Advice needed on refurbished workstation for light Sketchup use

Sep 25, 2018
3
0
10
0
Hello,

This is my first post here so I’m sorry for not knowing some obvious things.

I’m looking for a reliable computer that is good for Sketchup and Photoshop use; my wife is a landscape designer and often works at home.

Thinking about buying pre-made vs. building I decided to go with the pre-made since I never assembled computers and so not sure that it will be working well after assembly. The biggest fear is components or software incompatibility leading to freezes and crashes which I’d like to avoid by any and all means.

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP. Can purchase now.

Budget Range: $800-$1000.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Sketchup and Photoshop, Skype, Internet surfing, file storage such as family pics/videos and MS office programs. No 3D modeling or video editing or gaming. Files might be big.

Are you buying a monitor: No, we have a Samsung S24C570.

Do you need to buy OS: Yes. Windows 7 Pro. I would stay away from Win 10 as long as possible.

Preferred Website(s): Newegg, but will buy from any reliable source.

Parts/System Preferences: Reliability and hardware/software compatibility is a must. It would be good if system builder provides warranty. In terms of original manufacturers prefer Dell or HP.

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Don’t know what are these, so I assume no.

Your Monitor Resolution: Current is 1920 x 1080.

Additional Comments: Most of her files will be stored using Dropbox, so huge storage is not important. Solid state drive is a must to speed up programs and booting up and I’d go with 500-512 GB since they are cheap now and since the 256 GB drive on old computer is almost full. Strongly prefer a separate GPU. Would like the computer to be with at least 24 GB of RAM. The noise level should be low but not whisper-quiet. Should be with a DVD-RW or an ability to add one by myself. Would like to avoid “bloatware” that most of suppliers of home computers install on their PCs. Also, we would like this to be a machine we can upgrade down the line when Win 7 will not be supported anymore and we’ll migrate to Win 10.

Thanks in advance!
 
one issue is the newer intel cpu and chipset dont run with windows 7. amd ryzen still has drivers for older os. for the windows 10/7 issue look at the program classic shell that makes windows 10 look and act like windows 7. for dell look at there work line of pc. most of there home units now use micro cases and dont have dvd/cd-rom drives on them. i would look at local pc shop or online shop that build a pc for you. go with one of the new digital power supplys like seasonic that you can control the fan speed. a lot of the newer units the power suppyl fan dont spin unless needed. on the case fans go with 4 pin pmw fans that can be turned off/run real slow with a fan controler/software. cases with larger 300mm fans are lower noise then 120mm fans. same with sealed water unit over air cooled cpu fans. with the programs your going to run go with one 32g ram kit using two 16g ram sticks. the more ram for those programs the better is runs. for your wife ask if she like one monitor or two. with two she can keep her email open on one monitor and do cad on the other. most new video card can do more the on monitor now. sli/crossfire is for higher gaming system. for storage if you go with a larger case with drive bays you can use removable drive bays for storage drives (back ups). or you can go with a ethernet storage unit that you can add drives as needed. any pre built now has bloatware on it. also pre builts now dont come with backup disks they use the main drive and have a backup partion that has a restore image on it. you may also want to look at a server pc and not a home pc. going to get unit that can go higher in ram them a personal pc and is made for backps and cad. also have your wife look at sba backup software like acronic. once it makes a full back up the newer software now only backup files that have changed. you also want to be able to pull the image from the cloud back to any ethernet connected pc if her old one is caught in a fire or flood.
 
Sep 25, 2018
3
0
10
0
All this sounds like a recommended build. I would try to stay with pre-built refurbished workstations for now.

Newegg has a lot of them for sale, picked three:

On sale at Newegg by PC Servers and Parts , for $432:

• Dell OptiPlex 9010 MT Workstation
• i5-3570 3.40GHz 4-Cores
• 32GB RAM
• 512GB SSD
• Nvidia Quadro 600
• Windows 7 Professional

The HP 230 workstation, by IcompNY, for ~$579:
• HP Z230 CMT Workstation
• E3-1241 v3 3.50GHz 4-Cores
• 32GB RAM
• 512GB SSD
• Nvidia Quadro 600
• Windows 7 Professional

Or this HP Z420 for $888:
• HP Z420 Workstation
• 500GB SSD w/ 4 Year Warranty From Manufacturer
• 32GB Ram DDR3
• E5-1607 3.0Ghz
• 1GB Nvidia GeForce 210
• New Install of Windows 7 Pro


If anyone can recommend something below $1K from a reputable seller that will be great!




 
Sep 25, 2018
3
0
10
0
Smorizio,

Thank you for advises. However, I've never done computer upgrades (except inserting more RAM into my old one which I am not sure was done right) so this is something I'd like to avoid. Things like this might look easy and actually BE easy for your guys and gals but not for someone who have never done this...

EDIT: Discussed this issue with a colleague at work who has a lot of relevant experience and he said upgrading installing a graphic card or swapping a hard drive for SSD and doing clean Win 7 installation is not a big deal. An assembly of a new rig is much more difficult so he basically suggested me to do what Smorizio advised.

That what I probably will do. An OEM copy of Win 7 is $25 or so on eBay, and he thinks the graphic card and 512 GB SSD are ~$200 and ~$130 respectively.

Hopefully it's a good alternative for a local made-to-order since a company in town I contacted wanted $1700 for a new workstation assembled.

Anyways, if anyone will run into a good deal on a refurbished workstation from a reputable vendor that doesn't require an immediate upgrade please let me know.



 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS