Win 7 hardware advice needed

Veedras

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Jan 11, 2014
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I'm looking to buy a used Win 7 Dell Optiplex minitower PC off eBay, and need to know what to look for so I don't get stuck with another PC to send to the recyclers. Mostly it will just be used to explore the net, and watch online movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, etc. The previous PC failed in the latter, as there was loads of stuttering, buffering, freezing, etc. What sort of components do I need to look for to prevent this? CPU? Will integrated graphics be enough, or is a graphics card required? Minimum RAM? I just need to have some parameters to use for shopping. Thanks.
 

flavallee

Frank
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I'm partial to refurbished Dell OptiPlex minitowers and own 6 of them, so I decided to jump in and give you "my 2 cents worth" of advice.
I wouldn't purchase one from eBay because you don't know what condition it will be in and if it has a legitimate Windows 7 operating system.
A legitimate refurbisher, such as Newegg or ValueNetPC, is where I would purchase one.
As long as you don't plan to use it for modern gaming or anything that's system/graphics hungry, there are plenty to choose from.
The main components that I purchase mine with are an Intel Core i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM, 500 GB - 1 TB storage drive.
Is there a reason why you want to purchase one with Windows 7 instead of Windows 10?

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Go for an intel i-5 5th generation or better. 4 GB of RAM is the minimum, more is better if you use several programs at once. On motherboard graphics is OK.

As for your existing PC, it sounds like it can be fixed.

First which browser are you using? If you aren't using Chrome, try that. Because 60 % of internet users use that. Secondly Chrome is google's baby, and so it YouTube.

Check your browsers' extensions and plugins - remove ones you don't absolutely need. Extensions and plugins can cause a lot of problems.

Are any other PCs in your home experiencing the same problem with YouTube? If it is just your PC, then the problem resides within that PC - software or hardware. If all other PCs and cellphones experience the same problem with YouTube, then the problem maybe the network, or your router. Try to establish that it is not a router or network problem first before buying another PC else you'd be wasting your money.
 
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Veedras

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Jan 11, 2014
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I'm partial to refurbished Dell OptiPlex minitowers and own 6 of them, so I decided to jump in and give you "my 2 cents worth" of advice.
I wouldn't purchase one from eBay because you don't know what condition it will be in and if it has a legitimate Windows 7 operating system.
A legitimate refurbisher, such as Newegg or ValueNetPC, is where I would purchase one.
As long as you don't plan to use it for modern gaming or anything that's system/graphics hungry, there are plenty to choose from.
The main components that I purchase mine with are an Intel Core i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM, 500 GB - 1 TB storage drive.
Is there a reason why you want to purchase one with Windows 7 instead of Windows 10?

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Thanks for the advice. I'll put these requirements on my shopping list. Will a 3rd or 4th gen i7 be good enough? That looks to be the best I can find, and not get stuck with Win 8 or 10 on the PC. The i5 I have seen go from 5th to 8th gen.

When Win 8 and 10 first came out, everyone hated both due to all the corporate spyware/malware packed in, but now everyone has changed their minds...except me. Win 7 has enough M$ nasties to deal with. I will upgrade from XP Pro to Win 7, at least on a temporary basis, but after Win 7 I move on to Linux.
 

Veedras

Thread Starter
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Messages
27
Go for an intel i-5 5th generation or better. 4 GB of RAM is the minimum, more is better if you use several programs at once. On motherboard graphics is OK.

As for your existing PC, it sounds like it can be fixed.

First which browser are you using? If you aren't using Chrome, try that. Because 60 % of internet users use that. Secondly Chrome is google's baby, and so it YouTube.

Check your browsers' extensions and plugins - remove ones you don't absolutely need. Extensions and plugins can cause a lot of problems.

Are any other PCs in your home experiencing the same problem with YouTube? If it is just your PC, then the problem resides within that PC - software or hardware. If all other PCs and cellphones experience the same problem with YouTube, then the problem maybe the network, or your router. Try to establish that it is not a router or network problem first before buying another PC else you'd be wasting your money.
It is already at the recyclers. It came with Chrome and Firefox....neither any good for the videos. Constantly clicking the spinning wheel everytime it got stuck was worse than TV commercials, but the freezing was way worse. It was the wrong model, and was limited to 4GB RAM. Just wrong from the get-go. My XP Pro on a Optiplex 960 is not doing any better with videos, even after upgrading the CPU to a Intel Core 2 Quad, 8 GB RAM, and replacing the onboard graphics with a Geforce GT 710. So it could be the network. Maybe an Intel Adapter I210-T1?

