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General Chat => Help! => Topic started by: Dandontdare on 29 June, 2017, 04:40:40 pm

Title: HIVE MIND! Techno-twonk needs PC buying help
Post by: Dandontdare on 29 June, 2017, 04:40:40 pm
My home PC is old and running a pirated copy of windows 7 that hasn't updated for years - crashes and slow performance are just getting intolerable, the replacment power-pack (after a spectacular explosion one day!) that won't fit in the chassis is precariously propped up next to the open side, and the fan sounds like a blender - basically it's time to take it out back and shoot it.

I'm trying to buy a new one but the technical specs bewilder me. It seems like to get the best processing speeds and graphics, I should choose a "gaming" PC, but I don't do that much gaming - are these also best for streaming TV and music, not to mention awesome comic art?

I found two ACER models that are almost identical in every respect apart from the below:

(http://i531.photobucket.com/albums/dd359/anaconda888/PC%20specs%20-%20acer%20TC%20780_zpscmnrzfti.jpg)

What would the practical difference be between higher HARD DRIVE CAPACITY versus higher GRAPHICS MEMORY CAPACITY? The one on the right is £100 more.

Title: Re: HIVE MIND! Techno-twonk needs PC buying help
Post by: IndigoPrime on 29 June, 2017, 04:43:20 pm
I suspect it'd be cheaper in future to upgrade the HDD than the graphics card (assuming the PC can be updated in that manner and isn't a sealed unit).
Title: Re: HIVE MIND! Techno-twonk needs PC buying help
Post by: Dandontdare on 29 June, 2017, 05:02:27 pm
I'm sorry, even that went over my head.

Putting aside future upgrades, have you any idea what difference to performance those diferent specs would mean? 1TB of hard drive with 2 4GB of graphics memory vs 2TB hard drive but only 2GB graphics memory? I'm guessing the second is better somehow because of the price, but whcih is more important, hard drive capacity or graphics memory capacity? ("There's only one way to find out.....")
Title: Re: HIVE MIND! Techno-twonk needs PC buying help
Post by: I, Cosh on 29 June, 2017, 05:19:07 pm
I'm sorry, even that went over my head.

Putting aside future upgrades, have you any idea what difference to performance those diferent specs would mean? 1TB of hard drive with 2 4GB of graphics memory vs 2TB hard drive but only 2GB graphics memory? I'm guessing the second is better somehow because of the price, but whcih is more important, hard drive capacity or graphics memory capacity? ("There's only one way to find out.....")
The answer is: it depends!

In terms of running programmes, hard drive size (where the lowest is already 1TB) is irrelevant. This is really just about storage. Or how many films you need to download!

Where you can get a significant performance gain is by having the operating system and programmes installed on a solid state drive. Both these specs give you 128GB SSD, so there's no difference there.

"Gaming PCs" are really for people who want to play the latest FPS at the highest framerate with all the graphics options turned up to the max. From your posts here, you mostly play stuff like Civ and Age of Empires, right? These aren't particularly graphics intensive, so the lower one is probably fine but it's worth a few quid more to have the option to upgrade in future.

The one thing which seems to be missing from the list is the CPU size/speed.
Title: Re: HIVE MIND! Techno-twonk needs PC buying help
Post by: Dandontdare on 29 June, 2017, 05:30:57 pm
Thanks - yes that's just a snippet from a vey long list of specs, all of which were identical. I'm actually leaning towards a third version of that model which costs a bit more but seems to have the best of both worlds.
Title: Re: HIVE MIND! Techno-twonk needs PC buying help
Post by: pauljholden on 12 August, 2017, 11:03:01 pm
One overlooked feature is it's Cheese Capacity. Is there enough room to fit a stilten or do you prefer something you can carry around that would, for example, hold a babybel?

-pj
Title: Re: HIVE MIND! Techno-twonk needs PC buying help
Post by: sheridan on 13 August, 2017, 04:29:39 pm
One overlooked feature is it's Cheese Capacity. Is there enough room to fit a stilten or do you prefer something you can carry around that would, for example, hold a babybel?

-pj

If it's been infected with Babybel then you'd best reinstall.  Put a good stilton, halloumi or cheddar on it.
Title: Re: HIVE MIND! Techno-twonk needs PC buying help
Post by: sheridan on 13 August, 2017, 04:33:59 pm
One overlooked feature is it's Cheese Capacity. Is there enough room to fit a stilten or do you prefer something you can carry around that would, for example, hold a babybel?

-pj

If it's been infected with Babybel then you'd best reinstall.  Put a good stilton, halloumi or cheddar on it.

Rackle says you could try a good gorgonzola.  Thinking about it, there's a few good truckles I've seen lately - bit difficult to get to (being encased in wax and all) but tasty once you get to them.

(https://www.wensleydale.co.uk/wensleydale/uploads/category/waxed-truckles.jpg)
Title: Re: HIVE MIND! Techno-twonk needs PC buying help
Post by: Rackle on 13 August, 2017, 04:37:28 pm
One overlooked feature is it's Cheese Capacity. Is there enough room to fit a stilten or do you prefer something you can carry around that would, for example, hold a babybel?

Remember if you are going to fit in any additional cheese you must use the correct port - the Cockburns Port (no sniggering at the back there, it is pronounce co-burns). Using the wrong port can corrupt the memory and send the hard drive into REM mode, which affects its productivity.
Title: Re: HIVE MIND! Techno-twonk needs PC buying help
Post by: Jim_Campbell on 13 August, 2017, 07:04:17 pm
Using the wrong port can corrupt the memory and send the hard drive into REM mode, which affects its productivity.

Is that the one that makes your PC lose its religion?
Title: Re: HIVE MIND! Techno-twonk needs PC buying help
Post by: Steve Green on 13 August, 2017, 07:16:42 pm
If you're still looking, and I can't help out on the dairy side of things.

I'd go for a SSD system drive if possible, this is where Windows runs from and you'll notice a big difference.
128GB is a bit tight, if there's the option go for 256GB, they've dropped a lot in price. (They're a ton faster than the regular hard drives).

It's also worth keeping an eye on where apps store stuff - itunes for example will default to storing music on your system drive, so if you have a lot of music it could fill up quite quickly.

Then a regular Hard Drive for data - depends how much movies/music you want to store really - you could always buy an external one later and stick with a 1TB data drive in addition to your 256GB system drive.

GFX Card, a 2GB card will be fine for your purposes.