Desktop computer renewal.

redsloe

Member
Location
Cornwall
We've not had a desktop computer for a few years now, a tablet does my browsing for me but with more invoices being emailed our ancient laptop is annoying the hell out of the missus! I shall soon be told to F off and do it myself!
Do people still use desktops for farmwork?
I heard you can get an itegrated tower in the moniter. Any good?
What should I be looking for?
 

Timbo

Member
Location
Gods County
A good number of people find a laptop does the job for what they want to do. I dont.

Personally, I have a 12 inch laptop for "casual sofa browsing" and in the office a desktop (actually 2) for proper business use - both with dual 24" monitors where you can get plenty going on and see it all easily;- often have many apps open and many tabs going on as well as email on the other screen.

A mid range i5 CPU, , 8gb ram at least , with a SSD primary drive and a secondary storage hard disk drive would be the bare minimum to consider. Allow for a copy of MS Office (£130) One drive or some form of cloud backup and two decent sized monitors. You will be doing more and more farming revolving around the computer, and if you have children keep them off it.

With a desktop you are more likely to keep the business in the office and not scattered throughout the house.

£600 should get you all the above very easily and don't forget you can both depreciate office expenses and reclaim the VAT . Do not go to Currys or the like and buy any of their junk laden heaps.-

There are also many resellers of 2nd user refurbed almost-current spec machines out their who sell on ex corporate Lenovo's, Dells, HP's etc at bloody good value. I like ITzoo for instance.

Oh yeah, avoid integrated.
 
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Tomr10

Member
All about cost. I use a laptop with 2x 24 inch montours plus laptop screen bit it's not cheap tool.

Most laptops have a hdmi out so it's simple to run a laptop and one extra screen.

Personally I'd go laptop over integrated monitor desktop
 

cowmop

Member
Laptop, docking station 2 screens = game changer.
JPEG_20200827_150552_5686938359052520555.jpg
 

Tomr10

Member
Laptops are handy if you want to use them in different places and/or not at a dedicated desk.
Apart from that a desk top is a no brainer.
Whatever spec you decide upon desktop will be cheaper plus life span is likely to be much longer.
And easier to upgrade
 

cowmop

Member
Tidy desk, ours is never like that! Is it because of the beer fridge nearby?
It's my work stuff, I work on the railway on a fault desk as such for broken trains. Been working shift at home since March and it was on the kitchen table but last week I thought "this could go on for a while" so made space in the laundry room, it's pretty big at 21x10 foot but had to use existing work top, only problem is the chair is too low.
 

Chris F

Staff Member
Media
Location
Hammerwich
No need to spend £600 - £200 will get you something better than you need unless you are gaming. This for instance is £170 plus vat:


Cracking bit of kit and will boot up in seconds with the solid state drive.
 

Timbo

Member
Location
Gods County
No need to spend £600 - £200 will get you something better than you need unless you are gaming. This for instance is £170 plus vat:


Cracking bit of kit and will boot up in seconds with the solid state drive.

Definately the spec the OP should aim at or better.

Dont forget to add on two monitors, keyboard, mouse & office.
 

Boysground

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Wiltshire
Just need to check the spec will take 2 monitors. If not add a low end graphics card, it should have hdmi and dvi outputs then it’s easy to add monitors. Think mine was about £30 extra worth every penny.

Bg
 

Cowabunga

Member
Location
Ceredigion,Wales
Since 2011 I've used an Apple iMac. A 21" replaced two very well used laptops. Very recently upgraded to a 27" iMac with a very high specification and currently have both on the table. May well hook up the old one as a second monitor but for now the 5K 27" display is great. The whole machine is aesthetically pleasing and complements any room and the wireless mouse and keyboard gives great versatility without clutter. External extra drives take care of backing up and they fit neatly on the iMac's foot.
If an Apple product is your cup of tea, then it should be noted that an iMac of roughly the same spec as a MacBook Pro laptop is the cheaper option with greater versatility, easier upgrade of RAM and a way better screen. Get a good 27" 4K screen to complement a fairly high spec Windows laptop and you will be near iMac price.

