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Topic: Time for an upgrade  (Read 6791 times)
Permalink  •  April 08, 2014, 08:07:14 PM
Time for an upgrade
« on: April 08, 2014, 08:07:14 PM »

Well, it's finally reached that time. Windows XP has gone the way of the Compy 386, which means I either need to get a new computer or run the risk of becoming a spambot account. :thumbsdown:

Since recently I've only had the use of my own ten-year-old machine and school computers, I think you folks would be helpful in orienting me in the world of new computers and OSes. I am almost definitely going to get a laptop, and I want something that can at least run some programs made in the last few years, but it doesn't need to be able to run seven instances of TF2 at once or minecraft with a 4218736523 resolution HD hyper realistic texture pack. But enough so that I can actually play games with yall biscuitheads once in a while.

I will want a new pair of headphones as well, but again they don't need to be quadruple stereo surround sound virtual reality headsets, just... decent. If that kind of qualification isn't specific enough for you, I'll just pick something out myself. I'm not going to put up with you. Jerk.

But any suggestions/experiences/personal narratives would be greatly appreciated!
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Draino
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Permalink  •  April 08, 2014, 10:17:26 PM
Re: Time for an upgrade
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2014, 10:17:26 PM »

I like desktops better than laptops :)
Permalink  •  April 08, 2014, 10:56:44 PM
Re: Time for an upgrade
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2014, 10:56:44 PM »

I think most people here are probably using Windows 7. If you buy a new laptop today, it'll probably have Windows 8.1. Not sure how many people here have experience with Windows 8 (I've used it but never in "everyday PC" capacity). I hear 8.1 is decent though. It'll probably take some getting used to; Windows 7 is the last "traditional" version of Windows, and they changed a bunch of stuff up with 8.

Are you looking for headphones or a headset? i.e. do you want a microphone attached or not? There are different things to consider when buying either one.
Permalink  •  April 09, 2014, 01:21:37 AM
Re: Time for an upgrade
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2014, 01:21:37 AM »

Yeah from what I've heard Windows 8 has been improved a lot since it was released, and there are apparently patches that make it look like the "traditional" Windows format. Does anyone here use anything other than Windows? I'm certainly not wedded to Microsoft at all, but the main thing I would be concerned about, especially with something like Linux, is compatibility. Also has anyone tried Chrome OS? It's an interesting idea but idk how well it would work in practice.

And honestly with the headphones/headset (probably headset) I don't care too much about specifics - but if there's some model that you've had and would recommend, go for it.
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Permalink  •  April 09, 2014, 04:28:16 AM
Re: Time for an upgrade
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2014, 04:28:16 AM »

How much are you planning on carrying it around, and how much power to do stuff do you need when you're somewhere that's not at home? Remember the weight aspect, too, if you're planning on carrying it to many places. I'm firmly in the camp of thinking that laptops can't ever straight up replace desktops but are great as complements, so I personally have a powerful desktop at home and a netbook to bring to school or when I go to cons or my parents or stuff.

What I'll say on OSes is this: If you buy a laptop that comes with a Windows preinstalled, chances are high it'll also come with assorted preinstalled bloatware you don't want so that you're going to want to reformat and reinstall first thing you do when you get it anyway. Also, I don't know if it's only me, but I support having your OS installed on a separate partition (be it a separate partition in the same disk or, as I have now, a dedicated SSD system disk) so that when you inevitably fuck everything up (lol jk) you can reformat just that partition without losing any other data.

While I've also heard Windows 8.1 fixed stuff with 8, it still seems to me that 8 tries too much to be a tablet interface. What little has been revealed of Windows 9 already looks like it's heading in the right direction. I recommend 7 for now.

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I'm straight, and I don't like insinuations that I'm not straight. It's easy to say "not that there's anything wrong with that", but for me, I'm straight, so there is something wrong with me being gay, that being that I'm not gay. I'm proud of being straight and the idea of being gay goes against my biological wiring.
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Permalink  •  April 09, 2014, 11:56:57 AM
Re: Time for an upgrade
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2014, 11:56:57 AM »

You can get by easily enough with windows 8, but I personally strongly prefer Windows 7. With enough modifications you can make Windows 8 act similarly to the older Windows which is what most people wind up doing anyway.

Linux I'd only recommend if you know what you're doing. If you don't you can seriously render your computer useless if you install Linux. As for Chrome OS, don't bother. It's nice and all, but you won't get too much gaming out of it at this stage.

As for laptop versus desktop, it's just as everyone said. What do you plan on doing? Are you mobile a lot? You can get a fine laptop that'll suffice for a gaming desktop, but the cost will be high. I do have advice for laptops: Alienware pretty much is shit. Asus is my recommended brand of choice here.

