What Computer Shoud I buy?

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  • Updated 1 year ago
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Now that the dust has settled (for the most part) on SSDR 2.0, I am thinking about buying a new computer.  I can go with Windows 7 or Windows 10.  Is there any advantage (or disadvantage) of one OS over the other?  The computer will be exclusively dedicated to my Flex station -- so the necessity (or lack thereof) of other programs will be minimal.  My goal is to get the most out of my Flex and the programs I will be using to support my operation.
Thanks for your thoughts.
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Andrew Thall

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Posted 1 year ago

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Mark Erbaugh

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I would go with Windows 10. Some people here have reported hiccups with the Flex software when MS pushes out an update, but I have found Windows 10 (Home) to work very well with Flex software. I would recommend against Windows 7 only because of it's age. I use Windows 7 every day at work.
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Mike Hoing

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I agree with Mark. I have used w 10 for almost 2 years no real issues and it works fine

I7 16gb Ram large video card with 3 monitors and. A pair of 500 Gb solid state drives

Mike
NN9DD
(Edited)
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k3Tim

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I would also recommend Windows 10 Pro. Using with a 6500 and had only two times that an updated caused a problem. One update was a major update and fixing some drivers cured it. 

As to hardware how many monitors / size and screen resolution will you be using?

 _..--
k3Tim
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Andrew Thall

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I am running three monitors.  #1: 1920x1080  #2: 1680x1050  #3: 1280x1024
#3 may be replaced in the not-too-distant future (perhaps as part of the new computer purchase package.
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Kevin K4VD, Elroy

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Go 4K. You'll love it. Acer Predator or Dell products are pretty good. One thing I wish I got that these monitors do not support... picture-in-picture. I'd really like to be able to plug my laptop into one of the big monitors and have it show up on screen. There's also monitors (I think - maybe I'm making this up) where you can run multiple computers in their own windows or divisions on the monitor. I work from home. This would be an excellent feature. :)

I have a Dell XPS 8900. It does pretty good. Seems to have the CPU headroom and can be loaded up with decent drives (solid state optional, I say mandatory) and memory. I don't know a whole lot about computer architecture. I know some systems can handle multiple things happening at the same time much better than others. Data paths or something. The best computer I ever owned was the MSI GT70-2od 17" gaming laptop. On win 7 it was FAAAST. But, lots of money, it didn't like Win10 (which I do like) and eventually found a new home. Gaming computers might have some advantages in our SDR environment.

Speaking of gaming computers... one odd but I think worthwhile addition to a computer is a gaming keyboard. Some have all sorts of macro capabilities which mostly don't work with SSDR's GUI (grrrrrrrr) but I love the tactile feel of the keys. It makes PSK-31 a pleasure. I use a Logitech G710+ but there are others out there. You can even get the old-style IBM/Keytronics style keyboards. If you never tried one you might be pleasantly surprised.

Touch screen, kind of out. SSDR isn't really touch screen friendly with little buttons and sliders that aren't formed correctly (maybe only one left now). I'm hoping touch screen is the future (prediction, version 4 to be released in 2032).

I tried an all-in-one, the HP. Nice concept. Very space efficient. Very bad (for me). It was slow and choppy. The salesman at BestBuy convinced me it was just the floor model but the one I bought home went back to the store within 24 hours.

Pro vs. Home? Not sure. I have home on all my computers except pro on a Surface Pro 2. The one thing I miss that home doesn't provide is Remote Desktop. Easily replaced with VNC though so maybe no big deal. Other than that, I haven't found a difference here.

73,
Kev K4VD
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Dave Gipson

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I agree. Win10 Pro is a fine operating system. Go with the PRO version because of the additional network functions available, which... you may want to take advantage of in the future. The system is very stable and I have dedicated a nice new laptop with WIN10-PRO and... a touchscreen ... to my future ( already on order) Flex 6600M. Don't forget the touch screen. You won't regret it. I'm running a HP ENVY, 17", CORE i7, 7th generation.
(Edited)
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Bill -VA3WTB

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On the other hand, many are still using Win 7. I am and it is flawless. It is supported till 2020.
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Ned K1NJ

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      I'm using both.  As Bill said Win 7 just works.  Win 10 has needed attention from time to time.
If you go with Win 10, go with the pro version as others have suggested. 10 has been good
for a while, but I continue to use the 7 machine as the primary SSDR station computer.  I
stopped automatic "upgrades" in win 10, but it's been so long, I've forgotten how I did it.

