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Thread: Home computer advice please

  1. #1

    Home computer advice please

    My old Dell PC is very slow these days so I'm looking to upgrade.

    Dell no longer seem to allow the degree of customisation they did previously so where do I go?

    I'm not a gamer but I want a fast PC on the basis they all slow down over time.

    I do want plenty of USB ports at the back - I'll reuse my current keyboard & mouse & plug in the two external hard drives. I want to plug in my speakers & printer.

    I want to plug in two monitors.

    I want a USB port at the front to for flash drives / connecting my phone etc.

    I want an SD card reader at the front.

    I do want an optical drive. I still buy CD's but load the music into iTunes.

    Budget wise - I'd defo like to be sub £1,000

    I'd also like advice on which version of MS office to go for. I need Word, Excel & Outlook.

    Thanks in advance.
    Andy

    Wanted - Damasko DA38 or DC80 Green - not the black versions.

  2. #2
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    I'm a fan of PCSpecialist - had two long-lasting machines from them.


    https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/

    Go for Win 10pro rather than 11 though

  3. #3
    Craftsman r.dawson's Avatar
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    Another vote for pc specialists

  4. #4
    Master Skier's Avatar
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    Let's get the easy bit out of the way; buy Windows or Office from HERE. I would go with Office 2019 Professional Plus at £26.99 but that's because I also need MS Project and Visio and the current versions of those that are available don't play nicely with Office 2021. Your choice for Windows if you need a new version/licence.

    For hardware that will be over budget but bear with me. The Intel NUC 11 Enthusiast (if you can find one available) will meet all your requirements except it doesn't have an optical drive. I bought a USB 3 external optical drive when building my NUC system. They are small, blisteringly quick, silent (and I do mean silent) and have loads of connectivity options. Have a read of the specs and connectivity. For absolute performance look at the Intel NUC 11 Extreme. The Intel NUC 12 Extreme release is imminent but as a fellow non-gamer, I deemed them overkill for my needs plus the 11 Enthusiast is smaller.
    Last edited by Skier; 29th April 2022 at 20:07.

  5. #5
    Master Lampoc's Avatar
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    I asked for recommendations on a local FB group and found a guy who built mine to the exact specs I wanted - he was cheaper, faster and when there was a problem he popped round to my house to fix it the same day.

  6. #6
    Journeyman
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    The Intel NUC 11 Enthusiast looks perfect for future small bedroom/study for student. Cheers. Anything I should know before pressing the 1.1k button? They do appear to be discontinued?

  7. #7
    Master Skier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wallyuk View Post
    The Intel NUC 11 Enthusiast looks perfect for future small bedroom/study for student. Cheers. Anything I should know before pressing the 1.1k button? They do appear to be discontinued?
    Nothing really you need to know other than when ordering M2 SSDs go for standard form factor as opposed to anything slightly thicker as you won't be able to get the case back together i.e. don't buy something like THIS. If you buy a bare bones unit you only need to add SSD/s, RAM and an OS. The graphics drive my 49" ultrawide monitor at 5120 x 1440 and 120Hz with ease. As mentioned above I'm not a gamer so I'm not taxing the graphics.

    When you've built it and installed Windows, download a couple of bits of Intel software:



    Happy to advise or answer questions if you go down this route.
    Last edited by Skier; 30th April 2022 at 17:23.

  8. #8
    Master
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    https://www.ebuyer.com/1265957-dell-...56gb-ssd-wrgd4

    This should do what you want except the SD reader, but you can get a USB-SD for a few quid.

  9. #9
    Master IAmATeaf's Avatar
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    Whats the spec of your current PC and does it currently have an SSD installed ?

  10. #10
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    I would add - get a machine which will support twin monitors.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by IAmATeaf View Post
    Whats the spec of your current PC and does it currently have an SSD installed ?
    Old. Certainly no SSD
    Andy

    Wanted - Damasko DA38 or DC80 Green - not the black versions.

  12. #12
    Craftsman
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    >I'd defo like to be sub £1,000<

    You could get an excellent laptop for much less than, plus the benefit of portability. All the peripherals can be on a DisplayLink adapter

    >I'd also like advice on which version of MS office to go for.<

    Microsoft 365 Personal subscription would be my recommendation. That way you are kept up-to-date and get other features such as OneDrive storage.
    Last edited by J J Carter; 30th April 2022 at 18:00.

  13. #13
    Thanks for all the advice.

    Order placed with PC Specialist.
    Andy

    Wanted - Damasko DA38 or DC80 Green - not the black versions.

  14. #14
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy tims View Post
    My old Dell PC is very slow these days so I'm looking to upgrade.

    Dell no longer seem to allow the degree of customisation they did previously so where do I go?

