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  • Showing only topics with the tag "hardware". Back to normal view
    1. Transporting a desktop PC

      So, next year, I will spend two 3-month periods at a place that is 1400km away from my home. Because of my somewhat large, superfast dog, with a tendency to run away and topple people, I will have...

      So, next year, I will spend two 3-month periods at a place that is 1400km away from my home. Because of my somewhat large, superfast dog, with a tendency to run away and topple people, I will have to go by car, dog in hand (don't worry, I won't be driving :P). Each roundtrip amounts to 42 hours on the road.

      At the same time, I'm budgeting for a new desktop workstation for gaming and video editing (so both fun and work). I could get a much inferior gamer laptop with the money, but I wanna have a good machine for things like Adobe After Effects, and the inferior part bothers me quite a bit.

      Hence the question: how can I safely transport a desktop PC plus monitor for an 84-hour car trip? Should I take it "whole"? Disassembled? Or not at all? I really don't wanna screw up my brand-new PC!

      6 votes
    2. What's the best laptop for performance?

      I am looking to buy a new laptop soon because of the holiday deals. I am looking for a laptop with: high performance (most important) high battery life (i dont mind carrying a charger around, but...

      I am looking to buy a new laptop soon because of the holiday deals.

      I am looking for a laptop with:

      1. high performance (most important)

      2. high battery life (i dont mind carrying a charger around, but I would like not to).

      3. does not overheat too much (not much of a problem since I will be living in basically a tundra for the next few months, but it might be a problem around summer).

      My current laptop is a Macbook. I don't mind buying another one but I prefer Windows so I can game. My one problem with Windows is that every time I buy a Windows laptop, it gets slow as fuck for no reason after a month of use, which isn't a problem I've had with my Mac.

      Cost isn't much of an issue. And feel free to get into the nerdy details. I don't know much about hardware and would like to learn.

      Thanks!

      EDIT: If you have any recs for cool accessories, let me know about those as well.

      11 votes
    3. iPad recommendations

      After reserving a Steam Deck twice, and letting it drop, trying to get FTL running acceptably with touch controls on my old generic Windows Tablet, and doing the bulk of gaming and leisure time...

      After reserving a Steam Deck twice, and letting it drop, trying to get FTL running acceptably with touch controls on my old generic Windows Tablet, and doing the bulk of gaming and leisure time with my phone, I wonder if the best solution to my varied tech needs might be just to bite the bullet, turn in my Android cred and take a walk on the iPad side. I haven't used an Apple device regularly since my iPod touch from ten years ago and ever since that was stolen, I was all Android, all the time. But if I want a device to read comics (PDFs, Kindle/Comixology, Hoopla), watch streaming (Netflix, Prime Video, Youtube), try out games (Apple Arcade, Xcloud Web) but have the option to go back to my old reliables (FTL, Binding of Isaac), should I consider dropping $200 on an older iPad and see if it fits my needs? Should I do it now, or wait on rumors of new ones in October? I know they're supported for longer then the average Android, but at the same time, I don't want to pick one up just in time for it to be a security risk either.

      7 votes
    4. Should the Steam Deck just be a gaming tablet?

      I struck me while using my Steam Deck the other day to watch Twitch that the device has almost everything it needs to provide users with a tablet-like experience alongside being a gaming device....

      I struck me while using my Steam Deck the other day to watch Twitch that the device has almost everything it needs to provide users with a tablet-like experience alongside being a gaming device. When you're not in desktop mode Steam provides you with a high quality UI optimized for many of the same constraints as a tablet. For "great on deck" games and the store/library UI you get an easily navigable touch screen-supporting experience. If Valve can bring in Android apps for Twitch, YouTube etc. we could get that kind of experience universally.

      Desktop mode can peacefully co-exist with a tablet experience as you will switch between the two distinct modes of operation. This seems like a great way to capture a market of users normally turned off by ideas of tablets replacing their normal computers. I haven't used a tablet in years but I would use one that was a full Linux gaming OS at the same time.

