Computer line up change up

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  1. ajdroidx

    ajdroidx Well-Known Member

    Right now I am running an

    i7 2.8ghz quad core desktop set up. 4gig of ram with a 32bit windows 7 OS. It was fast when I built it about 2 years ago :eek::rolleyes:

    I do most of my stuff on the desk top, aside from financing. For that I am using a gateway lt2016u netbook that is about as slow as concrete slab. Almost 5 minuts from pressing the on button before I can surf from google. Pages load slow and it is just not cutting it. Why not? Its got an intel atom cpu in it that would probably work better to power a watch. Its 1.6 ghz. I maxed the ram out and it did not seem to help. Its running XP. And Norton. Yeah. No wonder why this thing is so slow.... :rolleyes:

    Anyway, I am thinking of changing my line up, starting with the netbook. Firstly I don't need this thing to choke while doing a transaction or making a payment. I also found that I am growing tired of windows and want to try something new.

    I am going to try a mac. I was going to replace my desktop with an imac but I could not see spending the money to get a pretty much same setup as I got now so, lets change up the netbook to something I can actually use.

    Now the snag is:
    Macbook air or pro 13"?
    The air gives me a quick boot up time, thin profile but limits me to only 4gig of ram a CPU that is not very speedy and a huge hole in my wallet. The air is a sexy netbook, though would destroy my little gateway. Now, for about the same cost I can get a Macbook pro, can double my CPU power (almost) and double the max ram and could shove an SSD in the thing for 200 bucks. I figure the SSD is not worth the cost. I am looking at the base model, the 2.4ghz i5

    To me, it looks like the Macbook pro would be the better bet. More power for about the same amount of cash. The 200 bucks I save by not putting the SSD in and use that to get a ram upgrade from amazon. The pro looks like it would allow me to do more stuff then just surf the web. Probably doing some light photography task and maybe some Galaxy Nexus and Xoom tweaking :D

    So I *THINK* I have came up with plan I can stick with.

    13" dual core i5 2.4ghz macbook pro with 5400rpm HDD (base model) then a ram upgrade which can be done later.


    PT II the desktop:
    I started to think I can't do much in the way of upgrades to my desktop which I watch dvds, listen to music (itunes) youtube, edit photos, make timelapse photography and so one. Since this is an older system I can't really drop in a new CPU BUT I can do a couple things:

    Change up to a 64bit OS (and hope photoshop CS3 and Canon DPP work in the 64bit OS. It should) Place this new OS, a clean install on a fresh 128gig SSD and double my ram from 4gig to 8.


  2. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    Can't speak to the laptop. I just got done setting up a Macbook Pro for a client and found the entire experience baffling to me. There's a pretty big learning curve, at least for me. Your mileage may vary. From my hour or so experience with it, I couldn't see myself jumping to it from Windows just because the experience is so vastly different.

    As for the desktop, you've got a fast processor that's limited by the RAM and the 32 bit OS. Upgrade both of them and add an SSD and you'll be fine I think.
  3. ajdroidx

    ajdroidx Well-Known Member

  4. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

    If you don't need ultra slim and portable the MacBook Pro is a great choice. Also check out MacMall, they're reputable and I have bought from them.

    MacBook Pro - Buy the new MacBook Pro for $1,129.95 - MacMall

    You may check around when the time comes and consider a 7200 rpm drive instead or in addition to your other choices.
  5. bfmetcalf

    bfmetcalf New Member

    For the Desktop, have you ever considered a Linux Distro. There are some good ones out there and they really sped up my old HP laptop with a 2.1GHZ AMD dual core... Ubuntu and Linux mint are 2 that pop into my head for good distros for a person making the switch. Plus they are free. You won't be able to use iTunes but rhythmbox is a pretty good alternative as far as I am concerned and they play video and other stuff pretty well. Might not hurt to bump around their forums a bit to see what you think...
    linuxrich likes this.
  6. ajdroidx

    ajdroidx Well-Known Member

    I thought about adding some more ram and perhaps an SSD to my desktop but found my limit was only 8 gig of ram! So I done a little digging and came across this:

    Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD4-B3 LGA 1155 ($190)
    CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz ($320)
    Ram: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 ($160 2pks - 16gig ram)
    HDD: Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2CCA 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

    All this rings in at UNDER $850.00

    My video card, tower, power supply (I hope, I have a LGA 1156 socket board right now) monitor and HDDs should work.