I will be needing the Win 7 PC either way. The CA nazis has my XP Pro blockaded from about half the internet via their embedded security certificates store, and its 101 certificate errors, rendering all Chrome/Chromium based browsers pretty much useless. According to my Google research, Win 7 does not have this problem, and its security certificates store is still updateable. I need to switch to Win 7 until I can get my tech guy to come by, and either install a master certificate to overrule all the others, or install a MITMproxy to strip the SSL/TLS. As he is currently scared witless of Commisar Newsom and the lockdown decree, I don't see that happening anytime soon. In fact, I'd bet the lockdown continues past November, and I'm not willing to wait that long, so I will definitely be trying again to get a used Win 7 PC. Just need to optimize the chances of buying one this time that does what I need it to. I just want to explore the net free of the CA blockade, and watch some dang online movies and videos...that can't be unreasonable or unattainable!
 

Veedras

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I think I may have found a possible used Win 7 PC. An Optiplex 7010. Intel Core i5 3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core 3.20 GHz CPU. 8GB RAM. Will this be good enough to watch online movies, Youtube videos, etc., without the stuttering and freezing?
 

flavallee

Frank
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If you can afford to spend a bit more money, go with a Dell OptiPlex 9020 minitower which has:
Intel Core i5-4670 3.40 GHz or Intel Core i7-4790 3.60 GHz quad core processor
Intel HD Graphics 4600 integrated graphics
16 GB of DDR3-1600 RAM

The 7010 is 3rd generation and the 9020 is 4th generation, so you'll be having a bit newer technology.

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Couriant

James
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I'm looking to buy a used Win 7 Dell Optiplex minitower PC off eBay, and need to know what to look for so I don't get stuck with another PC to send to the recyclers. Mostly it will just be used to explore the net, and watch online movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, etc. The previous PC failed in the latter, as there was loads of stuttering, buffering, freezing, etc. What sort of components do I need to look for to prevent this? CPU? Will integrated graphics be enough, or is a graphics card required? Minimum RAM? I just need to have some parameters to use for shopping. Thanks.
What is the service tag of the computer? If you don't find this (typically on the top of the machine, and also on the back) you should be able to find this information by going to command prompt and type wmic bios get serialnumber and press enter. This should show you a 7 alphanumeric code.
 

Veedras

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If you can afford to spend a bit more money, go with a Dell OptiPlex 9020 minitower which has:
Intel Core i5-4670 3.40 GHz or Intel Core i7-4790 3.60 GHz quad core processor
Intel HD Graphics 4600 integrated graphics
16 GB of DDR3-1600 RAM

The 7010 is 3rd generation and the 9020 is 4th generation, so you'll be having a bit newer technology.

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As you guessed, price is a factor here. How much better is the 9020 to the 7010? Will the 7010 be good enough to run online movies and Youtube videos without stuttering/freezing? I ask because the 7010 already has Win 7 installed, and goes for $230. All the 9020 PCs at eBay start at around $290...those at NewEgg are much higher, plus every one has Win 8 or 10. So I would have to get a Win 7 install disc off eBay, which looks to be $50, plus have my tech guy come by and fuss with installation/activation for $100. I'd guess the 9020 could end up in the $400-500 total price range. I've never paid that much for a used PC before. If necessary I could probably swing it, but it would have to be necessary.
 

flavallee

Frank
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The 7010 is an older model, so finding one with Windows 7 is easier than finding a 9020 with Windows 7.
Most of my refurbished 9020's came with Windows 10, so I had to downgrade them to Windows 7.
I still use Windows 7 in some of them.

I've never had a problem playing YouTube videos in my 9020's, even with using its integrated HD 4600 graphics device.

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Couriant

James
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If I remember correctly, the 9020s are older than the 7010s, but I will defer to Frank on that one. :)
 

flavallee

Frank
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The 7010 is 3rd generation and the 9020 is 4th generation.

The 7010 has HD 2500 graphics and the 9020 has HD 4600 graphics.

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Veedras

Thread Starter
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The 7010 is 3rd generation and the 9020 is 4th generation.

The 7010 has HD 2500 graphics and the 9020 has HD 4600 graphics.

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I am not really getting anywhere with a google search of 'HD 2500 integrated graphics'. This seems to suggest it can handle online movies:
https://software.intel.com/content/...rd-gen-hd-graphics-quick-reference-guide.html
but most of it is gibberish to me. What is your opinion? Is the 7010 running Win 7 good enough to stop the regular stuttering/freezing I get on my current OptiPlex 960 running XP Pro....or do I have to get the 9020 to end it?
 

Couriant

James
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If you are not going to do anything intensive, then the 7010 should be fine as we used those in our work environment. Windows 10 worked for the most part.
 

plodr

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Mostly it will just be used to explore the net, and watch online movies, TV shows, YouTube videos,
Why buy a Windows 7 computer when you intend to use it online? Windows 7 patching ended in January 2020.
 

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