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Desktop, Laptop, or what?

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I've had a Dell XPS 15 (L502X) for nearly 4 years now. It seems to be nearing the end of its life, as much as I hate to say it. I can't be without a computer, so I'm looking at getting a new machine and kind of transitioning to it.

 

The only issue, is I have absolutely no idea what I want. I want something capable of handling software like SolidWorks or similar for the next 4 years or so, just like my XPS has. However, features like "2 in 1" or touchscreen are useless to me. I have a touchscreen on the XPS, and I never use it. It's been more of a hassle than a help.

 

Most of my media stuff (read 90% Youtube) is through the Xbox or thrown to the Chromecast so the computer doesn't really need to do that (it can stay on the desk). However, an optical drive would be nice, I'd almost say required.

 

Seeing as I don't really need it to be portable, want to keep it long-term, need some power, and don't want touch/flip/twist whatever, would I be best off with a tower? Maybe get an Android tablet to fill any portability gaps?

 

Or should I suck it up and pay the extra money for a laptop, be able to take it anywhere, and stomach the fact that it won't last as long and I can't upgrade it?

 

Any thoughts appreciated.

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I like my dell all-in-one. Great space saver. Large screen.

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I personally still prefer a tower desktop. The only portable thing I need is a smartphone. I don't need a laptop or tablet. I had a Dell laptop and it was just slow. I started to get HP desktops and have stuck with HP. I'm on my HP right now and I got it back in 2010. Sure I do wish it was a tad bit faster, but I only use it for the internet and it's fast enough for that. Never had a problem with it either. Only thing I did was upgrade the keyboard and mouse later on to a Logitech wireless set where before I jsut had the cheapest HP keyboard and mouse.

 

What I like about desktops is that if one part like the monitor, keyboard or mouse goes bad I can easily replace just the part. I don't have to be a whole new computer or have it sent off. You can also easily just upgrade the monitor or keyboard later on if you want to. The only bad thing is all of the wires. I don't care for those all in one desktops where the monitor is also the "tower" with everything in it. It's basically a laptop minus the built in keyboard and mouse. The only plus for one of those is to save space since you don't have a tower but you can get slim towers now. Plus a tower desktop is cheaper if you compare equal internals between a desktop and laptop. The HP I have no I actually custom made on the HP site to how I wanted that was within a budget. Last time I went on there they still let you custom build your own and it's no extra charge or anything to have them custom build it.

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I've had a Dell XPS 15 (L502X) for nearly 4 years now. It seems to be nearing the end of its life, as much as I hate to say it. I can't be without a computer, so I'm looking at getting a new machine and kind of transitioning to it.

 

The only issue, is I have absolutely no idea what I want. I want something capable of handling software like SolidWorks or similar for the next 4 years or so, just like my XPS has. However, features like "2 in 1" or touchscreen are useless to me. I have a touchscreen on the XPS, and I never use it. It's been more of a hassle than a help.

 

Most of my media stuff (read 90% Youtube) is through the Xbox or thrown to the Chromecast so the computer doesn't really need to do that (it can stay on the desk). However, an optical drive would be nice, I'd almost say required.

 

Seeing as I don't really need it to be portable, want to keep it long-term, need some power, and don't want touch/flip/twist whatever, would I be best off with a tower? Maybe get an Android tablet to fill any portability gaps?

 

Or should I suck it up and pay the extra money for a laptop, be able to take it anywhere, and stomach the fact that it won't last as long and I can't upgrade it?

 

Any thoughts appreciated.

https://www.cyberpowerpc.com

 

Gaming pcs are in my personal opinion ahead of the game. No pun intended. Even if you don't "game" they are still amazing everyday computers. The parts are easy to take out when it's time for a upgrade.

 

When looking at a computer that most Important thing is the processor, they put the best of the best into these things and have the ram to back it up 32 gb if you want

 

 

 

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Here are some things to evaluate to make your decision a little easier:

 

- To increase speed, a solid state drive (SSD) is fastest with a 7200RPM SATA drive next fastest. Many (most?) laptops still use 5400RPM drives which are the slowest of all. Increasing speed by moving to a SSD comes at a premium in a laptop.

- More RAM allows for more graphics-intensive programs (like SolidWorks, for example) to work more fluidly. Adding RAM in a laptop comes at a premium.

- Faster and more CPUs are also helpful for graphics-intensive programs (like SolidWorks), and come at a higher premium in a laptop.

- Many laptops are focusing more on portability and weight, so optical drives are sometimes add-on items. External optical drives are starting to become a little more common.

 

If you have a specific budget in mind, you will almost certainly be able to get more raw power from a desktop than you will from a laptop. In fact, the best-performing desktops don't even have a comparable option in the laptop category. Laptops sacrifice power in the name of size and weight. Tablets are even worse.