    All this power comes in less then apples cheapest macbook air. Slightly more then the mini.
  7. mplevy

    mplevy Well-Known Member

    The 13" MBP is a nice little machine, I have one for work. I've been using ONLY the MBP (with a dual-19" LCD setup for a Windows box right next to it) for the last 2-3 months. Some things I'm still a little unsure of (how the HECK do I uninstall a program?) but I was able to pick most things up pretty quick. Overall the 2.3 i5 and 4 GB of memory in the MBP "feel" faster than the 2.5 i5 and 2 GB memory (might be the reason) in the Windows box.

    What I WILL say is that I'm 90% sure my next laptop will be a MBP, in either 13" or 15" variety.
  8. NYCHitman1

    NYCHitman1 Gun for Hire Developer

    What video card and PSU are you rockin in your old box?
  9. ajdroidx

    ajdroidx Well-Known Member

    Geforce 8800gts. Kinda like a large old cadillac LOL :eek:
    Truth be known I am having issues with the card while trying to watch videos. My display crashes then recovers and I get a message that I am out of ram. Don't matter if the video is from the web or on my hard drive. It happens with windows media player. Updated drivers and media player so... I don't know :rolleyes:
  10. nkk

    nkk Well-Known Member

    I am going to admit to being baffled that an i7 1st gen at 2.8 GHz is slow. I personally would do the following (I know it has little to do with what you suggested, so feel free to ignore it).

    Since you are looking at the pro, save the money and instead go for something like: ASUS A53E-XA2 15.6-Inch Versatile Entertainment Laptop (Black): Computers & Accessories

    That is just the first think I found that was a good brand and had a 2nd gen i5. You could easily get a better laptop and still spend less than the Mac. Now, since you do banking on it and want stability, I would direct you to:

    Main Page - Linux Mint

    Now, if you want a Mac, I can tell you that I recently set up an Air. That is a sexy computer. In fact, before I used it I thought I may have to reconsider my thought on OSX and get one. If you like the OS, go for it. But be warned that it is a huge adjustment, and at least to me felt counter intuitive. Everything is slick and smooth, but after a while those animations annoyed me. I wanted it to just do what I told it to do without wasting my time looking pretty. I am sure there was a way to stop that, but I could not find it. Again..if you like it good, but I suggest making sure you want to use it.

    Also, if you want to customize things (not just themes, but truly hack in to the OS and change things), the Linux is the way to go.

    For your desktop:
    I am at a loss why anyone would choose a 32 bit OS for an i7. That is probably half your problem. IF you upgrade to a 64 bit and add another 4GB of ram, it should be fast. I have almost the same setup (i7 1st gen at 2.66GHz), but I have a worse graphics card and 16GB ram and am running linux. Now, linux instead of W7 speeds things up a bit, but that ram...that is the star player. And my ram is only 1333, so if you go or a higher speed you will see even more of an improvement.

    As a test, I booted up Ubuntu 10.04, a VirtualBox with W7, opened a browser (chrome) in W7 along with word and then went back to Linux host to play. No lag. Nothing. I guarantee you that with your desktop, it is not the CPU that is slow.

    Hope at least some of that helped,
    linuxrich likes this.
  11. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

    To uninstall a Mac app, drag it to the trash. The app you see listed as a file is really a directory and encapsulates a full package.

    To control animation, use System Preferences (gears icon in the Dock).
  12. ajdroidx

    ajdroidx Well-Known Member

    As far as the macbook goes, I am typing on my brand new 13" pro. One reason for this is, I wanted to see what is was like. Really curious about the OS, software, hardware and ecosystem that Apple seems to have around their products. The aluminum body of the MBP is a little chilly from sitting on my table all night, but nothing major. Still getting used to everything.

    As far as the Desktop, I built my PC a couple years ago and opted to go for the 32bit version of windows because I wanted to make sure my software and hardware worked. I should have went 64bit.

    Now, I still can do 64bit and I am still thinking about getting an SSD and if I can find the ram I used. As I mentioned before finding the ram that is a couple years old is a bit tough as my mobo is obsolete. Perhaps I can set up a dual boot windows 64 and ubuntu linux. A new SSD, the mounting hardware and a couple more sticks of ram should not cost too much, way less then the hardware list I posted previously. By all means, my Desktop is not slow. A new 64bit OS and perhaps something different and a bit more ram could give me a bit more life on my current desktop :)
  13. mplevy

    mplevy Well-Known Member

    FWIW, a co-worker recently, accidentally, threw a MBP across a driveway like a frisbee (backpack was open, flung the backpack over his shoulder and it flew out, he's not a gentle guy), it landed bottom-down thankfully and still works as expected with just a couple scratches on the bottom surface. No, it wasn't on when this happened so HDD damage is of little concern.

