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Tips for buying hardware?

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Tips for buying hardware?
« on: August 21, 2019, 01:28:40 AM »
 

MS

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Do you have any tips when it comes to buying hardware?

I have a rule, which majority of times seems relevant to me not only in terms of choosing the hardware, but for any kind of consumerism in general. It is that all things relevant for life are at comparably reasonable prices, while supplementary observation is that only things superfluous are rare and pricey. Do you agree with it?

What about buying new versus used? Personally, I tend to go for the new, but I know a lot of people - both when it comes to buying, say, a car as much as a computer - would tell it is a squandering solution, making one have qualitatively less for as much or even more money.

Laptops themselves are kind of a controversial choice. In my view, "gaming laptop" is an oxymoron, at least compared to desktops, but still, I am very much a dedicated laptop user. Nonetheless, I am not very much a dedicated gamer. I know people, though, who would always go for a desktop.

Wonder how - or rather, when - the world of streaming services will impact the customer preferences when it comes to buying hardware. Wonder if desktops will actually ever become marginal.
Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 02:16:39 PM by MS
 


Re: Tips for buying hardware?
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2019, 05:45:02 AM »
 

m654321

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Here in the UK, you can get good quality stuff for free (including old computers ) that people would normally throw out in their garbage, through an organization called Freegle: https://www.ilovefreegle.org/   I'm always surprised by what folk throw away!

For example today I'm picking up a Packard-Bell Easynote Ajax-C3 and a Medion Mim 2080 laptops. Maybe not the world's fastest PCs, but man they're free! Apparently both are dragging their heels on Win7, so I'm going to bring them back to life by 'LL-ing' them, then give them away to those that need a PC but can't afford one.

Due to real global concern about the environment, I'm loathe to buy brand-new, particularly electronics gadgets, which are really bad for the environment and are becoming an increasing problem. Getting laptops that would otherwise go to landfill & pollute, plus the thrill of getting them up and running again on Linux, and giving them away for free is something I enjoy and get great satisfaction from ...
Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 05:50:29 AM by m654321
Linux-user since 2014. 64bit OS installed in Legacy mode on MBR (msdos/ext4) formatted SSDs (except the pi which uses a micro SDHC card):
2017 - Raspberry pi 3B (4cores) ~ Arm710@1.2GHz - LibreElec, used for upgrading our Samsung TV (excellent for the task)  
2012 - Lenovo G580 2689 (2cores; 4threads] ~ i3-3110M - LL3.8/Win8.1 dual-boot (LL working smoothly)
2011 - Samsung NP-N145 Plus (1core; 2threads) ~ Intel Atom N455@1.66GHz - Manjaro (tried LL3 series but lagged)
2008 - Asus X71Q (2cores) ~ Intel T3200@2.0GHz - LL4.4/Win8.1 dual-boot (LL working beautifully)
2007 - Dell Latitude D630 (2cores) ~ Intel T7100@1.8GHz - LL3.8/Win8.1 dual-boot (LL really zippy!) - my daily driver  :-)
 

Re: Tips for buying hardware?
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2019, 08:24:04 AM »
 

TheDead

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Problem with used laptops is the battery.If the previous owner always had it plugin, this can cause premature battery failure.
If you need the laptop on the road, buying a used one for a bargain and having to find and shell out more than the laptop price for a new battery could be a pain.I only recommend official manufacturer batteries and not ebay "clones" that are notorious for having issue or not work at all.Problem is the official ones can drain wallets.
For desktop, I suggest something local that you can see before you buy.And you have to know your stuff or have a friend who does because anything could be inside, good and bad components.
** most important, buying something used always has a chance to have leaking capacitors after a few years.This is less and less likely with newer harware since they use solid capacitors though.
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Re: Tips for buying hardware?
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2019, 02:24:02 PM »
 

MS

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Quote from: TheDead
And you have to know your stuff or have a friend who does because anything could be inside, good and bad components.
Seems like a rule number one for going used hardware.

@m654321, the electrotrash is a major concern if to think wider, but on the other hand, not everything in life is so idealistic. I mean, I am using my 10~15$ mobile phone sixth year in a row now, which is my only mobile phone and I do it also because out of awareness there is no need to generate further electrotrash if everything works fine. The problem is, though, when I want something new, I want something new, y'know.

I am also a minimalist and would avoid duplicating devices when it comes to fulfilling similar functions. Which is, I would rather not have a tablet and a laptop both or a dedicated GPS and a smartphone both.

