View Full Version : Need new computer advice

Chad Fitzgerald
09-12-2014, 6:02 PM
getting a new computer, local computer shop priced me two computers, would like your advice on which one i "need".
Im sure both will work fine, im sure the more expensive one is "better", but is it necessary.

1st:Lenovo IdeaCentre H530 Desktop (3.0 GHz Intel Dual-Core G3220 Processor, 4 GB DDR3 RAM, 1 TB HDD, Windows 7)IntelPentium Dual Core processor
Windows 7 Home Premium 64
Integrated IntelHD graphics
HDMI output, 7-in-1 card reader and USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports
Integrated DVD drive
Slim, space-saving USB keyboard, USB mouse
Easy access to hard drive and memory for simple upgrades
25L Tower form factor

2nd: Dell Inspiron i3847-5078BK Desktop (Windows 7)

Intel Core i5-4460 Processor
1 TB Hard Drive
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

I use the internet, coreldraw for laser, will be getting aspire(when i get a cnc), kcdw(kitchen design software)

Advice appreciated, there is about 150-250 dollars difference
Thanks Chad

Paul Phillips
09-12-2014, 6:30 PM
Hi Chad, IMO the Lenovo should work fine in the short term but I've found that if you can afford it, it's worth getting a bit extra, it should last longer and you won't be wishing you had gotten more horse power upfront. 8 gigs of RAM should be minimum at this point, just my opinion though, I'm sure others will chime in with theirs also.

Dan Hintz
09-12-2014, 7:27 PM
Either processor is more than fast enough, but I would upgrade your RAM to 8GB if you'll be drawing in CorelDraw... you can never have enough memory when it comes to graphics packages.

Paul Hinds
09-12-2014, 7:39 PM
+1 on the suggestions that 4G main memory is absolutely not enough these days, and either processor is going to be lots more power than you need.

I am a power user in every respect except for graphics/video, which I don't do at all, and my 500gig HD is plenty, so I think 1T HD is more than enough, probably WAY more than enough for you UNLESS you are into, or plan to get into, heavy use of graphics files. They are resource hogs.

Mike Chance in Iowa
09-12-2014, 8:01 PM
You don't mention which version of CD you are using. That may make a difference if you are running a 32-bit version of CD on the 64-bit Windows. (Check this forum. I believe people were having problems with that issue.)

If you have a 64-bit version of CD, either of those 2 computers listed will do just fine, but if you plan on keeping that computer for some length of time, upgrade the memory to 8. I don't know about X5, but Corel X6 will install either 32-bit or 64-bit depending upon what OS it detects.

Robert Tepper
09-12-2014, 10:35 PM
I have owned several Dell computers and have never been disappointed with my purchases. I run my laser and CD X6 among other programs.

Dell has excellent service and is very dependable.

Good luck with your purchase,

Kev Williams
09-13-2014, 1:52 AM
My new NEW computer is an HP Pavillion, 3.2ghz quad core AMD, 8g ram, Win8 64...

My new OLD computer is a Dell Optiplex 760, 2.66 duo-core Intel, 3.5g ram, it HAD Win7 64, which I replaced with plain ol' WinXP pro..

I also have a Dell something, that has Win7 64 Enterprise, 2.16 duo-core intel, 4gigs ram...

The Win7 and 8 computers will load up Corel X4 almost instantly. My WinXP will load it in about 4 seconds.

Aside from that, I don't notice that the XP is any slower than the 7 or 8 machines. The Win8 runs my IS400, the Win7 runs my IS7000 and the Triumph. WinXP does virtually everything else, because the newer computers won't run ANY of my other machines, won't run my 2005 Quickbooks, or my 8 year old HP all-in-one fax-printer... New computers are nearly worthless to me...

Mike Lysov
09-13-2014, 6:44 AM
I would recommend to get a SSD for OS. 64GB or 128GB solid state discs do not cost much but they make a huge difference in both loading and processing.
I have put a 128GB SSD in my laptop that I use for business and comparing it to a regular HDD the difference is huge. I do not even have a second hard drive in it because it is not a dual HDDs laptop. Still have a lot of space left after using it for almost 2 years.

Chad Fitzgerald
09-13-2014, 8:14 AM
wow, thanks all.
Mike chance: Corel draw, currently have x4, but i think i will need to upgrade to x6 for win7(right??).
Sounds like 8 G ram is the way to go. check.
Just one more question on the processors: both will be fine sounds like, computer store said the "duo-core" may not hold up after 5-6 years therefore recommended the quad core. should i worry about 5-6 years when it comes to a computer?????
Thanks Again All

Jerome Stanek
09-13-2014, 8:18 AM
I would go with the Dell as more 4 gigs more ram that you would want in it also a faster processor. The Dell should run about $549 from Amazon with free shipping

Dan Hintz
09-13-2014, 8:42 AM
Just one more question on the processors: both will be fine sounds like, computer store said the "duo-core" may not hold up after 5-6 years therefore recommended the quad core. should i worry about 5-6 years when it comes to a computer?????

