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Old 06-08-2018, 08:11 PM   #1
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Default In the market for a new computer...

What's up everyone? As the title suggests I'm going to need a new computer soon. I'm taking online courses beginning in the fall and will need something that can run the appropriate software (mainly ArcGIS). I will also be taking a CAD course in the near future and it would be cool if I could use it for that too. I thought I would enlist the help of some of the computer nerds on here to help me narrow it down. It doesn't necessarily have to be a laptop either, as I have everything but a monitor left over from an old desktop setup and monitors can be had pretty cheap these days. I don't need anything too fancy and am not really looking to spend more than $5-600 if I can help it.

I've had my current macbook for 8 years now and it's been a solid appliance. It's welcome to stick around until it doesn't work anymore but it is and will be my last apple product. They're outrageous (even compared to when I bought this one) and there are a lot of programs you simply can't run on a mac. The one I've been looking at mostly is the acer aspire e 15 but I'm not sold on it by any means.
https://www.amazon.com/Acer-Aspire-i...1YPGMW0EQRSXKE

Thoughts? Comments?
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Old 06-09-2018, 04:42 AM   #2
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Not bad, but for possible CAD/CAM work check to see if memory is expandable over the 6 GB listed.

Usually for laptops I recommend either the top business model or low-end gaming ones - it's not gonna care if you're crunching numbers or zombies - data is 1s and 0s to it no matter what it is to us, and the more power (CPU speed, memory, and storage space) the better off you will be.
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:02 PM   #3
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The best bet if you want to get a good CAD/heavy duty laptop for a good price is to hit the Dell refurb/lease return page. Mine's several years old now, but about 6 years ago I got a Dell Precision M4600 with a 3.2ghz i7 extreme CPU, 12gb RAM, and 500gb hard drive for $400. They have desktops as well if you want to go that route.


https://www.dellrefurbished.com/


I'd avoid any devices marketed at home users. Business class hardware is more expensive, but it lasts. My old IBM G41 from 2005 still runs and I've got Dells from 2005-2010 that still run just fine. Brand doesn't matter too much as long as it's business class. I prefer Dells myself just because they're easier to take apart.



I work in IT (have been for 21 years now) so I've got a good bit of experience with what works and what doesn't.
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:24 PM   #4
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Thanks guys, I'll keep that in mind. It doesn't necessarily have to be a new one either as long as it's reliable and does what it's supposed to. I'm not looking to spend a small fortune, so maybe a used business class PC would be better than a new one marketed at home users. I may also look at gaming computers, even though I'll probably never utilize it's full potential.

I'm also cool with a desktop. That might actually be better. The classes I'm taking are all online so portability isn't a huge concern. The main thing I will be using it for is GIS software. They recommend 8G of RAM with an absolute minimum of 6GB. For spatial analysis dual monitors are almost a requirement, so if I end up getting a laptop a docking station will be in order. The thrift store also has used monitors for $25-30 all day long so that's probably where those will be sourced from. I really don't care too much so long as they work and the resolution is half decent.

OGB, what's your take on refurbished computers? I mean, a lot of them depreciate so quickly it seems like it might even make more sense financially to buy used. FWIW I used to have a dell laptop...it was a total POS but that was also a long time ago. The poor thing had a pentium 3 and ran windows 2000 its whole life (XP was too much for it).
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Old 06-15-2018, 06:47 PM   #5
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Personally (other than my gaming rig) I never buy new, I always get refurbs. I've always had good luck with them myself. A manufacturing facility I used to work at bought refurbs exclusively. We usually had 1 DOA out of every hundred or so PCs we ordered, and Dell would always just send us a replacement.


My 2006 Dell is a refurb, and my M4600 is as well. I've never had any trouble out of either one of them. You can usually buy 2 or 3 refurbs for the price of 1 comparable new device, so to me it's a no brainer.


Also lol I wouldn't have touched a Dell with a 10 foot pole from around 1996 until 2004 or so. They were huge pieces of high-profit-margin garbage back then. I don't have any experience with their current home devices, but the business class stuff seems fine. The company I work for now mostly sells HPs, and honestly I'm not a big fan of them. I wouldn't own one myself.


Plus it's nice that my 2006 Dell and my ~2011 Dell use the same docking station. HP changes docks every 3 years or so.
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Old 06-15-2018, 07:04 PM   #6
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I'll 2nd the vote to get a refurbished DELL.

They are about 2000 new. This one would rock your CAD software with ease:

https://www.dellrefurbished.com/desk...20-135772.html

Under $250.

BTW: That's the only one, at the moment, with 16GB of RAM.

I think you can specify a different OS or different Hard Drive during the checkout, but it's going to add to the price.

A nice solid state drive like the Samsung EVO would make that machine peak out with CAD stuff. Look at all the great reviews on it.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OAJ412U
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Old 06-15-2018, 07:28 PM   #7
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It's definitely worth going SSD. The only computer in my house that has spinning disks anymore is my server.
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jp2code View Post
I'll 2nd the vote to get a refurbished DELL.

They are about 2000 new. This one would rock your CAD software with ease:

https://www.dellrefurbished.com/desk...20-135772.html

Under $250.

BTW: That's the only one, at the moment, with 16GB of RAM.

I think you can specify a different OS or different Hard Drive during the checkout, but it's going to add to the price.

A nice solid state drive like the Samsung EVO would make that machine peak out with CAD stuff. Look at all the great reviews on it.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OAJ412U
Damn! Don't sleep on those DELL deals.

Someone already bought that one. It's gone. (Fooking OGB stole it!)

Go in and play around with the options. Specify an Intel i5 processor and over 8GB of RAM. The Intel i7 are super expensive!
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:07 PM   #9
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Dell has a Coupon page, too!

https://www.dellrefurbished.com/dell-coupons

Look into their existing coupon items, and pick a machine that you can use one on.
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:26 PM   #10
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Haha wasn't me, I've already got 11 PCs. Don't need any more :P
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