Jump to content

Planning for my pc going boom


You are about to reply to a thread that has been inactive for 600 days.

Please take a moment to consider if this thread is worth bumping.

Recommended Posts

My pc is getting on a bit and I have to start saving up for a replacement.  This will take a while so I'm looking for a laptop that will get me by if the pc fails before I've saved enough (quite likely).  I've never had a laptop so I've little clue what to look for, and it needs to connect to my nice big monitor or I'll have trouble reading text.  Does anyone have some advice on a purchase?  I do read reviews but I'm just getting confused.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MSI is the way to go. I've always been impressed by their products. Maybe look for one with video capable USB Type C so you can connect your monitor and all that :3

If i wanted to buy a lappie now as temporary replacement, I'd aim for a 12gb, gtx1060 some i5 or i7 until i could afford something better. 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to holdover and function for SL? Literally anything newer than 2011's offerings.

Thinkpad T420 if you have literally no money to spend. T460p if you want a more modern mobile quadcore based system. Both will play SL, a T420 or anything 2nd gen i series with HD3000 really should be your bare minimum, it runs, its fairly smooth, but ALM is asking a bit much and too many avatars will kill performance. Anything with HD610 or HD620 6th and 7th gen or newer will easily handle SL at max settings with plenty of people around.

No point in buying a gaming laptop if youre intending to presumably get a new PC if yours dies, get something cheap and reliable.

Thinkpad T420 or Dell Latitude E6420, HP Elitebook 8460p, theyre all the same gen, same specs, all business laptops that will outlive you and they all cost usually under 120$ in complete ready to use condition. X220, E6320 and 2560p are the equivalent ultraportables, small, 12/13" things with the same specs internally but less expandability. There are larger variants if youre not going to need this to be super mobile, T520 is 15" while the T420 is 14", W520 is the mobile workstation equivalent with a dedicated gpu.

The ease here with these business laptop series's is that you can just buy a bigger number and its a newer laptop. T420 is 2nd gen, T430 is 3rd gen, T440 is 4th gen, etc

I can speak from experience in that even 2nd gen with intel HD3000 will play SL, its what im using right now.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Garnet Psaltery said:

@cheesecurd  That's very helpful, thank you.  Cheap and reliable would be the way to go but good enough to be enjoyable.

If youre in the US just check ebay for anything like that. Theres loads, example, a pretty basic T440 for 122$ shipped

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lenovo-ThinkPad-T440-128G-SSD-i5-4200-8GB-RAM-Win10-Pro/274250170103

Nothing fancy, its a base model with the i5 4200, but it has everything included and was upgraded with a small SSD. Theres lots of these to look through, just follow the same guidelines as buying anything on ebay, check for seller feedback, check the description for any notes about condition, whats included, etc. A lot of people are apprehensive about ebay but you wont find off-lease business laptops for any decent prices anywhere else, maybe local ads. Theyre on amazon but theyre usually a lot more expensive and rarely have actual pictures of the laptop.

Theres loads of them out there, and specific configurations for whatever need. Anything "S" is a slim model with a soldered processor so you cant upgrade the cpu down the line, anything with a "p" usually has either a dedicated gpu option or one of the high resolution displays.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a fair chance that you're wasting a good deal of your budget if you spend it on a temporary replacement laptop. Besides the usual - setting your budget and probably your planned budget for a new machine - I'd recommend listing your current setup.

What specific signs does it show in terms of failing?

Or are you assuming that it is xyz ages old, so it will fail any other day?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The temporary laptop that is a low end machine is likely to cost 50-150% of what a final machine that will go for another 5-10 years will.

 

If adventurous, look at https://pcpartpicker.com/ to put together a system. Especially the guide section: https://pcpartpicker.com/guide/

- if you or anyone you know is handy with tools, it's not hard to build a PC. Even if not, these guides will help you compare against prefab systems to see if they're overcharging for lesser goods (which prefabs usually do), by too much...

Also start watching some youtube about 'budget gaming PCs'. Note that as SL is single core only - if all you plan is SL even the budget gaming PCs will over-deliver.

