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New Personal Computer...how much is too much

New Personal Computer...how much is too much

Old Sep 11, 19, 8:42 am
  #31  
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Originally Posted by JamesKidd View Post
In which case, go for the laptop you originally spec'd out. Drop the RAID and opt for the biggest available SSD in the market.
Buying the biggest SSD from Lenovo will still add close to $1,300 to the laptop. I'd just upgrade the CPU to an i7, and then go with the lowest HDD/RAM options offered. That puts this P53 at $1,200. Put in 2x 1TB SSDs yourself... you can get reputable SSDs from a company like Samsung for $175 each. Throw in your own 32GB RAM upgrade for $150. You end up with the same machine in the end, minus the RAID 5, for $1,700 all in. Or if you want your 2TB of storage to be on the same SSD instead of two different 1TB SSDs, then it adds an extra $100 or so. But still way cheaper than anything you'd buy from Lenovo. I wouldn't recommend this to just anybody, but if OP can put their IT skills to use and do the storage/RAM upgrades after receiving the machine, it will save a ton of coin.
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Old Sep 11, 19, 11:19 am
  #32  
 
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There's no way I'd pay that much for the storage in a laptop, and quite honestly, I'd be leary at best of a 3 drive raid-5 in a laptop (I'd call it stupid, but that's being judgemental).

I think part of the question is the use case here. You say it's a personal laptop and you don't care about the weight? Do you basically use it in one place at home and not lug it around? If so, you *really* need to be thinking of ways of moving that storage off the computer, there's really no reason to have it on the machine. For well less than what you're paying for that upgrade in storage, you can pick up a reasonable nas system that you put on your network for home and have massively large amounts more on storage. (Personally, I'm running a 4 bay synology nas with 4x8tb drives in it, running raid-5 on that - and yeah, I know the arguments for and against a raid 5 setup in that type of situation. It's also inadequately backed up, but that's mainly because what's on there is mainly movie rips from my collection, so it's all theoretically recoverable if I take the time.)

I haven't looked at that model Lenovo (our university stopped buying Lenovo over issues with their support), but that comment about the drives being an odd configuration requiring specialized drives would also make me run away very fast from that system. No way am I buying something that's using proprietary drives like that, because there's no guarantee there will ever be adequate replacement drives.

You asked in the original post whether you're overbuying. In my opinion, yes, until you provide a real use case to justify what you're speccing out. I'm not sure I'd consider "wanting to keep my entire music collection local" to be something that's worth spending thousands more for. If I really needed a huge amount of space on a laptop, I'd buy something that has an easy to get to m.2 slot on it, and put a good quality 2tb ssd drive on it. Or something with a standard 2.5" spot for a hard drive and put a 4tb ssd drive in. No messing with raid. And definitely no buying the storage through the laptop manufacturer. A 2tb m2 drive will probably run you around $500 or a 4tb 2.5" ssd around $600. Both of those from good quality drive manufaturers (there's a lot of cheap ssd manufacturers out there I wouldn't touch). Either of those you can put in a much smaller laptop that doesn't weight a ton.

We generally deal in Dell machines here (And since I don't have to deal with their home support people, it's pretty decent support). But I could do a pretty high spec latitude 7400 for around $2100, then add one of the drives above and be in a pretty good place for $2500-$2600. With 3 years warranty (a lot of the lenovo's start at 1 year). And it's a system that won't take back surgery to carry around.
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Old Sep 11, 19, 11:40 am
  #33  
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Originally Posted by navi_jen View Post
I do not want to worry about plugging in hard drives to listen to my music (and a crapton of my music is rare stuff and not available online).
Have you considered using Google Play Music? You can upload up to 50k 100k songs for free and stream it from any device. https://support.google.com/googlepla.../1075570?hl=en

I have over 300 concert bootlegs of my favorite band uploaded. Barely cracked 10k.
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Old Sep 11, 19, 12:06 pm
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So, I'm on board with most others here, and I'll add something in. Get a single SSD in the laptop (unless you really need to push capacity, then maybe an HHD, Hybrid, or my favorite one of each makes more sense). Then, go and get a real NAS for home for backup and potential music streaming if you want. I have a 6 drive NAS with 24 TB of space setup as RAID 6 (for effective storage of 16 TB). I have software running that constantly backs up the PC to the NAS, and it supports features like DLNA, printer and external drive sharing, video camera recording a bunch of other things. I can have music and movies on there and stream them anywhere in the house. That storage is not SSD, nor does it need to be, so its relatively cheap. The good news is, the NAS life will almost certainly be way longer than the laptop's so you don't need to invest in that each time, you have good backups in case of drive failure or laptop issues (stolen, broken, etc), and can use it as a media server and a bunch of other things. I've had drive failures in the NAS but its hot swappable and rebuilds the array pretty quickly.
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Old Sep 11, 19, 1:19 pm
  #35  
 
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Speaking of which, what's a good 2tb nvme m.2 ssd to use as a primary laptop drive? At Amazon they range in price from under $200 to $500.
Amazon Amazon
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Old Sep 11, 19, 1:20 pm
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Originally Posted by pseudoswede View Post
Have you considered using Google Play Music? You can upload up to 50k 100k songs for free and stream it from any device. https://support.google.com/googlepla.../1075570?hl=en

