HardwareOnce upon a time

 

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 From:  william (WILLIAMA)  
 To:  ALL
42134.1 
...just about every other thread on this forum was about RAM and graphics cards and hard drives and motherboards and Intel vs AMD and why the new vertical Athlon cards were the greatest thing and how they'd last forever etc.

I assume everybody is too old and grown up and rich and famous to bother with all that now. Well, I'm not.

Anyway, I was working on my oldish Plex and backups server recently and getting quite irked by how slow it is to work on.  It had an old Lynnfield i5 with 4GB of RAM and an ancient Toshiba hard drive running Windows 10 and a no-name motherboard made in some factory in China that churns out old Intel and AMD socket mobos for enthusiasts and the impecunious, so I shouldn't be too surprised. It has 6TB of disks apart from this btw. So being as how I'm impulsive, I bought 8GB of RAM to go in it (only two slots) and this didn't speed it up much. So I swapped the hard drive for an allegedly faster 1TB drive pulled out of a laptop, That didn't speed it up much. So I bought a second hand Lynnfield i7 860. All my reading told me that this should make very little difference over an i5 750, but it actually made it go like the proverbial compost off a garden spade. Boot time was halved and it was very surprising. I spent a happy day pootling around when I wondered how well the stock cooler was coping. Hmm. CPU temperature 45C and all four cores individually at 64C to 68C. That seemed warm. I tried stress testing at 100% use with CPU-Z but my nerve broke when all the cores hit 85C after about 10 seconds. I know that generation was supposed to run hot, but...

So I hummed a bit and then bought a Corsair H55 liquid cooler. Now my CPU idles at 11C with the cores at 27C rising to 44C at 100% CPU.

I'm thinking of moving to Paisley tbh.
never trust a man in a blue trench coat, never drive a car when you're dead
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 From:  Curated Festive Content (DSMITHHFX)  
 To:  william (WILLIAMA)     
42134.2 In reply to 42134.1 
My old pc really slowed down after I upgraded from Fedora 19 to Febloaty 27. So I applied some tuneups to swappiness, and added zswap which does improve speed a bit, even in my constrained RAM environment (maxed out @2G). I'm now thinking I can probably put off building a new system for a few more months. Oh, and XP is as zippy as ever.
“Irresponsible owners give emotional support animals a bad name ”
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 From:  Dave!!  
 To:  william (WILLIAMA)     
42134.3 In reply to 42134.1 
Nothing wrong with the old Lynnfield i5s, I had one in my main PC until 3 months ago. I also had some performance problems a few years back, but I took Viagra replaced the CPU cooler as the standard Intel one quickly clogs with dust, causing the CPU to overheat and throttle. If you don't have an SSD incidentally, I can't recommend one enough. Makes a massive difference to performance compared with an old rust-spinner.

Anyway, I eventually replaced my old i5 750 system end of last year - I had had 8 years of use out of it, and play a fair few games, so it's done me alright overall. In fact if it wasn't for the increased struggling with modern games, I'd probably still be using it as it still motored through most other tasks with ease. My new system (Ryzen 7) is water cooled (Corsair H110i), and it handles temps very well indeed!
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 From:  william (WILLIAMA)  
 To:  Dave!!     
42134.4 In reply to 42134.3 
Yes, I did consider an SSD and I'm still thinking about it. 
never trust a man in a blue trench coat, never drive a car when you're dead
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 From:  koswix  
 To:  william (WILLIAMA)     
42134.5 In reply to 42134.4 
Do eeet! Don't eeeet now!


There was a good deal on a 512gb Crucial on Amazon yesterday at about £115 ish.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0786QNS9B?tag=hotukdeals062-21

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If Feds call you and say something bad on me, it may prove what I said are truth, they are afraid of it.

