Windows 10 software

David1985

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Dorset
About to build myself a new desktop pc, been using laptops for last few years but fancy something I can upgrade easy and not have all the preloaded shite on it. Last time I built a pc was pre having the internet at home so you could “just borrow a windows cd” but not the done thing these days. Any suggestions where to buy from. Seems to vary on groupon for about £40 but ccl online etc is £110. Don’t wanna spend £110 if £40 will work and equally don’t wanna waste £40 on something that won’t work! Tia

David
 

DKnD

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Exmoor
I've just done what your gonna do. Downloaded W10 direct from Microsoft. Just isn't activated. Seems to work ok so far!
 

Cowabunga

Member
Location
Ceredigion,Wales
Yes, a download of W10 and purchase of a key.
More problematic is the motherboard I'd imagine. Make sure that it takes either a ninth generation i9 or AMD Ryzen processor and has at least two SSD cards of the type NVME m.2 PCIe memory card slots and is compatible with generation 4 of these. Avoid SATA drives, even if solid state. Forget about mechanical hard drives unless you want to install an existing one for some reason. SSD nvme drives are now commonly available and reasonably priced up to 1TB capacity and 2TB are increasingly being offered. The bigger the better in SSD capacity, because you don't really want to fill them up if you are continually overwriting one. Latest 1gb quality nvme 1TB drives have a 600 TB overwrite durability.
16GB RAM should be considered the minimum with 32 being very affordable and increasingly useful these days.
Also ensure you equip it with several Thunderbolt3 terminals, which are compatible with USB3.1 but faster. A good graphics card and CPU with at least 8gb of its own memory is also important, especially if gaming is one of your aims.
 
CB, an i9 processor is serious money, they are not really for everyday desktop applications. The latest gen i5's will be plenty fast enough.

Even the entry level i9 is about 500 quid alone today (mobos will be nuts expensive, too). It's not necessary. Regular consumer and enthusiast grade i5/i7 will see most folk on this forum sorted for the next 10 years. My i7 is years old but runs everything I can throw at it.
 

Cowabunga

Member
Location
Ceredigion,Wales
CB, an i9 processor is serious money, they are not really for everyday desktop applications. The latest gen i5's will be plenty fast enough.

Even the entry level i9 is about 500 quid alone today (mobos will be nuts expensive, too). It's not necessary. Regular consumer and enthusiast grade i5/i7 will see most folk on this forum sorted for the next 10 years. My i7 is years old but runs everything I can throw at it.
My iMac has a quad core i5 2.5GHz Sandy Bridge processor which does everything I've wanted it to do perfectly well. But it is a nine year old machine and time and tide wait for no man or his machine. The main limiting factors of my machine were/are the original 4GB or RAM which I didn't realise was quite as limiting as it proved to be. After installing another 8GB extra a while ago it totally transformed its speed overall. The other limiting factor is my hard drive, which was perfectly good in its day [and is still the same performance today] as a 7500rpm mechanical thing. However solid state drives are between 10 and 20 times faster operating and in reading and writing and that makes a huge noticeable difference. These should be the standard fit on any new computer that is meant to last a good few years. Ideally not with a SATA interface but with the much faster still NVME, which does require an NVME motherboard to take advantage of it.


The issue is to make a new work perfectly well for the next 10 years, when my i5 or any i5 will be an ancient 20 year old design by then.
Today I'd go for a Ryzen7 compatible motherboard I think, and be able to make use of multi-threading, making sure it had at least two PCIe NVME M.2 2280 memory slots and fit at least one such memory card of at least 500GB and ideally 1TB. Also important is to have several USB 3 and USB3.1/Thunderbolt sockets for connecting peripherals. Graphics card depends on whether it would be intended for gaming, or not, but AMD offer plenty of choices for all budgets. My own machine has an AMD Radeon HD 6750M 512 mb but even fairly budget cards today will have 2GB on board memory on their graphics card. Higher end ones will have 8GB.

The 'Budget' is the thing of course. If it was a very significant point then I don't think anyone would bother with their own home build, because off the shelf budget machines will almost always be cheaper than building your own. Most people who build their own are enthusiasts looking for performance and 'performance costs'.

David might be an exception of course, for reasons such as 'the challenge' and 'satisfaction'. None of the above is compulsory. They are just ideas for a build that combines performance with future-proofing. Peripherals can be changed as fashion and need dictates, but building the basics for speed and performance using quality branded parts will never be a 'bad thing'.
 
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CB, an i9 processor is serious money, they are not really for everyday desktop applications. The latest gen i5's will be plenty fast enough.

Even the entry level i9 is about 500 quid alone today (mobos will be nuts expensive, too). It's not necessary. Regular consumer and enthusiast grade i5/i7 will see most folk on this forum sorted for the next 10 years. My i7 is years old but runs everything I can throw at it.

If you think an i9 is expensive, wait till you see the price of the Ryzen Threadripper 3990x :eek:


Mind you, it's some bit of kit. Total overkill for most though.
 

Cowabunga

Member
Location
Ceredigion,Wales
If you think an i9 is expensive, wait till you see the price of the Ryzen Threadripper 3990x :eek:


Mind you, it's some bit of kit. Total overkill for most though.
Needs this kind of motherboard

Just look at the connectivity and three PCIe NVMe m.2 generation 4 memory slots! Takes my breath away...
So does the combined cost of the ECU, the board, plus three Sabrent gen4 1TB memory drives [2 TB cards are now availble] This is as good and expensive as it gets of course. Add in a see through case with light-show and sufficient cooling, and you have a computer that leaves high end iMac and Mac Pro machines in the dust. Why? Just because.
 