 

Edited by Pussycat Catnap
Link to comment
Share on other sites

To answer @Lillith Hapmouche and @Pussycat Catnap.  My machines so far have cost between £2,500 to £3,000, mostly from Chillblast.  I got this one over 4 years ago and the CPU is 6 years old.  The main problems at the moment are 1) that it fails to start up about once a fortnight - it just hangs there with a spinning circle of dots until I switch it off at the machine and restart, and 2) the fans are working noticeably harder.  I used to be able to make small changes, like replacing memory sticks and the graphics card but my concentration is not what it used to be and I'm reluctant to tinker with what I have without something to back it up.

Specs are:- 

Speccy20200205.jpg

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That system might just need a reformat of the hard drive if only 6 years old...

As in... you more than likely just have a persistent piece of malware, adware, spyware, botware, or something... a machine that young should still be at the top of it's game in something like SL, unless something else is taking up your resources secretly...

It's pretty common for 'bitcoin farmers' to infect machines and steal some of their power to datamine bitcoin and other similar currencies...
- on the MAc side where I used to be, I've found about 50% of all Macs I examine have a piece of adWare called MacKeeper installed that likewise dramatically impacts performance... and another 1/3 of them have assorted other adware - but Macs are super easy to clean...

PCs... actually have better anti-infection software... but are harder to clean once they do get infected... thus 'reformat'...

Reformatting a drive is the extreme solution... but I tend to always keep my machines ready for that by keeping any valuable data on external media... some of these infections are easy to find and clean, some are not.

 

Edited by Pussycat Catnap
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Lucia Nightfire said:

My 2cents, stick with Asus and do NOT go to msi.

I used Asus with 4 builds with no problems. Went with msi on the latest and had to get an ethernet card and sound card because the driver's provided by msi to this day cause muffled sound and erratic, slow dl/ul speeds.

I admit I've stayed with Asus for a long time, since it's been Chillblast's favourite, and they seem to know what they're about.  Sadly they're only in the business of providing new machines.

Edited by Garnet Psaltery
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Garnet Psaltery said:

@Pussycat Catnap  I doubt it's infected as I've run Kaspersky for years.  The external media option is a good one; I just need to psych myself up to face reformatting in extremis. 

Yeah...

I'm just thinking... if I understand those specs right, you should be running fine in ultra settings with something like SL. So if you can't... what ELSE is causing it, other than the hardware...

I was expecting you to post some system from 10 years ago in a thread like this, not something that should be good even with most modern games.

Edited by Pussycat Catnap
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Pussycat Catnap said:

Yeah...

I'm just thinking... if I understand those specs right, you should be running fine in ultra settings with something like SL. So if you can't... what ELSE is causing it, other than the hardware...

 

I don't know ... moles? :/ 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Garnet Psaltery said:

To answer @Lillith Hapmouche and @Pussycat Catnap.  My machines so far have cost between £2,500 to £3,000, mostly from Chillblast.  I got this one over 4 years ago and the CPU is 6 years old.  The main problems at the moment are 1) that it fails to start up about once a fortnight - it just hangs there with a spinning circle of dots until I switch it off at the machine and restart, and 2) the fans are working noticeably harder.  I used to be able to make small changes, like replacing memory sticks and the graphics card but my concentration is not what it used to be and I'm reluctant to tinker with what I have without something to back it up.

Specs are:- 

Speccy20200205.jpg

I had a problem with my machine not booting reliably for a while. I traced it down to booting with my phone connected to the usb socket eventually. Might just be a dodgy peripheral. As to fans try cleaning the filters etc

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is a very fine computer, Garnet.  I would not worry about replacing it.  If something does break on it, it is likely to be either the power supply, the hard drive, or the motherboard, and all of them are easily replaced for much less than the cost of a laptop.  Well, the motherboard would require rather a lot of disassembly, but it's still do-able.