    ajdroidx, how do you like it so far? Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod and Apple TV Help and Tutorials has some helpful guides for keystrokes and gestures. O'Reilly has some "switchers" books my brother guided me to for learning the transition to Mac from PC. I LOVE having multiple "desktops" and just switching between them with a 4-finger swipe.
  14. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

    Congratulations on getting a laptop solution that works for you, and I can't wait to hear what your desktop solution will shape into. :)
  15. ajdroidx

    ajdroidx Well-Known Member

    I did find some ram on new egg. stuff is so old its 30 bucks for 2x2gig sticks LOL, but it should work. Also tracking down an SSD and have a question.

    My PC has sata 2 (3gbps)

    I started to look for sata 2 SSD drives but decided I might as well look at the sata 3 drives (6gbps). I am pretty sure the newer drives will work, BUT only at the sata 2 speeds. Am I correct to assume this?
  16. mplevy

    mplevy Well-Known Member

    I can't see that being a problem.
  17. ajdroidx

    ajdroidx Well-Known Member

    Well, I pulled the trigger on a 128gb corsair sata3 SSD drive. Overnighted the thing from amazon and forgot to add the mounting hardware to my order :eek::roll eyes:

    So, while I placed the order for my ram from new egg, I added the mounting hardware onto that order. I was going to overnight the ram so I could start the desktop upgrade but it cost way too much, so I opted for 3 day shipping. Hope the ram and SSD mounting hardware comes in before the end of the week since I return to work from vacation this sunday.
  18. ajdroidx

    ajdroidx Well-Known Member

    Just an update for those of you following :)

    I did manage to get my SSD drive installed and got a real nice speed boost. The Ram however, when installed caused a POST failure :( Its the same stuff I got in it right now, so I am guessing this stuff is defective so now I still only have 4gigs of ram and I am a bit bummed out about that, but I am running 64bit windows 7.

    The crappy part now is, I get to reinstall my programs, although nothing major, mostly Adobe Photoshop and DPP. Getting my downloaded Itunes tv shows is going to be a challange too. But I suppose I could pop the old drive back in, back things up to the external drive and go from there.
  19. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    Check the specs of the mobo. How much RAM is it supposed to support? Maybe the BIOS needs flashed? Or the RAM may be bad.
  20. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian VIP Member

    First response is to that boldfaced red statement - "Only until you got to start installing the apps and realize just how fast everything installs.

    Now, as for the RAM:

    1) Make sure the Mobo can handle it, and make sure that there is no setting in the BIOS and / or on the mobo itself, as in jumpers, limiting the slot usage

    2) If it is the same RAM you have now, try swapping out one stick at a time so you run one old with one new - it may be a problem only when two particular sticks are used.

    3) If it gave you errors when installing Windows, try using the bare minimum when installing Windows (2 GB is sufficient) and then shutting the PC off and installing the rest - older nVidia-based mobos had this issue where installation would not proceed correctly if all the RAM slots were populated / if more than 4 GB of RAM was installed.

    4) As Anon said, check for a BIOS update.

    5) Finally, you can check each individual stick out by booting Windows 7 while holding the F8 key down right after your Boot screen passes (either a nice shiny logo for your mobo / OEM, or else the BIOS info page where it shows you the Mem installed, devices installed, etc....) and then selecting MemTest86 - run a quick test (which takes a few minutes) or a full test (which can be anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours, depending) - that will give you a good clue if any one stick is bad.
  21. ajdroidx

    ajdroidx Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I could not even get the board to POST with 4 sticks of ram.

    The ram I am using is 2x2gig sticks, which is what is in the board right now. Since I am limited to 2gig per stick per slot, my max ram is 8gb of ram. My board is a GigaByte p55-UD3R. I updated the bios recently, probably about 6 months ago. This board is OLD.

    Installing windows was a snap. No errors at all after I pulled the sticks. I have noticed the 64bit version of Windows 7 Home premium don't like my eSATA drives. Not a huge issue as I can use USB 2.

    I will look into the ram issue a bit more when I get some more free time.

    Overall, the system seems smoother. Installing updates is quick.
  22. ajdroidx

    ajdroidx Well-Known Member

    I read the wrong info on my board. I was going by the qualified vendors list and most sticks of ram they had where only one or two gig sticks and I figured with 4 slots, each slot, a 2 gig stick = 8 gig total.

    The manual says up to 16gig supported so that means I can have 4x4gig sticks. I think the stuff I got from new egg today is toast so, time to call for an RMA

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