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My PC is turning 80...in computer years!


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Sounds good.  I did completely overlook the graphics card omission.  The one I built to spec at Dell site was essentially all the same, except BluRay, and now that you pointed it out, graphics card - I had added NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 2060 6GB GDDR6.

 

The Dell build actually came to $1,949.98.  I had also included Office Home and Student - so the price can drop if I stripped that out and went to the subscription version.  So the next question - better to buy the full build from Dell, or the one I listed above from Amazon and then just buy and add the graphics card...and how hard is it to add a graphics card to a non-tech-type?

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2 hours ago, zackiedawg said:

Sounds good.  I did completely overlook the graphics card omission.  The one I built to spec at Dell site was essentially all the same, except BluRay, and now that you pointed it out, graphics card - I had added NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 2060 6GB GDDR6.

 

The Dell build actually came to $1,949.98.  I had also included Office Home and Student - so the price can drop if I stripped that out and went to the subscription version.  So the next question - better to buy the full build from Dell, or the one I listed above from Amazon and then just buy and add the graphics card...and how hard is it to add a graphics card to a non-tech-type?

 

The 6GB RTX2060 is a great mid-range unit that runs like last year's top-end stuff.  The card is $350-$380 for a major brand like MSI, Asus or Gigabyte, so factor that into DIY decisions. I lean toward Asus but all are pretty much the same. If the price works out, adding a card is really quite simple. One or two screws, plug it into the long slot and connect a couple of this-only-goes-in-this-way plugs. The only worry I would have is that they may use a different cooler for the CPU on a build without a discreet card. Remote possibility of clearance issues in a compact case since the cards aren't small. 

 

 

Dave

 

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Gotcha.  Might just be better than to do the build with card already included - sounds more cost effective buying it at the build based on the prices you mention for them, plus the saving of time and stupidity installing something without real knowledge of what I'm doing...and possibility of some mis-match.

 

My other question is: What's the best-easiest way for data transfer from old machine to new?  I presume most of the software/programs need to be reinstalled on the new machine, so the rest is just data...I do have backup drives with all my personal data (music, photo, video, documents, etc), so I could go off of those - that would be USB3.  But it will probably take a very long time, with nearly a TB of data.  Would another method of transfer, some kind of cable to go computer-to-computer, be faster or better?

 

I've been dreading this move mostly because of trying to remember all the different programs and software I'll need to reload, finding old disks, and/or install codes/keys to download, passwords, etc. that I haven't used in years...and then there's all the customization of various programs like PSP, where with a clean install, I'll need to rebuild all my menus, toolbars, screen scale, shortcuts, plugins, etc.

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1 hour ago, zackiedawg said:

Gotcha.  Might just be better than to do the build with card already included - sounds more cost effective buying it at the build based on the prices you mention for them, plus the saving of time and stupidity installing something without real knowledge of what I'm doing...and possibility of some mis-match.

 

My other question is: What's the best-easiest way for data transfer from old machine to new?  I presume most of the software/programs need to be reinstalled on the new machine, so the rest is just data...I do have backup drives with all my personal data (music, photo, video, documents, etc), so I could go off of those - that would be USB3.  But it will probably take a very long time, with nearly a TB of data.  Would another method of transfer, some kind of cable to go computer-to-computer, be faster or better?

 

I've been dreading this move mostly because of trying to remember all the different programs and software I'll need to reload, finding old disks, and/or install codes/keys to download, passwords, etc. that I haven't used in years...and then there's all the customization of various programs like PSP, where with a clean install, I'll need to rebuild all my menus, toolbars, screen scale, shortcuts, plugins, etc.

 

You got the transfer details right. Pull data off the old drive or even get a SATA to USB3 adapter enclosure and just plug your old drive in as an external. Using a current backup is probably cleaner but if you have an older USB2 external, the speed difference may be worth it. A TB of data isn't as scary as it sounds with USB3. The USB3 adapter enclosure makes finding that little file you forgot to back up much easier and when you're happy, you can re-format the old disk and use it for backup.

