• Hi Guest: Welcome to TRIBE, Toronto's largest and longest running online community. If you'd like to post here, or reply to existing posts on TRIBE, you first have to register on the forum. You can register with your facebook ID or with an email address. Join us!

Do I even need a desktop anymore?

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
My old desktop is grinding way slower and slower these days, so I was thinking of getting another. Maybe build another. Or buy something pre-built at the upper end of the speed spectrum.

I don't game, but often do some very heavy work with 2D images, and I multitask often, and I need something that will last me at least another 5 years.

So I was wondering... These days, should I even bother with a desktop at all or just get a notebook with balls and lots of ports.

I need to be able to pug in USB 2 and USB 3 for most of my peripherals. And I need a graphics card fast enough to easily manage big 2d files (in the 300mb range).
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Get any laptop with TB3 or higher and some of the fastest USB C 3.1 ports you can get.

This will let you dock into powerful solutions around your laptop for HTPC duty or for when you need some extra juice (for instance some GPU housings available with power bricks, plug into laptop TB3 port and boom - you got desktop GPU power for your laptop when @ home)

Anyway thats just one use case - latest USB/Thunderbolt standard lets you access things that make your laptop more 'desktop-ey' when you need it!
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
I've moved away from desktops long ago, now my debate is should I stick with Windows or go Android?
I still love desktops - cause I love building computers and being able to swap out parts and taking care on cable management and shit.

Also the power is umatchable in portable and even portables do max out even through our fastest USB interfaces like - i mentioned you can get a GPU housing and connect it to a laptop when you're home to get desktop power thats fine for most people.

But if you want the absolute fastest in GPU and CPU horsepower - desktop parts are still king.

As we go lower on fab nodes this is not always going to remain true.
 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
I can't find anything on the rack already built with the kind of spec I need. I don't buy a desktop very often, and always cheaped out because all my money was going into rack servers for the board... Anyway, I thought, I should really get something that is reasonably future-proof, can do robust photoshop, some music, some video - the last desktop I will probably ever buy. Here is what I've got so far.

AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
16 GB G.SKILL 3000MHz ram
MSI X470 Motherboard
Supernova Gold 650 W power supply
Samsung M.2 PCI-E 1TB SSD
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card
Windows 10 Pro 64...

It's coming in at $1700 before HST

hmmm. Gotta think about this...

This new M.2 drive technology is really fucking cool. Is a slot on the motherboard sort of like those slots for your ram, but you plug in a special M.2 hard drive on a circuit board. Faster speeds than SATA. Really smart.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
I can't find anything on the rack already built with the kind of spec I need. I don't buy a desktop very often, and always cheaped out because all my money was going into rack servers for the board... Anyway, I thought, I should really get something that is reasonably future-proof, can do robust photoshop, some music, some video - the last desktop I will probably ever buy. Here is what I've got so far.

AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
16 GB G.SKILL 3000MHz ram
MSI X470 Motherboard
Supernova Gold 650 W power supply
Samsung M.2 PCI-E 1TB SSD
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card
Windows 10 Pro 64...

It's coming in at $1700 before HST

hmmm. Gotta think about this...

This new M.2 drive technology is really fucking cool. Is a slot on the motherboard sort of like those slots for your ram, but you plug in a special M.2 hard drive on a circuit board. Faster speeds than SATA. Really smart.
Sweet - yes I have the Samsung 960 Evo and its plugged into an add-in card i have plugged into my mobo's PCI-E slot - I have a few m.2 slots but found out these are capped at x2 speed - i got full x4 speed using the add-in card which basically means about four times as fast as SATA SSD - life changing, OS loads up super quickly. Basically my mobo was one of the very first which allowed you to boot to the OS on a pCI-E SSD and its built in m.2 slots have a bit less bandwidth than available through the actual PCI-E slots on the board.

My OS loads up so frickin fast now! This is one of the most meaningful upgrades attainable right now - going from SATA to PCI-E interface for storage....
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
There are people putting 4 of these in RAID 1 stripes on specialty add in cards - each one taking x4 out of a x16 PCI-E Slot.

