Help spec and narrow down desktop - UK

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AnthonyL Veteran Member • Posts: 3,507
Help spec and narrow down desktop - UK

Having had laptops/notebooks for the past 20yrs I now have a study to myself and no longer regularly travel.

My notebook is a 2010 HP Elitebook 8440p, Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU M 640 @ 2.80GHz 2.80 GHz, 8Gb RAM, 2Gb hard drive and Win10 Pro 64bit.  I have it dual booting Win10 (200Gb),  Linux (800Gb) with a shared partition for data (1Tb).  The machine is workable for my needs but is ageing and the internal sound card (mic input) has developed a noise, not good for zoom though fortunately I have an external USB sound card.  I guess I can expect other things to start deteriorating and I'll be sorry to see it go.

I find the whole range of desktop/tower offerings a bit bewildering.  I'm well retired so this next purchase may well be my last if I buy new.

Ideally I'd like flexibility with drives possibly 3 with 2Tb at least for data storage.  8Gb RAM is I think a bit limiting though I've only had memory compression once.  Canon's DPP4 is slow (it may be anyway).  I don't use any other heavy photo software though I threaten to learn Gimp.  Very occasional bits of video editing.

I do like connectivity - obviously wireless but I do sometimes run an ethernet cable to the router, I still have occasional use of Firewire, a stack of CD/DVD software, will need a webcam and likely a new good quality display unit bearing in mind I don't need an overkill for photo work.  I have a stack of SD cards as well as USB sticks and drives.

I've more room under the desk than on the desk so a tower would seem sensible.  I can swap components myself if the principles remain the same as they were 20yrs ago!

Budget wise I guess I'm expecting to pay £500+ excluding display.  I would hope to use the existing 2Tb drive and I've got a 1Tb drive ex this laptop sitting around.  Do towers come with spare/additional drive bays?  Is there any major benefit in sticking with the Pro version of Win10 (there are a couple of machines which form a small LAN).

I do have a 15" CRT monitor and a 1280x1024 Samsung Syncmaster 720n LCD display spare though I guess only the latter may be of use as a dual monitor if the desktop supported such a thing.  Not sure what I should be getting in this area.  Something that is easier to read as my eyes deteriorate would be nice.

I'll stop at that and respond to thoughts as they arise.

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