Forum Thread

What specs for my dad's laptop?

567 19 November 21, 2017 at 07:14 PM
Back in 2013 I bought a Thinkpad T-410 for my dad (I am actually a big fan of thinkpads).

He uses it for:
email
youtube watching
stock/real time quotes on TD Waterhouse
online surveys

Not a power user
but he said that recently the computer has been running really slow and the browser freezes a lot, etc.
and he also has been getting a full screen "You have a virus" pop up - but I ran 4 different spyware programs (ADW Cleaner / Kaspersky virus removal / malware bytes / spybot and other than cookies it found nothing.

He wants a new laptop and doesnt want to deal with the old one anymore.

What kind of specs should I get him for a new laptop?
Im thinking i5?
Standard harddrive and standard video.

About how much should it cost?
I'm thinking of spending about $400 on this and I think this weekend would be a good time to buy.

Thank you all for any advice and help

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#2
Quote from sard
:
Back in 2013 I bought a Thinkpad T-410 for my dad (I am actually a big fan of thinkpads).

He uses it for:
email
youtube watching
stock/real time quotes on TD Waterhouse
online surveys

Not a power user
but he said that recently the computer has been running really slow and the browser freezes a lot, etc.
and he also has been getting a full screen "You have a virus" pop up - but I ran 4 different spyware programs (ADW Cleaner / Kaspersky virus removal / malware bytes / spybot and other than cookies it found nothing.

He wants a new laptop and doesnt want to deal with the old one anymore.

What kind of specs should I get him for a new laptop?
Im thinking i5?
Standard harddrive and standard video.

About how much should it cost?
I'm thinking of spending about $400 on this and I think this weekend would be a good time to buy.

Thank you all for any advice and help
save your money...do a clean install of windows 10 using the MS media creation tool onto a new SSD https://www.amazon.com/Crucial-MX...ords=mx300
the system will run much faster for his needs than a new system with a slow 5400 rpm drive...
if you/he insist on a new one, ensure it has an ssd, or plan on installing it..
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#3
Quote from fenderman
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save your money...do a clean install of windows 10 using the MS media creation tool onto a new SSD https://www.amazon.com/Crucial-MX...ords=mx300
the system will run much faster for his needs than a new system with a slow 5400 rpm drive...
if you/he insist on a new one, ensure it has an ssd, or plan on installing it..
I agree SSD is pretty important. If OP is set for new machine an i3 is more then enough for what he does but spend that extra on an SSD and 8gb ram.

Bigger thing yet is Dad should not be running as an administrator for his daily driver account. It cuts down a lot on viruses and malware if the daily driver account is a standard user.
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#4
You have a virus pop up? Adblock for that. and easy on the sites he visit.
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#5
you prb need no more than an older i5, 8gb ram is plenty, ssd prob a must. In my opinion, you don't need a new pc, you just need to replace the harddrive with an ssd. Transfer everything over to new SSD, 500gb?. Only sets you back 150.
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#6
Thanks for the advice all.

But pops won't settle for less than a new PC, even though I assume the specs on his T-410 is plenty for what he wants to do.

So look for a new i3? old i5?
I'll probably just go to Best Buy (since I get reward points there) and buy something on sale.
I'll just choose whatever is on sale for about $400, that should be enough I think
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#7
Quote from sard
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Thanks for the advice all.

But pops won't settle for less than a new PC, even though I assume the specs on his T-410 is plenty for what he wants to do.

So look for a new i3? old i5?
I'll probably just go to Best Buy (since I get reward points there) and buy something on sale.
I'll just choose whatever is on sale for about $400, that should be enough I think

Get an newer model i5 then. Do not waste your time with i3s as the price differential is not that great. You should be able to pick up a decent i5 laptop for around 450 dollars or less depending on whether you want full HD or can settle for 1600x900 or 720p screen resolution. Try the Dell Outlet first.

As to an SSD, nice to have and probably would get additional life out of the 410 with a fresh Windows install, but honestly you do not need it in a new machine for the purpose stated here. You can always buy one later, but a 1TB HD in a new PC will be plenty fast.
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#8
Quote from sard
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Thanks for the advice all.

But pops won't settle for less than a new PC, even though I assume the specs on his T-410 is plenty for what he wants to do.

So look for a new i3? old i5?
I'll probably just go to Best Buy (since I get reward points there) and buy something on sale.
I'll just choose whatever is on sale for about $400, that should be enough I think
Honestly that's not the way to buy a good computer. It really limits your selection and options.It also doesn't allow you to do much research. Screen quality matters and varies, build quality differs etc.

Also the opinion of several here is that an SSD is more important then the processor, and getting enough ram too. I am in that camp. It's still probably going to be hard to find a factory installed SSD for $400.
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Quote from YanksIn2009
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As to an SSD, nice to have and probably would get additional life out of the 410 with a fresh Windows install, but honestly you do not need it in a new machine for the purpose stated here. You can always buy one later, but a 1TB HD in a new PC will be plenty fast.
you 100 percent need an ssd....otherwise all the money spent on a new pc is wasted...even a clean machine will run like crap with a 5400 rpm drive...
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Quote from fenderman
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you 100 percent need an ssd....otherwise all the money spent on a new pc is wasted...even a clean machine will run like crap with a 5400 rpm drive...