Desktops: If you buy a pre-built one chances are you will have Windows 8.1. However if you want to save a few bucks and have basic knowledge of how to Google, putting one together isn't hard. We have enough computer hardware experts (or people with access to them) that can build you a decent rig for a cheap price. If you absolutely must buy one, stray away from Dell. I've had bad experiences with Dell lately in general with my current laptop.

 Kenny also brings up a great point. Keep your OS installed on a separate partition. It's really useful. Or if you feel like making it rain, get a SSD drive for your OS.

Keep it above 8gb RAM, 1GB minimum video ram, and quad core processor (i5 if you go intel, I don't remember offhand what the AMD equivalent it) should last you quite a bit at bare minimum for gaming, but if you want to go big and get one that'll last I highly suggest going for an eight core system with 3-4gb video ram for the video card and at least 12GB ram.

As for the brand of video card: It's more personal preference and again more along the lines of do you want to spend more money or not. I prefer ATI Radeon cards myself cause they're generally cheaper, but still get the job done just as great as nVidia does.

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Permalink  •  April 09, 2014, 02:32:00 PM
Re: Time for an upgrade
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2014, 02:32:00 PM »

Another point for a desktop is that it's upgradeable in ways a laptop very much isn't. If you're limited on cash you don't need to get every extra component straight away, if you get a good motherboard you can probably do well enough with onboard audio and video and buy sound and video cards later. And with RAM you can start with 2x4GB sticks and buy two more later. You can definitely make a desktop be up to par for much longer than you can a laptop, and for about the same money. And to get more hard drive space on a laptop you'd have to get an external which costs more for the space.

If you do decide to build a desktop (which you should, it's pretty easy if you know how to use a screwdriver and can read manuals), the one thing you shouldn't hold back on is the CPU. Save some other stuff for later if you need to, but make sure to get a good CPU. I got an Intel i7 when I rebuilt my computer last year, idk if that's still the best you can get. A motherboard you don't need to get the most high-end, though. ASUS makes good stuff there.

Quote from: SABERinBLUE
I'm straight, and I don't like insinuations that I'm not straight. It's easy to say "not that there's anything wrong with that", but for me, I'm straight, so there is something wrong with me being gay, that being that I'm not gay. I'm proud of being straight and the idea of being gay goes against my biological wiring.
Permalink  •  April 09, 2014, 03:34:42 PM
Re: Time for an upgrade
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2014, 03:34:42 PM »

The main reason I'm getting a laptop is that I'm going to college next year, so I'm not sure if keeping a desktop in my room is feasible or desirable. Otherwise I would definitely be getting a desktop.
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Permalink  •  April 09, 2014, 09:03:50 PM
Re: Time for an upgrade
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2014, 09:03:50 PM »

you need to get a laptop b/c you're going to, at some point, work outside of your dorm. idk what kind of laptop you need but your school probably has a recommended specs page. don't  get a mac, the arbitrary shortcut key changes will drive you,up the fucking wall

soap you should send gamma your iclicker if you have any idea where it us lol

Permalink  •  April 10, 2014, 05:57:06 PM
Re: Time for an upgrade
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2014, 05:57:06 PM »

I don't think I have my iClicker anymore... if I do, I have no idea where it's at!
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Draino
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Permalink  •  April 12, 2014, 04:32:06 PM
Re: Time for an upgrade
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2014, 04:32:06 PM »

You might find these SomethingAwful threads useful- SH/SC goons mostly know what they're talking about.http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3623433 - desktop buying
http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3552651 - laptop buying

Have you considered getting a desktop + tablet instead of a laptop? It's generally around the same price if you're not looking at rock-bottom budget stuff, but you get much more gaming ability, more mobility, and it's much easier/cheaper to replace things when they break.

Windows 8 is the shit and it is a significant improvement over 7. More utility, nicer looking, there's Metro alternatives to a lot of the desktop stuff if that's your bag baby, and it's a good deal more stable in my experience. The only thing I miss about 7 is the built-in backup function- file history isn't really a great replacement for that.
 
Linux Mint is the personal-use Linux distro of choice these days. You'd be surprised at how little stuff Linux can't do well these days, especially since a good deal of Steam games work on it now. There are some things that need some tweaking to work, like Netflix, but it's not a bad alternative these days.

I have an iclicker. Clever idea but deep down it's just another way to bilk money out of college students. Get a used one if you can.
Permalink  •  April 13, 2014, 03:04:51 AM
Re: Time for an upgrade
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2014, 03:04:51 AM »

I am also going to be on the "Windows 8 is the shit" train. I have had no problems with it, and it actually runs a lot better than any other Windows distro before it. It is HIGHLY recommended by me. I personally think that most of the insults hurled at it come from an unwillingness to learn the new UI.
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