Quick note to prospective buyers

SpyderTracks

We love you Ukraine
Moderator
We've had a few people recently who've gone ahead and ordered without getting advice and then come on after receiving it posting and asking what can be tweaked....

I know most of you will have some idea of components and their use and pairing, but for those that don't, seriously, get some advice.

Firstly and most importantly!!!! A custom performance PC / Laptop IS NOT THE SAME AS AN OFF THE SHELF PRODUCT. You are expected to know how to manage windows and drivers, you WILL need to reinstall windows and drivers often, YOU WILL need to troubleshoot problematic windows updates. YOU WILL NEED to take the laptop apart periodically to repaste and clean out any dust. This is completely normal for any custom performance laptop / PC. The benfits though far outweigh the learning curve to configuring and maintaining one. You'll get more performance at a better price, and quite often much higher quality components.

If you're thinking of buying something with the idea of upgrading ANY component within the first 2 or 3 years, then the build isn't suitable.

Whilst the configurator will warn you if parts don't work together, it DOESN'T know your use case, budget or monitor specification, so it has no idea if the build is suitable for you.

It's not the case that you can select any of the components and it will work optimally, they all integrate based on 3 main criteria:

Budget: we would all like to pack in as much tech as possible, but everyone has a budget ceiling and we obviously have to work to that.

Use case: components suit individual use cases.

Monitor: Mainly relevant to gaming, but also to video editing or trading, we need to know what monitor you're pairing it with as that will determine the power requirements of the PC.
 
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hi I have just ordered a computer from you, I know nothing about computers I am not expecting to upgrade probably ever as im 55 as long as it works when I get it I will be happy
 

SpyderTracks

We love you Ukraine
Moderator
hi I have just ordered a computer from you, I know nothing about computers I am not expecting to upgrade probably ever as im 55 as long as it works when I get it I will be happy
If you post in a separate thread what you’ve ordered we can advise on prospective changes if any are required.
 

ubuysa

The BSOD Doctor
Moderator
It's worth adding that most of us who post on here don't work for PCS, we're just happy PCS customers who have considerable knowledge and experience between us all.

The advice you get on here is unbiased, honest, and based on experience. If you want to get the right build for your particular needs and at a budget you can afford, then posting your uses and budget on here will avoid a lot of disappointment and future expense. :)
 

Scrimper

New member
Firstly and most importantly!!!! A custom performance PC / Laptop IS NOT THE SAME AS AN OFF THE SHELF PRODUCT. You are expected to know how to manage windows and drivers, you WILL need to reinstall windows and drivers often, YOU WILL need to troubleshoot problematic windows updates. YOU WILL NEED to take the laptop apart periodically to repaste and clean out any dust. This is completely normal for any custom performance laptop / PC.

I am considering buying a new PC for video and image editing. my last few PC's have been from Dell but they don't offer what I want so I came to look at what PCS offers. However the quote above concerns me greatly and has put me off buying a PCS PC.

I have been using PC's since around 1990 and have repaired quite a few in my time even putting my own together and have rarely had to reinstall windows. The above quote states that with a PCS PC "I will have to reinstall windows and drivers often" So my question is " why should I need to do this on a PCS PC when it has not been necessary on any other make of PC I have owned?

Are the components PCS uses not as reliable as those used by others or is the build quality not as good? Are the components used not compatible? I just don't understand why I would need to reinstall windows often when I don't need to do so on my Dell PC's.

I am fully able to repair my own PC's but what I do not want is a PC that makes it necessary for me to keep reinstalling windows which is something I have not needed to do with most of my other PC's.

I do like the way I can choose what components are fitted, for example I want 32Gb ram whereas most 'pre built' PC's rarely offer more then 16Gb and it's not always possible to upgrade to more later, however I do not want to buy a PC that is erratic and needs regular intervention from me to keep it working. My present Dell has been working 24/7 since I bought it almost 5 years ago without any issues.