Ah...not really...I run a i7 6700HQ\960M laptop with 1 TB hard drive and it is just fine. People have been running with hard drives for 2+ decades and they survived. Will an SSD make it better..sure. It will load faster and anything accessing the disk will run a lot quicker. But short of being a database server with high disk IO, it simply will run fine without it and most people will not notice it outside of the load time on a new machine. We are not talking about a first gen i5 with limited ram that is going to virtualize and access memory quite a bit. A 7th\8th gen i5 with 8 GB of ram running Windows 7/10 will not need an SSD to run adequately. Add it on if you can afford it\have a slot for it. In my case, I do not feel like spending 300 dollars plus on a 1 TB SSD.
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Quote from YanksIn2009
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Ah...not really...I run a i7 6700HQ\960M laptop with 1 TB hard drive and it is just fine. People have been running with hard drives for 2+ decades and they survived. Will an SSD make it better..sure. It will load faster and anything accessing the disk will run a lot quicker. But short of being a database server with high disk IO, it simply will run fine without it and most people will not notice it outside of the load time on a new machine. We are not talking about a first gen i5 with limited ram that is going to virtualize and access memory quite a bit. A 7th\8th gen i5 with 8 GB of ram running Windows 7/10 will not need an SSD to run adequately. Add it on if you can afford it\have a slot for it. In my case, I do not feel like spending 300 dollars plus on a 1 TB SSD.
W10 was designed for an SSD. OP's dad isn't storing 1TB of files he can get by with a 128gb or 256 (Recommended) just fine. It sounds like it's mostly used as a desktop anyways so he can always use an external. SSD makes such a noticeable daily performance difference it's worth the small amount of money, especially if OP puts it in himself.
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Quote from LiquidRetro
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W10 was designed for an SSD. OP's dad isn't storing 1TB of files he can get by with a 128gb or 256 (Recommended) just fine. It sounds like it's mostly used as a desktop anyways so he can always use an external. SSD makes such a noticeable daily performance difference it's worth the small amount of money, especially if OP puts it in himself.
Realistically even Windows 8 was designed for an SSD. If you want windows 8 or 10 to run ok with a spinning drive you pretty much have to change some settings for how it handles the page file, but an SSD is the better choice.

Running windows memory diagnostics wouldn't be a bad idea either.

OP,
As for parent proofing, change his account so it ins't an administrator and change settings on his router so that he uses OpenDNS or AdGuard DNS.
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Quote from YanksIn2009
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Ah...not really...I run a i7 6700HQ\960M laptop with 1 TB hard drive and it is just fine. People have been running with hard drives for 2+ decades and they survived. Will an SSD make it better..sure. It will load faster and anything accessing the disk will run a lot quicker. But short of being a database server with high disk IO, it simply will run fine without it and most people will not notice it outside of the load time on a new machine. We are not talking about a first gen i5 with limited ram that is going to virtualize and access memory quite a bit. A 7th\8th gen i5 with 8 GB of ram running Windows 7/10 will not need an SSD to run adequately. Add it on if you can afford it\have a slot for it. In my case, I do not feel like spending 300 dollars plus on a 1 TB SSD.
Tell that to my buddy who got this brand spanking new i5 eigth gen, that was slow as molasses, swapped in an ssd at it flies. https://www.amazon.com/VivoBook-i...s+i5-8250u
...5400 rpm drives were always slow....as more crap gets installed it gets much worse....
ill take a second gen i5 with an ssd over an eighth gen with a traditional disk any day...I have swapped ssd's into at least 100 pc's, the difference is night an day...most users today need an ssd to solve most of their performance issues.
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Quote from fenderman
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Tell that to my buddy who got this brand spanking new i5 eigth gen, that was slow as molasses, swapped in an ssd at it flies. https://www.amazon.com/VivoBook-i...s+i5-8250u
...5400 rpm drives were always slow....as more crap gets installed it gets much worse....
ill take a second gen i5 with an ssd over an eighth gen with a traditional disk any day...I have swapped ssd's into at least 100 pc's, the difference is night an day...most users today need an ssd to solve most of their performance issues.

I can't speak to what crap-ware ASUS installs or the quality of their design\drivers. And there is no accounting for people jamming there machine with bloatware and useless junk as I also have seen done by many. That is sort of blaming the aircraft for pilot error though imo. Load what is needed and optimize the OS install appropriately and there should be no real problem imo. Obviously an SSD is better and will aid in masking high disk access loads on startup and improve performance in general. But to say a modern processor\machine can't run decently with a magnetic drive is just not something that is based on facts as the decades of doing so with much less powerful hardware can attest to. Anyone can load a bunch of crap on there machine and bring it to a crawl and anyone can mask that sort of problem by throwing better hardware at it at a higher cost. IT people do the same thing by throwing SSDs and better servers\more cores at crappy database apps\designs.
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Last edited by YanksIn2009 November 22, 2017 at 08:53 PM.
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Quote from YanksIn2009
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I can't speak to what crap-ware ASUS installs or the quality of their design\drivers. And there is no accounting for people jamming there machine with bloatware and useless junk as I also have seen done by many. That is sort of blaming the aircraft for pilot error though imo. Load what is needed and optimize the OS install appropriately and there should be no real problem imo. Obviously an SSD is better and will aid in masking high disk access loads on startup and improve performance in general. But to say a modern processor\machine can't run decently with a magnetic drive is just not something that is based on facts as the decades of doing so with much less powerful hardware can attest to. Anyone can load a bunch of crap on there machine and bring it to a crawl and anyone can mask that sort of problem by throwing better hardware at it at a higher cost. IT people do the same thing by throwing SSDs and better servers\more cores at crappy database apps\designs.
Main thing I'd say is if you've got a spinning drive, manually set your pagefile to be a fixed size. Left to it's own devices the dynamically changing pagefile can end up fragmented which can be extremely slow. Computers today also have more ram, thus you can end up paging out over 20gb of data.
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