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 Post subject: Re: New Desktop?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 12:25 pm 
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1. Get a Samsung 850 EVO drive (whatever size you can afford). It's the best SSD on the market, and it comes with excellent drive cloning software.
2. Get this cable.
3. Use the Samsung software to clone your existing HDD to the SSD. This takes no more than 25 minutes.
4. Swap drives. You need a tiny screwdriver, and it will take you 5 minutes. Plenty of YouTube videos show you how to do it, if you can't figure it out yourself.

Boot time should drop to less than 10 seconds if you're running Windows 10.

If you just want to start from scratch with Windows 10, buy a cheaper SSD (PNY, Crucial and WD all make decent ones), download the free Windows 10 installer from Microsoft and burn it to a flash drive. Install Windows 10 Pro to the new SSD, don't activate it (as in, don't buy it), and you're done. You do not have to activate Windows 10, and it will continue to update and behave as if you had purchased it. The only thing you lose out on is the "Personalize" button when you right-click the desktop. Saves you $140.


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 Post subject: Re: New Desktop?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:47 pm 
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Anything change if I'm fine sticking with the Windows 7 that came on the computer?


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 Post subject: Re: New Desktop?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:56 pm 
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Nope.

Except I'll call you an old fart for not upgrading an OS that's older than your kids.


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 Post subject: Re: New Desktop?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:57 pm 
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Why the cheaper drive if starting from scratch with 10? Just because the cloning software would then not be necessary?


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 Post subject: Re: New Desktop?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 3:02 pm 
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Correct. You can clone with a non-Samsung drive, but the process is nowhere near as simple (literally, two clicks with the Samsung software/drive).


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 Post subject: Re: New Desktop?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 3:11 pm 
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Will the 10 installer and the non-registered approach work if I were to upgrade instead of doing a new install?


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 Post subject: Re: New Desktop?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 3:17 pm 
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If you do not currently use W10, you would need to do a fresh install to a new (or existing drive). There might be a way to upgrade your W7 to W10 without losing any content on the drive, but I would personally never attempt that process (it usually results in a very unstable OS).

When you're shopping for a SSD, and you want to avoid the Samung premium, just check if the drive ships with cloning software. Many do, and as long as you have the adapter cable I mentioned above, you can move your W7 content to any new drive.


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 Post subject: Re: New Desktop?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 3:59 pm 
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Chris Knight wrote:
If you just want to start from scratch with Windows 10, buy a cheaper SSD (PNY, Crucial and WD all make decent ones), download the free Windows 10 installer from Microsoft and burn it to a flash drive. Install Windows 10 Pro to the new SSD, don't activate it (as in, don't buy it), and you're done. You do not have to activate Windows 10, and it will continue to update and behave as if you had purchased it. The only thing you lose out on is the "Personalize" button when you right-click the desktop. Saves you $140.


So, if I go this route, I switch the drives and then start the computer up with the flash drive plugged in? It'll boot with a blank drive and the installer?


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 Post subject: Re: New Desktop?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 5:18 pm 
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Correct. Obviously, you would download the Windows 10 installer to the flash drive on a working computer (possibly your existing laptop, before removing the old drive).

You plug the flash drive into a USB port, and when the laptop fails to detect an OS on the blank hard drive, it will scan for one on the CD/DVD drive and any USB port. Once it sees the flash drive, it'll ask for a few prompts, and away you go.

You could obviously try this out first, and if you end up hating W10, then just proceed with the original plan: put the old drive back in, attach the new drive to the USB adapter cable, and clone the original to the new one (just make sure you're going the right direction with the clone - the Samsung software will do this automatically, other applications may not!).


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 Post subject: Re: New Desktop?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:52 am 
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Followed your advice and installed Windows 10, to avoid your ridicule. New, clean install after I swapped drives (which was simpler than I expected). Yep, things load fast from a solid state drive.

Also, in case anybody else is in this boat, Windows will still accept a product key from an earlier version to install Windows 10, even though the free upgrade period is ostensibly over. So I'm not even doing the quasi-legal thing and running an unregistered version.

Thanks again.


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 Post subject: Re: New Desktop?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:03 pm 
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Chris Knight wrote:
1. Get a Samsung 850 EVO drive (whatever size you can afford). It's the best SSD on the market, and it comes with excellent drive cloning software.
2. Get this cable.
3. Use the Samsung software to clone your existing HDD to the SSD. This takes no more than 25 minutes.
4. Swap drives. You need a tiny screwdriver, and it will take you 5 minutes. Plenty of YouTube videos show you how to do it, if you can't figure it out yourself.