I would appreciate any advice on my questions above. :)
 

SpyderTracks

We love you Ukraine
Moderator
I am considering buying a new PC for video and image editing. my last few PC's have been from Dell but they don't offer what I want so I came to look at what PCS offers. However the quote above concerns me greatly and has put me off buying a PCS PC.

I have been using PC's since around 1990 and have repaired quite a few in my time even putting my own together and have rarely had to reinstall windows. The above quote states that with a PCS PC "I will have to reinstall windows and drivers often" So my question is " why should I need to do this on a PCS PC when it has not been necessary on any other make of PC I have owned?

Are the components PCS uses not as reliable as those used by others or is the build quality not as good? Are the components used not compatible? I just don't understand why I would need to reinstall windows often when I don't need to do so on my Dell PC's.

I am fully able to repair my own PC's but what I do not want is a PC that makes it necessary for me to keep reinstalling windows which is something I have not needed to do with most of my other PC's.

I do like the way I can choose what components are fitted, for example I want 32Gb ram whereas most 'pre built' PC's rarely offer more then 16Gb and it's not always possible to upgrade to more later, however I do not want to buy a PC that is erratic and needs regular intervention from me to keep it working. My present Dell has been working 24/7 since I bought it almost 5 years ago without any issues.

I would appreciate any advice on my questions above. :)
If you note it states for any performance build. It’s a windows reason, nothing to do with the components. Windows updates over the last year or so have introduced many bugs and updates in place are not advised as they introduce problems for gaming and media, mainly related to graphical issues. So twice a year when major windows updates are introduced, you’ll need to reinstall windows rather than upgrading to maintain optimal performance.

Repasting is standard on any performance laptop weather by PCS, DELL or any other manufacturer to maintain temps.
 

ubuysa

The BSOD Doctor
Moderator
If you're wise you'll clean install every upgrade of Windows 10, so that's twice a year at least. :)
 

Scrimper

New member
I can only state that it's not something I have done to my PC's over the years. The Dell I am using at the moment was purchased in 2016, all I have done to it is upgrade from W7 to W10, never felt the need to reinstall windows twice a year meaning reinstalling all my programmes etc which are working fine. I have also never felt the need to re-paste the CPU on any of my PC's unless I removed the heat sinks.

As far as I know Dell don't recommend reinstalling everything, unless of course one has problems and I am sure I have never seen them advising to repaste, unless of course I have missed such advice. I can understand about blowing the dust out, I do that.

I have to admit that this does put me off buying a PCS PC, I have in the past purchased PC's for my business and private use, IBM, Dell, Vale, Medion etc and none have advised that it is necessary to repaste. Indeed My 2010 Dell still works perfectly well without any of the above and it was struck by lightning 2 years ago, all I have done with that one is upgrade to W10 and fit a network card as the Motherboard one was damaged by the lightning strike. :)
 

SpyderTracks

We love you Ukraine
Moderator
I can only state that it's not something I have done to my PC's over the years. The Dell I am using at the moment was purchased in 2016, all I have done to it is upgrade from W7 to W10, never felt the need to reinstall windows twice a year meaning reinstalling all my programmes etc which are working fine. I have also never felt the need to re-paste the CPU on any of my PC's unless I removed the heat sinks.

As far as I know Dell don't recommend reinstalling everything, unless of course one has problems and I am sure I have never seen them advising to repaste, unless of course I have missed such advice. I can understand about blowing the dust out, I do that.

I have to admit that this does put me off buying a PCS PC, I have in the past purchased PC's for my business and private use, IBM, Dell, Vale, Medion etc and none have advised that it is necessary to repaste. Indeed My 2010 Dell still works perfectly well without any of the above and it was struck by lightning 2 years ago, all I have done with that one is upgrade to W10 and fit a network card as the Motherboard one was damaged by the lightning strike. :)
What are your current Dell specs and what software do you use?

This is basically what we're referring to:



It's just agreed advice given to anyone on a custom perforamance computer to avoid inevitable pitfalls later on or due to the upgrade in place.
 
