New Computer, one day at least

I am wondering …
I have an old ASUS X500LB lappy (SSD, 16GB RAM, Intel i5-4200U, NVIDEA GeForce GT / Haswell-ULT) as my main machine which never leaves my desk
I was told a few years ago that laptops were so ubiquitous that they were the most economical choice even if they were never moved
Is it still like that?
Or when I finally have to upgrade my hardware, would I be better off getting (or even learning how to build) a desktop?
I dont game - at all
I have an external monitor above my lappy monitor - a setup I like as I dont have to rotate, so to speak.

A laptop is like an enduro motorcycle. It does the street okay, it does the dirt okay. On the dirt, the dirt bikes zip right by, and even more so on the street. It’s a compromise. For portability one gets a smaller screen, and a ‘lesser’ keyboard; slower clocked CPU/GPU for heat dissipation with added fan noise. A compromise.

A lot depends on what one does on their computer.

Light/medium usage, no fuss:

More hands on approach without the M$ tax:

Share what you need a computer to do and we’ll go from there. Building your own isn’t hard for someone as clever as you.


I would always advocate buying individual parts and building your own, the initial cost may be a bit higher but you can get used parts easily and many things can be carried over into future builds. I had the same power supply and case for almost 10 years. You can also sell off parts to help fund a new build.

I don’t think it’s ever been like this, there’s obvious tradeoffs being taken in the name of portability and for the hardware inside you’re usually paying a premium. Unless your getting the bargain basement laptop for $500, those and the $500 towers are hard to compete with but the hardware is usually shit.


Thanks all,

When the time comes I’ll be back asking for help on building my own tower then

It will have to dual boot Windows unfortunately, for work software

I really like the idea of being able to upgrade components.

One thing is that I am in Portugal and they are very good at wringing the tax out of the population, so EU supply is needed (I have had enough brushes with PT customs at work - thieves!)
However, both those links of @eight_bit_al are on for the same price in Euros, so should be OK. Perhaps could also be an option.

Now all I need is some cash, ho-hum

The thing is I am having problems with the windows 10 upgrade giving an error - and of course its a shit to try to sort - and of course my laptop isnt ‘healthy’ (their term) enough for Win 11 - W@ankers!

Lappy absolutely flies along with AL of course

And I’m seriously trying to switch to LibreOffice from MSOffice for my word processing and spreadsheet needs (Visio already surpassed by LODraw). Have to say, since the last time I looked its there already - I just need to put in the effort to switch and tell my co-authors, ‘tough - I’m using ODT files’ - even changes tracking works and is compatible, apparently

Evernote has gone and Joplin is in - love that - My life is on that APP

I’m nearly there

Its just that I am getting back into Finite Element Analyses and ANSYS is only windows (Although ABAQUS can be linux - I want to try this).

I am also collaborating with my colleague who is expert in Computational Fluid Dynamics with a (extremely expensive) Star CCM+ license, but want to get back into this too and into OpenFoam (open source, Hallelujah!).
Some French Dudes have even started to do Fluid Structure Interaction (where FEA & CFD interactions - fluid forces give deflections which changes fluid forces which changes deflections etc, are considered - important for bendy hydrofoils) analyses totally Open source - I want to do THAT!

So, although my cases are not too complex in terms of geometry (sailing hydrofoils is where I want to get, currently in Windsurfer fins) I would need processing power for this.

Not sure how much GPU power FEA/CFD need with those colourful videos, but cant be much

However, although, it would be nice to do this stuff on my home computer, all I really do at home is some basic spreadsheets to work out the most banal things like plotting my blood test values, lawnmower fuel consumption etc (I am an Engineer, after all - my psychologist other half says I am well into the spectrum, but nothing clinically a problem, which is apparently normal for Engs and devs and something I am proud of) and messing around learning about Linux from good people like yourselves

I very very rarely watch films (if at all), have never gamed (the only game I ever liked was a text based Hobbit game on my mate’s Spectrum)

Sorry for ramble, but I find all of the above really interesting and tend to talk too much (wife has also commented on this)

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I’ll be buying a new hardware in two years. At the moment I think about a desktop with some powerful CPU and average GPU. My current laptop will still be good enough in case I need to take it along with me somewhere.


@nwg - That sounds exactly like what I am thinking!


It’s best to do this on two hard drives - one for Windows, one for Linux. Plan for that.


Thanks for that tip!
What are the reasons for that?

One hundred percent :100:

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It eliminates all the headaches from grub/efi partitions etc when windows decides to go full mental patient


Thanks, will def do that then
How do you select which disk to boot from then?

The OS’s are kept separate so they do not mess with each other. For example, if grub gets borked, you (anyone) can still boot Windows and get your work done. And vice-versa, if Windows goes down, it doesn’t take Linux with it. Windows has also been known to clean out the uEFI boot partition during upgrades - so good-bye grub files.

I’ve been dual booting for years - like you, the wife and I need Windows for actual work. My lsblk:

sda      8:0    0 931.5G  0 disk 
├─sda1   8:1    0   450M  0 part 
├─sda2   8:2    0   100M  0 part 
├─sda3   8:3    0    16M  0 part 
├─sda4   8:4    0 358.9G  0 part 
├─sda5   8:5    0   516M  0 part 
└─sda6   8:6    0 571.5G  0 part 
sdb      8:16   0 931.5G  0 disk 
├─sdb1   8:17   0    48G  0 part /
├─sdb2   8:18   0    56G  0 part /home
├─sdb3   8:19   0   512M  0 part /boot/efi
└─sdb4   8:20   0   827G  0 part /mnt/public
sdc      8:32   0   1.8T  0 disk 
└─sdc1   8:33   0   1.8T  0 part /mnt/windows/data-02
sdd      8:48   0   1.8T  0 disk 
└─sdd1   8:49   0   1.8T  0 part /mnt/data

sda = Windows 10
sdb = Void linux; ArchLabs works as well.
sdc = external data drive for Windows
sdd = external data drive for Linux

Have never had an issue where a glitch in either OS messes up the other.

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Boot the Linux disk. Grub (or whatever you use) will usually pick up the Windows install and add it to the list. So you will want to install Windows first, and do a custom install so it doesn’t grab all the hard drive space.

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From bios :+1:


Thanks all
You guys are Geniuses!

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More like School of Hard Knocks.



Install Windows on one drive, then install Linux on the other drive. Put GRUB on the Linux drive. It will pick up windows and boot both just fine.

AS elloquin said, Select which drive to boot from in the UEFI BIOS.

If your Linux drive got borked, you can still boot from the Windows drive as it’s boot loader is still intact, and was not modified by the GRUB install.


What he said.

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The used market is really exciting. Not so much for @leigh, I would only buy new in his case.
But look what $100 can buy;

If one wanted a second machine to play on, this is a deal.

edit: oh wait I just noticed it’s a auction, and bound to go higher.