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  #1  
  03-20-2016, 12:08 AM
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As many of you know, I'm not the most knowledgeable about computers so I would appreciate any advice possible about what to look for so I don't get taken for a ride and end up with something more expensive or complex than I really need.

I still have to decide if I want to stay with a desktop or go with a laptop, so I know that is the first thing I need to decide. I do know that I want to stick with a pc rather than a Mac. I've had HP's and a Dell desktop and am currently using my daughter's Sony Vaio laptop.

Basically all I do with my computer are pretty basic functions so I don't need anything super high tech but I want to make sure that it's not something super slow either. I have a wi-fi connection but I think it's a pretty basic one - our provider is a local 'mom & pop' company.

The main things that I do with my computer are:

-email
-looking for and downloading crochet patterns, Youtube videos, etc
-listing and organizing my video library and crochet pattern collections
-ripping and burning DVD's

I would like to start editing out commercials from TV programs and movies that I recorded with my stand alone DVD recorder

I really don't do any gaming other than an occasional game of solitaire

So, as you can see, my needs are pretty basic but I know I'll be lost when they start asking me technical things like how much memory and ram I need...heck, I don't even know what ram is...I always thought it was a male sheep!

Any suggestions and recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Karen
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  #2  
  03-20-2016, 04:39 AM
 
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Hi Karen: I noticed your other post just as I was logging out. I doubt this will help but you never know.
Alyce has had a few laptops in her time and her most recent purchase(s) were a PC and a MAC Air. She keeps the PC as a spare to hold photos and that is about all. She absolutely LOVES her MAC. She wishes that she had bought one years ago. Never a threat of viruses and easy to use. A little different from PC but again, she loves it. It took her almost no time at all to get used to it. They cost a bit more but she said that that isn't necessarily true. If she had bought a MAC the first time, she wouldn't be replacing her computers as often so in the long term, they cost less. Good point.
It may be something to reconsider? Good luck.
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  #3  
  03-20-2016, 07:45 AM
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When it comes to computers, I have 4 primary concerns:
- heat
- quiet ... computers are like kids, and should be seen, not heard!
- speed
- ability to use lots of eSATA and USB devices (aka hard drives and DVD burners)

After my desktop system imploded last fall, I spent the winter building a powerful new Skylake for about $1.5k, and I can do anything I need and want now. It runs very cool, and is so silent that I can't tell if it's on most times.

For you, I'd say noise and heat are the primary concerns.
My need for speed is mostly for restoring video with complex filters, and the drive connectivity is to deal with the associated data resulting from those tasks.

I have a Mac mini, but it's the wrong tool for video work -- especially ripping/burning for DVD hobbyists, or even simple things like easily removing commercials or extracting DVD recorder discs. It's small, silent, and fast, yes -- and works perfectly for my specialized needs.

I also have a laptop running Windows 7, and it serves as my main internet PC. But the fan noise often annoys me. If the CPU hits 25%, it starts to whir like one of the model helicopters. So be warned, laptops can be noisy, and often are. It wasn't bought for this purpose, being one of my pre-MS/pre-2012 purchases. I got it for traveling that never happened. If I ever found something small (to fit on desk) for under $500 total (including Windows 7 license), of comparable speed (i7), I'd strongly consider putting the lapatop in a drawer.

Be careful about Windows 8 or Windows 10. They're not much fun to use. My new system has Windows 7 installed. At worst, I could use Windows 8.1 if needed, but not Windows 10. Every new Windows makes more older software break and stop working. For the tools we use, that's not good.

These days, most CPUs meet your needs. Anything 4gb or higher for RAM is probably fine. The biggest RAM-eater is opening lots of tabs in a web browser at once. For example, I often have 25-50 open, and at most, that eats 25% CPU and 1.5gb RAM.

I was looking at Woot! yesterday, and saw some tiny PCs for under $225.
Those are now gone, but Amazon has some: http://www.amazon.com/Pavilion-Deskt...7863096a644bb0
I find tiny PCs very interesting.

Another option is those all-in-one systems they have at Best Buy, where everything is kept in a monitor, like Mac. I'm not sure what you have right now, but those are generally silent and fast as well.

My point with the last two items was to show you that the old days of a big box on the floor/desk, with a monitor attached, are over. Big boxes are usually noisy and hot. We have some interesting options these days. So no more pumping up the AC several degrees, and needing earplugs to concentrate on an important letter.
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  #4  
  03-20-2016, 11:16 PM
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Thanks James and LS! I really appreciate the info! I'm definitely in the market for a new one but not sure just how soon I'll be able to swing one financially...hopefully soon. =) The lappy that I'm using is at least 5 years old and originally had Windows 7 but, like a dummie, I did the free upgrade to 10. That started out okay but I think it's starting to take it's toll on things...especially my nerves--which are frazzled right now anyway.
I'm thinking that I'm leaning towards the all-in-ones...I don't really need a lappy...other than to take a crochet pattern along somewhere or to rip some DVD's when I visit a friend...and this older one will probably suffice those needs as seldom as they are needed.

Thans again, guys! I appreciate your help greatly!

Karen
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  03-21-2016, 11:56 AM
 
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I remember now that I was told to shut off the auto updates to avoid getting Windows 10. At one point, they were going to install it whether requested or not. I guess I should have spread the word around a bit more than I did. Sorry. I think Windows 8 had the same kind of response from customers. Something to keep in mind in future I guess.
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  #6  
  08-23-2016, 12:25 PM
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I'm curious what you ended up with.
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