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  #1  
Old 11-14-2017, 9:37 AM
spegull03 spegull03 is offline
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Exclamation New computer recommendations

I am looking to get a desktop to replace my aging Dell XPS 15z laptop. I would be willing to spend up to $1000 on the tower but want to get the most bang for my buck. When I work from home I remote VPN in, but also have photo and/or video processing running at the same time. Will be looking to have two monitors, one with the VPN and the other for non-VPN applications. My 15z has an i5-2410M and 6gb RAM, and the processor is frequently at 100% especially when viewing video at 1080p captured in 4k from my camera.

I have been looking at Costco, Best Buy, and have employee pricing through work at Dell, Lenovo, and HP. For $1,000 and depending on sales it looks like I can get a tower with Ryzen 7-7x processor, 8-16gb ram, 1tb HD (sometimes with an SSD), and a GTX1060 or RX580 graphics card.

Looking for opinions on the below:
Ryzen 7 or 7x vs Intel i7 Gen 8?
GTX 1060 vs RX580 graphics?
Is an SSD worth putting on the "required" list?
I don't mind getting refurbished as my experience with Dell has been they replace problem parts then resell, so its just as good as new and may offer additional purchase power.

Dell Outlet Refurb: $775
Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 1700X Processor (Octa Core, 3.4GHz, 4M cache,95W)
Windows 10 Pro
1TB SATA Hard Drive (7200 RPM)
8GB DDR4 Non-ECC UDIMM 2400MHz (1x8GB)
AMD Radeon RX 580 with 8GB GDDR5
Dell Outlet Inspiron 5675 Desktop

Best Buy has the same 5675 new with the Ryzen 7 1700 (not x), 16gb ram, and Windows 10 home for $849. https://www.bestbuy.com/site/dell-in...&skuId=5948598
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  #2  
Old 11-14-2017, 10:55 AM
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MrFancyPants MrFancyPants is offline
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A few questions. Are you savvy enough to buy the parts and build your own tower? The best time to buy is coming up next week when the Newegg black Friday sale starts, so you can get the parts at a good discount.

Is a warranty important to you? If so, you can rule out building your own. There will also be sales on complete towers, so I would spend this week doing research and plan to buy one on sale next week.

To answer a couple of your questions, yes I would say a SSD should be a definite. I can't imagine running any of my PCs on spindles, it's painfully slow after being used to SSDs. I personally prefer Nvidia cards because in my experience they have better compatibility, and they release updated drivers on a regular schedule and frequently. Based on what you plan to do with your PC, I'd definitely opt for at least a 4-core Intel i7. I don't have any personal experience with the new AMD chips yet so I can't speak for those, but the i7 always works great for me, and I game, use Photoshop, encode video, record music, and other multi-threaded tasks. I would also opt for 16 GB RAM minimum.

I'll come back with more detailed recommendations.

Sent from my SM-G935P using Tapatalk

Last edited by MrFancyPants; 11-14-2017 at 11:01 AM..
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  #3  
Old 11-14-2017, 11:08 AM
spegull03 spegull03 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFancyPants View Post
A few questions. Are you savvy enough to buy the parts and build your own tower? The best time to buy is coming up next week when the Newegg black Friday sale starts, so you can get the parts at a good discount.

Is a warranty important to you? If so, you can rule out building your own. There will also be sales on complete towers, so I would spend this week doing research and plan to buy one on sale next week.

To answer a couple of your questions, yes I would say a SSD should be a definite. I can't imagine running any of my PCs on spindles, it's painfully slow after being used to SSDs. I personally prefer Nvidia cards because in my experience they have better compatibility, and they release updated drivers on a regular schedule and frequently. Based on what you plan to do with your PC, I'd definitely opt for at least a 4-core Intel i7. I don't have any personal experience with the new AMD chips yet so I can't speak for those, but the i7 always works great for me, and I game, use Photoshop, encode video, record music, and other multi-threaded tasks. I would also opt for 16 GB RAM minimum.

I'll come back with more detailed recommendations.