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ubuysa

The BSOD Doctor
Moderator
I can only state that it's not something I have done to my PC's over the years. The Dell I am using at the moment was purchased in 2016, all I have done to it is upgrade from W7 to W10, never felt the need to reinstall windows twice a year meaning reinstalling all my programmes etc which are working fine. I have also never felt the need to re-paste the CPU on any of my PC's unless I removed the heat sinks.

As far as I know Dell don't recommend reinstalling everything, unless of course one has problems and I am sure I have never seen them advising to repaste, unless of course I have missed such advice. I can understand about blowing the dust out, I do that.

I have to admit that this does put me off buying a PCS PC, I have in the past purchased PC's for my business and private use, IBM, Dell, Vale, Medion etc and none have advised that it is necessary to repaste. Indeed My 2010 Dell still works perfectly well without any of the above and it was struck by lightning 2 years ago, all I have done with that one is upgrade to W10 and fit a network card as the Motherboard one was damaged by the lightning strike. :)
There is a world of difference between an off the shelf basic Dell (or Dell type) laptop and a high-end or gaming laptop. With gaming laptops the last ounce of performance is crucial as is a flawless graphics response and as with any bit of kit you need to keep a high end gaming laptop in pristine condition if you expect to get the best performance from it.

High end and gaming laptops work hard all the time. The main heat generators like the CPU and GPU are pushed hard by the kinds of applications and gaming that the PCS user base generally do, and that puts big heat loads on the thermal paste. Under those sorts of usage levels the paste doesn't last forever and as soon as it begins to fail the heavy usage these laptops get quickly causes overheating. That's why repasting is necessary. On a basic Del (or Dell type) laptop the percentage of time the CPU/GPU are pushed to their limits is tiny and the thermal paste is less quickly degraded.

If you upgraded in place from Windows 7 to Windows 10, and you've then upgraded in place from each Windows version to the next (up to the current, 1909) and never clean installed - and your laptop is working perfectly - then you should go out and buy a lottery ticket, because you're the luckiest man alive. Either that or you have a very simple and stable mix of applications and you don't often install and/or uninstall new applications.

Whilst upgrades in place should work for everyone they just don't, mostly because of the millions of different hardware and software configurations on which Windows runs. Very often upgrades in place create little niggly problems that many users simply find workarounds for and then forget that the issue was ever there.

How much maintenance you need to do to any laptop depends on what you use it for, how hard you work it, and how important maintaining peak performance is to you. A basic Dell (or Dell type) laptop that's just used for web browsing, emails, word docs etc. will probably never need repasting because it never gets that hot for long. A hard worked high end or gaming laptop may well need repasting after a year.

Similarly, if you want your laptop to perform flawlessly and at peak performance then clean installing the Windows 10 May releases (at least) is very strongly recommended. As you'll discover if you search these fora, trying to troubleshoot what seems a minor niggle, lag or stutter can be a time consuming nightmare - and these things matter to high end and gaming users. Clean installing prevents all of that. :)
 
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Scrimper

New member
I am not a fan of laptops and although I have one (it was given to me I didn't buy it) I hardly ever use it.

99.9% of the time I use desktops. My main desktop is a Dell 3650 which has the following- i7-8700, 16Gb DDR3, Radeon R9 360 2Gb GPU , SSD and 1TbHD.

I never do any gaming at all my main usage is creating Youtube videos and websites to which end I mostly use Photoshop and for video editing Shotcut video editor etc.

The Dell does work fine and does what I want it to do but I feel I would be better with 32Gb ram a bigger SSd and perhaps a faster CPU and GPU for the video editing. My present Dell's motherboard will not accept more than 16Gb so I cannot change that.

The problem with Dell is that they often use bespoke cases and power-supplies etc with limited upgrade options, for example my present one has very small case with a non conventional PSU and barely any room for an extra HD.