I have over 300 concert bootlegs of my favorite band uploaded. Barely cracked 10k.
this option is killer

ive stored my music locally; ive hosted it from nas; ive hosted a private streaming server on the web; etc.... GPM makes it so much easier without paying a subscription
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Old Sep 11, 19, 4:38 pm
  #37  
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Well, I ran some diagnostics on my current personal computer, and it's burning waaaay too hot. So, I am not going to bother upgrading. I was able to find a Refurb Lenovo P52 on the outlet with the following specs, for just a hair over $1400...which I thought was pretty good deal since I'm not going to be doing any gaming!
  • Processor: Intel® Xeon® E-2176M Processor (12M Cache, up to 4.40 GHz)
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Professional WS 64 - English
  • Display Type: 15.6" FHD (1920x1080) anti-glare, LED backlight, IPS w/HD720p Camera
  • Memory: 16GB DDR4 2400Mhz SODIMM Memory
  • Hard Drive: 1.012TB (1 x 500GB HD 7200RPM 2.5" SATA3,1 x 512GB Solid State ) Drives
  • Warranty: 1 Year Standard Depot Warranty
  • Graphics: Intel® UHD Graphics P630 and NVIDIA P2000
  • Battery: 6 Cell Li-Ion Battery (90Wh)
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth
  • Pointing Device: 3-button TrackPoint pointing device and 3-button touchpad w/ Finger Print
  • Wireless: Intel Wireless-AC 9560, Wi-Fi 2x2 802.11ac + Bluetooth 5.0, M.2 card
Fingers crossed and thanks all for your help. I figure if I need it, I will upgrade the 500 g SATA to another SSD drive, and I should be raring to go!
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Old Sep 11, 19, 5:05 pm
  #38  
 
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Originally Posted by KRSW View Post
Don't get me wrong, I like OS X, mainly the Unix core. There's always a Terminal window open while I'm using it. But the hardware & lack of support are driving me to Lenovo.
Is your new Lenovo going to run OSx86 or something else?
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Old Sep 12, 19, 12:00 pm
  #39  
 
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Thanks all, but I'm not doing cloud backups or external hard drives for daily work.
OP I hear you - you want what you want and that's cool. Personally I've tried to move away from having anything local on portable computers (tablets, laptops, chromebooks). I'm able to do 90% of what I need to do on a chromebook (ChromeOS + linux is a killer app for me), but I also use PCs at work and at Home.

As to cloud 'backups' I don't really look at it that way - I store all documents from any PC in a google drive sync folder. It's not so much a separate 'backup' activity as a constantly-updated, automatic backup. The Chromebook is completely backed up all the time (plus you can take snapshots of the linux container and store those on google drive as well). Mobile devices sync all the time too - iOS does this quite well in my experience.

What I like about this approach is that if a computer (including phones or tablets) dies - Or I get a new one, I can be up and running in a couple of hours. It's very freeing.
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Old Sep 12, 19, 12:06 pm
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There's a p53 sale right now

https://slickdeals.net/share/iphone_app/fp/498925
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Old Sep 12, 19, 1:21 pm
  #41  
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Originally Posted by WSTC View Post
I am not an IT professional, but own a small professional services company which relies on PC enterprise software. Every computer in my office (and in my home office) is a Mac (with SSD) laptop or desktop running Parallels.
So I assume you're running OSX with MS office under parallels. Do you use OSX calendar or MS Outlook?

Originally Posted by KRSW View Post
If this was 2009, or even 2014, I'd have no problem recommending a Mac. BUT, recent iterations of the Macbook Pro just aren't worthy buying. Apple has been intentionally designing their computers to prevent upgrades and repairs. Making matters worse, there are serious design flaws, from the infamous butterfly keyboards, to the poor design of putting the high voltage traces immediately adjacent to the sensitive CPU traces, to the decision to solder the SSD directly to the motherboard. If anything goes wrong with the motherboard or SSD, you're looking to buy a new computer and lose all of your data.
That's why I'm always looking for MBP 2012 non-retina. Change the HD to SSD, replace the memory to 16gb. Fast enough for our small business needs.

Last edited by 9Benua; Sep 12, 19 at 1:28 pm
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Old Sep 12, 19, 10:29 pm
  #42  
 
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Originally Posted by Hezu View Post
There is still one valid reason to invest in mechanical HDDs: getting large storage space affordably.
As an aside, if you can manage to run SAS drives, the resale market on these is amazing right now. $19 for 3TB and sometimes 4TB drives.

Originally Posted by RatherBeOnATrain View Post
Is your new Lenovo going to run OSx86 or something else?
Linux for the main OS, Win7 or maybe Win10 in a VM for the apps I can't get in Linux. Given the seemingly endless stream of Microsoft Windows 10 update failures this year, I can't trust my work to Microsoft software. With this arrangement, when Windows craps the bed it's contained, and I can always roll back to the most recent VM snapshot before the update in seconds rather than waiting an hour or so for Windows to restore and pray it worked. BSD and Linux have been very good to us. Even the brake pedal in my car is connected to Linux.

