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Do I even need a desktop anymore?

Discussion in 'Technology' started by alexd, Sep 19, 2018.

  1. alexd

    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).
  2. praktik

    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!
  3. SneakyPete

    SneakyPete TRIBE Member

    I've moved away from desktops long ago, now my debate is should I stick with Windows or go Android?
  4. alexd

    alexd Administrator Staff Member

  5. praktik

    praktik TRIBE Member

    Thunderbolt 3
  6. praktik

    praktik TRIBE Member

    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.
  7. alexd

    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.
  8. praktik

    praktik TRIBE Member

    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....
  9. praktik

    praktik TRIBE Member

  10. praktik

    praktik TRIBE Member

    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)
  11. SneakyPete

    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.
  12. alexd

    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.
  13. praktik

    praktik TRIBE Member

    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!
  14. SneakyPete

    SneakyPete 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.
  15. praktik

    praktik TRIBE Member

    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.
  16. alexd

    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.

  17. alexd

    alexd Administrator Staff Member

    Ah fuck it. I'll think about the purchase for a few weeks before I commit.

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