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What's a good place to order a custom PC?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Prepper, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. Prepper

    Prepper NES Member

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    I used to just buy the parts and build a Windows PC myself long ago, but I don't have the time and I'm not at all up to speed on what the latest memory, latest bus, latest chip sets, what case to get, etc. is so I'd prefer not to worry about all those details. I would otherwise be happy just to buy a PC off the shelf and call it done, since it's going to mostly be good enough... except for one problem... absolutely none of them come built with an SSD. It's 2019 and it's absurd the default thing to do is still to build a PC with an HD. If I check Best Buy, or Dell's web site, or Lenovo's, etc still no SSD's to be found, unless its like 32GB or something absurd. (Oddly I know Dell used to let you pick every component and they'd assemble it but they don't do that anymore.) And no, I don't want to have to replace the storage the moment I buy it because what they ship with is going to have some hidden partition that stores the stuff needed to make the restore memory stick. So, I don't want to worry about how to get all that to the SSD and also worry about whether Windows will let me activate it after I've swapped storage, etc.

    So, is there any local or online place I can go that would be good for this? Nothing too fancy, just an I7 or whatever AMD's equivalent is, 32GB memory, whatever the faster bus/memory types are, not needed for gaming but needs to have no trouble driving 2 28" 4k monitors. But... with 1TB SSD! My current PC has a SSD that I'll want to put in this myself after I get it, no need to let that go to waste.
     

  2. ThePreBanMan

    ThePreBanMan NES Member

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    Most of the PCs in HP's business line (Elite Desks and Elite Books) come with SSDs. They're fairly common actually. I buy hundreds of them for work every year and they've been coming with SSDs for years. The newer ones come with the M2 form factor SSDs which are actually a replaceable chip as opposed to the traditional 2.5" laptop drive/form factor.

    Additionally rebuilding a PC these days is EASY. You can download Win10 right from MS:

    Download Windows 10

    ...make a bootable thumb drive and install clean Windows. Any modern PC should automatically activate with the version of Windows that was licensed on the device at the time of purchase. No license key necessary. There's a 98% chance all the necessary drivers will be downloaded and installed at time of installation of Windows as well. On an SSD it takes like literally 15 minutes before you're off and running....

    It's not like it used to be. So even if you decide to buy a machine with a platter and replace it with a Samsung Evo or a Samsung Pro, it's not difficult to reinstall Windows.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
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  3. BostonVI

    BostonVI NES Member

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    What are you looking to spend?
     
  4. whatluck

    whatluck

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    32 GB is alot of RAM, 16 is fine
    You probably dont need a 6 or 8 core CPU, an i5 is fine
    Most people dont use the 1TB SSDs, they use a smaller flash drive for the OS and a secondary mechanical drive
    2 4k monitors is alot, are you sure you want 4K? 2 2k monitors would be alot easier to push without going for a high end GPU
    Since you seem to be talking about really high end specs
    1TB SSD/32GB ram 2x 4k displays

    Youre looking at saving nearly $1k by building it yourself
     
  5. Prepper

    Prepper NES Member

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    My current PC cost $800 when I bought it 8 years ago (it didn't come with monitors or speakers since I already had those). So, probably still within that price range. Although the SSD probably adds $300 so I'll probably have to say it needs to be $1000 or so.
     
  6. Lucas McCain

    Lucas McCain

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  7. Prepper

    Prepper NES Member

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    I currently have 16GB which is working out fine although I do run Eclipse sometimes which is a memory hog. I could get by with a 500SSD for boot and software installs, but no lower. I store most files today on an HD. So, I could continue with an approach like that.

    As for monitors, I'm just planning ahead. I currently drive 2 24" 2k monitors with obsolete VGA cables. But maybe I want to only get one of those large monitors with the curved display. Not sure yet.
     
  8. ThePreBanMan

    ThePreBanMan NES Member

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    ....another consideration... a PC bought from a manufacturer like HP or Dell will come with a Windows license. A custom built PC will not. That is an added cost.
     