      8 votes
    5. Anyone DIY-fixed a liquid-damaged MacBook Pro keyboard?

      Long story short, I wiped my keyboard with a moist towel and I knocked out exactly 6 keys on my mid-2020 MacBook Pro (Magic Keyboard, A2251). I'm now looking at either paying $300+ to have it...

      Long story short, I wiped my keyboard with a moist towel and I knocked out exactly 6 keys on my mid-2020 MacBook Pro (Magic Keyboard, A2251).

      I'm now looking at either paying $300+ to have it serviced by a technician. But I have the tempting option of buying an aftermarket replacement keyboard for less than $100 and replacing it myself. That + I'm in the spirit of DIY repairs to keep my things going longer.

      Has anyone attempted this before? Any tips and advice?

      It seems slightly daunting because the keyboard is adhered to the aluminium body so I would have to literally tear the existing one off.

      7 votes
    6. Tech recommendations request: looking for a Linux-friendly 13" laptop

      Final update: See here. Update: Thank you ALL for your valuable feedback. I'm definitely looking into refurbished models now and I have a lot better grasp on what what I should be considering. I'm...

      Final update: See here.


      Update: Thank you ALL for your valuable feedback. I'm definitely looking into refurbished models now and I have a lot better grasp on what what I should be considering. I'm going to do some digging and a ridiculous amount of overshopping over the next couple of days, and then I'll let you all know what my final pick is!


      Hey techy Tildes! I'm back with another support request from you knowledgeable and helpful folks.

      I need a laptop that does exactly three things: gets me online, displays PDFs, and runs office software. I have a large number of online courses that I have to take in the coming years, and I need something that I can just grab while on my couch or in bed to work on papers and assignments, hence the 13" size preference. Long battery life would be highly preferable.

      I looked for options that come with Linux preinstalled, but there's really nothing available that hits what I'm looking for -- there isn't much of a market for 13". As such, my plan is to just buy a standard Windows laptop and then put Linux on it, but I have no idea which particular hardware will play nice with a Linux installation. Budget would be sub-$500 (if possible). I don't need the laptop to do anything other than stay on for a long time and let me type, so I have no need for a powerhouse.

      Can anyone point me in the right direction with some recommendations?

      13 votes
    7. PC cases without transparent side panels

      Hi folks! I am, unfortunately, probably going to have to build a new PC soon; my beloved Thelio-r1 is slowly failing, and while my original plan was to buy a Ryzen 7 5800X and keep riding this PC...

      Hi folks! I am, unfortunately, probably going to have to build a new PC soon; my beloved Thelio-r1 is slowly failing, and while my original plan was to buy a Ryzen 7 5800X and keep riding this PC for another three to five years, I don't know that I'll actually be able to make that work.

      I like the NXT H510 I used for my boyfriend's gaming build, but the thermal performance isn't amazing and, most importantly, I hate tempered glass!

      Yes, I understand that people want to show off their (ridiculously!) expensive components. I understand that lots of things have RGB. However, metal is cheaper, easier to work with, doesn't shatter, and I can modify it if I need to.

      So, does anyone know of a good mid-tower PC case with decent airflow, up-to-date features (no 5 inch bays, good cable management hardpoints, a cable hiding bay, etc.), and no tempered glass or, preferably, acrylic?

      Thank you!

      16 votes
    8. Need a new laptop with GPU

      So my ten year old HP workhorse has finally decided to call it quits and I'm in the market for a replacement. As I'm doing my own research I've found I've become so hopelessly behind on the new...

      So my ten year old HP workhorse has finally decided to call it quits and I'm in the market for a replacement. As I'm doing my own research I've found I've become so hopelessly behind on the new range of GPU's that I thought I'd get some opinions from the experts.

