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Where (exactly) is the Windows 10 (and/or Windows 7) "line" (64 bit) ?


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I am (quite a bit) outside of the hardware loop :w00t: and my experience with Windows 10 is extremely limited (I only happen to do quick fixes to the PC's of friends from time to time).

Lately (think of COVID-19 lockdown/smart working) I have seen a lot of movement about refurbishing old (but not that much old) "business" PC's (think of Lenovo, HP and DELL small form factor desktops) by essentially:
1) upgrading RAM to 4 or 8 GB
2) replacing built-in SATA hard disks (originally 250/320/500 GB) with 120/128 or 240/256 SSD's
3) using (or abusing?) Microsoft upgrade policy to update OS from 7 (or 8/8.1) to 10

The processors in these machines are usually Intel i3, i5 or i7.

Now the question, in the past the rule of thumb was to quadruple MS OS minimum requirements for RAM and double or triple the processor speed to have a "normally behaving" machine, as an example past "lines" for me were:
a. Windows 2000 512 MB Ram 1 GHz processor (VIA C3/C7 were border line)
b. Windows XP 2GB Ram 2 GHz possibly dual core (Atoms and similar were border-line)
c. Windows 7 (32 bit) 4 GB RAM 2.8/3 Ghz, dual or quadruple core

Video cards (for "normal" office use, and web browsing, NOT for gaming or graphic applications)  have never been an issue and integrated cards always worked fine for me.

Now (thanks mainly to the stupid web and current browsers bloat) I believe that 4 GB are out of question for 64 bit OS and 8 GB is needed.


The hard disk vs. SSD is a no-brainer, a small SSD (+ a USB 3 rotating hard disk if needed) runs circles around internal rotating hard disks only, and 120/128 GB is more than enough for "normal" use. 

So, what remains is the processor and its speed/clock.

Suggestions, ideas, experience? [1]

jaclaz

[1] Please understand how the questions revolve around el-cheapo, ordinary, low-power office machines that are readily available used in quantities, NOT about custom-built PC's with high-end processors, KW power supplies and stupidly fast double or quadruple fan video cards with a zillion GB of dedicated RAM.

 

 

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My own personal thoughts on internet-only PCs with 64-bit Windows are these minumums:

2 core 2 GHz

8 GB RAM

SSD or 7200rpm HDD, 80 GB

Now for maximums, yes a regular person buying a PC just for internet isn't going to actually make use of a CPU with more than 4 real or fake cores. They would see a difference between 8 GB and 16 GB RAM on a 7200rpm disk but likely not on an SSD.

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I find SSD is more of an impact than more ram, done plenty of cheap/old laptops recently for helping out local people.

Last machine was a Lenovo dual core i3, 4Gb, 120SSD. I have a custom install to mean I spend as little time as possible on these, it does a basic install then sets up the laptop with chocolatey, installs office (often they get a licence from school), chrome and Google drive. Then sets power settings to shutdown on regular basis, and auto update apps once a month.

Then few tweaks not listed publicly (yet, some are on my GitHub) are removing services not needed, crap and generally removing prettiest thing's.

I'm no Dev by any sense so anyone viewing my code please allow some bad programming, lol

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1 hour ago, blabley said:

Oh, that was an old topic... Only just got the notification. LoL

Not that much old, only like a week old.

The question came out because quite a few friends with this continued lockdown are getting short of devices (typical dad AND mom working from home AND one or two children doing remote schooling with - again typically - one "current" pc or laptop, an old (or older) one, one el-cheapo tablet, and one - quite capable BTW - smartphone but with a too tiny screen).

Family fights to get a decently large screen assured.

jaclaz 

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I think for 64-bit Windows 7/8.1,
SATA SSD
8 GB RAM
Dual-core or Quad-core

For Windows 10 especially 20H2/21H1 Insider or if you are on relatively newer (1803 to 2004),
NVMe SSD
16 GB RAM
Quad-core or 6-core

Of course, they will run at lower specs but given the number of processes, bloat, web browser processes, overall responsiveness of UI desired, it's this.

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No. :no: (but thanks anyway for sharing your opinion :))

There are not that much differences between 7/8.1 and 10, your personal line is way above the one I described.

