New PC to replace Dell All in One

Philly112

Distinguished Member
My current Dell All In One PC is 7 years old and approaching the end of it's life. I'm looking to replace it, but not sure what to do.

Screen size. This one is 23 inches, ideally I'd want 27 inches. This one is touch screen, but I don't really need that.

Usage. I don't game, and it's really just a general family workhorse I'm after. You Tube, the occasional power point, letters, spreadsheet, video calls etc. Nothing special. I can often have 8-10 tabs open when on the internet, not sure if that is relevant or not.

Storage. Nothing large needed. I have a couple of external hard drives which are used for back up, but I don't really need much storage - I was thinking 512GB SSD would be ample for me. Most seem to come with a 1TB additional hard drive as well as the SSD - I don't need that much.

I know nothing about video cards. Don't know if I need one or not.

Memory - is 8GB enough (most appear to have that) or should I get 16GB?

WiFi. I won't be able to use ethernet due to location of the PC, so I'd like both 2.4 and 5 GHz wifi options - this one only has 2.4GHz. Maybe they're all both now, I don't know.

Form factor.
For my purposes, the AIO has been perfect. One plug, doesn't take up much space etc. But I am open to a small tower and monitor, but the monitor would need to be 27 inches and have speakers. I do have a decent USB speaker set but I'd still like the monitor to have sound. Presumably if I went that route I'd need a separate webcam? I know nothing about monitors by the way! I assume they attach to the PC via a single HDMI cable.

Make. Totally open to make etc. This Dell has been great, but I realise that's probably because I don't need it to do much! If I don't get any replies, I'll probably get another Dell AIO (7000 series), but I'm open to anything. There is a decent independent PC shop in our town who could probably build me something - should I speak to them?

Price. £1000 is the limit. I'm happy to spend less of course, but if £1000 would get something better than say £500, that's fine.

Many thanks, apologies if these are all basic questions, but I know diddly squat about computers. So no techie suggestions about soldering motherships onto dingly dongles and sticking in a gungleblaster sound card!
 

jimscreechy

Active Member
Usage. I don't game, and it's really just a general family workhorse I'm after. You Tube, the occasional power point, letters, spreadsheet, video calls etc. Nothing special. I can often have 8-10 tabs open when on the internet, not sure if that is relevant or not.
You don't game but since its "General family workhorse" does anyone else? You know kids playing Rodblox or Fortnite?

If your really not doing anything special as you say "You Tube, the occasional power point, letters, spreadsheet, video calls etc." I'm not even sure a new machine is warranted, unless your having problems with your current one.
 

Philly112

Distinguished Member
You don't game but since its "General family workhorse" does anyone else? You know kids playing Rodblox or Fortnite?

If your really not doing anything special as you say "You Tube, the occasional power point, letters, spreadsheet, video calls etc." I'm not even sure a new machine is warranted, unless your having problems with your current one.

Thanks, no kids around, and I don't think me or the wife will be starting playing games now! The current machine has some issues, the power button is busted and there is a crack on the screen. It also takes ages to start up. Probably should have mentioned that.
I'd certainly like a bigger screen, although I accept that this machine does all I need it to apart from the cracked screen being a pain.
 

jimscreechy

Active Member
:)

Ok I understand. £500 -1000 is a good budget but to be honest for what you do even a fairly low spec device would do you given what you use it for. The need for big towers are long gone for anyone but gamers or power uses who need lots of power and big spaces for monster graphics cards and power supplies.

I quite like all in one machines where everything is built into the monitor unit. Lots less faffing about. Mini PC's are also great. I use them at work (HP and Lenovo though there are many brands) so can vouch for their performance whilst having great advantage of really small size (18 x 17 x 3.5)cm yes that's centimetres, not inches, and the intel NUC's are even smaller.

The two I was going to recommend are currently unavailable. If you don't mind buying a PC then something this this is quite good. You could then buy a 27inch monitor you like. (of course you'd need a mouse and keyboard) but again you could get something decent, you like.

Be it an all-in-one PC a mini or a desktop, have a poke around on Amazon, and see if you see anything that tickles your fancy. This will at least give you an idea of what is about for what you want to spend. You can always come back and post again.
 

strangely tim

Active Member
All in One's are fine until they go wrong and can be a bugger to fix. A tower case can be tucked away to the side of your desk/table. Onboard graphics have improved a lot these last few years and and can easily handle mid level gaming should you feel the need to have a go.

You can never have too much storage so a second internal drive is a must have and use your external drives to back up the back ups.



That setup is more than you think you need now but you never know what you may need in the future.

