Question Upgrade or buy another

Jun 29, 2021
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Inherited HP Desktop 590 Pavillion, i7-8700, 320 ghz, 12GB. Slow, slow, slow. My primary use is digital photo editing. I run Adobe which is a memory hog. They recommend 32GB, plus dedicated graphics processor. The HP has a dedicated UHD 630. I usually have at least 3 other programs open at the same time and several websites; also run dual monitors. I recently purchased a gaming laptop that meets all my demands, 16 GB, 1T, i7 11th gen, etc. Costly, but fast. Yes, I need a laptop for portability, but at the end of the day, I'll be doing most of my editing at my office, using the 2 monitors. Recommendations? Upgrade the Pavillion, if it can even be done? Keep the laptop since it meets my needs, and link 2 monitors to it? Other?? Going in circles, trying to be cost effective. Hate to see a perfectly good desktop go to waste, but then again ... need to be efficient. (Win 10 64 bit Home)
Thanks!
 

Eximo

Titan
Ambassador
Proprietary motherboard, proprietary CPU cooler mounting, and proprietary power supply. Makes doing anything other than basic upgrades a problem.

You don't have dedicated graphics on the HP. UHD 630 is Intel's onboard graphics.

12GB of memory, shared with the graphics chip, not helping. That means you have a 4GB stick and an 8GB stick, only 2/3s of your memory is in dual channel mode, so you are losing on the bandwidth.

Getting 2x16GB of 2666Mhz memory would also help a lot (Completely replace the memory) Cheaper option two would be to replace the 4GB stick with an 8GB stick, that way all your memory is in dual channel.

Adding a discrete graphics card will help, though choices are limited at the moment. Maybe a GT1030.

i7-8700 isn't actually that bad, but I suspect the cooling in the HP isn't helping the CPU stay above base clocks. So getting a better CPU cooler is an idea.

All told, probably looking at $300 to upgrade it properly. CPU cooler approximately $50, Memory $150 (2x16GB 2666) And a GT 1030 at about $130.

If you can get your work to provide a replacement in the form of an actual workstation class system, that would be better.
 
Jun 29, 2021
3
0
10
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Proprietary motherboard, proprietary CPU cooler mounting, and proprietary power supply. Makes doing anything other than basic upgrades a problem.

You don't have dedicated graphics on the HP. UHD 630 is Intel's onboard graphics.

12GB of memory, shared with the graphics chip, not helping. That means you have a 4GB stick and an 8GB stick, only 2/3s of your memory is in dual channel mode, so you are losing on the bandwidth.

Getting 2x16GB of 2666Mhz memory would also help a lot (Completely replace the memory) Cheaper option two would be to replace the 4GB stick with an 8GB stick, that way all your memory is in dual channel.

Adding a discrete graphics card will help, though choices are limited at the moment. Maybe a GT1030.

i7-8700 isn't actually that bad, but I suspect the cooling in the HP isn't helping the CPU stay above base clocks. So getting a better CPU cooler is an idea.

All told, probably looking at $300 to upgrade it properly. CPU cooler approximately $50, Memory $150 (2x16GB 2666) And a GT 1030 at about $130.

If you can get your work to provide a replacement in the form of an actual workstation class system, that would be better.
Thank you so much. Before I saw your answer, my husband took the desktop to a computer "build shop" to see what they could do. They basically said the same things as you. Their recommendation was to nix the whole idea of upgrading, because it really wouldn't get me the overall desired configuration. And, understandably, their prices to upgrade were in excess of your estimates.
As far as getting my work to supply a better system, I'm my own boss - so all this would come out of pocket.
It now comes down to this - a new monkey wrench from the hubby who doesn't want me to be a non-stop hermit in my study - LOL: "Why don't you get a less expensive Dell laptop so you can be downstairs with me doing your "grunt work", and then go upstairs to your office and have the screaming desktop up there?" In other words, why have 2 duplicate machines - when (potentially) I could get by with a cheaper laptop and invest the big bucks in a desktop that is everything I might need and more?
I know some of this is a personal decision. That said, a 3rd party source such as yourself vs. a salesperson will keep my head on straight. It's gut-wrenching to think of keeping a $1500 laptop and spending, give or take, $2000 for a desktop. That's enough for a new lens for my camera. But in the bigger scheme of things, should I go ahead and bite the bullet, get duplicate systems that will work in tandem or alone, and know that both will last me for a few years (both are upgradeable), and stop overthinking the whole thing?
Tell me what to do! - LOL - LOL
Seriously, I'm glad I found this forum, and really, really appreciate the input.
 