 

Also, when reinstalling software, install the stuff you use every day and stuff you remember using. Don't make a list of all the crap on the old machine and re-crap the new one by exhuming old media and loading something you don't use anymore.

 

Also, check this site to see if your version of PSP lets you save off your workspace settings.

 

 

Dave

 

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Cool - the workspace save is great to see...I have Photo X4 which is right in that picture in the header of the article, so I think I should be able to save those.  I do know where the plugins and tubes folders are as well, so should be able to save those as well.

 

I may do the plugin of the old drive and get a SATA to USB3.  As you mention, there could be some little file or folder somewhere that I didn't include in the backups and forgot about, so as long as the current drive is still working fine, might be best to transfer directly from there.

 

No matter how I work this, I'm sure to wipe out a weekend getting the new computer set up, everything loaded, everything transferred, everything registered, and so on.  At least Windows 10 isn't something new or unexpected even though my current desktop is a Win 7 - because I've had Win 10 on my laptop and my work computer for years now.

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18 minutes ago, zackiedawg said:

No matter how I work this, I'm sure to wipe out a weekend getting the new computer set up, everything loaded, everything transferred, everything registered, and so on.  At least Windows 10 isn't something new or unexpected even though my current desktop is a Win 7 - because I've had Win 10 on my laptop and my work computer for years now.

 

The price of progress!

 

Take a look a this article on how to customize the start menu in Win10. Makes getting to your everyday and every-once-in-a-while stuff really easy. I no longer have 1000 things on the desktop and my taskbar only has the five or six programs that I use daily. 

 

Another good practice is to add common folders to  the Quick Access area at the top of the Explorer stack.

image.png.33d4ef4416ac146311dad4e32077f21e.png

 

WIndows 10 has a bunch of ways to make life easier.

 

 

Dave

 

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OK - so went back to Dell site to try to build back the system I listed above and see what it came to...the XPS version was still around $1,899, or $2,099 with Blu Ray and Office 360 added.

 

I noticed they were advertising sale on Alienware gaming machines, so I tried picking the Aurora R8 and changing a few specs to what I'd want, and get the following:

Processor
9th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 9700 (8-Core, 12MB Cache, up to 4.7GHz with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology)
Operating System
Windows 10 Pro 64-bit English
Video Card
AMD Radeon™ RX 5700 XT with 8GB GDDR6
Chassis Options
Alienware 850 Watt Power Supply with High Performance Liquid Cooling
Memory
32GB Dual Channel HyperX™ DDR4 XMP at 2933MHz; up to 64GB (additional memory sold separately)
Hard Drive
512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD (Boot) + 2TB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s (Storage)

 

I'd be missing a BluRay/DVD drive, but can always plug in an external...and there's no Office added at all.  BUT - it's got the same processor, 10 Pro, a high performance video card, similar 32GB memory (though seems to be faster memory), and same 512GB SSD boot with 2TB HD.  And the list price comes to $2,409 as built, with a sale price of $1,749.99.

 

I don't have any experience with Alienware or gaming machines and I won't be using it for gaming, but with the fast memory and video cards and liquid cooling, it sounds like it would be a good graphics machine.  What do you think?  Better to go with the XPS as I previously listed, or is this Alienware build and sale a better machine for a good price?

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39 minutes ago, zackiedawg said:

OK - so went back to Dell site to try to build back the system I listed above and see what it came to...the XPS version was still around $1,899, or $2,099 with Blu Ray and Office 360 added.