    I'm not a gamer but I want a fast PC on the basis they all slow down over time.

    I do want plenty of USB ports at the back - I'll reuse my current keyboard & mouse & plug in the two external hard drives. I want to plug in my speakers & printer.

    I want to plug in two monitors.

    I want a USB port at the front to for flash drives / connecting my phone etc.

    I want an SD card reader at the front.

    I do want an optical drive. I still buy CD's but load the music into iTunes.

    Budget wise - I'd defo like to be sub £1,000

    I'd also like advice on which version of MS office to go for. I need Word, Excel & Outlook.

    Thanks in advance.
    I bought a Dell from Morgan recently.

    £170 and then £16 for an extra 8GB of RAM.

    Came with Windows 10 and I got a cheap Office license online.

    Plenty fast enough for video editing, the rate of performance increases means buying new these days isn't worth it for performance.

    ETA built in support for dual monitors too.

    M
    Last edited by snowman; 16th May 2022 at 19:54.
    Breitling Cosmonaute 809 - What's not to like?

  15. #15
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowman View Post
    I bought a Dell from Morgan recently.
    I remember when Morgan used to sell old VT100 terminals. I wish I'd bought them all now.

    Yes, sorry, I'm old.


    Quote Originally Posted by snowman View Post
    the rate of performance increases means buying new these days isn't worth it for performance.
    This.
    Last edited by markrlondon; 10th May 2022 at 19:01.

  16. #16
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markrlondon View Post
    I remember when Morgan used to sell old VT100 terminals. I wish I'd bough them all now.
    Wow, that takes me back

    M

    Sent from my ASUS_X00PD using Tapatalk
    Breitling Cosmonaute 809 - What's not to like?

  17. #17
    Master sish101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowman View Post
    Wow, that takes me back

    M

    Sent from my ASUS_X00PD using Tapatalk
    This reminds me of an old joke. What is a DEC users favourite colour? Green.

    You had to be there.

    Sent through the ether by diddling with radio waves

  18. #18
    Grand Master MartynJC (UK)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sish101 View Post
    This reminds me of an old joke. What is a DEC users favourite colour? Green.

    You had to be there.

    Sent through the ether by diddling with radio waves
    It still is. 💿
    "Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly soĒ. HHGTTG

  19. #19
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by pete-r View Post
    https://www.ebuyer.com/1265957-dell-...56gb-ssd-wrgd4

    This should do what you want except the SD reader, but you can get a USB-SD for a few quid.

    How does that compare to this at basically the same price?:

    https://www.dell.com/en-uk/shop/desk...configurations

    512SSD and SD slot but intergrated graphics (?) which presumably is an issue for dual monitors?
    Last edited by David_D; 10th May 2022 at 23:46.

  20. #20
    Master
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    This seems way to good to be true:

    https://www.meshcomputers.com/Default.aspx?ENT=APPLICATION&KEY=3368099

    Anyone with recent experience of Mesh? I remember the name from way back but think they went bust and someoneís picked up the business.

    Thanks

  21. #21
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by David_D View Post
    This seems way to good to be true:

    https://www.meshcomputers.com/Default.aspx?ENT=APPLICATION&KEY=3368099

    Anyone with recent experience of Mesh? I remember the name from way back but think they went bust and someoneís picked up the business.

    Thanks
    You donít seem to have linked to a specific machine so hard to advise

  22. #22
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Morgan View Post
    You donít seem to have linked to a specific machine so hard to advise

    The budget ones seem to all have onboard graphics card. You can always add a twin output card of suitable capacity after, but I think I would always go for a machine with separate card with two outputs, from the outset.

  23. #23
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Morgan View Post
    You donít seem to have linked to a specific machine so hard to advise

    This one but just wondered what Mesh are like generally:

    https://www.meshcomputers.com/Defaul...&XAPPL=3368099

  24. #24
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackal View Post
    The budget ones seem to all have onboard graphics card. You can always add a twin output card of suitable capacity after, but I think I would always go for a machine with separate card with two outputs, from the outset.
    There are a number of upgrade options including graphics. Dell donít offer options like that these days.

  25. #25
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skier View Post
    Nothing really you need to know other than when ordering M2 SSDs go for standard form factor as opposed to anything slightly thicker as you won't be able to get the case back together i.e. don't buy something like THIS. If you buy a bare bones unit you only need to add SSD/s, RAM and an OS. The graphics drive my 49" ultrawide monitor at 5120 x 1440 and 120Hz with ease. As mentioned above I'm not a gamer so I'm not taxing the graphics.

    When you've built it and installed Windows, download a couple of bits of Intel software:



    Happy to advise or answer questions if you go down this route.
    Thanks for this advise, had a NUC for a while but it didn't come with this software... It recommended some driver and BIOS updates

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