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The second you get into enthusiast or server grade CPUs the motherboards become nuts expensive. Believe me, I have an X99 rig and that was dear enough when I bought it.

There isn't nothing a mid-range i5 can't run in the gaming world right now and they are steaming fast. There is a ship-load of threads and cores in these things already and not that many programs can even spread their workloads across them because they aren't written to do so.
 

DKnD

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Exmoor
Your going to extremes though.
Have just spent £290 on;
an i5 9400 + h370 motherboard (Which has these nvme slots but I'm not using) + 8gb ram. Already got a case, a psu, an ssd, monitor etc etc. So it's actually really cheap. I can add graphics, ram, storage if I want/need later on.
Replacing a 10 year old i3 laptop.
That'll do me thankyou!
 

Cowabunga

Member
Location
Ceredigion,Wales
The second you get into enthusiast or server grade CPUs the motherboards become nuts expensive. Believe me, I have an X99 rig and that was dear enough when I bought it.

There isn't nothing a mid-range i5 can't run in the gaming world right now and they are steaming fast. There is a ship-load of threads and cores in these things already and not that many programs can even spread their workloads across them because they aren't written to do so.
The Ryzen 3300, available any day now, is about 30% cheaper than the equivalent i5 and outperforms it. Nothing wrong with an i5 8th gen Coffee Lake or newer though. I'm sure any of them would work fine. Why bother with a home build though when £500 to £600 inc VAT will get you any of very many i5 desktops with a good specification?
25 years ago a DXII 66mHz 486 desktop with a floppy drive, optical drive and 500megabyte hard drive plus a CR tube VGA monitor cost over £1000. By those standards a £350 computer today is a real powerhouse to say the least. It is totally up to the individual to choose what they believe suits them for today and for the foreseeable future. Just don't get one with soldered-in RAM and only USB2 ports.
 

Cowabunga

Member
Location
Ceredigion,Wales
Your going to extremes though.
Have just spent £290 on;
an i5 9400 + h370 motherboard (Which has these nvme slots but I'm not using) + 8gb ram. Already got a case, a psu, an ssd, monitor etc etc. So it's actually really cheap. I can add graphics, ram, storage if I want/need later on.
Replacing a 10 year old i3 laptop.
That'll do me thankyou!
You've already got many key parts so the cost is kept fairly low and it suits you. Great. The i5 9400 Coffee Lake is about £150 with the improved Refresh version being £170. Various H370 motherboards are available from around £100 to £170. I guess you went with the top specifications for both CPU and board.
If you had to buy all the other bits though you would be well up on the price of a pre-built machine from Currys.
 
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A simple reinstall from MS download will do that.


You can buy W10 keys off ebay for peanuts - some say W10 pro is better
Sorry to barge in, because most of what you're talking about has gone straight over my head! Bought a refurbished Thinkpad with windows 10 ready installed and after about 18 months there's a message saying to activate windows by going to settings. It's asking for a key( which I haven't got ). Everything seems to be working as it is so what do I do?
 

Cowabunga

Member
Location
Ceredigion,Wales
Sorry to barge in, because most of what you're talking about has gone straight over my head! Bought a refurbished Thinkpad with windows 10 ready installed and after about 18 months there's a message saying to activate windows by going to settings. It's asking for a key( which I haven't got ). Everything seems to be working as it is so what do I do?
Not knowing precisely what the issue is, but the key you need should be on the box the computer came in and on the bottom of the laptop itself. Hope you can find it, but you can find keys on the internet that will work if all else fails.
 
Sorry to barge in, because most of what you're talking about has gone straight over my head! Bought a refurbished Thinkpad with windows 10 ready installed and after about 18 months there's a message saying to activate windows by going to settings. It's asking for a key( which I haven't got ). Everything seems to be working as it is so what do I do?
Hmm - as Duck says there should be a sticker on the bottom or in the packaging. Strange that it takes 18 months to show! Could you ask the vendors?
Maybe download https://www.magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder/ (just the FREE version) which should give you the 'CD Key'
If that fails ... E Bay for a new one, probably won't cost much!
 

Cowabunga

Member
Location
Ceredigion,Wales
Sorry to barge in, because most of what you're talking about has gone straight over my head! Bought a refurbished Thinkpad with windows 10 ready installed and after about 18 months there's a message saying to activate windows by going to settings. It's asking for a key( which I haven't got ). Everything seems to be working as it is so what do I do?

You should probably try the recovery mode found in control panel, if you can open Windows at all, even if in safe mode. Restore to an earlier restore point. It will give you a list of dates and you should choose one before it went wonky. You will not lose data, but you obvioulsy have all that backed up anyway.
 
Sorry to barge in, because most of what you're talking about has gone straight over my head! Bought a refurbished Thinkpad with windows 10 ready installed and after about 18 months there's a message saying to activate windows by going to settings. It's asking for a key( which I haven't got ). Everything seems to be working as it is so what do I do?

You will need to buy a product key. Can be bought for not stupid money these days.
 

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