 

I noticed they were advertising sale on Alienware gaming machines, so I tried picking the Aurora R8 and changing a few specs to what I'd want, and get the following:

Processor
9th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 9700 (8-Core, 12MB Cache, up to 4.7GHz with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology)
Operating System
Windows 10 Pro 64-bit English
Video Card
AMD Radeon™ RX 5700 XT with 8GB GDDR6
Chassis Options
Alienware 850 Watt Power Supply with High Performance Liquid Cooling
Memory
32GB Dual Channel HyperX™ DDR4 XMP at 2933MHz; up to 64GB (additional memory sold separately)
Hard Drive
512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD (Boot) + 2TB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s (Storage)

 

I'd be missing a BluRay/DVD drive, but can always plug in an external...and there's no Office added at all.  BUT - it's got the same processor, 10 Pro, a high performance video card, similar 32GB memory (though seems to be faster memory), and same 512GB SSD boot with 2TB HD.  And the list price comes to $2,409 as built, with a sale price of $1,749.99.

 

I don't have any experience with Alienware or gaming machines and I won't be using it for gaming, but with the fast memory and video cards and liquid cooling, it sounds like it would be a good graphics machine.  What do you think?  Better to go with the XPS as I previously listed, or is this Alienware build and sale a better machine for a good price?

 

Alienware has been around for quite a while. They were a gamer-only semi-custom shop that caught Dell's attention and were eaten. No known issues that I know of before or after the merger and the parts list is all higher-end stuff. The RX 5700 XT is on par with the Nvidia RTX 2070 and isn't a power hog.

 

The sale price is quite good.

 

I'd say it's a go.

 

Dave

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OK - thank you. It comes to a bit less than what I was able to build with the XPS system, and seemed to have a few advantages as well - and the only things missing didn't seem like too big a deal...I can add Office anytime, and an external burner is cheap and easy.  I guess I may have found my replacement computer.  Then, I just need to deal with the data transfer and reinstall of necessary programs.  Fun!

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Just a small FYI based on Justin's experience.

 

"Gaming" machines are increasingly popular with e-sports becoming a thing and usually include higher-end, higher-performance components to handle the requirements of today's high-resolution photorealistic games. Happily, this type of hardware is pretty much exactly what you would want for a powerful photo/video editing machine. The only place where you will probably find a shortage is in storage. 2TB holds a lot of games but not a lot of videos or spray & pray RAW files. Ordering with upgraded drives is often capped at a 2TB SSD and 2TB of hard drive so you will be adding external storage after the fact if your main function will be video editing or storing a crap-ton of RAW files. If you want a large internal drive to work with and you are fairly mechanically inclined, check to see if the machine you are ordering has a larger case with room for another drive. Adding a large drive yourself is pretty easy and might be a good option.

 

That's all for now. My build is still stalled by availability, indecision and home projects. Not necessarily in that order.

 

Dave

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My new computer arrived yesterday.  But it's only gotten as far as taking it out of the box.  I started my projects yesterday to clean up my photo archives before backing up - I usually wait until year-end to go through and clean out old photos I never processed and don't need anymore, but this time I want to do it before putting everything on the new system.  I also needed to do backups and saves of iTunes music, documents, presets and workspaces in PSP, etc...then back up all data to external drives.  Plus, find old disks for programs to reinstall, or find passwords and account numbers for software to download online.  I hope to wrap up all of the backups tonight - the photos will be running for a few hours at least.  I'm waiting for a reply from Topaz on one of their software programs no longer listed on their legacy download site for some reason - and it's one of my most used plugins...otherwise I think I have most other programs figured out that I'll be putting on the new machine.

 

If all goes well, Friday/Saturday I should be able to plug in the new machine, do all the initial setup, hook up to internet, and start downloading all personal files and data as well as start reinstalling key software (PSP, iTunes, Topaz suite, Office).

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1 hour ago, zackiedawg said:

 I'm waiting for a reply from Topaz on one of their software programs no longer listed on their legacy download site for some reason -

 

Any of these?

 

image.png.a9d4eed9503d813727177df093563161.png

 

I can get it to you if so.

 

Dave

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I want to get Denoise 6 again.  I use it quite a bit - I found it had improvements over Denoise 5, and could work as standalone.  I have played with Denoise AI too - but sometimes I can get better results from Denoise 6...and for some reason, it's not on their legacy list!  If you can get the setup EXE file to me, that would be great.

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Very cool.  Thank you both - nice to have a community that helps out!

 

Looks like messaging is deactivated on this board as it says "you're allowed to send 0 messages per day.  Try again later".

My e-mail is sflavwaudigtg@aol.com.  Either or both of you - a copy of Denoise 6 will be appreciated.  Topaz still hasn't replied to my e-mail/support request.

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Thank you Roger and Dave - I got both of your e-mails with the Topaz Denoise 6 install.  Glad I didn't have to wait to hear from Topaz as they STILL haven't responded...now I can get the new computer up and running in the next day or two and get all my necessary programs back.

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Update on the new computer...I think we're about 99% done.  As of last night, got all of my photos, music, videos, etc transferred to the new system...redirected the 'library' folders to D drive...reloaded PSP and all my Topaz and Nik plugins, got all of them key-coded and verified, all my bookmarks in Chrome, passwords all stored for main pages...and set up my preferences, desktop, screensavers, etc.

The new system is very very fast!  Such a nice change from a 7-year old system which was fast for its day - but I got used to a minute or two for start up of everything - vs the new system started and ready to go in seconds.  Loading all my photos from computer to external drive took 6 hours...loading all my photos from the external to the new computer took 1hr 40 minutes.

I did overlook one thing...I thought 'who really needs a DVD/BluRay/CD drive on a computer anymore' and didn't bother to order one...but then when I went to load PSP and had the old install CDs in my hand, I had a Bart Simpson 'D'oh!' moment.  Since then, I also thought about when I want to rip some music off old CDs to iTunes...so an external DVD player was purchased too.

 

BUT - I can't figure out how to get it to work - I have no DVD drivers, DVD doesn't show up in Device Manager, and plugging in the drive doesn't self-recognize or anything.  I even tried plugging into the USBs on the motherboard on the back - still no go.  With Windows 10 having removed the old Media Center, which would always recognize a disk drive, I am clueless what I need to do here.  There are no 'drivers' on the DVD drive company's website - it's just a cheap-o BluRay drive probably generic Chinese brand.  It's USB powered.  You are supposed to load burning/playing software to use with it, which I did find a free one that had favorable ratings called "Leawo" - but the problem is that my computer doesn't even recognize that a drive is plugged in to the USB...a drive letter doesn't pop up to access, and as mentioned before, even going to Device Manager, there's not even a line for 'DVD/CD' (most online solutions I read involved going to device manager and uninstalling the drive from DVD/CD).  Any smart ideas on what to do to get it to recognize the drive - or do I need to return the drive and pick up a more expensive, more advanced one with drivers available to install online?

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55 minutes ago, zackiedawg said:

 

Update on the new computer...I think we're about 99% done.  As of last night, got all of my photos, music, videos, etc transferred to the new system...redirected the 'library' folders to D drive...reloaded PSP and all my Topaz and Nik plugins, got all of them key-coded and verified, all my bookmarks in Chrome, passwords all stored for main pages...and set up my preferences, desktop, screensavers, etc.

The new system is very very fast!  Such a nice change from a 7-year old system which was fast for its day - but I got used to a minute or two for start up of everything - vs the new system started and ready to go in seconds.  Loading all my photos from computer to external drive took 6 hours...loading all my photos from the external to the new computer took 1hr 40 minutes.

I did overlook one thing...I thought 'who really needs a DVD/BluRay/CD drive on a computer anymore' and didn't bother to order one...but then when I went to load PSP and had the old install CDs in my hand, I had a Bart Simpson 'D'oh!' moment.  Since then, I also thought about when I want to rip some music off old CDs to iTunes...so an external DVD player was purchased too.

 

BUT - I can't figure out how to get it to work - I have no DVD drivers, DVD doesn't show up in Device Manager, and plugging in the drive doesn't self-recognize or anything.  I even tried plugging into the USBs on the motherboard on the back - still no go.  With Windows 10 having removed the old Media Center, which would always recognize a disk drive, I am clueless what I need to do here.  There are no 'drivers' on the DVD drive company's website - it's just a cheap-o BluRay drive probably generic Chinese brand.  It's USB powered.  You are supposed to load burning/playing software to use with it, which I did find a free one that had favorable ratings called "Leawo" - but the problem is that my computer doesn't even recognize that a drive is plugged in to the USB...a drive letter doesn't pop up to access, and as mentioned before, even going to Device Manager, there's not even a line for 'DVD/CD' (most online solutions I read involved going to device manager and uninstalling the drive from DVD/CD).  Any smart ideas on what to do to get it to recognize the drive - or do I need to return the drive and pick up a more expensive, more advanced one with drivers available to install online?

 

Brand and model?

 

Drivers should be unnecessary unless the brand has a bizarre proprietary controller.

 

Does it have an external power supply? Burners typically pull too much power to run off of USB only.

 

Also check to see the type of USB you're plugging into. Supposedly backward compatibility is a feature but some USB 2.0 devices are stupid with 3.0 and vice-versa. Try a couple different flavors (indicated by the color of the little plastic guide in the female socket on the PC).

 

Try it on your old PC.

 

Also consider that if it is an off brand, it may simply be DOA.

 

Dave

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It is a cheap brand.  Called MthsTec BluRay.  Reviews were good - mostly comments of 'cheap but works'.  It is solely USB powered though...seems to run OK - lights up, spins the disc, etc.  Just the computer doesn't recognize that anything is there.

 

I did try both the USB 3 on the back of the machine, and the USB 2 ports on the motherboard in back - the device runs, lights, spins, etc in all ports, but the computer never reacts at all - no drives pop up, no 'auto start' properties appear...and also, the Device Manager doesn't even have a listing for DVD/CD or ATI/Atapi controllers.  It's like there's just no drivers at all for a DVD/CD drive.

 

I did try plugging into an HP laptop, and it recognized the drive.  It's Windows 10 as well.  Device Manager on that computer has a DVD/CD controller in the menu.

 

Weird!  I'll keep trying to fidget around with a few things - but if I can't get it to recognize by the end of the weekend, I guess I may have to send it back to Amazon, and down the road just get an internal DVD drive installed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Never could get it to work.  Tried all the walk-thrus  - I had already tried one of those two links you provided, and tried the other - but nothing worked.  I decided to call Dell and have their techs try to figure it out since I still have the first year of tech help - nothing made it go.  I finally decided to return that drive, and found another one on the Dell site that the tech feels confident would be compatible...made by LG.  Getting my Amazon refund for the one I couldn't make work, and since I had some Dell Rewards from the computer purchase, the new LG drive was free - covered by the rewards.  It's supposed to arrive Thursday and we'll see if that one is Plug and Play, as they are supposed to be!  If it doesn't work, then we have other issues that Dell will have to resolve.

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1 hour ago, zackiedawg said:

Never could get it to work.  Tried all the walk-thrus  - I had already tried one of those two links you provided, and tried the other - but nothing worked.  I decided to call Dell and have their techs try to figure it out since I still have the first year of tech help - nothing made it go.  I finally decided to return that drive, and found another one on the Dell site that the tech feels confident would be compatible...made by LG.  Getting my Amazon refund for the one I couldn't make work, and since I had some Dell Rewards from the computer purchase, the new LG drive was free - covered by the rewards.  It's supposed to arrive Thursday and we'll see if that one is Plug and Play, as they are supposed to be!  If it doesn't work, then we have other issues that Dell will have to resolve.

 

So...you have to get a refund on the original drive and you are getting a replacement from Dell for free along with passing the responsibility for compatibility over to Dell tech support if it doesn't work.

 

You  pulled the ripcord and a golden parachute popped out!

 

🙂

 

Other than that, how is the machine performing?

 

Dave

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