Author Topic: Update computer, good idea or waste of cash?  (Read 554 times)

jim555

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Update computer, good idea or waste of cash?
« on: July 12, 2019, 05:25:07 PM »
I have a i5 2500k I built from 2011, 8gb, 256 SSD running Ubuntu.  The new Ryzens are out and it is so tempting to throw down some cash for a new system.  The problem is the current computer does everything I need it for.  A new build might be snappier, but is that worth the cost of an upgrade?

In the old days a new computer would make a huge difference in performance.  But 8 years have gone by and it seems performance hasn't kept up.  It is frustrating since I like a new system with all the bells and whistles. 

Is anyone else pondering an upgrade, I would love to hear your thoughts.

BudgetSlasher

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Re: Update computer, good idea or waste of cash?
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2019, 05:55:50 PM »
I just "updated" but likely appears to be a "downgrade."

I had been using a mid-2010 macbook pro that probably cost $3k new.

I have switched to a 400 dollar Chromebook. In every way the Chromebook is as good or better (processor, ram, video result (despite being integrated vs discreet), hard drive space, touch screen, and on and on).

I love the new and shiney technology, but I realized that as I have grown and other hobbies and responsibilities have taken hold I mostly use a computer for email, internet browsing, youtube videos, and other streaming services. Until my old computer began to fail to boot, didn't support certain graphics, and other issues it was perfectly usable (aside from poor battery life).

Laserjet3051

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Re: Update computer, good idea or waste of cash?
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2019, 06:28:42 PM »
ive got a 2011 i5 processor.  last year i upgraded to 64GB RAM. Shit, its like a whole new desktop! Upgrade cost me <$100. Figure the upgrade will stretch its useful lifespan another 3-4 years, I hope.

CatamaranSailor

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Re: Update computer, good idea or waste of cash?
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2019, 07:34:14 AM »
Generally speaking, the best bang for your buck is to upgrade RAM and (if you don't already have one) upgrade the video card. This can be done cheap. However, depending on what you're doing, there comes a time when you'll start seeing bottlenecks that simply can't be addressed. Even with a decent video card, a Core 2 Duo will struggle with a modern 3D gaming or CAD engine. It's really less about the age of the machine and more about what you need it to do. My father still runs a Pentium machine with Word 97. He doesn't web surf, he doesn't use it for anything other than printing up reports. My son just bought a Core i9 machine with a high end iNvidia GPU because he wanted to play FarCry.

If you're looking to run modern stuff or CAD...I'd think about upgrading the motherboard and chipset to something modern. If you're machine is handing your day-to-day just fine and you just want a performance boost, start cheap with the RAM.

FIREstache

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Re: Update computer, good idea or waste of cash?
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2019, 09:02:23 AM »
I have a i5 2500k I built from 2011, 8gb, 256 SSD running Ubuntu.

I have exactly the same hardware specs on my main desktop computer, although mine is overclocked to 4 Ghz and is running Windows 7.  My laptop and HTPC use later generation processors, but I don't actively use them much the way I use my desktop.

I use very new computers at work, and they don't really feel any faster to me during general use than my old i5 Sandy Bridge from 2011.  And for what I do, my overclocked i5 with SSD is pretty snappy.  So I see no point in throwing money away on a new computer.

I do not play video games.  If I was into playing the latest video games, I might be more inclined to upgrade, especially the graphics card, but I'm not into games, so I use the Intel built-in video.

Abe

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Re: Update computer, good idea or waste of cash?
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2019, 01:25:37 PM »
My desktop is a 2009 iMac, and I updated the RAM to 16GB then a year later installed a 200GB solid state drive. Both of those really sped it up (SSD especially), and I have no plans to buy a new computer. Boot time is 10-15 seconds, and everything else is pretty much instantaneously. As part of my work I use a statistics program that analyzes 100-150MB databases (compressed), and processing time for complex models is a few seconds since everything is running off solid state memory. Thus it's probably never going to need an upgrade for my purposes.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but in general only video games or video editing really push the limits of processing power these days?


bacchi

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Re: Update computer, good idea or waste of cash?
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2019, 03:11:39 PM »
I have a i5 2500k I built from 2011, 8gb, 256 SSD running Ubuntu.  The new Ryzens are out and it is so tempting to throw down some cash for a new system.  The problem is the current computer does everything I need it for.  A new build might be snappier, but is that worth the cost of an upgrade?