It's a seller's ploy to get you to spend more money now. Will you be running the same machine in 5-6 years with the same software versions? I don't upgrade software often... I was a beta tester for X5, still run X5, and will continue to run X5 until such time as I beta test another version. If it works, I see no need to "keep up with the Joneses". Computers don't magically lose speed with their hardware, people just keep upgrading all of their software, which requires more hardware oomph. Stick with what you have and be happy.

Neil Pabia
09-13-2014, 12:51 PM
I upgrade my computers every two years. The last few I had were Asus laptops and since using those I would never go back to a desktop. I also agree that a dual core is plenty of processor and 8 gigs of ram is better than 4 gigs, but will you really notice the difference? Probably not.

Mike Chance in Iowa
09-13-2014, 1:22 PM
I agree with Dan. I see people encouraged to buy more because the seller has no idea what the buyer intends to use it for. I have a 10 year old, 1.5 GHz duo core processor ThankPad laptop running XP and it's still going strong. With all the latest software updates, Chrome has been pushing it's 1 GB memory and crashing it. Two weeks ago I bought a 2 GB memory for around $25, popped it in to make 3 GB and I have a brand new laptop that is no longer running hot. That laptop will continue to be for personal and business email use, surfing the internet, as well as run the dated software for my old rotary engraver. I feel certain that if I walked into a store looking for a laptop, I would be shown laptops that had way more power then I need and would not be as durable as my old one.

I would have been content to keep using my Corel X3 on my XP computer, but I needed the more advanced OpenType Font capabilities that X6 offered. My XP computer was slightly over the minimum requirements, but X6 still brought it to a crawl. After suffering for 2 years, I finally bought a new Windows 7 64-bit computer last week and recently posted my experiences with transferring my Corel files.

This forum does not allow 2-character searches (i.e. X4) so you will have to include search terms such as "corel" and "upgrade" and "64-bit" and see if you can find the posts about using X4 on a Windows 7 computer. You might be okay to run your X4. I haven't paid much attention to those posts since I jumped from X3 to X6.

I plan to keep this new computer for many years to come, so I opted for 8 GB memory, fast processor and 1 TB drive. The only reason I see to upgrade Corel in the future is if a new version will acknowledge the "hidden" setting in all the annoying Windows 7 system fonts so that I don't have to display them in my Corel font list. I really dislike having to scroll through an extra 40+ fonts in my font list that I have no intention on using!

The only other suggestion I have is to research the versions of Windows. I went with Pro so that I could to network backups and other more advanced stuff other versions of Windows did not allow.

John Noell
09-13-2014, 2:32 PM
Everyone seems to agree that more RAM is better, but I bet very few have actually tested that on their workload, or even looked at memory use in the performance tab in task manager. I have, and I am quite happy with 4GB. Putting in 8GB did nothing for my usage (graphics and a fair bit of video editing/encoding). Most people who try SSDs love the increase in read/write speeds. Put your OS and apps on the SSD, use the terabyte drive for files. As for two or four CPU cores, very few apps (incl CorelDraw thru X6) make much use of multiple cores (or even threads). Yes, the save function does, but with an SSD it's essentially instant anyway. If you are an artist and do incredibly complicated drawings, you MIGHT see a difference in save times. Even Dan likes X5 (with fewer functions that make use of multiple threads). :)

Mike Chance in Iowa
09-13-2014, 2:52 PM
I do agree with you John, but the two big factors are 1) What is the computer's intended use? and 2) How long do you intend to keep it? Most people will not tap into that 8 gb of memory or the full potential of their computers, but it doesn't hurt to have it if you intend to keep the computer for over 5 years ... or at least have a computer that you can upgrade to 8 gb when future software upgrades & installs require it. Part of the reason I had to buy a new computer last week was that my 10 year old computer was maxed at 2 gb of memory. Mine just happened to come with 8 gb installed.

I do have various performance monitors on my computers and my XP laptop was red lining with nothing loaded but Chrome. Now that I added 2 gb of memory to bump it to 3 gb, I can open Chrome and a slew of other programs and the performance monitors barely change and it is no longer overheating. I haven't made any drastic software changes to my laptop in at least 6 years other then software updates for Chrome, virus monitor and iTunes. I still use my excellent Eudora for my email! :-)

Kev Williams
09-13-2014, 2:57 PM
A little food for thought: the guy who I buy my rebuilt used computers from was telling me that a 32bit OS can't use any more than 4 gigs of ram...