If you wanted to do an upgrade, a new graphics card would be nice, but the 980 is what I have in my PC and it runs SL just fine...and on an ultrawide screen monitor at 3840 x 1600, too.

I would definitely consider trying a complete system wipe and re-install of Windows and all your software.  If you plan it methodically, it will take a while but you will not lose any data.  Computers get clogged with bits and bobs of unused code over time, and an occasional clean sweep can do wonders for your performance.

I would also consider ditching Kaspersky.  The US Government banned Kaspersky from all their computers due to fears about Russian spying via backdoors.  I am not usually that paranoid, but I find that Windows Defender does a good job, and with less overhead and no subscription expense.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please don't take it personal at all: you'd be really, really, really dense if you tried to replace that setup with some cheapskirt, refurbished laptop crap, even for short time.

You should probably clean the fans by dusting them off and while you're at it and the case it open, take some good close-up photos of the power supply. There'll be labels with nice little details about it or, Ideally, you know the brand and model name along with its wattage. That can give an idea if that piece might cause the random start-up fails - or it might be a hick-up in any attached power cords or extension cables.

Detailed knowledge of your power supply will also tell if you can easily replace the rather dated 980. Anything above a RTX 2060 would be a sweet match for a few more years... not in the mood to recommend the current AMD cards in that range, too much hassle, I'm afraid...

If you notice more errors popping up, you should start monitoring the performance - MSI Afterburner and its overlay is a great resource for that.

And just to be sure: run CrystalDiskInfo and check the state of your drives. Also make sure that any optimization or defrag routines are turned off for your SSD.

PS: Ah yes, Kaspersky. Unfortunately, a lot of commercial security software has become quite a cloak on its own.

Edited by Lillith Hapmouche
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Answering @Lindal Kidd and @Lillith Hapmouche the thought of a reinstall gives me the willies but I should be prepared.  I'm quite ok with seeming dense; it's been many years since I was a systems engineer and had a fully-working brain. :D  I'm a bit stunned at the idea of Kaspersky being a problem - they've kept me safe for such a long time and they're extremely upfront about any upgrades, or what would be required if I took part in any metrics reports.  I'd trust them over Microsoft any day.  I think I have got optimization running somewhere so I'll check that.  I used to run CCleaner after every session until it stopped being effective so now I use Wise Care 365, but that was after the problems started.  Now I've forgotten what else was said so I'm going to do something else for a bit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also can I advise shopping around a bit, my system is about the same age and similar specs the only difference I can see is mine is an i7 5720, my  data drive only 1 tb. I paid 1400 for mine and that price included two asus 24inch monitors, about half what you paid

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Lucia Nightfire said:

My 2cents, stick with Asus and do NOT go to msi.

I used Asus with 4 builds with no problems. Went with msi on the latest and had to get an ethernet card and sound card because the driver's provided by msi to this day cause muffled sound and erratic, slow dl/ul speeds.

I am Asus tech support irl and i would never recommend it to anybody lol xD

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Garnet Psaltery said:

1) that it fails to start up about once a fortnight - it just hangs there with a spinning circle of dots until I switch it off at the machine and restart, and 2) the fans are working noticeably harder.  I used to be able to make small changes, like replacing memory sticks and the graphics card but my concentration is not what it used to be and I'm reluctant to tinker with what I have without something to back it up.

Before considering replacing parts or the whole machine, I recommend opening it up and dusting the components thoroughly.  It sounds like it needs it if the fans are working harder than they did in the past.  If you're not confident doing this yourself you might be able to find a professional in your area to do this, and as far as computer work goes it's an extremely simple process, so it should be relatively affordable.  That's if you haven't already tried this, of course!

Other than that I second what others have said about backing up important stuff.  Eventually all drives fail, so it's best to be prepared, but also it makes it easy to just reformat everything and start with a clean slate when you have issues with software.

Just at a glance it sounds like a thorough dusting and a reformatted drive would buy you at least a couple more years of time to save up for a nice upgrade.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are about to reply to a thread that has been inactive for 600 days.

Please take a moment to consider if this thread is worth bumping.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...