Speed is absolutely off the charts:



HighPoint SSD7101A-1 NVMe RAID Controller Review – Samsung and Toshiba M.2 SSDs Tested - The SSD Review

I have one measly quarter of this performance and Im super happy with it..;)
Also would just note - you are likely going to be practically limited in laptops to a 2-stick Raid 1 stripe of m.2 drives, conceivably some monstrous enthusiast 10k+ concept laptop could come with 4 of these sticks inside a mobo made for it

But on PC? You can get controller cards from multiple manufacturers and make this work on any pc with a x16 PCI-E slot (which is all of them really) and any mobo that is not 4 years old should let you boot from it (though there are some boot/OS questions to sort out once you are deciding to pursue this, Win10 should work but question if XP needs a special hack or something)
 

SneakyPete

TRIBE Member
Funny this came up, I was just reading about M.2 for the first time yesterday. Do I need a M.2 slot to use one of these SSDs or can I plug it into the SATA slot? Wondering if I can use it on my old laptop which currently uses a 2.5" SATA SSD.

Apparently SSD prices have been falling quite a bit lately, you can get a 500GB for under $100 now.
 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
M.2 and SATA are two different technologies with different connection formats.

You need an M.2 slot for an M.2 SSD
ANy computer motherboard should be able to accept a SATA SSD these days.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Funny this came up, I was just reading about M.2 for the first time yesterday. Do I need a M.2 slot to use one of these SSDs or can I plug it into the SATA slot? Wondering if I can use it on my old laptop which currently uses a 2.5" SATA SSD.

Apparently SSD prices have been falling quite a bit lately, you can get a 500GB for under $100 now.
If you don't have an m.2 slot then all you need is an add in card, and a minimum x4 slot for PCI-E.

Almost all motherboards currently in use have these save the most ancient.

The only trick of it is that Intel Chipsets that supported booting the OS off of PCI-E and not SATA started with the Z97 chipset - around 2014 or so.

So you could probably get an add in card that would make it read-able by OS in later mobo than that but you could boot, most likely, on any mobo made 2014+

Im using a card like this for my mobo:

Silverstone Expansion Card Model SST-ECM20 - Newegg.ca

Mostly cause of speed limitations on my native m.2 slots - but could work in a board without m.2 slots just fine!
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
^^That's for a desktop, I am talking laptop. My laptop is older than 2014 so I guess I am out of luck.
Probably out of luck in your current lappy as I expect you are not blessed with a Thunderbolt 3 interface which is a 2015-2016 thing when it started coming out.

Options exist for laptops like this:

AKiTiO Thunder3 PCIe SSD | 1.2TB Thunderbolt 3 NVMe SSD | AKiTiO

Thunderbolt is like a pipeline into the PCI-E lanes on your motherboard so external devices are able to pipe into your CPU super quickly.

There might be a tiny bit of overhead but you should be able to achieve similar to desktop performance even with external hookups on modern laptops.
 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
I have just read that Ryzen 7 doesn't do as well as an i7 with photoshop tasks. They say that the Intel chips at that level might not have as many cores but run at higher frequencies, which photoshop likes, apparently.

Hmmm.
 

wickedken

TRIBE Member
Ah fuck it. I'll think about the purchase for a few weeks before I commit.
I left my desktops back around 6-7 years ago and haven't missed it. Web/app development on a 13" MacBook Pro works fine. Only working with VMs and emulators does the speed become noticeable. Portable and fits in most bags, battery is good. You can plug or broadcast to another monitor. Don't know your Apple inclinations though.
 

Individual

New Member
Working pro on a Lenovo laptop Microsoft, it's the best laptop I've used ever. I mean you can do MAC development because of terminal. It just need to suit your purpose. Windows Vs. Mac.

Either or, it's a preference.

You have more control over a Linux box these days. Fedora OS etc. Composer.

It's really up to the developer now, and their flavors.
 

Individual

New Member
I can't find anything on the rack already built with the kind of spec I need. I don't buy a desktop very often, and always cheaped out because all my money was going into rack servers for the board... Anyway, I thought, I should really get something that is reasonably future-proof, can do robust photoshop, some music, some video - the last desktop I will probably ever buy. Here is what I've got so far.

AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
16 GB G.SKILL 3000MHz ram
MSI X470 Motherboard
Supernova Gold 650 W power supply
Samsung M.2 PCI-E 1TB SSD
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card
Windows 10 Pro 64...

It's coming in at $1700 before HST

hmmm. Gotta think about this...

This new M.2 drive technology is really fucking cool. Is a slot on the motherboard sort of like those slots for your ram, but you plug in a special M.2 hard drive on a circuit board. Faster speeds than SATA. Really smart.
Dude seriously, I would invest in a top quality MAC PRO for the same price. It's portable, and will get you what you need to do. Then you can display port out to HDMI.
 

Individual

New Member
I mean the top top quality ones with the scrub pads will probably cost $2k. But worth the investment for what you want.
 
Top