Dan Hintz
09-13-2014, 3:53 PM
A little food for thought: the guy who I buy my rebuilt used computers from was telling me that a 32bit OS can't use any more than 4 gigs of ram...

Typically about 3.2GB... but he's looking at 64-bit versions of Windows.

Steve Morris
09-13-2014, 4:12 PM
will your applications be 64 bit versions? If they are 32 bit versions, will they run happily in a 64 bit environment?

that should be the first question before worrying about ram etc.

Its not about the hardware its ALL about what you will do with it, make sure you have a full spec of your needs and exactly what software you will run then look at what will you need to do it.
Places like PCWorld rely on ignorance and patter to sell you the latest (high margin) kit when all you want to do is send the kids some emails and do a bit of browsing.

Kev Williams
09-13-2014, 4:24 PM
as for 32 bit apps running on 64 bit 'puters...

I tried for days to get Quickbooks to run on Win7 64 bit, it would run okay for awhile then it would crash-- so I gave up and fired up the WinXP virtual machine- Quickbooks wouldn't work on XP 64 either. And neither would my HP printer- The PRINTER would work, but the "toolbox" wouldn't run without crashing...

John Noell
09-13-2014, 11:06 PM
Kev's situation is not unusual. However, using a compatibility setting of XP-SP3 for an app often fixes such problems. (Surely you were running a virtual 32 bit XP, no? 64 bit XP was pretty much a dog.)

Kevin Gregerson
09-14-2014, 1:23 AM
Search for HP 8440P nvidia. It's the refurbished govt laptops that came off lease. Great specs too. I love mine for all the uses you want to do. The only lack would be a separate large screen monitor to connect to it. I find when it comes to graphics a large high res screen is a time saver.

Mike Null
09-14-2014, 8:30 AM
I have a Lenovo that came off a lease plan and use it only for shipping. It is simply too slow even though the specs are pretty good.

Kev Williams
09-14-2014, 11:14 AM
Kev's situation is not unusual. However, using a compatibility setting of XP-SP3 for an app often fixes such problems. (Surely you were running a virtual 32 bit XP, no? 64 bit XP was pretty much a dog.)
I ran the virtual machine included with Win7 Pro 64, did all the compatibility settings, etc... The programs would run, but every so often they would search the DLL folders for files that didn't exist. Translating the errors always resulted in a 32/64 bit incompatibility issue. Too frustrating to figure out, and I refuse (nor have the money) to replace perfectly good software and hardware simply because new OS's won't run 'em...

Jerome Stanek
09-14-2014, 1:21 PM
I run a real old version of Quicken from windows 98 on my windows 7 64 professional computer. Have to load the app on a thumb drive and open it from there.

John Noell
09-14-2014, 5:18 PM
...I refuse (nor have the money) to replace perfectly good software and hardware simply because new OS's won't run 'em... I sympathize. Having to tell people that they have to give up XP in order to stay safe on the 'net, when they are perfectly happy with XP, gets some nasty responses. I can only wish Microsoft would offer up a subscription plan for XP patches to keep the bad guys at bay. That said, I may well put XP on the machine I hook up to my Shenhui when it gets here; and I will use a computer with Win7 or 8 (or 9 next year) to go out on the 'net.

tommy suriady
09-17-2014, 9:34 AM
Hi guys, regarding 32 bit software on 64 bit wins 7... just make sure you run it in compatibility mode and make sure you run as administrator. You dont have to run virtual xp. We have 30 computers at work and everyone of them run xp! Hahahaa... because everybody is more comfortable with xp.

As for the computer, have you guys considered just mix matching 1 unit yourself, or just get the seller to match it up for you? We never bought branded windows, except lenovo laptops. We buy casing+power, mobo+proc, ram, hd, graphic card, dvd and just fix it up, usually in less than an hour. Everything is color coded and cant possibly go to the wrong place.

This way, we can match good processor with lots of rams and small but dedicated graphic card to reduce load on proc and ram. Hd we go for 500gb and it is already too big because we have 10terras of networked storage. We kinda have everyone in staff 'get married' to the hardware and explore and customize as they see fit. But mostly, they are just adding more rams hoping for faster photoshop but mostly dissapointed and better graphics just for fun. We do photoshop and illustrator. Wecan get our core duo to run illustrator cs3 without problem! If you stay away from the shading and fancy stuffs which bog down our RIPS anyway...

I think they are every bit as reliable and comes at muchhhh lower cost. And the best part ks you are able to totally customize everything down to the power button.

Hope this helps!