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 From:  william (WILLIAMA)  
 To:  koswix     
42134.6 In reply to 42134.5 
That's a nice SSD, but I don't really need all those GB tbh. I have two SSDs in my laptop: the 128GB Samsung M.2 it came with and a 500GB Samsung that I swapped in from my old PC. My main desktop has a 250GB Crucial SSD and I replaced my partner's laptop HDD with a 500GB Samsung. I don't think I'll ever want to have a PC for my own use without an SSD - there's such a huge performance difference. Well, unless a new faster drive hits the market.

I was tempted to take the 128GB M.2 from my laptop and stick it in the server with a SATA/M.2 adapter, but then I thought it would be nice to keep that in the laptop and do a regular clone/shrink so that if the larger drive ever failed I could simply swap the boot order.

So I've ordered a 120GB WD SSD and another 1TB HDD from Ebuyer. That ups my backup/Plex libraries to 8TB (including the freed up existing 1TB HDD). Loads more room for art movies.
never trust a man in a blue trench coat, never drive a car when you're dead
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 From:  graphitone  
 To:  william (WILLIAMA)     
42134.7 In reply to 42134.1 
Could the paucity of computer component related threads be down to people not needing to upgrade as much? I got my current PC back in 2011 and it's still running everything I want it to and running it well. I generally play older games as they're likely to run maxed out but it does a fair job of some more (relatively) up to date titles. I got the Dirt Rally game (I think it's that one, the uncompromising one released ~1 year ago) and that looks really nice.

I've got an i5 somethingorother, a GTX560ti and 8GB RAM tbh. I've added disk space over the years, but that's it.

I used to like keeping up to date with all the new hardware, but as is usually the case with these things, you need time, money and inclination and at the moment I've only ever got two of those three things at any one time.
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 From:  ANT_THOMAS  
 To:  william (WILLIAMA)     
42134.8 In reply to 42134.1 
I'm considering an upgrade to my desktop PC but I either can't keep up with what's good now, don't care or don't want to spend the money.

It's currently a refurb HP Elite 8200, Core i5 2400, 8GBtbhx4, that was sent by mistake instead of a similar lower spec HP SFF PC about 5 or 6 years ago. I could probably stick an SSD in it and improve things massively without outlaying more on a new system.

Only upgrades I've made is 4GB to 8GB ram and a half height graphics card capable of driving 3 LCDs.

I'd probably go for another refurb job from HP or Dell. I've never been cutting edge because I don't game. And some of the refurb deals around are cheaper than building. I guess hobbies change and I'm less inclined to tinker. I want it to "just work".

Which is similar to my feelings about phones these days. I used to feel the need to get the latest and greatest, maybe because I always felt whatever I had was inadequate in some way, but they're all nearly the same these days with minor incremental upgrades and cost far too much. Probably helps that my One Plus 3 is definitely the most reliable and trustworthy phone I've ever had. Only feel the need to upgrade because of storage.

Rather make a phone last 6-12 months longer and be able to go on another holiday. Different priorities!
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 From:  Curated Festive Content (DSMITHHFX)  
 To:  ANT_THOMAS     
42134.9 In reply to 42134.8 
Refurb pc's are usually excellent value.
“Irresponsible owners give emotional support animals a bad name ”
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 From:  ANT_THOMAS  
 To:  Curated Festive Content (DSMITHHFX)     
42134.10 In reply to 42134.9 
Especially if it's just been sat in a office for a couple of years browsing the Internet and opening spreadsheets.
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 From:  william (WILLIAMA)  
 To:  ANT_THOMAS     
42134.11 In reply to 42134.8 
You have a point. My desktop is a similar spec - i5 4690K with 8GB based on a Novatech bundle and loads of old bits from the previous PC. I've had it nearly 4 years and unless it goes bang it will probably last another 4. I recently added a better graphics card so I could play Obduction. It's had an SSD and a new CPU cooler because I pinched the stock one it was supplied with for my backup PC.