      I'm looking for a lower end laptop with a GPU relatively in the "budget" range of $1000-1200 USD (<1500$ CAD). Nothing I run is particularly power hungry graphically but I would like to be able to operate at maximum settings. For reference one of the games I partake in has a minimum requirement of a GeForce GT 740, so it isn't hard to find a rig that surpasses that easily, however I would like to attempt running the game with hi-res texture packs and at ~60 fps for the first time which will require a little extra juice. Anything over 4gb of ram (preferably 8) is fine.

      In addition to that I place priority on semi solid construction. I'm not looking for MacBook pro quality but I also travel a lot and work in demanding environments so a flimsy laptop isn't going to fly. Screen quality would also be a nice bonus but I don't care about 2k/4k quality, 1920x1080 is more than enough for me. I care very little about battery life as plugins are almost always available to me, the aesthetic of the laptop is also unimportant, a boring Lenovo is perfectly fine. Finally, while I don't want to carry around a brick, a thicker/heavier laptop is fine.

      Any personal opinions on the topic would be greatly appreciated.

      9 votes
    9. Framework laptop review

      I've seen a few posts about the Framework Laptop on Tildes and since I received mine, I thought I'd do a write up for it. I've been using the Framework laptop for a few weeks now and it's been...

      I've seen a few posts about the Framework Laptop on Tildes and since I received mine, I thought I'd do a write up for it.

      I've been using the Framework laptop for a few weeks now and it's been great so far. I was originally skeptical but I decided that I would take a shot at it as I've been growing increasingly unhappy with the design decisions that Apple has been making with MacOS.

      I ordered the DIY kit, which was nice since I already had an NVMe SSD I could use with it, so I ended up saving about $150. It only took about 20 minutes to get the RAM, SSD and wifi card installed.

      Specs:

      • Intel i7-1165G7
      • 32 GB of RAM
      • Intel WiFi 6E card

      Total cost: $1,422.03.

      Unfortunately my first laptop arrived with a dead display. The Framework support team was pretty helpful and quickly sent out a new one, which works perfectly.

      After toying around with Linux Mint and a few other distros, I ended up installing the Windows 11 beta. Getting the drivers installed was easy, since Framework offers a single download that runs one script to install all necessary drivers in unattended mode. Just hit one button and restart - all the drivers are installed. I wish all manufacturers offered something similar.

      Overall construction is great. For something as modular as this, it feels extremely solid and well built. While the build quality isn't equal to something like a MacBook, I'd say it's on par with a Dell XPS or similar high end machine.

      The screen is nice and bright, with accurate colors. I've always been a fan of 3:2 screens on laptops and moving from a MacBook Pro with a 16-inch 16:9 display to the 13.5-inch 3:2 display on the Framework doesn't feel like losing too much real estate. Having the taller display is great for sites like Tildes, where it can fit almost the same amount of content as a much larger screen.

      The keyboard and trackpad are both great. The keys remind me of the older pre-2015 style MacBook keyboards before they switched to the butterfly mechanism. They are bouncy and responsive, with a nice feedback that doesn't feel too harsh like the butterfly keyboards do. The trackpad is pretty good and it uses the Windows Precision drivers, so it supports swiping and pinching if you like that. It does sound a bit louder than my MacBook Pro's trackpad.

      The speakers are a bit disappointing. The max loudness is pretty anemic. Even in a normal acoustic environment (A/C running in a house), you have to actively listen to hear. Coming from a MacBook Pro 16-inch, I would say that the speakers are the biggest downgrade.

      The main draw of the Framework is the expandability and upgradability.

      The Framework modules are a fantastic idea and I love them. While they don't save you from having to carry around adapters, it is really nice to have those adapters slot in to your machine and feel more integrated. I purchased 2 USB-C, 2 full-sized USB, a DisplayPort, and an HDMI adapter. Being able to just slot in a USB A port and swap it for a display out one on the rare occasion that I need it has been great. I love being able to adapt the ports on my laptop to a situation without having to have dongles coming out of the side of my laptop.

