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  1. Member
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    A few months ago I bought a used Win 7 PC off eBay that had to be sent to the recycler, so this time I want to make sure I get the right hardware. I'm buying this to mostly explore the internet, as my current XP Pro PC is blockaded by the CA security certificates store, and its 101 security errors. That said, it must also play online videos (movies, TV shows, YouTube, etc.) without buffering, freezing, and so on. This is where the previous Win 7 PC failed miserably. Basically I need to know what to look for when buying a used Win 7 PC. The brand choices are usually HP or Dell...is one better? Win 7 Home or Pro? Which Intel CPU (dual core? quad core? Gen? GHz?). Integrated graphics or graphics card? Any info like that to help me fine-tune my shopping, as I can't afford to keep buying PCs, and junking them. What specs do I need to meet for watching online videos sans constant irritation? Thanks.
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    Why Win7? What is your budget?

    Win7 support has ended, and while the online security risk may be small, why take the chance? I got a refurbished Dell i5 quad core, 8GB RAM, 250GB HDD, Win10 from Amazon for $120. Add another $20 for a 120GB for a SSD and using it as an HTPC on my second TV.

    Even better, learn to build and troubleshoot your own PC so you don't have to dump the whole thing when it starts glitching. It will probably cost more than a refurb, but Win10 @ ~$100 will be the most costly single component.
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  3. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    8GB of RAM would probably be a minimum (16GB and 32GB is what I use). Or a motherboard with support for 8GB or higher, meaning you might have to add RAM after purchase which is easy. Simply to try to keep it from caching to a slow HDD constantly. RAM is normally the biggest bottleneck for a light user like yourself.

    If it can output 1080p, it can probably play any H.264 1080p video you throw at it. A HDMI or DVI output usually implies 1080p support.

    A quad core or higher would be recommended.

    Most Intel chips come with a GPU built onto the CPU, which will probably be plenty for you. It's called Intel HD Graphics.
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    Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
    Why Win7? What is your budget?

    Win7 support has ended, and while the online security risk may be small, why take the chance? I got a refurbished Dell i5 quad core, 8GB RAM, 250GB HDD, Win10 from Amazon for $120. Add another $20 for a 120GB for a SSD and using it as an HTPC on my second TV.
    Assuming this user wants to capture analog video and doesn't want to track down an old Conroe Core 2 Duo motherboard with an AGP slot to build a new Windows XP capture PC, getting a used Dell or HP workstation with Windows 7 already installed is probably the easiest and most cost effective option.
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    Originally Posted by Senex View Post
    A few months ago I bought a used Win 7 PC off eBay that had to be sent to the recycler, so this time I want to make sure I get the right hardware. I'm buying this to mostly explore the internet, as my current XP Pro PC is blockaded by the CA security certificates store, and its 101 security errors. That said, it must also play online videos (movies, TV shows, YouTube, etc.) without buffering, freezing, and so on. This is where the previous Win 7 PC failed miserably. Basically I need to know what to look for when buying a used Win 7 PC. The brand choices are usually HP or Dell...is one better? Win 7 Home or Pro? Which Intel CPU (dual core? quad core? Gen? GHz?). Integrated graphics or graphics card? Any info like that to help me fine-tune my shopping, as I can't afford to keep buying PCs, and junking them. What specs do I need to meet for watching online videos sans constant irritation? Thanks.
    another issue is that soon all the current web browsers like firefox etc will eventually stop supporting windows 7
    so those will no longer get updated.
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  6. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by october262 View Post
    another issue is that soon all the current web browsers like firefox etc will eventually stop supporting windows 7
    so those will no longer get updated.
    Soon as in months? Years? I'm not seeing anything that backs up that claim for atleast a year or two or more. I have no idea.

    I doubt Firefox wants to dump 25% of their user base. https://data.firefox.com/dashboard/hardware Obviously this will continue to drop but it will take some time for the Win7 users to become insignificant.
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    Possibly just over a year for Chrome: https://redmondmag.com/articles/2020/01/10/google-chrome-support-on-windows-7.aspx

    "Google Promises 18 Months of Chrome Support on Windows 7
    By Kurt Mackie01/10/2020

    Google announced on Friday that it will continue to support its Chrome browser on Windows 7 until "at least July 15, 2021."

    Google's intent is to "fully support Chrome on Windows 7 for a minimum of 18 months from Microsoft's End of Life date." That end-of-support date for Windows 7 is coming up soon. It'll happen on Jan. 14, 2020."