Sent from my SM-G935P using Tapatalk
I could try to build my own, but just tallying up the component prices on Amazon/Newegg seems to be higher than a completed unit with no warranty as you mention. I've been looking for the past month or so to see where prices are at and what is a good deal, and am ready to buy but am interested where I should compromise (or not) to get a really great deal. I figure its better to compromise on RAM as its easier and cheaper to upgrade vs. a lesser GPU or HDD/SDD.

The "little things" seem to quickly add up when you are trying to build from scratch instead of upgrading an existing machine. cases, fans, motherboard, card reader, drives, operating system, etc.
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  #4  
Old 11-14-2017, 11:28 AM
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MrFancyPants MrFancyPants is offline
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You are correct that it makes sense to skimp on RAM to start, and yes it is easy to upgrade later, but the problem you're going to have with Dell in particular is their motherboards are proprietary, as well as their PSUs, and unless things have changed, you have to buy Dell-specific RAM, which of course is more expensive than other brands. Also, if you buy a small form factor tower there may only be 2 RAM slots which will likely be occupied from the factory, so rather than add additional RAM, you have to replace it entirely. It will depend on how the system is built. In general, upgrading a Dell over time is very much a PITA, and you can't just go buy generic parts for a lot of it.

You also have to think about how much RAM you'd ultimately like to have. Most motherboards have 4 slots, and if you start with 8 GB, and you want to upgrade, it's cheaper to buy a 16 GB kit, which would give you 24 GB total. If you want to step up to 32 GB, you'll have to replace the original 8 GB with a 16 GB kit. Hope that makes sense.

If you don't game, the first compromise should be the GPU. Something like a GeForce 1050 Ti would be good enough for what you do, and they are pretty cheap. Like I said though, I would definitely not compromise on a SSD. It's the most noticeable performance difference by far.

I've always preferred custom built towers (I build my own) for the sake of being able to easily upgrade and replace parts when needed. Plus it's fun for me. Let me look around and see if I find any towers I'd recommend.

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  #5  
Old 11-14-2017, 11:47 AM
spegull03 spegull03 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFancyPants View Post
You are correct that it makes sense to skimp on RAM to start, and yes it is easy to upgrade later, but the problem you're going to have with Dell in particular is their motherboards are proprietary, as well as their PSUs, and unless things have changed, you have to buy Dell-specific RAM, which of course is more expensive than other brands. Also, if you buy a small form factor tower there may only be 2 RAM slots which will likely be occupied from the factory, so rather than add additional RAM, you have to replace it entirely. It will depend on how the system is built. In general, upgrading a Dell over time is very much a PITA, and you can't just go buy generic parts for a lot of it.

You also have to think about how much RAM you'd ultimately like to have. Most motherboards have 4 slots, and if you start with 8 GB, and you want to upgrade, it's cheaper to buy a 16 GB kit, which would give you 24 GB total. If you want to step up to 32 GB, you'll have to replace the original 8 GB with a 16 GB kit. Hope that makes sense.

If you don't game, the first compromise should be the GPU. Something like a GeForce 1050 Ti would be good enough for what you do, and they are pretty cheap. Like I said though, I would definitely not compromise on a SSD. It's the most noticeable performance difference by far.

I've always preferred custom built towers (I build my own) for the sake of being able to easily upgrade and replace parts when needed. Plus it's fun for me. Let me look around and see if I find any towers I'd recommend.

Sent from my SM-G935P using Tapatalk
There is also the below system in Dell Outlet right now, but is it worth the extra $375 over the refurb in the OP?

Dell Outlet Refurb: $1,147 ($1,509 new in cart)
Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 1700X Processor (Octa Core, 3.4GHz, 4M cache,95W)
Windows 10 Pro
2TB SATA Hard Drive (7200 RPM)
512gb m2 2280 SATA SSD
16GB DDR4 Non-ECC UDIMM 2400MHz (1x16GB)
GTX 1060 with 6GB GDDR5
95w Liquid Cooled Chassis
Dell Outlet Inspiron 5675 Desktop
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  #6  
Old 11-14-2017, 5:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spegull03 View Post
There is also the below system in Dell Outlet right now, but is it worth the extra $375 over the refurb in the OP?