      The adapters are tiny and easily fit in any backpack or carrying case. I'm really curious to see what new adapters they offer in the future and what crazy niche ones third parties come up with. I'd love to see a cellular modem jammed into one of these things. Or maybe one that can hide a dongle for my wireless keyboard and mouse?

      Battery life is...fine. It's an all day machine, but you'll definitely need to charge it every day if you're using it a good deal. The battery is on the smaller side, but it gets me through a normal work day so that's good enough. But when the battery goes bad (as all Lithium-Ion batteries do), it's an easy fix.

      In terms of upgradability, getting into the laptop is dead simple. There's five screws on the bottom and then entire top deck (keyboard and trackpad) comes off. Everything is easily accessible and sensibly laid out. It's also all labeled with QR codes that take you to specific guides on how to install/upgrade those components. I think the educational component is great. It really shows people who would have never thought to upgrade their RAM or storage how easy it can be.

      That's the big selling point for me. If I decide in a year or two that I need more than 1TB of storage, I can just buy a larger drive and stick it in there. Or if my display dies, I can get a one for a lot less than the cost of replacing the laptop. Or if the keyboard or trackpad dies, then I can easily replace just that component. On my MacBook Pro, replacing the keyboard is an $800+ repair, since it involves replacing the entire top case, which includes the motherboard and other expensive components.

      For years we've been hearing from manufacturers that they can't make a laptop thin, light and upgradable. This laptop proves them wrong.

      My biggest concern is the long term viability of the company. It's nice that they made an upgradable laptop, but if they aren't around in a year or two to keep selling replacement parts, then it doesn't matter much.

      Overall, I'm pretty impressed with the Framework and I plan on keeping it and making it my daily driver.

      EDIT: I forgot to mention my absolute favorite feature, one that I've missed ever since Apple went all USB-C on their laptops: It has a light on the side to tell you if it is currently charging or fully charged!

      40 votes
    10. Help needed: slow external hard drive

      I've got a 2TB Toshiba drive (formatted as NTFS) that has become very slow and I was wondering if anyone here as any ideas what the problem could be and how I could fix it. All the data I'd need...

      I've got a 2TB Toshiba drive (formatted as NTFS) that has become very slow and I was wondering if anyone here as any ideas what the problem could be and how I could fix it. All the data I'd need off the drive is backed up, but I would at least like a drive to put it back on to!

      In short, it became slow after I had to force power-off the system it was connected to (Pop OS installed on another external drive which I unplugged by mistake) and I haven't bothered to try to fix it in the six months since.

      I've tested it on Pop and it takes about 10-20 minutes to mount, and 2 minutes to unmount and safely remove. The data itself seems fine but performance is slow, accessing a 20MB image takes several seconds and selecting the drive in GNOME Disks caused it to freeze.

      The drive sounded louder than normal, especially after plugging in.

      On Windows, the drive was recognised and browsable immediately, but browsing through folders was very slow - opening some folders causes Windows Explorer to freeze for a while. Some of my double-clicks were mis-recognised as click-to-rename, which took several seconds to activate and during which time Task Manager reported the average response time between 5000 and 11000 ms.

      Attempting to load an audio file resulted in lots of buffering. Task Manager reports an active time of 100% (even when not loading files or folders) and the activity never exceeded 100 KB/s (and doesn't sustain it for more than a second). Ejecting the drive takes forever - after ejecting it using the tray icon, the tray icon is not removed (even though there are no other drives connected or listed) and the active time is still 100% with the indicator LED blinking non-stop. The system did not enter sleep right away after me asking it to either.

      All of that to say, does anyone know what the issue could be, or how I could find and fix it? Thanks!


      Edit: fixed and normal functionality restored (at least so I can check the drive a bit easier) using Scan & Repair in Windows (see my comment).

      4 votes