    Internet Explorer 11 for Win 7 stopped immediately after Win 7 updates ended: https://www.ghacks.net/2020/01/20/internet-explorer-11-on-windows-7-is-no-longer-supported/

    "Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 7 is no longer supported
    by Martin Brinkmann on January 20, 2020 in Internet Explorer - 10 comments

    Microsoft ended its support for the company's Windows 7 operating system last week officially. While Enterprise and business customers may extend support by up to three years, it is no longer supported for Home users and customers who don't purchase support extensions.

    The new Microsoft Edge web browser that is based on Chromium has been released for Windows 7 at a surprising time; it was released one day after Microsoft ended support for Windows 7 and the company revealed already that it will continue to support the browser for the foreseeable future on Windows 7."

    Nothing about Firefox.
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    The price difference between by refurb Dell with Win 7 was ~$30 more on my $120 purchase. The percentage difference shrinks significantly as you up the price. A quick check on Amazon shows that don't offer Win 7 on their certified refurbs anymore.
    Last edited by lingyi; 26th May 2020 at 10:42.
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  9. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
    Possibly just over a year for Chrome: https://redmondmag.com/articles/2020/01/10/google-chrome-support-on-windows-7.aspx"Google Promises 18 Months of Chrome Support on Windows 7, Google announced on Friday that it will continue to support its Chrome browser on Windows 7 until "at least July 15, 2021."
    I'm going to bet that Chrome supports Win7 longer than Firefox, simply because of the larger user base. And as long as any inconveniences of Win7 are overshadowed by keeping that userbase. So I'm going to bet they have updates after July 15, 2021.
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    You're probably right. I'd put money on your bet. But if there's a major security risk that can't be fixed, it may end sooner. Who knows, there may be a Chrome killer before next year, just as Chrome overtook Firefox and Firefox overtook Internet Explorer.
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  11. I have to be honest, when Win 10 first came out I was really sour on it and said so repeatedly on this forum. But after my work PC was upgraded to Win 10 from Win 7, and I had a chance to use it extensively, I came to view Win 7 as antiquated.

    My main work PC is a 4790 based AIO with Win 10 and I also have a work laptop, Sky Lake based running Win 7 and I much prefer Win 10 to Win 7, even though my main home system is running Manjaro 20.

    Basically what I am saying is that I don't see any reason to buy a Win 7 based PC.
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    It's better to build your own desktop, you can build a good computer with around 300 USD with good upgrade path.
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    Okay, so a few days ago I bought a Dell Optiplex 7010 Mini-Tower Quad Core i7-3770 3.4GHz, 16GB RAM, 1TB Hard Drive (Windows 7 Pro 64 Bit), with 265 W active PFC / 100 - 240 V AC standard power supply. Got it off eBay, from the same seller I bought my current PC (OptiPlex 960 XP Pro). The 7010 should be here in a couple weeks, and I'm hoping I picked the right model to end the video problems.

    While I wait for it to arrive, I would like to get some recommendations for graphic cards, in case the integrated onboard graphics need to be upgraded. My requirements are:

    Has to have a VGA port or outlet for my monitor, that requires this connection....and no, I'm not open to replacing it. I'm aware of adapters, but prefer to avoid them.
    Has to fit the 7010 case, and run off its power supply.
    Has to be better than the onboard graphics.
    Has to work with Win 7.

    Recommendations of specific models I should focus on are welcomed. Thanks.
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  14. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    I'm going to assume this computer you bought has VGA output from the motherboard. And since all you want is video playback then this CPU should be plenty. This CPU also has built in H.264 decoding via Intel Quicksync.

    Your CPU also comes with Intel HD 4000, which is about on par with my old ~2010 ATI 4670. Should be able to play low spec Indie Games or some modern titles at low resolution and low settings.
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    Originally Posted by october262 View Post
    Originally Posted by Senex View Post
    A few months ago I bought a used Win 7 PC off eBay that had to be sent to the recycler, so this time I want to make sure I get the right hardware. I'm buying this to mostly explore the internet, as my current XP Pro PC is blockaded by the CA security certificates store, and its 101 security errors. That said, it must also play online videos (movies, TV shows, YouTube, etc.) without buffering, freezing, and so on. This is where the previous Win 7 PC failed miserably. Basically I need to know what to look for when buying a used Win 7 PC. The brand choices are usually HP or Dell...is one better? Win 7 Home or Pro? Which Intel CPU (dual core? quad core? Gen? GHz?). Integrated graphics or graphics card? Any info like that to help me fine-tune my shopping, as I can't afford to keep buying PCs, and junking them. What specs do I need to meet for watching online videos sans constant irritation? Thanks.
    another issue is that soon all the current web browsers like firefox etc will eventually stop supporting windows 7
    so those will no longer get updated.
    Having used XP Pro for the past three years (that's like 5000+ hours on the internet) without incident, the EOL/EOS blather does not worry me. I don't know if Win 7 will prove to be as bulletproof as my XP Pro has, but I will assume so, and if not I'll be back in three years to eat my words. On my current OS I do not use Firefox nor Chrome, and that will not change for Win 7. Both are too privacy invasive, and when Mozilla decided to sabotage the add-ons en masse, that was when the browser got jettisoned. There are plenty of alternates for Win 7 (Slimjet, Cyberfox, SRWare Iron, Basilisk, Iridium, etc.). Until Win 7 encounters the same problem that plagues my XP Pro, I will be using Win 7. If the CA nazis start screwing up Win 7, I will expat to MX Linux.
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  16. Member Super Warrior's Avatar
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    New computers these days are too inexpensive to be looking for an older, used Win7 comp. Don't waste your money.