Boot time should drop to less than 10 seconds if you're running Windows 10.

If you just want to start from scratch with Windows 10, buy a cheaper SSD (PNY, Crucial and WD all make decent ones), download the free Windows 10 installer from Microsoft and burn it to a flash drive. Install Windows 10 Pro to the new SSD, don't activate it (as in, don't buy it), and you're done. You do not have to activate Windows 10, and it will continue to update and behave as if you had purchased it. The only thing you lose out on is the "Personalize" button when you right-click the desktop. Saves you $140.


I just bought a gray-market Win 10 license off Ebay for $6.50. Along with a i5 Dell Optiplex for like $50. Computer shit can be so cheap.


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 Post subject: Re: New Desktop?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:02 pm 
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Used PC desktop and laptop prices are so amazing right now.

I just helped my friend upgrade his arcade cabinet (it couldn't play Star Wars Trilogy Arcade). Found a Dell Precision workstation rocking a i7-3770, 8GB of RAM, and a 500GB drive (with a valid W7 license) - $200 with a 1 year warranty. It's about 10 percent slower than a brand new i7-7700 workstation, which would cost about five times more.

I found a tiny Dell Optiplex i5 desktop for Damian (Techiedude) to run his Plex server on. I think it was $80.


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 Post subject: Re: New Desktop?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:52 pm 
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Yeah, I think I'll be doing Plex with this, along with Kodi for local playback. Any chance you can hook me up with the i7 deal? Checked Dell's outlet and refurbished store and came up with nothing.


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 Post subject: Re: New Desktop?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:18 pm 
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The store I buy from was having a sale (as was most of eBay - 20 percent off everything a few weeks ago), and they sold out of the config I bought. Here's the same desktop with the i5 3550 for $199:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-Precision- ... SwHoFXvjEA

The cheapest 3770 they have right now is in a smaller case:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-Optiplex-7 ... SwKoRZZRoW

Keep an eye out in their store. The inventory is always changing. They ship really fast, and the warranty is a nice touch. The systems come packed exactly the same as if they'd come from Dell Refurbished.


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 Post subject: Re: New Desktop?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:23 pm 
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ooh, this one isn't bad - it's 100Mhz slower than the 3770, I doubt you'd notice the difference in performance. That price is damn good.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-T1600-Work ... SwTM5YuE2S


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 Post subject: Re: New Desktop?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:46 pm 
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Huh. I usually don't consider Xeon chips for consumer computing.

I like that the motherboard has 4 RAM slots unlike a lot of the other consumer Dells out there. Not that I really feel compelled to use more than 16GB of RAM.


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 Post subject: Re: New Desktop?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:51 pm 
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No idea how accurate this is, but looks like my i5 4460 compares favorably to the Xeon so I'll probably just hang with what I have. http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Xeon-E3-1 ... re-i5-4460


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 Post subject: Re: New Desktop?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:38 am 
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brian wrote:
No idea how accurate this is, but looks like my i5 4460 compares favorably to the Xeon so I'll probably just hang with what I have. http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Xeon-E3-1 ... re-i5-4460

For single-threaded stuff (like most gaming), they're about the same. The xeon is multi-threaded, however - so it's about 10-15 percent faster than your i5. Skip cpuboss and use passmark instead (just google the CPU model and the word passmark, hit the first link - it shows you single and multi-threaded performance).

So, yeah, not really worth the upgrade. You should consider just upgrading your CPU to a 4690K (same architecture as your current CPU, so it'll fit in your motherboard - PLUS, it's overclockable). Otherwise, save up for the new X299 series, or jump on the Ryzen bandwagon.


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 Post subject: Re: New Desktop?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:07 pm 
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I think I should just hang out where I'm at. I want a cheap but significant upgrade if available, but it doesn't seem like we're at a place where it's necessary.

Side note, I got my $70 after shipping Dell today, plopped my old SSD in it, spare RAM I had, and used the $6 windows 10 key I got off of ebay. It's running great and will be replacing my Raspberry Pi/Steamlink as a general purpose media player/game streamer.

I even got lazy when I discovered my Windows 10 install on the SSD from my other computer booted up fine - I just cleared out some extra apps it doesn't need and did some driver cleaning. While I appreciate clean installs, it's kind of nice to have some of my programs with particular settings ready to go.


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