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  9. whatluck

    whatluck

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    For my eyes 2k at 28" is perfect, I could run 4k but i dont need that much workspace and everything is too small

    Theres no reason you cant use a 250GB SSD and instlal windows there, and install all your apps to a mechanical drive

    Isn't Eclipse a order management/inventory system from like 1990? Does it actually use more than 2GB RAM?
     
  10. ThePreBanMan

    ThePreBanMan NES Member

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    So check out the HP Elitedesk 800 mini.... yes the mini... We buy them at work (the last batch we bought was the Gen3). They have 3 display port outputs that can drive 3 4K displays, they have both an M2 HD slot and a 2.5" SATA drive slot. For our power builds we have the OS on a 256 GB M2 SSD and put in a 1 TB Samsung Evo in the SATA slot when required. It's a lot of power in a very small package consuming only 65 watts of electricity.

    I think HP is refreshing their product line right now because options on their site are very limited. If you can wait until spring you can get a lot of machine for like 800 bucks. I recommend them.


    Edit - this is what we got last year. Can't get them anymore. I'm waiting for HP tp refresh their product line myself.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N5VX10H/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
     
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  11. Greg

    Greg

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    Can I do a clean install of Windows 8 without buying the software on my mom's machine that I am cleaning up ? Her copy is legit,but I dont have any of the software that came with it and I am assuming it would have included a recovery disc.
     
  12. Prepper

    Prepper NES Member

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    True, there is that. I kind of cringe at the thought of getting an HP. Maybe Dell would be fine but I've otherwise been pretty happy with Lenovo. That's what I currently have and what I've usually been using at work until recently (they made us get Dell laptops... I hate them). If I could do the SSD swap on a new Lenovo with relative ease, then maybe that approach would work? I had thought it would be a pain but if it'll work well then that may be fine. I already have the SSD so that would save that cost.
     
  13. ThePreBanMan

    ThePreBanMan NES Member

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    Windows 10 is a free upgrade to anyone with a properly licensed copy of Win7 or 8. So you should be able to. Depends on how old your mom's PC is though. If it's too old then the license data won't be embedded into the motherboard/firmware/bios and you would get prompted for a lic key.
     
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  14. ThePreBanMan

    ThePreBanMan NES Member

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    At work, where I've handled literally thousands of PCs over the last decade, the Lenovos were the most unreliable brand.... and it was by a wide margin. The HPs were the most reliable with Dell in the middle of the pack.

    I had a pile of dead Lenovo laptops that stood as tall as I am at one point. We've been buying HP EliteBook and EliteDesks for about the last 9 years. Outside of user problems, (like they drop their laptop) we have not had a single unit failure.

    MS Surfaces are pretty problem prone as well.
     
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  15. Prepper

    Prepper NES Member

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    Interesting you mention that since I had been wondering if some kind of small or mini PC might do it. It would be nice to save space. This isn't the old days where I need to fill the thing up with expansion cards. The only thing I'd be inserting into this is a 2nd HD. So, it would need to be able to support a boot SSD and a second HD. Everything else can connect via ports. I don't care about video cards since modern computers can drive multiple monitors, and I don't do gaming.
     
  16. whatluck

    whatluck

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    I thought they weren't doing the free upgrade any more

    You're not supposed to move an OEM license to another PC, this is a violation of the software license

    Stay away from Windows 8, Win 10 is the way to go

    Small form factor computers are garbage, theres a reason most consultancies won't deploy or support them
     
  17. Prepper

    Prepper NES Member

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    Good to know, thanks. I'll move HP higher up on the list. I think my aversion to HP goes way back to the 90's when there were Compaq PC's, which were just the worst most dreadful PC's ever.
     
  18. ThePreBanMan

    ThePreBanMan NES Member

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    They don't advertise it but it's still works. Additionally, the person who asked about cleaning up mom's PC isn't moving to a new PC, it's the same machine. So no licensing terms are being violated.
     
