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How Can I Avoid Computer Obsolescence?

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by bardolator, May 22, 2014.

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  1. bardolator

    bardolator Lifelong Low Roller

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    So I assume everyone out there who used XP went to something newer years ago. Now I need to, since Micro$oft decided to make it obsolete. MY XP tower, which works perfectly, sits virtually idle while I type this on my wife's laptop. I thought about installing Ubuntu but didn't get very far. Hated it, and couldn't figure out how to partition the drive without losing XP. My machine, with under a gig of RAM and a slowish processor, isn't up to Windows 7.

    I suppose this means I'll need to buy a Windows 8 machine- yuck. Apple still appears way overpriced by comparison. And it'll need to be portable because my wife's laptop screen died and I had to buy her a monitor. No Windows 7 for me. I don't want to start life on a new machine with an OS that's already on the clock.

    So what do I need to get on my new laptop in order to keep it from going obsolete in five or six years? Does it absolutely need a (shudder) touch screen? Are 8 gigs of RAM enough? Do I need to spend the extra on the faster processor? Is the super-fine display like the one on the Lenovos important? I am not a gamer, video streamer, or any other sort of high capacity user.

    Any brands and models to to avoid or to look for? The more I read on the web, the more confused I get.
     
  2. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    MacBook Pro.

    That is all.
     
  3. bardolator

    bardolator Lifelong Low Roller

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    Ken, I gave Apple serious consideration for the first time in years, and when you line up the gigs and the terabytes and the clock speeds and the other stuff, Apple costs 1 1/2 times as much for the same thing. I'd like to keep it around a thou. Apples are reliable, but as you see from my 2002 vintage tower, my problem is with obsolescence, not failure.
     
  4. super24jc

    super24jc Low-Roller

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    IMO, it depends what you are using it for. If you are just doing email and browsing the internet a laptop in the $500-600 range should cover you 5 years. I prefer 6-8 gigs of ram, although 4 is fine for now. Get at least an i3 or i5 processor over 3ghx speed. If you are a gamer then you may want to spend more. It tends to be laptops without touch screens have a little faster cpu's for the same money. Just depends what features you want. I agree you should get windows 8 to keep it supported longer.

    I always buy mid range laptops for home use, then just replace it in 4-5 years. Instead of paying double for a laptop that will maybe cover you for 5-6 years.

    As far as your XP computer it will continue to work, you are just at a little bit of a risk for viruses and such.
     
  5. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    The good news is, the pace of hardware performance growth is flattening dramatically compared to when you bought your XP system.

    Processors aren't getting a lot faster, they are just increase # of cores. Memory demands haven't changed much in the last few years.

    And since they want OS'es that can run on tablets and have to compete with Apple, and since computers are SO powerful, a new microsoft OS doesn't really require a giant leap forward in system power the way that they used to.

    In other words, there's a very good chance that a $500 system bought today will be more than powerful enough for a looooong time.

    And even if that were not the case, you would be better off buying the cheaper system now, and being forced to buy another cheap one years later (as annoying as that is) than trying to buy one now than can still perform them. Performance costs are on a curve, so if you try to get an amazing system to future proof yourself, you may pay more now than you would buying a cheaper system now and replacing it in X years.

    To me, your most important decisions will be on screen size and quality, what (if any) drives you want, HDMI out, etc.

    Just my $0.02
     
  6. jamesxnj

    jamesxnj VIP Whale

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    FWIW I always buy refurbished pc's from the manufacturer for some savings.Never had a problem with previous purchases over the years including both laptops and desktops usually HP.
    I've been looking myself to upgrade my Vista laptop and pc and come to find many of the new products out there do not include a CD/DVD rom for some reason anymore so another thing to watch for..
     
  7. MikeOPensacola

    MikeOPensacola VIP Whale

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    I'm in agreement with Nevyn here. You can get a new PC that should last you a long time in the $500 range. If you want a fancy display (touchscreen) you can always get one now, or later. Another route you can go is to have a computer custom built for you to fit your needs and budget. This can usually be done at a local computer repair shop.