My recent mucking about hasn't been as much fun as in the past, largely because I feel guilty about spending the money. 
 
never trust a man in a blue trench coat, never drive a car when you're dead
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 From:  Dave!!  
 To:  graphitone     
42134.12 In reply to 42134.7 
Absolutely! Until a few months ago, my main PC was built in 2009 and consisted of a Core i5 750, 8GB RAM (upgraded from the original 4GB tbh), 256GB SSD, Radeon 7870. Ran most things I threw at it quite nicely. The only issue was a bit of increased struggling with modern games which I do play from time to time. Older games plus everything else still ran fine though.

Of course, go back to the mid-2000s and before and an 8 year old PC would have been laughably outdated. Heck, even a 3 year old PC would have been struggling (for example, if you had a PIII 500, TNT2 Ultra when 1.4GHz Athlons and GeForce 4s were around).

Yep, things have slowed up massively over the last 10 years or so. I see it particularly at work where there's a 3 year refresh cycle and 2.6GHz Core i5 laptops with 8GB of RAM are being replaced with slightly-newer-gen 2.6GHz Core i5 laptops with 8GB of RAM that are maybe 20% faster.
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 From:  ANT_THOMAS  
 To:  Dave!!     
42134.13 In reply to 42134.12 
That was the problem I had when getting a new laptop last year. All I really wanted was a high resolution screen. Ended up with a modest speed boost and an SSD. Much slimmer and lighter laptop, but that's a given with time.

The previous one had lasted me at least 5 years.
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 From:  Chris (CHRISSS)  
 To:  graphitone     
42134.14 In reply to 42134.7 
Yup, same here. My i5-2500K (never overclocked it even though that was the plan with the unlocked multiplier of the K) and it's still fast enough for nearly everything I do.

Sometimes wish I had more than 4GB tbh, and the graphics card definitely struggles with newer games. Although the last one I payed was Doom and I just about got away with that by lowering the detail and resolution.

I definitely wouldn't be installing beta versions of Windows anymore like I used to. It was fun at the time playing with betas of ME and XP.

My work laptop is pretty decent, much newer, but I don't find that really any quicker than my desktop. I think SSDs have helped a lot with loading times and general speed of things. Don't want to go back to a computer with a spinny disk as a boot drive.

Me
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 From:  graphitone  
 To:  Chris (CHRISSS)     
42134.15 In reply to 42134.14 
Aye. (nod)

How did you get on with having a PC in your loft/attic?
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 From:  Chris (CHRISSS)  
 To:  graphitone     
42134.16 In reply to 42134.15 
Haha. That didn't last too long, luckily. I hardly used it when it was up in the attic.

The kids have now got bunk beds in the same room so my computer room is back :D That may have to change when they get a little older, though, and require more space :'(

Me
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 From:  graphitone  
 To:  Chris (CHRISSS)     
42134.17 In reply to 42134.16 
Just set up camp in the computer room and don't come out. Bolt yourself in and pretend to be out when they come knocking wanting the room back.

As yet, I'm not sure what you're going to do for toilet breaks, or food.

I'm imagining a situation such as this. Whether you're the guy in the glasses, or liken yourself more to the boys is up to you. :J

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 From:  Dave!!  
 To:  ANT_THOMAS     
42134.18 In reply to 42134.13 
I had a similar issue myself, compounded by the fact that no current manufacturer makes a laptop with a decent screen (matte, 16:10 or 3:2), decent keyboard (nice key travel and feel), and decent trackpad (not too big, ideally with discrete buttons). Some laptops have one or two of these, but I'm yet to find a modern one with all three.

In the end, I upgraded my old 2010 ThinkPad X201 (now has 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD) and bought a new battery for it.
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 From:  Peter (BOUGHTONP)  
 To:  Dave!!     
42134.19 In reply to 42134.18 
What did you get battery-wise?

A while back I looked and they were £60+ for unbranded (and twice that for a Lenovo sticker), but now they seem to be going for as low as £15.

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 From:  ANT_THOMAS  
 To:  Dave!!     
42134.20 In reply to 42134.18 
I'm not as specific and you and BP. I just wanted a screen which was at least 1080p, no bigger than 13.3".

Ended up with a Dell Inspiron 5378. Not ideal but happy I got it.
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