    For $329 you could have this:

    Intel Pentium Gold 2.3Ghz
    Intel UHD 610 Graphics
    Windows 10
    8GB Ram (Upgradable to 32GB)
    128GB SSD (Upgradable)
    (4) USB 3.0 Ports

    https://www.amazon.com/Intel-Pentium-Upgradeable-Output-Support/dp/B082VCCQ2B/ref=sr_1...tronics&sr=1-1
    Last edited by Super Warrior; 26th Jun 2020 at 09:47.
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  17. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Super Warrior View Post
    New computers these days are too inexpensive to be looking for an older, used Win7 comp. Don't waste your money.

    ...

    https://www.amazon.com/Intel-Pentium-Upgradeable-Output-Support/dp/B082VCCQ2B/ref=sr_1...tronics&sr=1-1
    That CPU is around half as good, half the RAM, 128 SSD (which is great as a boot drive but if you wish to store anything you need more storage). No VGA.

    Though the Intel Graphics are better by almost double.
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  18. Member Super Warrior's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KarMa View Post
    Originally Posted by Super Warrior View Post
    New computers these days are too inexpensive to be looking for an older, used Win7 comp. Don't waste your money.

    ...

    https://www.amazon.com/Intel-Pentium-Upgradeable-Output-Support/dp/B082VCCQ2B/ref=sr_1...tronics&sr=1-1
    That CPU is around half as good, half the RAM, 128 SSD (which is great as a boot drive but if you wish to store anything you need more storage). No VGA.

    Though the Intel Graphics are better by almost double.


    I wonder what the budget is. Quite often you find out you could have just built a modern comp, for the same price, or almost the same, as that used "budget" Pc you were eyeing, and it's a hell of a lot better.

    My Recent, New AMD PC for $450:

    Asrock Deskmini A300w (comes with wireless card)
    AMD Ryzen 5 3400g w/Integrated Vega 11 Graphics
    Integrated Audio on Motherboard
    16GB Ram (two sticks)
    256GB M.2 NVMe SSD
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  19. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Super Warrior View Post

    I wonder what the budget is. Quite often you find out you could have just built a modern comp, for the same price, or almost the same, as that used "budget" Pc you were eyeing, and it's a hell of a lot better.

    My Recent, New AMD PC for $450:

    Asrock Deskmini A300w (comes with wireless card)
    AMD Ryzen 5 3400g w/Integrated Vega 11 Graphics
    Integrated Audio on Motherboard
    16GB Ram (two sticks)
    256GB M.2 NVMe SSD
    If you can build your own, you probably would not be asking vague questions like OP did. So yeah, it's cheaper to do it yourself. I recently did a swap out of a lot of my parts.

    R5 3600 $175
    A320 Board (I wanted PCI so had to take this board, it's fine if you are ok with not overclocking) $110
    32GB DDR4 $140 I think
    MX500 1TB SSD $115

    600 Watt PSU (from my last build)
    RX 460 2GB (from my last build)

    All on Windows 7
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    Originally Posted by Super Warrior View Post
    Originally Posted by KarMa View Post
    Originally Posted by Super Warrior View Post
    New computers these days are too inexpensive to be looking for an older, used Win7 comp. Don't waste your money.

    ...

    https://www.amazon.com/Intel-Pentium-Upgradeable-Output-Support/dp/B082VCCQ2B/ref=sr_1...tronics&sr=1-1
    That CPU is around half as good, half the RAM, 128 SSD (which is great as a boot drive but if you wish to store anything you need more storage). No VGA.

    Though the Intel Graphics are better by almost double.