     Good luck and have fun,
                              Ned,  K1NJ
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Justin - KL2D

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I use a Mac Pro, and run Windows 10 as a VM (with Parallels). Then I can use MacLoggerDX, DogparkSDR, and MacDoppler. Plus I have all the advantages of running dual OS. To each his own, but the MacOS environment is very nice to work in. Plus, if you run a VM it is really easy to make copies of your entire OS and jump back if you upgrade and it doesn't work, or make some other mistake and want to roll back. YMMV.... but for me it has been great with Flex.

73
Justin
KL2D
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Mark Erbaugh

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Have you found any Flex or other ham related software that didn't work with the VM?
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Andrew Thall

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I'm currently having a problem getting SDR-Bridge to work. The author of the program is working on a solution.
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Justin - KL2D

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I haven't had any issues with any ham software not working inside the VM. I'm not a software engineer either, I basically just know enough to be dangerous hi hi

I usually run SSDR and fldigi inside the VM, and sometimes a couple of other applications like the control panel for the alpha 9500, or some other odds and ends that have to run in windows. Using Parallels to run the VM I can pick and choose which peripherals are attached to each OS pretty easily. There are other good VM options besides Parallels, that's just the one I am used to.

Yesterday I was working sats, and used MacLoggerDX, MacDoppler, and DogparkSSDR which all worked well together and controlled the radio and the G-5500 rotator all automatically.
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Mark Erbaugh

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Justin, Thanks.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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If you wish to have no problems whatsoever go with Windows 7.

If you have time on your hands to fix W10 caused issues
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Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

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As main PC I recommend a HP Pavilion 570-p042ng as an example of a sturdy Office PC
and as 2nd PC a Panasonic Toughbook if you want water resistant and "tough" or an
ASUS Zenbook if you want small, but super high resolution.
Always go for SSD's and an i5 or i7 CPU. And Windows 7, if you want no update
problems. 73, Alex - DH2ID
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W3EX -- Tom

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Windows 10 is a far superior operating system to win 7. When win 10 was available as a free update, I updated approximately 30 machines with no problems. It is true that Microsoft will push out updates to win 10. However, I have not personally found this to be a big issue. Good luck with your search for a new computer. I would stay away from HP as their quality has seriously slipped in recent years. ASUS is a good name and Dell as always hangs in there with good quality.


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Bill W2PKY

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I could never get my ASUS Z97-A motherboard to run DAX reliably under Win10 Pro.
Even with BIOS upgrades etc. However, my Surface Pro 3 & 4 will run SSDR/DAX very reliably. I have friends with other ASUS MBs with similar issues running DAX & Win10. Win7 Pro, however, runs on these M/boards very reliably. May depend on the hardware you have. SSDR seems the run on anything, it's DAX that can be a problem.
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Bryan N8WD

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Andrew Thall

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Thanks to all for your replies.  You have given me plenty to think about.
73.
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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Win10 will be less susceptible to malware than Win7. There are also more "features" that you may or may not care about. Definitely choose pro over home.

Better to go with Win10, IMHO.

Peter
K1PGV
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W3EX -- Tom

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Peter is correct. Also the virus software that comes with 10 appears to be quite effective. I have not used a virus software on any of my computers in over a year. I do however find that Malwarebytes is good to have.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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My Flex computer is not connected to the internet, so melware and viruses are not an issue. I use a linux computer to do all my online things.
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W3EX -- Tom

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Understood. Guess you don't plan to remote into your rig then.
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Greg - N8GD

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I personally use and prefer Windows 10, but if you want to avoid the problems that might occur with the new builds, such as the upcoming Fall Creator's Update coming out on October 17th, try changing a setting in Windows 10 update if you are on build 1703 or later. Go to Settings then Windows Update and select Advanced Options. Select Current Branch to get the latest build as soon as possible or select Current Branch for Business to delay getting the current new build until the next build comes out, about 6 months down the road. This will allow you to install the current build after it has matured (which businesses prefer). This may only be available in the Pro versions of Windows 10. There are also some delay tweaks you can make while in this configuration page as well. This may help those of you having problems with Microsoft using you as their beta testers.