When it comes to new versus used, wonder if computer hardware can be compared to car engines, where the new generations of car engines may oftentimes provide superior performance and better ecological behaviour even with arguably lower specifications, thinking first of all about lower capacity?
Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 02:26:55 PM by MS
 

Re: Tips for buying hardware?
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2019, 03:35:41 PM »
 

m654321

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Quote
When it comes to new versus used, wonder if computer hardware can be compared to car engines, where the new generations of car engines may oftentimes provide superior performance and better ecological behaviour

That's a really good analogy MS, which made me rethink. While getting more mileage out of old computers is possible with Linux, older ones are not as energy efficient as the more modern ones. So you may save the planet for a bit longer by keeping older kit, but you may guzzle up more energy in day-to-day running costs than newer kit ...
Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 03:38:52 PM by m654321
Linux-user since 2014. 64bit OS installed in Legacy mode on MBR (msdos/ext4) formatted SSDs (except the pi which uses a micro SDHC card):
2017 - Raspberry pi 3B (4cores) ~ Arm710@1.2GHz - LibreElec, used for upgrading our Samsung TV (excellent for the task)  
2012 - Lenovo G580 2689 (2cores; 4threads] ~ i3-3110M - LL3.8/Win8.1 dual-boot (LL working smoothly)
2011 - Samsung NP-N145 Plus (1core; 2threads) ~ Intel Atom N455@1.66GHz - Manjaro (tried LL3 series but lagged)
2008 - Asus X71Q (2cores) ~ Intel T3200@2.0GHz - LL4.4/Win8.1 dual-boot (LL working beautifully)
2007 - Dell Latitude D630 (2cores) ~ Intel T7100@1.8GHz - LL3.8/Win8.1 dual-boot (LL really zippy!) - my daily driver  :-)
 

Re: Tips for buying hardware?
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2019, 08:03:44 PM »
 

bernard stafford

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Research the products before considering purchase.     :)     https://www.zdnet.com/topic/hardware/    ;) 8)

I agree about re-purposing old computers. As long as it is feasible to do so. New OS [Linux] or just have an extra HDD or other parts laying around not being used.
That makes it very feasible. 
Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 08:19:53 PM by bernard stafford
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Re: Tips for buying hardware?
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2019, 01:36:46 AM »
 

MS

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When it comes to the comparison between cars and computers, I think the electric cars are pretty much what the cloud services are going to be in respective areas, impact-wise. Both the electric cars and the cloud services mean severe change in the dynamics and economy of how the world is probably going to look like, which we may actually witness to unfold. Speaking of cars, think about gas stations. For now, very few parts of the world offer evolved infrastructure for electric cars loading up in hyperefficient or even semi-efficient manner. There are various kinds of these loaders - or how is it called. Understandably, Tesla is the tech leader, but those are luxurious cars indeed, nonetheless the technology is slowly approaching middle and lower grade standards as well. I know Smart offers something in that line. Now, gas stations will certainly provide traditional fuels for a long time to come, but how will they manage shifting of balance? They will become more of recreational centres perhaps, allowing customers to have some leisure while the electric car charges up for a good while that it takes, depending again on the quality of infrastructure employed. For now, I would honestly not buy an electric car, due to the lack of sensible common infrastructure for it in my area.

Think about cloud services in this context. The same very problem, namely, the lack of proper infrastructure, but this time, we talk about the Internet. Few people, in my guess, will actually buy Google Stadia PRO, because simply their Internet limitations will hardly anyhow allow them to even make better sense of the Google Stadia Basic. For those new to the topic: both the mentioned options address the quality of streaming, with the "PRO" service going further than the "Basic", which increases Internet bandwidth consumption. Even though there is little doubt the future - perhaps more distant future - belongs to the cloud services, for now, it is quite a vague option, reserved only for certain geographical areas, where the infrastructure is considered not yet ready to swiftly handle the extended standard but just good enough to have a start.

We may also unfortunately experience the effects of some corruption going on behind the scenes, slowing down the progress of adaptation to new technologies taking over the market. Simply, corporations primarily selling hardware cannot allow themselves to loose profitable, sometimes the only real fields of making profit.

Analogous problems could address both the electric cars, as well as the cloud services.

It is thrilling nonetheless to observe the changes progressively occur.

EDIT:

Perhaps with the electric cars, rechargeable and replaceable batteries could be a significant improvement.
Last Edit: August 22, 2019, 04:20:24 AM by MS
 

Re: Tips for buying hardware?
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2019, 08:16:53 AM »
 

TheDead

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I am also a minimalist and would avoid duplicating devices when it comes to fulfilling similar functions.
You mean like this? ;) :

... , but you may guzzle up more energy in day-to-day running costs than newer kit ...
I sometimes wonder if it's like washing a really dirty/greasy little plastic container before recycling.Is all the hot water/energy and soap needed balancing the trashing of the thing...
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Re: Tips for buying hardware?
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2019, 11:21:16 AM »
 

The Repairman

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Being in the consumer electronics repair industry for many many years the only advantage to buying new is you have a warranty which is only as good as its backer.
I have several desktops and laptops that are maybe three years old and have died due to bad capacitors which could have gone bad due to lack of quality surge protection or battery backup.
I take these desktops and replace the capacitors for the cost of quality new capacitors and use them for years and years and the dead laptops I remove the hard drives and use them in the desktops and the memory I just give away.
No reason to buy new when there are very capable used desktops and cool desktop hardware that can be purchased for very little money if you are a smart shopper.
Buy a soldering iron and a roll of solder and watch some DIY Youtube videos and learn how to solder as it ain't hard to do if you have common sense.
Capacitor kits are available online if you choose that route or can be purchased as individual components online.
Just my 00.02 cents. :)
 

Re: Tips for buying hardware?
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2019, 06:24:06 PM »
 

Sprintrdriver

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I have noticed some discussion on various forums and mention on youtube (no I ave no link) that graphic cards from AMD is preferable over Nvidia because of AMD use open source drivers.