Originally Posted by CarlTheWebmaster View Post
As to cloud 'backups' I don't really look at it that way - I store all documents from any PC in a google drive sync folder. It's not so much a separate 'backup' activity as a constantly-updated, automatic backup.
Sync != Backup. This is important. Sync is extremely vulnerable to data corruption, ransomware, Windows 10 randomly deleting your Office files, and user foul-ups as the sync software will just happily sync the latest, corrupted version over the cloud copy.

Originally Posted by navi_jen View Post
Well, I ran some diagnostics on my current personal computer, and it's burning waaaay too hot. So, I am not going to bother upgrading. I was able to find a Refurb Lenovo P52 on the outlet with the following specs, for just a hair over $1400...which I thought was pretty good deal since I'm not going to be doing any gaming!
Now that seems like a more reasonable way to approach this. That CPU is going to last you a very long time and you can easily add RAM and storage as needed. Actually, that's a pretty darn good deal. I think you'll like it.
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Old Sep 13, 19, 1:26 am
  #43  
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Originally Posted by KRSW View Post
As an aside, if you can manage to run SAS drives, the resale market on these is amazing right now. $19 for 3TB and sometimes 4TB drives.



Linux for the main OS, Win7 or maybe Win10 in a VM for the apps I can't get in Linux. Given the seemingly endless stream of Microsoft Windows 10 update failures this year, I can't trust my work to Microsoft software. With this arrangement, when Windows craps the bed it's contained, and I can always roll back to the most recent VM snapshot before the update in seconds rather than waiting an hour or so for Windows to restore and pray it worked. BSD and Linux have been very good to us. Even the brake pedal in my car is connected to Linux.



Sync != Backup. This is important. Sync is extremely vulnerable to data corruption, ransomware, Windows 10 randomly deleting your Office files, and user foul-ups as the sync software will just happily sync the latest, corrupted version over the cloud copy.



Now that seems like a more reasonable way to approach this. That CPU is going to last you a very long time and you can easily add RAM and storage as needed. Actually, that's a pretty darn good deal. I think you'll like it.
I've been thinking of switching to Linux but issue is the Windows software, maybe worth trying the VM approach. I use Ubuntu every day on servers for work, but not used to using it with a GUI so that would be a big change, but my employees have mostly switched to Ubuntu.

I also use the sync backup method. I totally get what you're saying, but I use Dropbox and haven't had corrupted files due to sync conflicts in years (used to be an issue) and most importantly Dropbox keeps previous versions of files so you can restore to an earlier version of in fact corrupted.

As I write this I'm wondering one could use a versioning system like git, just have a cron on your Ubuntu system to commit and push once a day, technically you can restore to any point in time then (precision of 1 day)
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Old Sep 13, 19, 1:48 am
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Originally Posted by skywardhunter View Post
.

As I write this I'm wondering one could use a versioning system like git, just have a cron on your Ubuntu system to commit and push once a day, technically you can restore to any point in time then (precision of 1 day)
Linux Rsync, rdiff-backup or rsnapshot incremental backups or virtualbox snapshots to backup windows (ur VM should have similar feature) may work

https://www.marksanborn.net/howto/us...nthly-backups/

https://www.pontikis.net/blog/howto-rsnapshot-backup


https://www.techrepublic.com/article...in-virtualbox/

Last edited by paperwastage; Sep 13, 19 at 1:57 am
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Old Sep 13, 19, 8:16 am
  #45  
 
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Originally Posted by 9Benua View Post
That's why I'm always looking for MBP 2012 non-retina. Change the HD to SSD, replace the memory to 16gb. Fast enough for our small business needs.
I was recently pricing Mac Minis -- I was stunned to see how well used 2012 models are holding their value because they are upgradable. The newer 2014-2016 versions have soldered-in memory chips, while the current (2018) models have soldered-in SSDs.
Originally Posted by KRSW View Post
Linux for the main OS, Win7 or maybe Win10 in a VM for the apps I can't get in Linux. Given the seemingly endless stream of Microsoft Windows 10 update failures this year, I can't trust my work to Microsoft software. With this arrangement, when Windows craps the bed it's contained, and I can always roll back to the most recent VM snapshot before the update in seconds rather than waiting an hour or so for Windows to restore and pray it worked. BSD and Linux have been very good to us. Even the brake pedal in my car is connected to Linux.
I've been using Ubuntu LTS on my desktop machine and am very satisfied with it.

I also need to start using some Windows applications that don't seem to work well in Virtualbox. I'm not going to move back to Windows, so I started pricing Macs since a few of the applications have MacOS versions and the others might work better under Parallels than Virtualbox. Unfortunately, the cost of adding a decent sized SSD to a a current model MacMini is actually more than the cost of a complete Windows 10 Pro system, so I'll probably just end up buying one of those. The apps I need are for hobbies/side hustles, so the machine doesn't need to travel with me.
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