Dell Outlet Refurb: $1,147 ($1,509 new in cart)
Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 1700X Processor (Octa Core, 3.4GHz, 4M cache,95W)
Windows 10 Pro
2TB SATA Hard Drive (7200 RPM)
512gb m2 2280 SATA SSD
16GB DDR4 Non-ECC UDIMM 2400MHz (1x16GB)
GTX 1060 with 6GB GDDR5
95w Liquid Cooled Chassis
Dell Outlet Inspiron 5675 Desktop
That seems like a decent price for that system. In my opinion the upgraded storage with SSD, increased memory and Nvidia GPU is worth the price increase. If you do a lot of photo and video work, you'll appreciate the memory boost.

I'd be more inclined to recommend something like this:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ..._16gb_1tb.html

A little bit less storage, but does have an SSD and an i7 7700 CPU, which outperforms the Ryzen 1700x by a good margin. For photo and video work, Intel is still king. Storage is very easy to upgrade. Not to mention you'd save on tax.

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  #7  
Old 11-14-2017, 6:09 PM
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vintagearms vintagearms is offline
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http://www.digitalstorm.com/vanquish-7.asp
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  #8  
Old 11-14-2017, 11:16 PM
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As others have mentioned, go with an SSD; it will do more for you than latest generation processor. I just bought a new laptop with a I-7 8th generation and 2TB SATA hard drive, at the same time I ordered a NVMe SSD. While waiting for the SSD to arrive I played with the new laptop and it was an absolute pig with the SATA hard drive. Once I installed the NVMe SSD everything is almost instant, the hard drive is for back up. Regular SATA SSD would be fine, I only noticed little difference in real life between SATA SSD and NVMe SSD.
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Old 11-15-2017, 9:07 AM
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Originally Posted by C.G. View Post
As others have mentioned, go with an SSD; it will do more for you than latest generation processor. I just bought a new laptop with a I-7 8th generation and 2TB SATA hard drive, at the same time I ordered a NVMe SSD. While waiting for the SSD to arrive I played with the new laptop and it was an absolute pig with the SATA hard drive. Once I installed the NVMe SSD everything is almost instant, the hard drive is for back up. Regular SATA SSD would be fine, I only noticed little difference in real life between SATA SSD and NVMe SSD.
Yes, typically you'll want a smaller SSD for the OS and installed applications (250-500 GB), and a larger platter based HDD for storage. Or if you can, just go SSD all the way around. In my desktop I have a 500 GB SSD for the OS and installed applications/games, another 500 GB SSD for stuff like emulators and the front end and overflow for installed games. I have external drives for long term storage. Whatever works for you and whatever you can afford to put into it, but an SSD is a must.

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  #10  
Old 11-15-2017, 10:36 AM
spegull03 spegull03 is offline
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Thanks for the additional SSD info. Some computers say SSD and some specify m2 SSD. Based on some quick research, the m2 is a newer, faster connection and is preferred given the option. Sound about right?
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Old 11-15-2017, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spegull03 View Post
Thanks for the additional SSD info. Some computers say SSD and some specify m2 SSD. Based on some quick research, the m2 is a newer, faster connection and is preferred given the option. Sound about right?
Yes. Cost a bit more but has its perks.
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Old 11-15-2017, 11:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spegull03 View Post
Thanks for the additional SSD info. Some computers say SSD and some specify m2 SSD. Based on some quick research, the m2 is a newer, faster connection and is preferred given the option. Sound about right?
It depends. In a nutshell, some M2 ssd are SATA and some are PCI NVMe. NVMe is the faster of the two and more expensive, but in real life they are only a little faster than SATA (then again I haven't put my new rig under harsh conditions, such as encoding, yet, so I may get a surprise there). Also, some motherboards will run SATA only even if they do accept M2 factor SSDs and sometimes the NVMe is disabled in the bios by the manufacturer. The major difference is between a regular hard drive and an SSD, the speed of the systems is improved immensely by any SSD over a spin drive.
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