In the old days a new computer would make a huge difference in performance.  But 8 years have gone by and it seems performance hasn't kept up.  It is frustrating since I like a new system with all the bells and whistles. 

Is anyone else pondering an upgrade, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Yeah, the new Ryzens are very tempting. Agree about the performance -- I think Moore's law transferred to mobile chips.

I last upgraded in 2012, also with an i5. It handles the current games but the games in development are being built on faster chipsets and faster GPUs. I'll probably upgrade later this year.

My (former?) work laptop is a 2013 i7 Macbook Pro and it can still handle dev tasks fine.

ender

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Re: Update computer, good idea or waste of cash?
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2019, 03:27:36 PM »
I'd only upgrade if you have an objective reason for it.

You literally said your system does everything it needs. Why upgrade?

jim555

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Re: Update computer, good idea or waste of cash?
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2019, 03:55:08 PM »
I'd only upgrade if you have an objective reason for it.

You literally said your system does everything it needs. Why upgrade?
True.  Shaving a half a second off some task doesn't seem worth the cost.

Sibley

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Re: Update computer, good idea or waste of cash?
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2019, 08:18:50 PM »
I'll be "upgrading" this year - meaning replacing my 6 year old laptop which is slowly losing functionality. The impetus is that Windows 7 is going to be losing support next year, and that's a security risk that I can't ignore. I'll get a laptop likely fairly similar to my current one, running Win 10, that still has functional usb ports.

jim555

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Re: Update computer, good idea or waste of cash?
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2019, 09:13:51 PM »
I'll be "upgrading" this year - meaning replacing my 6 year old laptop which is slowly losing functionality. The impetus is that Windows 7 is going to be losing support next year, and that's a security risk that I can't ignore. I'll get a laptop likely fairly similar to my current one, running Win 10, that still has functional usb ports.
I think you can still upgrade to Win 10, see article link.
https://www.zdnet.com/article/heres-how-you-can-still-get-a-free-windows-10-upgrade/

FIREstache

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Re: Update computer, good idea or waste of cash?
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2019, 05:19:44 AM »
I'll be "upgrading" this year - meaning replacing my 6 year old laptop which is slowly losing functionality. The impetus is that Windows 7 is going to be losing support next year, and that's a security risk that I can't ignore. I'll get a laptop likely fairly similar to my current one, running Win 10, that still has functional usb ports.
I think you can still upgrade to Win 10, see article link.
https://www.zdnet.com/article/heres-how-you-can-still-get-a-free-windows-10-upgrade/

I already upgraded my desktop (like yours) to Windows 10 once on a spare hard drive after creating an image.  I put the original SSD back in and decided to hold off to upgrade to Windows 10 until January.   I upgraded an even older and slow ultraportable laptop to Windows 10 that had previously had Windows 7, and it performed better with Windows 10.

Sibley

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Re: Update computer, good idea or waste of cash?
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2019, 03:19:36 PM »
I'll be "upgrading" this year - meaning replacing my 6 year old laptop which is slowly losing functionality. The impetus is that Windows 7 is going to be losing support next year, and that's a security risk that I can't ignore. I'll get a laptop likely fairly similar to my current one, running Win 10, that still has functional usb ports.
I think you can still upgrade to Win 10, see article link.
https://www.zdnet.com/article/heres-how-you-can-still-get-a-free-windows-10-upgrade/

I already upgraded my desktop (like yours) to Windows 10 once on a spare hard drive after creating an image.  I put the original SSD back in and decided to hold off to upgrade to Windows 10 until January.   I upgraded an even older and slow ultraportable laptop to Windows 10 that had previously had Windows 7, and it performed better with Windows 10.

Key bit in bold. The hardware is slowly failing, it's easier and cheaper to buy a new laptop than to repair the failing bits on this one. It's had quite a bit of use for 7ish years, that's pretty decent I think.

Edit: I bought it December 2012. however long it's been since then.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2019, 03:21:20 PM by Sibley »