Lots of suppliers these days but its always worth looking at the likes of Argos who can have some bargains. I assemble my own machines but if I wanted an off the shelf I'd look at the high street chains because they've got better at selling computers.
 

jimscreechy

Active Member
You can never have too much storage so a second internal drive is a must have and use your external drives to back up the back ups.
I would caution against this statement and further advise against buying what you don't need and/or will never use. For Enthusiasts on this site, and technical individuals in general this statement is much of a truism, we use enormous of data (often never deleting anything) and in addition to having a genuine l requirement for large storage capacities, we hoard data as though it provides some type of club card reward scheme.

The notion that you a second drive is a "Must have" is simply incorrect, particularly for normal day to day use. As long as you have enough storage, with some sensible leeway for expansion and longevity, it is entirely up to you to decide. Be realistic with your requirements is all I would advise. The most important thing is that you back up your data, which you have already stated you do.
 

strangely tim

Active Member
Sorry Jim we'll have to agree to disagree on this one mate. It certainly won't do any harm having more performance than you need, our main car can top 130mph but I drive that fast...still nice to have that capability should my driving circumstances change.

A second drive is a must have, if your primary boot drive fails your up a creek without a paddle, common sense say fit a second drive (many PCs come with them anyway) and have all your data/pictures/music/videos et al ready to access when your new boot is in place.

External drives are IMO essential also these days where people do store more and more and more and whats unnessisary to you today may be sorely missed sometime in the future a bit like "Oh, I wish I'd kept that XYZ instead of dumping it". Storage is dirt cheap these days, no reason not to have plenty and organising it is up to the individual. I'm old enough to remember hard drive storage costing over £1 per megabyte and these days a 2,000,000MB disc is £50. Back up your data because those extra drives are a lot cheaper than paying for data recovery off a failed drive.

The OP has a budget of a grand, the system I linked is very typical of whats on offer within that budget. Buy and set up your system now in one go rather than need to faff about adding bits later on especially as the OP is not tech savvy. He buys a couple of boxes, unpacks, plugs them in and enjoys the experience.
 

jimscreechy

Active Member
I try not to disagree with forum members giving advise. I've found advise given here to be to be incredibly knowledgeable, but I also notice that on occasion it is this knowledge that can be a... drawback.

As opposed to giving advice for a technical solution, I try very hard not to think like a techie when it comes to giving buying advise. I know there is a big difference between what would be great to have (either from a 'cool' techie perspective or a 'just-in-case' scenario) as opposed to what is needed. That is my opinion on a 'second drive'

A second drive isn't going to help you if your primary fails unless that is also a boot device... which is unlikely. Sure you could make your second drive bootable but you can also do that with a cheapo USB drive. Ok maybe you could even have a image of your system on your second drive to perform a restore from, but you can do that with an external backup drive too, and you still need a boot device.

In fact I would argue that the advantage of having a second drive has little to do with losing your primary drive at all, since loosing your primary drive means a hardware replacement will be required regardless. A second drive is not going to circumvent that. And well, as for having access to your data, well, that is exactly why you back your data up. At any rate, SSD drives rarely fail, and loosing your boot drive isn't something that was always a serious possibility like it was with a HDD.

It's true you have to future proof to some degree, but data storage costs only reduce with time, so the notion of spec'ing your system in consideration of space requirements too distant (more than a couple of years) is counter productive, since simply replacing is a more cost effective practice.

Yes he has a limit of £1000, but he did say he'd rather spend less and to be honest, given the usage requirements he's well paced to spend below that for a system far beyond the specifications of his requirments.

Again, I'm not saying a second drive isn't nice or even great to have in some cases, even essential for some more of the 'creative' individuals for example, but from the resilience perspective? not really.
 
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Philly112

Distinguished Member
Thanks guys, I don't wish to start a (friendly) war!
I'll have a look around and do some more research. I popped down the local computer shop, who build PCs, and he recommended a system with AMD Ryzen 5 processor 16gb memory and 512GB SSD. £599. This would need a USB wifi dongle though (I knew I'd get to use the word dongle). For some reason they don't fit wifi cards in their builds, don't know why. Anyway, is this something to consider, or avoid like the plague, as I don't have enough knowledge to ask the right questions of them.
 

jimscreechy

Active Member
Thanks guys, I don't wish to start a (friendly) war!
I'll have a look around and do some more research. I popped down the local computer shop, who build PCs, and he recommended a system with AMD Ryzen 5 processor 16gb memory and 512GB SSD. £599. This would need a USB wifi dongle though (I knew I'd get to use the word dongle). For some reason they don't fit wifi cards in their builds, don't know why. Anyway, is this something to consider, or avoid like the plague, as I don't have enough knowledge to ask the right questions of them.
haha I don't think it's anything quite so serious, some of the more interesting discussions have been on slightly off topic matters when opinions differ. Its rarely a matter of absolutes... right against wrong, more one of application, conditions and circumstances. It's certainly a fertile ground for debate and I have enormous respect for the members here.
 

strangely tim

Active Member
As said, we'll have to agree to disagree, I can't follow your logic Jim, your view is out of line with the majority of computer users and advice given.