    It also depends what you use your computer for. I have a PC and an iPad. I use my iPad 90% of the time for email, googling, website use etc. etc. etc. The only time I use my PC is for using my word processor.

    These days tower PCs aren't terribly expensive and they are relevant for much longer periods of time than they were back in the XP days.

    Good luck.....

    :peace: :beer:
     
    Annual Summer Bliss in the Land of Milk and Honey!!!
  8. donfairplay

    donfairplay Low-Roller

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    I use windows 8.1 (upgraded from 8) with Classic Shell, a small program that makes Windows 8 look like 7 or xp. I don't notice any difference between the new computer and the XP machine I used for 9 years.

    8 GB of RAM is enough. Some laptops have displayport, some have HDMI ports, so you can plug in a huge monitor of your choice.
     
  9. Buddha

    Buddha VIP Whale

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    Between my wife and I we have three computers in the house ... a Compaq desktop, a Dell laptop, and an Acer netbook ... all still running Windows XP.

    Even though Microsoft says they are no longer doing updates and patches, we have indeed received updates from them 3 separate times, when we shut down at night. In addition, we are also running Norton Security, which is "regularly" doing its updates for us. But the big thing we did was to get rid of Internet Explorer, and install Google Chrome as our browser (and better security) ... and things are still operating smoothly.

    I imagine we will eventually have to upgrade, but even Windows 7 is said to be going away in 2015.
     
  10. dfalk

    dfalk VIP Whale

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    This is the only way to go IMO, buying a new pre built computer is such a waste of money. Like you said you can have a computer shop do it for you or spend a night reading newegg.com and they have good tutorials on how to do this. It's really not that hard.

    Benefits of this is you can use parts from your old tower and save money. You would just have to buy a new processor, motherboard, and RAM while using your existing tower, hard drive, and power supply (depeding on how many watts it is.)

    I upgraded an older PC about 2 years ago to a quad core processor, 8GB ram, and a new motherboard for $225. It is more than enough for what I do and should easily last me another 4+ years.
     
  11. progrocker2112

    progrocker2112 Low-Roller

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    I agree with a custom build but do it yourself. It's easy like putting together a Lego set and a great experience. Google 'logical increments guide' to pick out parts and use pcpartspicker.com to shop all the best prices and check part compatibility.
     
  12. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    Microsoft has said they are only going to support each operating system for 10 years, so technically they are all on the clock.

    But you might not have a choice: most retailers won't sell a system (laptop or PC) with a previous version of an operating system.

    Between the two, Windows 7 and Windows 8, the big difference is that Windows 8 is designed for touch screen and motion based access - primarily for use with tablets, smartphones and XBox One (Kinect). So its heavy on the interface and treats programs like apps on a phone.

    Personally I like Windows 7 and still lots of time before it is no longer supported by Microsoft.

    If you aren't going to be using it for gaming or editing video (watching video really doesn't matter) then what you want is pretty much the cheapest thing (that isn't a tablet or a netbook) with 4GB or ram.

    If it were me I would also make sure it has a keyboard input jack and monitor output jack so that at home I would just wire it up to a monitor and keyboard and use it like a PC and then when I need to go just pop out the monitor and keyboard cables and pack it up.

    But I would definitely say you won't need one of those $1000+ laptops and anything in the $250-400 range should be good so long as it has 4GB of ram or more.
     
  13. Turtleman

    Turtleman VIP Whale

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    Bardolator: XP has been "obsolete" for several years, but there's no need to buy something else if you're happy with your current machine and it's serving your needs. While Microsoft is no longer supporting XP, they recently made security updates available for IE8. Better browsers, such as Pale Moon (www.palemoon.org - especially since the recent changes in Firefox), are more secure and flexible alternatives. Hopefully, you're already using decent antivirus, anti-spyware, and firewall programs, though they won't necessarily protect the operating system. However, take a look at www.sandboxie.com , which can help protect (or at least restore) any computer, XP or otherwise, from all kinds of attacks.