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whatever you decide, GET A SOLID STATE DRIVE. HDDs are sooo slow in comparison. Even an HDD with like an i5 and 12GB ram will be a turtle compared to a basic SSD setup. If budget is an issue, opt for a smaller SSD and then buy an external HDD to dump vids/imgs on.

 

7200RPM drive is not the next fastest, there are HDDs that spin over 10K RPM.

 

Still, get an SSD!! Itll boot up windows in seconds.

 

Gaming laptop is over kill imo.

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whatever you decide, GET A SOLID STATE DRIVE. HDDs are sooo slow in comparison. Even an HDD with like an i5 and 12GB ram will be a turtle compared to a basic SSD setup. If budget is an issue, opt for a smaller SSD and then buy an external HDD to dump vids/imgs on.

 

7200RPM drive is not the next fastest, there are HDDs that spin over 10K RPM.

 

Still, get an SSD!! Itll boot up windows in seconds.

 

Gaming laptop is over kill imo.

Rather have overkill, half the time SSD is soldered to other things so you can not ever upgrade.

 

They are good in a laptops if you throw the thing around... no more disc damage, but I believe he wants a tower.

 

 

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whatever you decide, GET A SOLID STATE DRIVE. HDDs are sooo slow in comparison. Even an HDD with like an i5 and 12GB ram will be a turtle compared to a basic SSD setup. If budget is an issue, opt for a smaller SSD and then buy an external HDD to dump vids/imgs on.

 

7200RPM drive is not the next fastest, there are HDDs that spin over 10K RPM.

 

Still, get an SSD!! Itll boot up windows in seconds.

 

Gaming laptop is over kill imo.

 

With SSD, you have to be considerate of P/E cycles to ensure the drive will last. If all you want is quick boot, then get a -small- SSD in the machine from the manufacturer and install a second mechanical drive to store data. SSD is a good option, providing it gets used the way that it is designed to be used - SSD will provide the longest life when you write data to it and LEAVE it alone (except to read it). Storing a photo library, for example, is a great way to use these drives.

 

You also have to be able to know exactly what drive the manufacturer is installing when you get SSD. Something with a comparatively low P/E cycle rating will not yield long life overall. Do you -know- what you're getting when you ask Dell or HP to use an SSD instead of a mechanical drive?

 

Yes, there are 15k and 10k drives (faster than 7200), but those are NOT generally available in the consumer market unless you buy and install the drive yourself. I was referring to what's GENERALLY available from the PC manufacturers.

 

Additionally, the higher speeds of 10K and up is not typically of use for the consumer because A) you almost always need a SAS controller or better and not just a SATA interface (more money) and B) the speed does not typically yield benefit in single user machines like they do in servers where multiple people are access data at the same time.

 

I use mechanical, spinning drives in ALL of my desktop machines and servers as the cost/storage ratio of SSD is way too high still. And, for the OS only (I run Linux on my servers), I use an SSD for boot speed and low power consumption. My laptop has an SSD because its additional cost was actually LESS than that of trying to move to a faster mechanical drive.

 

There is no "one size fits all" answer for hard drives.

Edited by ember1205
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Rather have overkill, half the time SSD is soldered to other things so you can not ever upgrade.

 

They are good in a laptops if you throw the thing around... no more disc damage, but I believe he wants a tower.

 

 

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With laptops, you're right that they're often soldered in. It doesn't [yet] seem to be common practice to hard-wire (solder) SSD's into desktops yet.

 

They have their place in desktop machines as well - see my previous post. It's just like trucks - if you have a specific way you want to use it, find the one that is designed to suit your needs the best.

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With laptops, you're right that they're often soldered in. It doesn't [yet] seem to be common practice to hard-wire (solder) SSD's into desktops yet.

 

They have their place in desktop machines as well - see my previous post. It's just like trucks - if you have a specific way you want to use it, find the one that is designed to suit your needs the best.

I meant often they will Solder the SSD to the motherboard. So ya... I think they only do this just so you are forced to upgrade.

 

 

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I meant often they will Solder the SSD to the motherboard. So ya... I think they only do this just so you are forced to upgrade.

 

 

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Yep, I followed...

 

Honestly, I don't see it as a "force-you-to-upgrade" thing. Consumers want simple, they want cheap, and they want light. By soldering the drive directly to the main board along with the RAM, manufacturers achieve all of the above. By making drives, CPU's, and RAM removable, you need sockets and wires. Those add weight, size, and cost. And -MOST- consumers will never touch them. So, why bother?

 

The consumers that are most likely to want to change out any of those things are also the most likely to buy the machine with more power right from the start. The only real impact it has is on the used market - when someone decides to sell a machine, it doesn't have as much appeal to a purchaser that needs more RAM or storage or whatever.

