Thursday, January 16, 2020

I Think It's Time to Consider a New Computer ...

I have a sort of "top of performance needs benchmark" for computers: Does Forge of Empires hog all the RAM?

It's not that I play FoE all the time. I usually play it obsessively for a couple of days, then here and there for a few weeks, and then not at all for months until one day the urge takes me. In other words, it's nothing that I can't live without.

But when the urge does take me, as often as not my main purpose is to find out if the game's requirements tax my computing power. Since the developers are always adding new memory-hogging features, I figure that when the game slows down my machine significantly, it's probably time to start looking for a new machine.

I've been making do with no more than 4 gigabytes of RAM for right at eight years now, and last time I played FoE (which was probably close to a year ago), it was just starting to get squirrelly. Other browser tabs would die and have to reload when I switched over to them, etc.

This week, I decided to play some FoE and it nearly instantly started killing the content in every other open tab, and crashing the Great Suspender extension I use to reduce the load by, well, killing the content in tabs I haven't used for a few minutes.

So I need more RAM, but none of my existing machines will support more than 4Gb.

So, here's what I'm looking at:

The Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 sports an Intel dual core CPU at 2.6 GHz and 8Gb of RAM. It's a WIndoze machine, but if I got it I'd wipe it and install Linux. It's $137.95.

The Asus Chromebox 3-N017U is also Intel dual core, but only 1.8 GHz, and also sports 8Gb of RAM. It runs $299.99.

I'm partial to ChromeOS, but have been thinking about abandoning it. Half price to do so, with a better CPU, pushes me in that direction.

But before I make a decision, I'm going to see if someone else does so for me -- both machines are on my Amazon Wish List ;-)

Alternatively, I may just build a box from the empty case up. I've helped my son do several. But I like a tiny form factor while his have been nice spacious towers, so I'm somewhat skeptical that I can do things my way.


Wow ... a timely cryptocurrency donation came in (thanks, GL!), and Amazon dropped the price of that ThinkCentre to $109.99, even as I was looking at some higher end stuff! Ordered the ThinkCentre through Purse (affiliate link).

I was toying with really upping my computer game -- 16Gb of RAM instead of 8, a quad core CPU, etc. -- before I noticed the price drop. But based on the screwing around I've done with light Linux distributions, etc., I expect the ThinkCentre to be all the machine I need for years to come.

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