Do not get a basic 21" iMac. If you must get a 21" you should get one up with a separate internal graphics card and a factory RAM upgrade, because unlike the 27" the 21 is not user upgradable.

If a desktop replacement laptop is your preferred solution, don't get a cheapy for goodness's sake. Get one with a nice keyboard that's durable, with a good screen [even if you intend adding a desktop screen] that has HDMI and display ports as well as three or four USB3.1 ports if not USBC or thunderbolt. Also make sure it has adequate RAM, although some have easily accessible ports to add more [check for that]. Also a ninth or tenth generation i5 or i7 CPU and a quality graphics card for your intended use with at least 4GB RAM on the card. The computer….all computers really should have a minimum of 8GB of main RAM [as distinct to graphics RAM] in order to work seamlessly these days. 16GB is well worth paying for and will ensure fast operation with multiple browser windows open with many tabs open in each plus a word processor and spreadsheet on the go. 4GB of RAM will balk at some email clients if there are thousands I the inbox, or if you have multiple tabs open in a browser. Theoretically it will shut down browser tabs in order to keep going and reload when you again access the tab, but this slows things down.

Also make sure you get an SSD storage drive rather than a spinning disc one. This is very important for the boot [main] drive to get a fast start and loading of apps. I'd go for a minimum of 256GB SSD, but if you are a demanding user a 500GB or more SSD would be indicated. For backups a cheap 500GB or larger spinning disc external drive is the economical answer, connected to a USB port. If connected to a laptop though, perhaps a faster backup drive might be advised, so a low and SATA SSD [solid state drive] may be a better option due to speed of transfer, which is more important if the laptop is shut down immediately after active work.

My portable needs are met by an iPad Pro, so I've no need for a laptop. The iMac shares and synchronises many apps with the iMac and indeed the iPhone.

Your Mrs will be eternally grateful if you get her an iMac, especially if you pay the small amount extra for the extended keyboard with numerical keypad [which I make do without]. It is dead easy to use and there are plenty of tutorials on YouTube and various web sites that help find and use advanced productivity features. I especially like the Macmost channel. Macworld has written tutorials about how to type special characters like Æ € # © ® or ™ and to print, copy, cut, paste, highlight, delete forward, move a word at a time or to beginning or end of a line or a paragraph and so on and so forth. All optional but amazingly productive to a power-user.
 
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Integrated do look very very cool, but you can't upgrade them and they are of course expensive for what they are. MIL has one, think it was a HP. Cool machine though and quite a high spec.

Mac is well worth a look just make sure your software is compatible with it's OS!!

Adding a graphics card isn't difficult, a lot of motherboards will run you two monitors now quite happily as many of the CPUs these days have a GPU on the die as well. Ask about it though.

Do not buy a Dell. Or Alienware which is the same carp in a different dress.
 

Fogg

Member
Livestock Farmer
Libra Office and Open Office are cheaper still. :)

Why does the OP need two monitors? I'm getting by perfectly happily with one.

I agree that £200 will buy a decent enough machine if online banking and the odd bit of document printing is all that's required. I'd look for a refurb desktop with a SSD. Keeping kids off the thing is a great advice... I'd avoid integrated too.
 

steveR

Member
Mixed Farmer
Libra Office and Open Office are cheaper still. :)

Why does the OP need two monitors? I'm getting by perfectly happily with one.

I agree that £200 will buy a decent enough machine if online banking and the odd bit of document printing is all that's required. I'd look for a refurb desktop with a SSD. Keeping kids off the thing is a great advice... I'd avoid integrated too.

Once you have twin (or even triple!) monitors, you'll not go back!

I run two satellite screens and big ass centre monitor...
 

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