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Yep, I followed...

 

Honestly, I don't see it as a "force-you-to-upgrade" thing. Consumers want simple, they want cheap, and they want light. By soldering the drive directly to the main board along with the RAM, manufacturers achieve all of the above. By making drives, CPU's, and RAM removable, you need sockets and wires. Those add weight, size, and cost. And -MOST- consumers will never touch them. So, why bother?

 

The consumers that are most likely to want to change out any of those things are also the most likely to buy the machine with more power right from the start. The only real impact it has is on the used market - when someone decides to sell a machine, it doesn't have as much appeal to a purchaser that needs more RAM or storage or whatever.

Ya I get that, I had a thinkpad in college with a SDD. Thing could be thrown down a set of stairs and still work, but my intent was never to keep the thing so upgrades didn't matter.

 

Evidently this guy wants something that's going to last. 4 years was he's last computers life span if I recall correctly

 

I would just recommend a pc that's just easy to upgrade and what's easier than one with a sliding window and easy to remove parts?

 

At the end of the day I'd rather pay more for something that will last then a cheap computer that won't, and cannot be upgraded "safely".

 

The heavy thing I get, I have trouble moving mine but how often do you move your tower? When your into computers you often don't go over to friends lol

 

 

 

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Ya I get that, I had a thinkpad in college with a SDD. Thing could be thrown down a set of stairs and still work, but my intent was never to keep the thing so upgrades didn't matter.

 

Evidently this guy wants something that's going to last. 4 years was he's last computers life span if I recall correctly

 

I would just recommend a pc that's just easy to upgrade and what's easier than one with a sliding window and easy to remove parts?

 

At the end of the day I'd rather pay more for something that will last then a cheap computer that won't, and cannot be upgraded "safely".

 

The heavy thing I get, I have trouble moving mine but how often do you move your tower? When your into computers you often don't go over to friends lol

 

 

 

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Yeah, it's a bit of a balancing act. You want to be able to upgrade if need be, but going out more than a few years (ESPECIALLY with Windows) means that a wholesale replacement of the machine will likely be in order soon because the system gets "too heavy" for the CPU that's in there.

 

So, you have to figure out where to draw the line on paying more for the possibility of doing upgrades against how long you're going to reasonably be able to use the machine. I find that Windows machines obsolete themselves because of the software (updates, stale garbage in the registry, too much stuff installed, etc.) long before the hardware becomes unusable or broken.

 

I use a Mac for my day-to-day and have a copy of Windows 10 running as a virtual machine on a server in my house. All it has on it is MS Office, and I really only have that there because my job requires me to Visio occasionally. The machine started out as Windows 7 about four years ago and was upgraded. The only reason it still runs pretty well is because I didn't install ANYTHING on it besides MS Office. And, if I thought I might want to try some other piece of software, I shut it down and made a snapshot of it before installing the software, booted up and installed, tried, shut back down, and reverted back to the snapshot before I installed it.

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Yeah, it's a bit of a balancing act. You want to be able to upgrade if need be, but going out more than a few years (ESPECIALLY with Windows) means that a wholesale replacement of the machine will likely be in order soon because the system gets "too heavy" for the CPU that's in there.

 

So, you have to figure out where to draw the line on paying more for the possibility of doing upgrades against how long you're going to reasonably be able to use the machine. I find that Windows machines obsolete themselves because of the software (updates, stale garbage in the registry, too much stuff installed, etc.) long before the hardware becomes unusable or broken.

 

I use a Mac for my day-to-day and have a copy of Windows 10 running as a virtual machine on a server in my house. All it has on it is MS Office, and I really only have that there because my job requires me to Visio occasionally. The machine started out as Windows 7 about four years ago and was upgraded. The only reason it still runs pretty well is because I didn't install ANYTHING on it besides MS Office. And, if I thought I might want to try some other piece of software, I shut it down and made a snapshot of it before installing the software, booted up and installed, tried, shut back down, and reverted back to the snapshot before I installed it.

I just need to add I hate! Windows 10 lol I'm good with windows 7 I'd even take xp over 10 or 8

 

 

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Thinking about the whole performance degrades over time thing brings up another item...

 

Often, we are told to do things like "defrag" our hard drive to improve performance. On a mechanical drive, that sees a lot of data being written and destroyed over time, this can be beneficial so long as the drive itself continues to have at least 20% or more free space. If the drive starts approaching capacity, then a defrag is not likely to help much.

 

Also, one should NEVER -EVER- defrag an SSD drive. Not only does it provide absolutely ZERO benefit (regardless of how full the drive is), it causes unnecessary wear and tear to the drive, shortening its life.

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