Truth being told, I don't really know how relevant that is when consider buying a specific computer for use with Linux.
I won't let an old, but fully functional computer die just because some company tell me that they won't make no more security updates to their OS. Thanks Linux :)
 

Re: Tips for buying hardware?
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2019, 10:05:09 PM »
 

The Repairman

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I have noticed some discussion on various forums and mention on youtube (no I ave no link) that graphic cards from AMD is preferable over Nvidia because of AMD use open source drivers.

Truth being told, I don't really know how relevant that is when consider buying a specific computer for use with Linux.
I wouldn't say one is any better than the other.

The AMD open source graphics driver works pretty well on my desktops.

I can't say that about the open source Nouveau graphics driver and prefer the proprietary graphics driver when using an Nvidia graphics card.

I like them both.
 

Re: Tips for buying hardware?
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2019, 02:28:35 AM »
 

MS

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@TheDead, if I wanted a "SPORK", I would buy a decent tablet. It is the most compact choice. Unnecessarily the most efficient. The cost of a decent tablet may match the combined costs of the following: a gaming console for dedicated gaming, a GPS for dedicated navigation, a Chromebook sort of a laptop for web browsing and office jobs. Separate devices are also perhaps more intuitive to use, despite how friendly a "compact" device could be. The more the functions, the more the convolution. In the end, it would consume a lot of your time seeking out the best software for given task, perhaps ending up in a situation where nevertheless you would be required to pay extra. For dedicated devices, this is choosing a targeted infrastructure, which means, there is an entire network of institutions making sure what you get is as good as it gets. Particularly without compatibility issues.

For the "exclusivity" of one device per one major purpose, I rather talk about alternatives. You make a choice. It is a waste of money to have multiple devices doing the same thing. Like, having a solid standard purpose refrigerator and then having a refrigerator that works also as a toaster. There must be a tradeoff to lack of focus. On the other hand, I am not much a gadgeteer. This is where minimalism should do the work.

EDIT:

For the global ecological thinking, it is most praiseworthy, but come on, should a home PC user worry about that, unless taking care of own health, to avoid dwelling in too much of an electro-smog, narrowed down to the closest space of living? I mean, together we could make a difference, but ultimately, I think there are bigger concerns than one PC eating up this extra bit of power. Unless the bills, because, that is an argument.

PS.

I have not been a gaming console user, at least thusfar, but I do think the PC is a flawed way for gaming.
Last Edit: August 23, 2019, 04:00:11 AM by MS
 

Re: Tips for buying hardware?
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2019, 07:54:05 AM »
 

TheDead

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I have not been a gaming console user, at least thusfar, but I do think the PC is a flawed way for gaming.

Well, it's like finding the perfect anwser or something (perfect cake?... nom nom ;) ).
Depends on the use, the type of game, etc.
Even if available on consoles, some games are just better with a keyboard and mouse.
I maybe talking out of my ass but I think "serious gamers" will always go the PC way, and their wallets too.
Casual gamers (no, not the Solitaire grannies) will choose a console because it's just less trouble and less expensive.
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Re: Tips for buying hardware?
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2019, 12:55:24 PM »
 

MS

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@TheDead, you are probably right, but being serious about anything - even about the usage of Windows in some circumstances - takes a decision to make, to become committed. Consoles are standardized, have targeted infrastructure, they simply just work in the most practical sense, because they are entirely meant to do one thing complex and do it as best as they can be made to.

With the PC, the common compatibility issues and related dissonances - it is actually something that Microsoft needs to be thanked for, which is, giving us the Rome of the PC realm - as well as the constant upgrade pressure, simply spoils the experience and may actually become a well of frustration.

Who in here does not know this feeling when you see your PC falls behind the contemporary big gaming scene requirements so much you are basically out of the loop, forcing you to become a second grade consumer, seeking out replacements, rather than things of choice?

Then comes the ideology: it is good, because it made me realize - and so on. No, it made you fall out of the loop. Your decision made you realize - a decision not to catch up.

Somehow, it is kind of paradoxical that gaming consoles have become so successful. This means something. This means that people who want entertainment, do not want to deal with the PC and least of all, the commandline.
Last Edit: August 24, 2019, 01:21:49 AM by MS
 

Re: Tips for buying hardware?
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2019, 07:41:24 PM »
 

The Repairman

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The best tip when buying hardware is researching the hardware you are considering buying and making sure it's compatible with the system you are going to install it in and is compatible with the OS.
 


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