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Eximo

Titan
Ambassador
Just getting a fancy docking station to make setting up the laptop easy as a desktop is probably enough.

An alternative I can think of would be remote work. You can have a powerful desktop on your local network and connect to it with any number of cheaper laptops. Depending on how sensitive the work you do is, that might work. Something you could try experimenting with now, though it doesn't make a lot of sense unless you upgrade the desktop.

Dozens to choose from. Windows Pro will allow remote desktop access natively. Just have to enable it in Windows.
Free tools like UltraVNC, GoToAssist, LogMeIn, Chrome Remote Desktop to name a few.

You could get a more expensive laptop with a thunderbolt port and purchase an external thunderbolt GPU enclosure. This would allow you portability, speed, and some upgrade capability in terms of GPU. Not going to be easy to get a GPU though, and not quite as effective as a GPU in a desktop.

Considering what you are working with, the GT1030 and memory won't set you back much and will make a big difference.

CPU cooler would be an adventure, but not impossible. Lots of coolers that can fit with minor DIY. M3 threaded sockets, you can get some threaded rod and a cooler that uses retention nuts. Or any cooler that has mounts that pull the retention bracket down, then you just need screws and washers of the appropriate length.

You didn't list a GPU for the laptop, but an i7 11th gen should have Xe based Intel HD750 which is the rough equivalent of an older GT730/GT740
 
Jun 29, 2021
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10
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Just getting a fancy docking station to make setting up the laptop easy as a desktop is probably enough.

An alternative I can think of would be remote work. You can have a powerful desktop on your local network and connect to it with any number of cheaper laptops. Depending on how sensitive the work you do is, that might work. Something you could try experimenting with now, though it doesn't make a lot of sense unless you upgrade the desktop.

Dozens to choose from. Windows Pro will allow remote desktop access natively. Just have to enable it in Windows.
Free tools like UltraVNC, GoToAssist, LogMeIn, Chrome Remote Desktop to name a few.

You could get a more expensive laptop with a thunderbolt port and purchase an external thunderbolt GPU enclosure. This would allow you portability, speed, and some upgrade capability in terms of GPU. Not going to be easy to get a GPU though, and not quite as effective as a GPU in a desktop.

Considering what you are working with, the GT1030 and memory won't set you back much and will make a big difference.

CPU cooler would be an adventure, but not impossible. Lots of coolers that can fit with minor DIY. M3 threaded sockets, you can get some threaded rod and a cooler that uses retention nuts. Or any cooler that has mounts that pull the retention bracket down, then you just need screws and washers of the appropriate length.

You didn't list a GPU for the laptop, but an i7 11th gen should have Xe based Intel HD750 which is the rough equivalent of an older GT730/GT740
Many thanks, I know the avenue to take without costing the proverbial arm and leg. You guys rock.
 
On the desktop, does it have an ssd drive? Not sure of its full specs. But if it doesn’t have an ssd drive installed, a simple upgrade like removing the hard drive and installing an ssd, even a sata ssd would make the hp feel like a new system. So I would suggest to consider starting there, and you could always upgrade the ram to a matched kit as well.

At work I use a Dell optiplex with an i7 6700 amd 16gb of ram, can’t remember the gpu, some small Radeon add on card. But it had a 1tb hard drive. I kid you not, you could start that system up, get to the log on screen, log on, and 5-10 minutes later it was still loading everything. My boss let me purchase a 1tb ssd for it (I work in the IT department), so I cloned my old drive to a western digital blue 1tb sata ssd drive.

The difference is night and day. Starts up in about 30 seconds log in and within another few seconds to a minute everything is loaded up. It really makes a difference.

As to your specific system, at home I have a custom built Ryzen 3600 with 16gb of ram. A small 256gb ssd to boot from and 2 1tb hard drives for storage (though I did just order a 1tb sata ssd for storage). But that system runs great. I do have an old gtx 970 for graphics which is better than your uhd 630.
But I would start with upgrading to an ssd first then upgrading to more ram if needed. A 1tb sata ssd can be found for under 100 bucks on Amazon. I purchased for myself a 1tb teamgroup brand ssd for 79.99 for a storage drive. But I haven’t used that brand of ssd before, so pay an extra few bucks and get a crucial or western digital. I was just being a cheapskate lol.
 

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