Philly, nice specs on that system, does that include a monitor? Get them to drop in a second drive, for what they cost its peace of mind.
 

Philly112

Distinguished Member
haha I don't think it's anything quite so serious, some of the more interesting discussions have been on slightly off topic matters when opinions differ. Its rarely a matter of absolutes... right against wrong, more one of application, conditions and circumstances. It's certainly a fertile ground for debate and I have enormous respect for the members here.
Definitely! I came on here in 2003 to sell some hifi equipment, and I'm still here, and using the word 'dongle'. How cool is that?
 

Philly112

Distinguished Member
As said, we'll have to agree to disagree, I can't follow your logic Jim, your view is out of line with the majority of computer users and advice given.

Philly, nice specs on that system, does that include a monitor? Get them to drop in a second drive, for what they cost its peace of mind.

No, the monitor would be extra, but I'd source that myself.
How much should a second drive cost?
Are there any questions I should be asking them?

Also, re WIFI - I've done some research on USB wifi dongles, they seem pretty cheap. Are they any good - I can't use ethernet, so it's my only way to get online. How much should I spend - £10, £20, £30...?
I assume I just plug one into a spare USB port.

Thanks for all the help and advice guys.
 

jimscreechy

Active Member
As said, we'll have to agree to disagree, I can't follow your logic Jim, your view is out of line with the majority of computer users and advice given.

Well at the very least I'm always prepared to listen. I'm interested to hear your counter as to why my logic isn't correct. if you can either highlight why I'm out with the majority of advice given, or point me to any information that may indicate why, I'd be genuinely interested.

The notion that I have been incorrect on the matter, or worse! that am misinformed and thus providing erroneous advise is far outstrips my fear of being corrected.
 

jimscreechy

Active Member
My advise would be to forget the second drive, you don't need one with your intended use (unless there are some clear advantages that can be outlined as to why you should) which I don't see.

For network connectivity you need to get a PC with built in WiFi. You definitely do not want to mess around with dongles of any kind for internet access unless you are, a) A glutton for punishment, b) Are looking for technical challenges for he fun of it or, c) Have no choice because you have an old PC that didn't have it with the original build.

They 'may' be slightly more expensive, but most PC's have WiFi capability built in. Ignore anything that either doesn't or doesn't have the option to add it (as a reasonably priced extra).

You may find a slight price increase with the mini PC's with WiFi since fewer of these come with it as standard, but please ensure you get WiFi capability with any PC you choose.

My advise would be to have look, post a few options you think may be worth considering and we can take a look to see if you are making a good choice.
 
I'm with you Jim, I used too (15 -20 years ago) recommend a 2nd drive mostly for the ease of re-installation of windows rather than hardware failure, as at the time formatting and re-installing was the best method and would be needed every 18 months usually. These days I build my PC's (for friends etc) with a single 1TB usually and a backup via usb or onedrive /nas etc. if the drive dies so be it, its so easy to rebuild and have a 2 drive with data on it , can die as well so data has too be in at least two locations (and not 2 locations in the same PC) I dont see the point in having a 2nd drive at the start, maybe later when you need more and its cheaper (for 2 NVMe and 2 SSD in mine at the moment) but thats expansion not by design.
 

Philly112

Distinguished Member
My advise would be to have look, post a few options you think may be worth considering and we can take a look to see if you are making a good choice.

I saw this all in one on the Dell outlet. Apart from it being an all in one, it seems to tick most boxes. It's £660.

Inspiron 27 7000 (7700) All-in-One
Dell Outlet Inspiron 27 - 7700 All-In-One
Intel Core 11th Generation i5-1135G7 Processor (Quad Core, Up to 4.20GHz, 8MB Cache)
Windows 10 Home
8GB (1X8GB) Up to 3200MHz DDR4 SoDIMM Non-ECC
512GB PCIe M.2 NVMe Class 35 Solid State Drive
Intel Iris XE Graphics
All-in-One Chassis
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 Dual-band 2x2 802.11ax with MU-MIMO + Bluetooth 5.1
27 inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Wide View Angle Anti-Glare Infinity Non-Touch Narrow Border Display
External English/UK Wired Black Keyboard
Silver - Back Cover
No Optical Device
 

strangely tim

Active Member
I'm with you Jim, I used too (15 -20 years ago) recommend a 2nd drive mostly for the ease of re-installation of windows rather than hardware failure, as at the time formatting and re-installing was the best method and would be needed every 18 months usually. These days I build my PC's (for friends etc) with a single 1TB usually and a backup via usb or onedrive /nas etc. if the drive dies so be it, its so easy to rebuild and have a 2 drive with data on it , can die as well so data has too be in at least two locations (and not 2 locations in the same PC) I dont see the point in having a 2nd drive at the start, maybe later when you need more and its cheaper (for 2 NVMe and 2 SSD in mine at the moment) but thats expansion not by design.