    I wonder what the budget is. Quite often you find out you could have just built a modern comp, for the same price, or almost the same, as that used "budget" Pc you were eyeing, and it's a hell of a lot better.

    My Recent, New AMD PC for $450:

    Asrock Deskmini A300w (comes with wireless card)
    AMD Ryzen 5 3400g w/Integrated Vega 11 Graphics
    Integrated Audio on Motherboard
    16GB Ram (two sticks)
    256GB M.2 NVMe SSD
    I ended up paying $320 for the Dell Optiplex 7010 Mini-Tower Quad Core i7-3770, which is about twice as much as I paid for any previous used PC. My Dell 755 was $120, and my current Optiplex 960 was $159. All those prices are postpaid by the way. There was no budget. I would of paid what I had to, in order to get a decent PC that will let me watch movies or Youtube vids without the constant stuttering/freezing. That said, I certainly was not looking for a moneypit either.

    The new computers all come infested with Win 8 or 10, so I would of had to add in the cost of a Win 7 install-CD ($50 to 150 on eBay), plus $100 an hour for my computer tech to do a housecall (eradicate the Win 10, install/setup the Win 7, etc.), so a new PC was never an option, nor was/is Win 8 or 10. Win 7 is the end of the road for M$. MX Linux comes after Win 7.
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    Originally Posted by KarMa View Post
    Originally Posted by october262 View Post
    another issue is that soon all the current web browsers like firefox etc will eventually stop supporting windows 7
    so those will no longer get updated.
    Soon as in months? Years? I'm not seeing anything that backs up that claim for atleast a year or two or more. I have no idea.

    I doubt Firefox wants to dump 25% of their user base. https://data.firefox.com/dashboard/hardware Obviously this will continue to drop but it will take some time for the Win7 users to become insignificant.
    Chrome was the first browser to bite the dust in my OptiPlex 960 (XP Pro) PC, and Firefox got jettisoned a year later when the Mozilla Mothership decided to sabotage all the addons en masse...that was the last and only reason I had yet to eradicate it. I have not liked Firefox for many years. In XP Pro, I use Mypal and Centaury. No Chrome/Chromium based browsers work in XP, thanks to the CA certificates store and its 101 certificate errors. In Win 7 the browsers I have set for a test drive are SRWare Iron, Slimjet, Superbird, Iridium, Basilisk, & Waterfox. Chrome and Firefox has not been missed yet...I doubt that will change in Win 7.
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    Originally Posted by KarMa View Post
    I'm going to assume this computer you bought has VGA output from the motherboard. And since all you want is video playback then this CPU should be plenty. This CPU also has built in H.264 decoding via Intel Quicksync.

    Your CPU also comes with Intel HD 4000, which is about on par with my old ~2010 ATI 4670. Should be able to play low spec Indie Games or some modern titles at low resolution and low settings.
    Yes, it has a VGA port, but I assume that will be disabled if I have to install a graphics card. I don't know if the integrated graphics will play movies and Youtube videos without problem or not. I do know that if it turns out to be the latter, I do not want to wait for weeks or months of Google research and the back 'n' forth of forums to figure out what graphics card to buy. The day I find out the onboard graphics is not enough, is the day I want to go online and buy something that gets the job done....but if turns out to be okay, I'll still probably buy the card eventually, for my parts-bank.
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    Originally Posted by Senex View Post
    While I wait for it to arrive, I would like to get some recommendations for graphic cards, in case the integrated onboard graphics need to be upgraded. My requirements are:

    Has to have a VGA port or outlet for my monitor, that requires this connection....and no, I'm not open to replacing it. I'm aware of adapters, but prefer to avoid them.
    Has to fit the 7010 case, and run off its power supply.
    Has to be better than the onboard graphics.
    Has to work with Win 7.

    Recommendations of specific models I should focus on are welcomed. Thanks.
    This Dell page, https://www.dell.com/si/business/p/optiplex-7010/pd, lists several RADEON HD cards that were available but they required a dvi-vga adapter. A quick search on ebay finds many HD 7450 cards with vga ports for less than $40 us.

    The built in Intel graphics should have no problem, I have two pcs with even older versions that have no problems. While neither of those are Dells the vga port is not disabled when you add a graphics card. It does make the card the primary video at boot unless you set the vga port as primary in the BIOS.