I like the idea of choosing what I have. I am capable of building my own PC but whenever I look into the costs it works out cheaper to buy a ready built one rather than buying all the individual components to build ones own PC.

Thanks for the replies BTW. :)
 

ubuysa

The BSOD Doctor
Moderator
16GB is more than adequate for most tasks, you'd really only need 32GB if you were doing 4k video editing or the like. The most reliable way to tell whether you are short of RAM is to watch the hard page fault rate. That's the rate at which RAM pages are being loaded from the pagefile on disk, pages end up there because Windows memory management stole them earlier to resolve a RAM shortage. If you consistently see no or a very few hard page faults then you're not short of RAM. Note that you will see some occasional hard page faults because of the way memory management works, but over 10 or 15 minutes when the system is busy you shouldn't see many. Resource Monitor can show you the real time hard page fault rate.
 

Scrimper

New member
I do in fact do some 4K editing. I use a 4k action camera and a 1080p camcorder both at the same time then edit the two together using Shotcut which does use lot's of resources. Photoshop also loves lot's of memory and I belive in trying to future proof as much as is economically possible. A little extra paid for an extra bit of memory now may well be very useful in a 2 years time. When i bought my present Dell 16Gb was a lot of memory but it is very useful to me now.
 

GerSha

New member
If you're wise you'll clean install every upgrade of Windows 10, so that's twice a year at least. :)
Do you mind me asking is that a big job or is there a widely known step by step process you follow? Is the process idiot-proof (or me proof)
 

ubuysa

The BSOD Doctor
Moderator
Do you mind me asking is that a big job or is there a widely known step by step process you follow? Is the process idiot-proof (or me proof)
Clean installing Windows is a fairly simple process. There are step-by-step instructions in the welcome booklet I think? It's not exactly idiot proof (what is?) but if you take your time and take care then it's something anyone can do. It's certainly not rocket science.

Of course afterwards you have to reinstall all your third party apps and copy your backed-up data back...

Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
 

Segwayrider

Silver Level Poster
Is there an easy way to tell, or rule of thump, when you should repaste your laptop? like every 6 month, or just when the temperature reaching above 90 C or something? (not 100% sure how hot is too hot. My guess is around 90 C, but probably depends on the laptop)
 

g85

Member
I found this thread informative and interesting, thanks to all of you.

spydertracks: thanks for the article links, i too didn't really know that was a thing until now! i've been messing around with computers since 1990 also, and you still learn something new every day.

scrimper: i wouldn't be put off by what spydertracks said, particularly if you're not overclocking or seeking the smoothest of smooth gaming. it's about how you use your system, and doesn't really apply if you're not trying to constantly squeeze out as many 1s and 0s as possible. and i agree, the pre-builts from dell/hp and the like contain weird non-standard power supplies etc. often weird pin-outs on the mobo to boot, making finding replacements/upgrading very limiting and difficult.

if anything, the systems you'd get from a custom builder (not just PCS, but the vast majority of system builders) will be higher quality and more flexible in hardware compatibility than from the likes of dell (or dell equivalents). a common complaint is the cheaping out on the PSU to squeeze the last penny on the tagprice. also the cheap and tacky cases which you get no choice in, but mainly the proprietary PSU/mobo.

I'm personally going with PCS for my next build, despite being a reasonably accomplished builder and tinkerer myself. I've had an excellent 5-6 years with the custom laptop i bought from them, and it's time to go desktop. the customer service from them has been great - 9/10 times i called them i spoke to somebody more knowledgeable than I, who i agreed with. and the times i didn't agree with them, i called back and spoke to someone else. problem solved. they've also given me free tech support beyond the warranty. I don't work for them either, i'm just a guy who had a great experience first time around.