You assemble computers for yourself and friends, so do I, been doing it for many years. If a machine goes pop no problem I'll fix it. If I want an upgrade no problem I'll upgrade it...because I can. The OP is not tech savvy so he needs to go out and buy a machine thats all set up and working fine without the need to drag the machine off to be repaired or upgraded and take on the extra expenses incurred; for the OP this should be a painless one off purchase that will cover all his needs for some years to come and not faffing about changing bits and adding bits that should have been there from day one. I like assembling computers, I get donor machines off my son (network engineer) which I fettle and pass on to people needing machines, I'm a radio ham, I love building antenna's and repairing old radios but most people can barely use a computer...lets make life easy for them. I'll leave you and Jim to it now nowt else to add here.

OP, enjoy your machine, get the second drive ;)... I'm off; ham radio conditions are not bad so its away to the shack for me :)
 

jimscreechy

Active Member
I saw this all in one on the Dell outlet. Apart from it being an all in one, it seems to tick most boxes. It's £660.
The spec does look good, and the price is reasonable. I would definitely see about finding a model with 16GB of RAM or seeing if there is an upgrade option for this one. certainly earmark this one whist you browse.
 
Sorry not trying to ruffle feather, the two drive thing is something I just keep seeing recommended and I just think its advantage are something that has moved as windows has changed - its a bit of a bug bear of mine seeing it advised without specific need by the user, there plenty of good reasons to have another drive, for mass storage for movies or audio etc just not for easy of repair reasons.
 

Philly112

Distinguished Member
Thanks again guys. I think I'll do a bit more looking round. I've just found I can get a used 27 inch monitor from a friend for a good price, so that might affect what I go for.
 

outoftheknow

Moderator
As said, we'll have to agree to disagree, I can't follow your logic Jim, your view is out of line with the majority of computer users and advice given.
It’s in line with mine :)

anyway - we all have different views on things. Enough back and forth on this topic (second drive) please everybody.
 

outoftheknow

Moderator
e. I would definitely see about finding a model with 16GB of RAM or seeing if there is an upgrade option for this one.
Definitely this. RAM is cheap and has instant and ongoing benefits. Dell used to have the option to add RAM to almost all machines I thought…. Over here the bricks and mortar shops mostly have a tech and will add RAM before you leave the store. 16GB even for low demand usage is my new minimum as of a couple of months ago when I bought a new desktop, upgraded from 8 to 16GB, and noticed how much better it was running with headroom.
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Thanks guys, I don't wish to start a (friendly) war!
I'll have a look around and do some more research. I popped down the local computer shop, who build PCs, and he recommended a system with AMD Ryzen 5 processor 16gb memory and 512GB SSD. £599. This would need a USB wifi dongle though (I knew I'd get to use the word dongle). For some reason they don't fit wifi cards in their builds, don't know why. Anyway, is this something to consider, or avoid like the plague, as I don't have enough knowledge to ask the right questions of them.

USB wi-fi dongle is usually a bad sign, it suggests they're not shelling out the small amount extra for a motherboard with it integrated on an M.2 card. Understandable as it's a low margin business, but that sort of corner cutting does leave you with bits sticking out of the PC you could knock accidentally.

Did he show you the size of the case the PC would be in? Was it lunchbox sized or an old style tower case?
 

Philly112

Distinguished Member
USB wi-fi dongle is usually a bad sign, it suggests they're not shelling out the small amount extra for a motherboard with it integrated on an M.2 card. Understandable as it's a low margin business, but that sort of corner cutting does leave you with bits sticking out of the PC you could knock accidentally.

Did he show you the size of the case the PC would be in? Was it lunchbox sized or an old style tower case?

Thanks, I've decided to give those guys a miss, after some research I came to the same conclusion as you! I'll scout around and pick up something ready built. I think I know a little more now and I suspect most low to mid price systems will do what I need. I've looked at quite a few now, and they all seem similar spec wise. I'll just need to make sure it's 16GB RAM.
 

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