  19. ThePreBanMan

    ThePreBanMan NES Member

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    Just pay attention to the model. They have several flavors.... i5 vs i7. 2 display ports + 1 VGA or 3 display ports... etc...
     
  20. timbo

    timbo Navy Veteran NES Member

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    Recently I was on the hunt to upgrade my 12 year old computer as it wasn't handling the newer versions of Photoshop and Lightroom very well. I asked on here what to get (there's a thread somewhere). I was looking at buying the parts and building my own but after doing a price/feature comparison, it was a no brainer to just buy a decent computer already built. I searched for several weeks and found this at Best Buy:

    https://www.bestbuy.com/site/cyberp...lid-state-drive-black/6290721.p?skuId=6290721

    The Cyberpower PC's seem to be semi-custom built and they also sell direct to customers. I have been using it for several weeks now and it works flawlessly with my photo editing needs...It was on sale when I bought it for $729 but still a good deal at it's current price. It comes with 8Gb of memory but so far, that seems to be fine though I will probably bump it to 16 Gb eventually.

    It came with a 240Gb M.2 SSD and a 2Tb spinner drive. After a fashion, I was able to figure out how to turn the "bling" RGB lighting off.

    Check it out...
     
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  21. Prepper

    Prepper NES Member

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    That looks decent other than I would definitely want more memory. I'm not familiar with the CyberPowerPC brand though.
     
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  22. ThePreBanMan

    ThePreBanMan NES Member

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    I use CyberPower Metered PDUs in my server racks at work. Way cheaper than APC and way more reliable than anything TrippLite makes. No experience with their PCs though.
     
  23. drgrant

    drgrant Moderator NES Member

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    You should just build your own box because basically if you have somebody else do it you're going to pay $600 for the privilege... assuming they're not going to skinflint on it.

    I don't even build machines for customers anymore but I always build my own because it's not that big of a deal to do it once every 5 to 7 years.... I have friends that know how to do it and still don't build their machines but I don't get it because basically all they're doing is asking to get skinflinted on. Especially on gaming boxes.

    Also f*** AMD with a rusty pole. Maybe I'll forgive them in a couple years but right now as far as I'm concerned it's the platform used by greasy skinflint hippies that still live in their mom's basement or whatever... usually these people are obsessed with trash like Linux etcetera f*** that noise... adults use Intel machines.

    If you're not gaming I do have one exception just pick up a Dell Optiplex 9020 and throw an SSD in it and be done with it probably get off for four hundred bucks or so... I sell tons of those to my customers. If you're going to buy somebody else's machine don't buy the consumer garbage it's all garbage manufactured for idiots that have no clue what they're buying... it's all big numbers and slow hard disks with a life expectancy of like a couple years or so so they'll throw it away and just buy a new one in a cut every couple years....

    -Mike
     
  24. drgrant

    drgrant Moderator NES Member

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    great, but nobody cares. A company not allowing you to move a license is immoral by itself f*** their EULA. Not that it matters anyways because keys are available for pennies on the dollar for client OS .

    Not necessarily true I've supported a metric ton of 7010 sff machines and have had very little trouble with them about the only thing that ever happens is if there's a severe contamination issue with the PSU it will fail one customer had his dog sleeping next to the f***ing computer and basically the PSU was filled with dog hair $20 later got him fixed and back up and running..... now if we're talking usff that's a whole different ball game and I'd be more apt to agree with you those things are just as shitty as laptops. I bought one USFF machine once and after having experience with that I was like "never again". The fans are too f***ing small and fail easily.

    Also I once received a 7010 that look like had been thrown down a flight of stairs I used a hammer and pliers to straighten it out and sold it to colddayinhell from practically pennies and to this day he still using the thing.....
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  25. timbo

    timbo Navy Veteran NES Member

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    the memory is definitely upgradeable...there are 3 extra DDR4 slots in mine. Eventually I will find and buy the same brand/speed memory sticks and bump mine up to at least 16Gigs, maybe even 32. In shopping, I've found the prices of this memory to be about $100 for 16Gb.
     
