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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It's better to build your own desktop, you can build a good computer with around 300 USD with good upgrade path.
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.
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.
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
8GB Ram (Upgradable to 32GB)
128GB SSD (Upgradable)
(4) USB 3.0 Ports
Last edited by Super Warrior; 26th Jun 2020 at 09:47.
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
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
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.
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.
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?
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
In case anyone is curious (probably not, but who knows?), I finally bought my replacement rig for my XP Pro computer. It's a used Dell Optiplex 7010 Mini-Tower, Quad Core i7 3770 (3.4GHz), 16GB DDR3 SDRAM, 1TB Hard Drive: Windows 7 Pro 64-bit....from eBay for $200. Add in $100 for computer shop to do full malware scan to insure it was clean, and install my spare mobile rack in the empty 5.25 bay. The most I have spent on a computer to date, but if it solves the ever reliable buffering/freezing problem in watching online TV shows/movies (or even listening to Darkness Prevails on Youtube), I'll consider it worth the price.