Since the number of machines around with 16 GB Ram AND NVMe (which are obviously faster and "better") are only a minimal fraction of the installed Windows 10 (again we are talking of ordinary, low power, office machines) you are telling me that - say - 95% of the offices in the world cannot do what actually is done (or cannot do it swiftly enough).

jaclaz

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What the heck are you people doing on the internet that you need such overpowered machines? I can get by with a laptop with dual core 1,35 GHz APU with 2 GB of RAM, where 256 MB is taken by the GPU and another 40 MB disabled because it developed faults. :P

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My experience with newish (= Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge, LGA 1155 pocessors) is that Cougar Point chipsetes are good enough and Panther Point are not much better (except because they come with USB 3.2 Gen 1.1)... however,  changing processors to i5 3570 or i7 3770(K) does make a noticeable difference (warning: it's mandatory updating the BIOS to the latest before replacing a Sandy Bridge by any Ivy Brige, else the board won't even POST), and may be worth considering if one can source them (maybe used) for a nice price. Then again, i see no reason at all to go x64, 8.1 x86 is quite good and very light.  Then again, I've never actually used nor installed 10 x87, but I do understand it exists and may be a good choice if one is adamant at moving on to 10 (which I'm adamant at not using at home, but cannot avoid at work)...

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Right, 64-bit Windows sucked on that laptop. I'm still of opinion that the whole 64-bit thing is way overrated. Sure, maybe some tasks are faster, but you gotta take into account that 64-bit code takes more space, fills CPU caches faster etc.

Edit: though 64-bit OS is probably the cleanest approach to be able address more RAM. I'm just not convinced about every user application being compiled in 64-bit mode.

Edited by UCyborg
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On 12/11/2020 at 7:45 PM, UCyborg said:

What the heck are you people doing on the internet that you need such overpowered machines? I can get by with a laptop with dual core 1,35 GHz APU with 2 GB of RAM, where 256 MB is taken by the GPU and another 40 MB disabled because it developed faults. :P

How? When I boot up my computer I use for work, immediately my ram usage is through the roof. https://prnt.sc/w4n0xu

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UCyborg, I put into my specs the consideration that the average user would be wanting to use the popular, poorly optimized websites like Facebook. Using that specific example, my Win7 x86 PC with 4 GB RAM and a quad core is not powerful enough to use Facebook for more than 5-10 minutes before the browser takes up all available RAM and stops responding.

3 hours ago, Jaguarek62 said:

How? When I boot up my computer I use for work, immediately my ram usage is through the roof. https://prnt.sc/w4n0xu

That's not Windows 7.

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1 hour ago, Tripredacus said:

That's not Windows 7.

Yeah, I know, but ram usage is not much different nowadays across operating systems. Just wanted to point out that even for internet browsing 8gb is minimum

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Web browser (and/or graphics driver DLL) may also leak memory and those damned multi-process browsers take significant amount of memory before you even open any website.

10 hours ago, Jaguarek62 said:

How? When I boot up my computer I use for work, immediately my ram usage is through the roof. https://prnt.sc/w4n0xu

My work laptop (Win10 1809 x64) idles at about 3 GB, but I didn't set it up from scratch and I might have left some less obvious stuff running, which accumulate. Initially, idle RAM usage was about 5 GB and both MS SQL and MySQL servers were running in the background. The same OS build on my home desktop would usually be at 1,3 GB.

A screenshot from my personal laptop (Win10 1809 x86):

aOywZPd.png

It can get tight, but I can work with that. The most impactful change regarding resource usage that I tend to do is that I disable Windows Defender, though I suppose that's not the most suitable configuration for the common folk.

Edited by UCyborg
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On 11/30/2020 at 1:36 PM, jaclaz said:

I am (quite a bit) outside of the hardware loop :w00t: and my experience with Windows 10 is extremely limited (I only happen to do quick fixes to the PC's of friends from time to time).

 

From what you saying looks like you thinking of getting into building these cheap PC's? Yeah I ran on internal graphics for many moons before it messed up and figured out I could add a card. Now can't stand a slow PC like I deal with at work but am dealing with baby at and dos in some cases. Added 128mb ram to 4 of them and dos does run faster. :buehehe:

Agree with Trip

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