  26. Prepper

    Prepper NES Member

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    Is that discontinued? I did a search and came up with used ones. What would be considered its successor?
     
  27. drgrant

    drgrant Moderator NES Member

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    Yes it is I don't know what the newer model is but I don't remember because the newer model doesn't offer a good value.... current 9020s with quad core 3.6 I7s are going to have like 98% of the juice that the new one has. The market has really hit a law of diminishing returns at this point. Although if you poke around you can probably figure out what number it is that succeeded it but you're going to pay an extra two or three hundred bucks for that box and you're not going to get an extra two to three hundred bucks worth of value...

    It's also worth noting that the refurbs that I just picked up were practically indistinguishable from new machines.... the grade A stuff is definitely out there. A couple of them even came in Dell Packaging. It probably sat in Mary hairnets office for a year or two on a lease or something big deal let somebody else absorb the depreciation hit. Parts for these things are abundant and cheap as well. (eg, like mobos and power supplies).

    -Mike
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  28. ThePreBanMan

    ThePreBanMan NES Member

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    I have to disagree with small and micro form factors being garbage. I have only my experience to lean on in making that statement. I have about 200 HP EliteDesk 800 G3 minis at work. Not one failure in 2+ years of service. They're in 24/7/365 operation. I have about 50 HP EliteDesk 800 G1 minis that have been running 24/7/365 for 5 years with not one failure.

    I'll put their reliability up against any full-size tower, any day of the week and twice on Sunday. We're in an office setting (professional data, development and hosting services company). Now if you plan on having the PC in a dirty/extreme environment, I would probably lean towards a tough service device. But for the average person there's absolutely nothing wrong with a small or micro form factor..

    Now let's talk about the other benefits... They're QUIET. Very quiet in fact. Full-size towers - they sound like a 747 starting up when you turn them on in comparison. The minis sip electricity. As mentioned before a power build in a mini consumes 65 watts. Your average full-size tower has a power supply approaching 4X that size, or more. Then there's the desk space/real estate aspect too. They generate less electronics waste when disposed of. We recycle our old computers and electronic equipment, but we have to pay by the pound to do so. So the minis save us money there too.

    I think they're better in almost every measurable way... But hey, some people like towers... I guess there are some out there that still tote around bag phones in their cars as well. Because those damn small smartphones are garbage.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  29. Prepper

    Prepper NES Member

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    If I could make a mini work, I may be interested in that. I don't have a lot of space. Right now, I have this small spare bedroom that has two different computer desks (each 4 feet wide and pretty deep, plus space for chair), one for the desktop PC and the other so I can connect my work laptop to it and work from home. I would like to reduce it to one desk, as long as I can still use the laptop at the same time the desktop is running and connected to the same monitors. I'd need some kind of A/B switch thing, as long as that lets the desktop still keep running while its monitors are disconnected. I can't do that right now since the desktop PC is using obsolete VGA and the monitors don't even support digital inputs. Oh, and I guess I'd need an A/B switch for the keyboard.
     
  30. JayMcB

    JayMcB NES Member

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    90% of our PC deployments are Lenovo Thinkcenter SFF PC's. Other than a bad batch of shitgate (seagate) rotational drives, which are hot garbage, they are solid. Buy one with an SSD.
    We spec Win10 pro i7 and SSD.

    Dell consumer shit is utter trash, so is HP's, with 5400RPM 2TB drives. Fvck that noise.

    And like Mike said, also, Fvck AMD.

    Make sure that whatever buy that you don't get the shafting of Microsoft Windows 365, where Windows is on a monthly subscription.

    EDIT for post above, buy a logitech wireless KB&mouse combo and just switch the little usb fob between your desktop and laptop
     
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