It's kind of about knowing what you want. If you're happy to go with whatever, then by all means, don't let anyone stop you from going pre-built. if you're at all concerned about noise levels, a specific aesthetic, a specific hardware combination etc or just a picky so-and-so, either build it yourself or have someone you know is going to build you a good system with decent tech and customer support (the advantage being that all the warranty and tech-support comes under one roof - it can be a nightmare trying to deal with 12 different warranties, especially if you can't nail down the troubleshooting yourself). i kind of found PCS by accident, as back in 2014 they were the only UK company doing flexible laptop configurations (Clevo systems) and i needed a specific harddrive config in a sensible business-looking shell. I actually found the prices cheaper than the lamborghini-grilled RGB-to-the-max MSI equivalents when i could choose to discard the hardware i didn't need.

let me put it this way, if i hadn't have searched for custom laptops back in 2014, compromised, and plonked my money on an inappropriate-looking (but perfectly functional) machine, today, i'd be building my own system. i just happened to find PCS support beyond expectation, and that's why i'm coming back. for me, if the price difference between a pre-built and a custom is negligible within a few percent, i'll take the hardware compatibility, custom options, and someone knowledgeable to bounce troubleshooting off any day of the week (also, not having to wait in the phone queue for 2 hours). i guess it's up to you on how big that price tag should be, though, and whether that's even relevant to you (for example, i wouldn't recommend them to my grandfather, because he'd get about 2 minutes in to a tech support call before he got lost - not that my grandfather would need or want such a machine).

we all have our standards, and it's perfectly acceptable to stand on either side of the fence, depending on your requirements, pickiness, and knowledge. a pre-built will still boot you in to windows, launch all the programs, and do all the things (like a Y-reg ford fiesta with non-matching bumpers will still get you to the shops). A custom build will just get you to the shops quicker and in more comfort & style (to badly hash together the end to that analogy, ha!)

regards
g85
 

ubuysa

The BSOD Doctor
Moderator
Is there an easy way to tell, or rule of thump, when you should repaste your laptop? like every 6 month, or just when the temperature reaching above 90 C or something? (not 100% sure how hot is too hot. My guess is around 90 C, but probably depends on the laptop)
With high-end and gaming laptops that are worked hard you really should monitor your temps on a regular basis. When you see your temps beginning to creep up you should give the insides, fan blades, and the heat exchanger a good clean (many users do that regularly, every 6 months or so regardless).

If a thorough clean fails to lower the temps then it's time to consider a repaste.

Laptops are notoriously hard to cool, especially powerful high-end laptops, and their long-term hot running degrades the paste much faster.

You really need to keep a close eye on your temps.

Via Tapatalk
 

NelDio

Member
We've had a few people recently who've gone ahead and ordered without getting advice and then come on after receiving it posting and asking what can be tweaked....

I know most of you will have some idea of components and their use and pairing, but for those that don't, seriously, get some advice.

Firstly and most importantly!!!! A custom performance PC / Laptop IS NOT THE SAME AS AN OFF THE SHELF PRODUCT. You are expected to know how to manage windows and drivers, you WILL need to reinstall windows and drivers often, YOU WILL need to troubleshoot problematic windows updates. YOU WILL NEED to take the laptop apart periodically to repaste and clean out any dust. This is completely normal for any custom performance laptop / PC.

If you're thinking of buying something with the idea of upgrading ANY component within the first 3 years, then the build isn't suitable.

Whilst the configurator will warn you if parts don't work together, it DOESN'T know your use case, budget or monitor specification, so it has no idea if the build is suitable for you.

It's not the case that you can select any of the components and it will work optimally, they all integrate based on 3 main criteria:

Budget: we would all like to pack in as much tech as possible, but everyone has a budget ceiling and we obviously have to work to that.

Use case: components suit individual use cases.

Monitor: Mainly relevant to gaming, but also to video editing or trading, we need to know what monitor you're pairing it with as that will determine the power requirements of the PC.




Hi,
I ordered a gaming customised PC and didn't realised i could get better by changing a few things, so i would like to know if i can change some things and get advice either by video call phone call or face to face as text takes too long and sometimes is not very understandable!
please let me know what can i do!
 
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