    In addition, there are a dozen or so third-party programs (some free – some pay) that will essentially make Win8 look and feel like Win7! Check out www.classicshell.com for just one example. In other words, the biggest gripe about Win8, the absence of the start menu, can be easily remedied. Even Microsoft is coming to realize that desktop users don't use touchscreens, still want to use a mouse, and don't like that Metro tile crap. It's fast, easy, and cheap to get around it.

    I've been assembling my own computers for over a decade, with Win7 on five of them, but would go with Win8 if I had to buy a readymade one (along with a start menu add-on, as mentioned earlier). For sure, XP is history, and running Win7 on many of those older machines won't produce a very good experience, but there's no need to upgrade until you want to.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2014
  14. LV_Bound

    LV_Bound VIP Whale

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    Be careful with custom builds as a friend of mine likes to do custom builds then calls me afterward because he usually ends up having problems.

    I still have my XP up with COMDO installed and plan to keep it for a while. It also due boots with Windows 7.

    If you still have the Windows XP CD maybe do a dual boot with a secondary XP install. This way if you get attacked you can blow it away and reinstall. You could even get a ghost copy to reinstall quickly. The original XP install could be for your normal non-internet work.

    On the other hand, like others mention there are deals out there.
    We have a HP laptop with Windows 7 and 17inch monitor for under $500.
    It is a great computer to use for basic usage like Word and internet surfing, but not the best at all for other resource heavy stuff like games and picture editing.
     
  15. bardolator

    bardolator Lifelong Low Roller

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    Thanks for all the replies so far.

    I should have added that my wife likes to take photos, and is pretty good at it, so photo editing is going to happen. It's just that I don't know how heavy duty a program I want to use. She was told by several people recently to start using RAW format for her photos, which means big files and big possibilities. Yet I know that I am the one who will have to do the processing, and I am not very willing (or able) to learn anything complicated or spend an hour tweaking one photo. Right now I just do basics with Photoshop Elements to save otherwise unusable pictures.

    So if the photo processing solution of my dreams (powerful but quick and easy to use) actually exists, the machine would need that capability.

    No custom tower builds or rebuilds on this one. It has to be portable.
     
  16. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    I am one who is not obsessed with having the latest, greatest, fastest, but it seems like I get only 4 years or so out of a home desktop and 3 years if I'm lucky out of a laptop or netbook. The portables just seem to get beaten up very quickly.

    I just bought one of those Asus "convertable" netbook or tablet, but I find it more convenient to use it as a fold-up notebook. Let's see how long this one lasts.
     
  17. super24jc

    super24jc Low-Roller

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    As a reference, I was able to purchase a Laptop 6-8 months ago at out local office depot on sale for $380.
    It came with Windows 8, i3 cpu, 8 gigs of ram, 750 gig hard drive and dvd drive.

    I use cpumenchmark.net for comparing cpu speeds. The cpu speed in this laptop was listed on the high end cpu chart at the time.

    So if you watch for sales you should easily be able to find a laptop under $500 that will be good for basic computing for 5 years.
     
  18. LV_Bound

    LV_Bound VIP Whale

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    HP is running a pretty good sale.
    HP Laptop
    17 inch monitor
    AMD Quad Processor
    4 Gig Memory
    500Gig HD
    $400 with free shipping.

    For just surfing the Net you will be hard pressed to beat that price.

    See it here
     
  19. melbedewy

    melbedewy Low-Roller

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    I'm typing this on my desktop XP which works fine and I hope to get several more years out of it. Don't be so quick to drink the Kool-Aid!
     
  20. merlin

    merlin VIP Whale

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    I love my windows 7 computer,(2 years old and going strong) you can buy a new one for less than $300 if you look around, go to a place like office depot and get one a few months old they're trying to move, it will still be heads and shoulders better than your old one.
     
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