    If you do decide you need a graphics card then the bigger issue will be the 275w power supply. I would start by looking for the last version of the driver software that supports Win7 and see what chip sets are supported by that version and go from there.
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  24. Originally Posted by Senex View Post
    The new computers all come infested with Win 8 or 10, so I would of had to add in the cost of a Win 7 install-CD ($50 to 150 on eBay), plus $100 an hour for my computer tech to do a housecall (eradicate the Win 10, install/setup the Win 7, etc.), so a new PC was never an option, nor was/is Win 8 or 10. Win 7 is the end of the road for M$. MX Linux comes after Win 7.
    This makes no sense at all, you are tech savvy enough to know about MX Linux and how to install/use it but you're not tech savvy enough to be able to install and configure Win 7 yourself?

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    Originally Posted by zing269 View Post
    Originally Posted by Senex View Post
    While I wait for it to arrive, I would like to get some recommendations for graphic cards, in case the integrated onboard graphics need to be upgraded. My requirements are:

    Has to have a VGA port or outlet for my monitor, that requires this connection....and no, I'm not open to replacing it. I'm aware of adapters, but prefer to avoid them.
    Has to fit the 7010 case, and run off its power supply.
    Has to be better than the onboard graphics.
    Has to work with Win 7.

    Recommendations of specific models I should focus on are welcomed. Thanks.
    This Dell page, https://www.dell.com/si/business/p/optiplex-7010/pd, lists several RADEON HD cards that were available but they required a dvi-vga adapter. A quick search on ebay finds many HD 7450 cards with vga ports for less than $40 us.

    The built in Intel graphics should have no problem, I have two pcs with even older versions that have no problems. While neither of those are Dells the vga port is not disabled when you add a graphics card. It does make the card the primary video at boot unless you set the vga port as primary in the BIOS.

    If you do decide you need a graphics card then the bigger issue will be the 275w power supply. I would start by looking for the last version of the driver software that supports Win7 and see what chip sets are supported by that version and go from there.
    According to the specs on CNET, Techpowerup, etc., the HD 7450 requires a 'DVI-VGA adapter'. I'll still take a quick look on eBay just in case. I certainly hope I do not need a graphics card, but the previous experience with the OptiPlex 755 and 960 does not fill me with confidence. Every time I was told the integrated graphics was enough...it wasn't, and I now just assume a graphics card will be needed. I'll certainly wait to try the 7010 before buying a card, though I may buy the card anyway for my parts-bank.

    Sorry, my hardware knowledge is minimal. Could you explain that more "the vga port is not disabled when you add a graphics card. It does make the card the primary video at boot unless you set the vga port as primary in the BIOS."? Are you saying that if I add a card, even if it does not have a VGA port, I can still use the original VGA port on the PC to access the card, as if the card had a VGA port?
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    Originally Posted by sophisticles View Post
    Originally Posted by Senex View Post
    The new computers all come infested with Win 8 or 10, so I would of had to add in the cost of a Win 7 install-CD ($50 to 150 on eBay), plus $100 an hour for my computer tech to do a housecall (eradicate the Win 10, install/setup the Win 7, etc.), so a new PC was never an option, nor was/is Win 8 or 10. Win 7 is the end of the road for M$. MX Linux comes after Win 7.
    This makes no sense at all, you are tech savvy enough to know about MX Linux and how to install/use it but you're not tech savvy enough to be able to install and configure Win 7 yourself?

    When you 'assume' you know what happens, right? Roll-eyes. I know the basics of how to use MX Linux, as I have been using it nearly every day for at least a year now (in LiveCD mode). Installation of operating systems is the task of the computer tech, as is fooling around in the registry, or absolutely anything else I do not feel competent in. I could try to do this stuff, and if I screwed it up, the tech guy could fix it given enough time (and money), or I could just pay him to do it. It would be guaranteed done right the first time, it would be done quickly (and hence cheaper), and be irritation-free for me. I have no problem paying my way and buying what I want.
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    Originally Posted by Senex View Post
    Sorry, my hardware knowledge is minimal. Could you explain that more "the vga port is not disabled when you add a graphics card. It does make the card the primary video at boot unless you set the vga port as primary in the BIOS."? Are you saying that if I add a card, even if it does not have a VGA port, I can still use the original VGA port on the PC to access the card, as if the card had a VGA port?
    I should have worded that differently. The on-board graphics is not disabled when you add a graphics card but the bios will initialize the added card first unless you change that in the bios settings. The result is that post messages, etc will be directed to the added card and only show up on monitors connected to it.

    The built in VGA port on the motherboard will not access the added card, it will still use the on-board graphics. The added card will only use it's own ports.

    First result searching ebay.ca for HD 7450 vga
    https://www.ebay.ca/itm/Free-Shipping-AMD-ATI-Radeon-HD7450-2GB-VGA-HDMI-DVI-PCI-E-Low...d/153991745609
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