I have been using a Mac for the past 6 years. In particular, I have been using a mid-2013 Mac Air with a dual core i5 and 8 gb of ram.
I love my Mac Air. My employer sent me a 2017 Macbook Pro with a dual core i7, 16 gb ram, and a Retina display, yet I still use my Mac Air. I cannot stand the Mac Pro's keyboard. Ugh.
Very recently I came into possession of two HP computers; an HP Pavilion g7 laptop, and an HP Pavilion 23 all-in-one with touchscreen. The laptop had 4gb of ram, 750gb HHD (5400 rpm) and an AMD 8 quad core 1.6ghz cpu and is about 10 years old. The all-in-one had 5gb of ram, a 1TB HHD, and an i3 dual core 3ghz cpu and is about 3 years old.
First things first, I do not know how anyone can function on a computer with less than 8gb of ram. For me that's a bare minimum. As it turns out, I actually had some spare RAM sitting around (yeah, I'm a geek) and since it's easy to install, I quickly had both of those HP's running with 16gb of RAM each.
What I noticed, with both of them, is that they were slow to boot, which I attribute to the slow/old CPU's and the slow, slow, slow assed HHD's inside them. However, once booted with a problem running, the applications ran pretty spiffy due to being loaded completely into RAM.
What I liked most was the nice, big screens. My Mac Air, my beloved Mac Air, has only a 13 inch monitor. This HP laptop has a 17 inch monitor, and the all in a one a nice 23 inch monitor. I found myself really, really enjoying the big screens. Really much so. I even found that I didn't despise Windows 10 as much as I thought I would. In fact, it has some really neat features, such as Windows Subsystem for Linux, allowing me to run Ubuntu with a proper command line.
I decided to really put these creatures to the test I should upgrade them. I was able to get ahold of the service manuals to find the highest end CPU listed: in the case of the laptop it was an AMD a10-4500; for the all in one it was an Intel i7-4750.
Here are some pictures I took when taking the laptop apart to upgrade the CPU. Very sexy stuff, this.
The A10 on the laptop runs marginally better than the A8. Honestly, there isn't much of a difference between the two, but it was only a $50 upgrade, so I think it was worth it. There is probably a faster cpu yet that I could put in there, but it wasn't listed in the manual, and I'm not interested in spending money to experiment. The 16gb ram is really nice. Right now this computer - 10 years old - is about on par performance wise with my Mac Air. When I finally upgrade to an SSD I suspect there will be a night and day difference.
The i7 on the all-in-one is so incredibly superior to the i3 in all ways. Again, there are probably more advanced CPU's I could put into it, but I'm not interested in experimenting. This i7 cost me $120, and it was a $120 well spent. I've put on my Christmas list a 1TB SSD to replace the HDD in it; the moving spindles are definitely the slow spot now.
Sadly, I have now almost retired my Mac Air in favour of equivalent or faster machines with larger screens. I also have some multimedia software which runs only on Windows which I'm able to use again, which is nice. I still need the Mac for xcode so I can compile Unity games on it, but it's no longer my daily machine. I feel sad about this. If Hive more than quadruples in price I might use it to buy myself a 27 inch iMac (like this one: https://www.apple.com/shop/buy-mac/imac/27-inch-3.8ghz-8-core-processor-with-turbo-boost-up-to-5.0ghz-512gb#), but until then I'm really happy with the rather inexpensive upgrades I've been able to obtain.
(c) All images and photographs, unless otherwise specified, are created and owned by me.
(c) Victor Wiebe
Amateur photographer. Wannabe author. Game designer. I dabble a little in a lot. General all around problem-solver and creative type.
Founder of Photo 52 weekly photography competition.
Expert generalist. Jack of all Trades.
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