
    My work laptop is a Lenovo thinkpad, and to be fair, other than a replaced fan and screen, it has lasted a long time too.
    So I’m glad to hear others views and experiences. I have looked online, lots of people suggest apple is good reliability wise, and less prone to viruses etc. This does appeal to me, but for all I know everyone else is just as good now.

    Please keep eel your thoughts coming all, Very much appreciated.

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Searching for the voice of reason
    Posts
    3,913
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    It maybe best to first decide what exactly you want to do with it. For instance you say you like photography and video. What ever application you get (recommend Final Cut Pro if serious), that will need decent amount of memory (min 8GB) and a good performing graphics card.

    If itís a regular work machine, desktop will always be cheaper so decide if being mobile is important.

    Some decent deals in shops for end of line recent models if time to wait and choose, if wanting an unused machine. Ex business models can be good on spec but generally are laptops only and have been used.

    Apple/Android is a personal choice.

  16. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by whelk View Post
    Apple fanboys have always banged on about Macs.

    Windows 10:with a SSD is perfectly good these days.
    Most of the stuff is via a browser now anyway.

    I’d advise a laptop over a desktop as well.
    If you go for a Windows machine I strongly recommend having a SSD for it. I've recently replaced hard drives on both my office desktop and my home laptop. They now run up in about 3 minutes where previously it was more like 25.

  17. #17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Whitey Grandad View Post
    If you go for a Windows machine I strongly recommend having a SSD for it. I've recently replaced hard drives on both my office desktop and my home laptop. They now run up in about 3 minutes where previously it was more like 25.
    3 minutes with an SSD?? How much stuff have you got going on at boot? My desktop is getting on a bit and needs upgrading, still boots to login within 30 seconds easily.

  18. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by buctootim View Post
    Buy a business class machine that is just out of lease. They are far better built and specced than anything you could buy for double the price new. Something like this
    https://www.tier1online.com/292-dell...-4770-quad-sff

    I've bought from Tier 1 and it was immaculate and still happily flying through work three years on. Their warranty is at least as good as buying new also.
    I would agree that if you're not open to building your own, old-ish office machines are the way to go. You will get something with a powerful CPU that will last years for much cheaper than you could buy new otherwise.

    If you're going for a desktop, I'd suggest getting a smallish SSD to install Windows on and maybe your more frequently used programs, and then a large "traditional" HDD for your files.
    You can pick up a new 240GB SSD for around £25 and HDDs are getting cheaper all the time, maybe £50 for a 2TB hard drive.
    Installing a second hard drive is one of the easiest things you can do (put it in the cage and plug in two cables), and going from an HDD to an SSD is probably the biggest performance upgrade you can get in most PCs.

    If you find yourself doing a lot of video editing/encoding at high resolutions you may want to also pick up a dedicated graphics card, but probably not necessary if you're doing shorter clips at 1080p.

  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by igsey View Post
    3 minutes with an SSD?? How much stuff have you got going on at boot? My desktop is getting on a bit and needs upgrading, still boots to login within 30 seconds easily.
    Think he means seconds.

  20. #20

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Was NI now Shropshire..!
    Posts
    8,474

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Whitey Grandad View Post
    If you go for a Windows machine I strongly recommend having a SSD for it. I've recently replaced hard drives on both my office desktop and my home laptop. They now run up in about 3 minutes where previously it was more like 25.
    3 minutes...!!! I recently refurbed my old core i5 system (at least 6 years old) with an SSD and it takes seconds to boot (10 - 15). I would suggest that something is wrong...!!!

  21. #21

    Default

    I’m not sure anyone will be interested in my efforts here. Would welcome comments if you have any.
    I have 3 options. A budget, mid range and expensive option.

    Budget is a Tier1 machine as suggested above.
    https://www.tier1online.com/1-1mj36u...5-6500-3-20ghz
    16Mb Ram and 960 SSD.
    Just over £600 with a refurbed 22” screen. Cheap but a bit dirty, I’m worried it won’t be up to video editing. I’m not a pro though so may be good enough. Screen might be a bit rubbish too.

    Mid range is a built machine, designed for video (and therefore in my mind will be fine for photography)
    https://www.punchtechnology.co.uk/pr...computer-2019/
    Should be quick and has a lot of memory to mess around with. Considering a £200 standalone monitor with it.
    £1200 ish all in.

    Expensive. iMac, 21.5” screen. 16Mb Ram. Fusion drive (32Gb SSD and 1TB hard drive)
    With a 6% discount through work, should be about £1550.


    I think I’m favouring the mid option. The budget one just seems a bit of an unknown given I’m not very techy, and will probably struggle to modify any hardware if needed in the future.

  22. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Red View Post
    I’m not sure anyone will be interested in my efforts here. Would welcome comments if you have any.
    I have 3 options. A budget, mid range and expensive option.

    Budget is a Tier1 machine as suggested above.
    https://www.tier1online.com/1-1mj36u...5-6500-3-20ghz
    16Mb Ram and 960 SSD.
    Just over £600 with a refurbed 22” screen. Cheap but a bit dirty, I’m worried it won’t be up to video editing. I’m not a pro though so may be good enough. Screen might be a bit rubbish too.

    Mid range is a built machine, designed for video (and therefore in my mind will be fine for photography)
    https://www.punchtechnology.co.uk/pr...computer-2019/
    Should be quick and has a lot of memory to mess around with. Considering a £200 standalone monitor with it.
    £1200 ish all in.

    Expensive. iMac, 21.5” screen. 16Mb Ram. Fusion drive (32Gb SSD and 1TB hard drive)
    With a 6% discount through work, should be about £1550.


    I think I’m favouring the mid option. The budget one just seems a bit of an unknown given I’m not very techy, and will probably struggle to modify any hardware if needed in the future.
    The way forward for me was this beast. A refurbished HP Z800 Workstation - Intel Xeon X5680 - 16GB RAM, 480GB SSD, DVD, Nvidia, Win10 for £349. A proper minicomputer that will blow the PC's you list out of the water and is simple to upgrade/repair, with plug in modules for everything. Add a HP monitor, keyboard and mouse for £200 and you'll be as happy as I've been for the last 4 years.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •