Looking for a New PC

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Puritan Board Sophomore
Good evening guys.

I currently have a single laptop that is beginning to become a bit overburdened with the amount of software that I run (most of which is essential for either online ministry purposes or academic purposes). The specs for this laptop are below, as well as the software ran on it on a regular basis:


1.90 GHz Dual-Core Processor
150 GB Hard Drive
Windows 7 Home Premium


- iTunes
- Mozilla Firefox
- Logos 4 Scholar's Library Silver
- E-Sword*
- Bible Explorer 4
- Pinnacle Studios 10 (Video Editing software)
- Microsoft Office 2007 (Word and Outlook mostly, with Excel on occasions)
- Skype
- AOL Instant Messenger
- Yahoo Instant Messenger
- Maple 13 (Computer Algebra System software needed for one of my majors)
- GIMP (Photo-Editing Software. Plan to upgrade to Photoshop when able to)
- Microsoft Frontpage 2000 (Plan to upgrade to 2003 when opportunity arises)
- Chessbase 9*
- Deep Rybka 3*
- Deep Junior 8*

* indicates that I own the software, that it has been removed from the computer to conserve space, and that I would have it on the computer if I have the elbow room to put it in. The last three pieces of software are a chess database software and two chess engines/trainers respectively.

Please note that I have nearly 20 GBs of music stored on the computer. It is not on the internal drive itself, but on an external 1 TB drive. However, given that I run a radio show on the internet, I would like to have it on an internal one if I ever can get that opportunity.

Because of this, I'm looking to get them a new home as cheaply as possible. Ideal budget will be $500. Does anyone have any recommendations for what to go after?


Puritan Board Sophomore
Thanks Michael. Went searching on Best Buy and found this one:


EDIT: A tad outside budget ($100), but it pretty much massacres all the other computers within that price range.


Puritan Board Senior
Link's not working...

We've got an HP laptop at home and it's been great. I also use one at work and it's solid. If you can swing it... :up:


Puritan Board Sophomore
Fixed it Michael. Had to remove the URL tags and put a second colon in to make it show. Just copy and paste it into the URL address bar without the second colon.


Puritan Board Professor
I assume you don't use all of these programs at the same time. Have you changed those programs you don't want to run at start up to not start?

Go to Start, Run, type in msconfig.exe and it will take you to a screen will you can uncheck various programs that startup, under the startup menu. Basically take off every program you can clearly recognize that doesn't need to run unless you start it up. Make sure you make a backup point, so if you uncheck something you should've then you can go back and restore to before you unchecked those programs.


Puritan Board Sophomore
That how I dealt with it while dealing with my computer a few months back Andrew. Space, however, is a significant issue (being on 150 GB), and the low speed on the processor is also a concern when dealing with items like Logos and Pinnacle Studios.

Edit: Michael, go to the Best Buy Website and search for "HP - Pavilion Desktop with AMD Athlon™ II Quad-Core Processor". It should come up.

EDIT #2: Just pulled up hard drive specs. With just the software without the * above (and a few others that are irrelevant for these purposes). I have the laptop at 72.2 GB out of 137 GB available. I might be able to get this to work out, but I'm not exactly sure how to go about clearing space.


Puritan Board Senior
Looks nice. But on top of the extra $100 it looks like you'll also need a monitor (unless you've already got one lying around).

---------- Post added at 10:50 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:46 PM ----------

Also, Microsoft Office is only a 60-day trial. Not sure if you use it as much as I do but if so you may need to factor that in as well.


Puritan Board Sophomore
I've got Office 2007 professional Michael, so no need for a trial.

I'm going to hold off on buying the new computer and see if there's any way to make my current laptop "like new" without running a full system restore (I'll be down two days: 1 to run it, 1 to reinstall software and reconfigure settings. Last resort for now because I've got two internet classes). What are some things I can do to go about it?


Puritan Board Senior
I guess you can defragment and compress but depending on how often you already do that you might not notice much of a difference. Doesn't hurt though!


Puritanboard Commissioner
Three thoughts.

I didn't see you mention what might be the second largest resource hog - antivirus software. Some of those have a lot larger footprint than others. If you aren't running anything, that might be the root of the problem. If you are running something like Norton, it's going to be a major contributor to your problem. Switch to something that is less of a resource hog.

Second is 'latest and greatest syndrome'. What is the newest version of Frontpage/Office/Operating system going to do that the older, less resource hungry versions didn't do? New versions add little functionality and much bloat. (I can understand the need to go to 7 if you were running Vista).

Third, use task manager to close out programs and processes that keep eating resources when you aren't using them.


Puritan Board Sophomore
I used to run Norton Edward, but I found out really fast that my computer was pretty much committing itself to it when it was scanning (and it would have the bad habit to start a scan in the middle of a class lecture). I was in a mood to throw a party when it expired about a year ago and switched over to AVG.

Right now, I intend to stick with Office 2007. I beta-tested Office 2010, and Microsoft will not be getting a purchase from me for it. I was not impressed with it at all. The only thing I'll be running thats not 2007 is Frontpage 2000.

I did find something interesting last night (and it was a bigger threat to my speed than spyware and viruses in my opinion). My computer's internal drive was loaded with around 20 GBs in system-restore points, with some of them well over 6 months old. Safe to say, all but the most recent one was wiped out and the free space went from around 69 GB to around 89 GB.


Puritanboard Commissioner
Make sure that you hunt down and eliminate every scrap of Norton. I would think I had it all taken care of, and it would crop back up again. I switched to the free Microsoft for my old desktop (after trying AVG for a while), and have been happy with it so far; I went with AVG on the laptop, although I usually boot the laptop in Linux. (I would have normally recommended a thin install of Linux to you, but based on your needs, it would not be an option for you).

Other than using the task manager to shut down the stuff that is loading itself, looks like you are doing all that you can.


Puritan Board Freshman
Why not just fix up your laptop. You’re already maxed out on RAM at 4 GB unless you want to go to a 64 bit system. A 1.90 Dual-Core processor is plenty good for what you’re doing.

You may consider upgrading the hard drive to a larger size and upgrading the os to Windows 7 ultimate edition.

Overall, I’d focus on cleaning up your system and see if it does what you need it to.
Here are a few links to free or trial software, try them.


TuneUp America - TuneUp Utilities - Version 2010

Here’s one of the best anti-virus you can get:

Kaspersky™ Internet Security & Anti-Virus 2010

Rich Koster

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I think your video editing may eat up the most space here. Have you considered an outboard 1Tb drive? It may be the cheapest way to go.

OOPS, you are already running one :doh:
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