If you've bought or built a Windows computer recently, tell us about it and how you like it!

Discussion in 'Alternatives to Mac Hardware' started by ozreth, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. ozreth macrumors 65816


    Nov 5, 2009
    There are lots of threads going around recently asking for advice on various Windows machines, showing off builds or bargains, sharing OS experience etc.

    So lets have a thread where everybody gets to show off what they have bought or put together and tell us how they feel about it. This is mostly because I'm looking to switch to a Windows machine in the next 6 months and am still very much on the fence about what route to go (build a pc, wait for next surfacebook, xps etc.)

    Go! Oh and include pics as well if you are so inclined!
  2. farkleboy macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2015
    I went freelance back in September of last year, quit a job at a small video production house after 10 years. Owner was all mac fanboy, and I had used macs at all my jobs since 1999. So, I was deep in the knowldgebase of macs.

    When I quit I had to decide if I was going to try to replicate the machine I left behind, the last model of MacPro Tower totally stuffed to the gills with NVIDIA cards, SSD's all the slots full of drive and RAM, external power supplies and other junk. The thing looked exactly like what it was. On life support with external power, cords and cables coming out of every orifice to try to keep it alive through the next job. Don't get me wrong, it was fast, dual procs, lotsa cores, etc...

    When I did the calculations, it would have cost me well over 5 grand to rebuild that system. The bare towers were still going for over $1500 with the upgraded processors. I couldn't justify that sort of cost for 5 year old technology. So, I built a PC.

    I ended up building an X99 system, basically built around the GTX1080 card I needed to run Octane, and to make sure it was plenty upgradable later. System total was about $2300 including some stuff not listed here.

    Intel Core i7-6800K 3.4GHz 6-Core Processor
    Gigabyte GA-X99P-SLI ATX LGA2011-3 Motherboard
    Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 Memory
    Samsung 850 EVO-Series 500GB 2.5" Solid State Drive
    EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 8GB Superclocked Gaming ACX 3.0 Video Card
    Cooler Master MasterCase 5 ATX Mid Tower Case
    EVGA SuperNOVA P2 850W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply
    Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler

    I'm running Windows 10 on it, and as a OS X transplant, it doesn't suck too bad. I'm not into the deep management of it yet, but so far its been rock solid and stable. The build was easy (for this first timer) and installing the OS from a USB3 drive was insanely fast. I run Premier, After Effects, Cinema 4D, Octane, and others pretty well. I'm happy with it, now if I could just find out how to change that fugly system font....
  3. Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Flying over the rainforest at dawn - Priceless
    Went for a Microsoft Surface Book over Apple's 2016 13" MBP; I really wanted a premium class 2 in 1 with full Pen & Touch support, to date Surface Book has not disappointed. I opted for the middle of the road model (8 Gb RAM, 256 SSD & dGPU) as Surface Book 2 was close to the horizon. I am now finding more ways to be productive and efficient thanks to the notebooks versatility and flexibility. My usage is more focused to the typical clamshell mode, however being able to remove or flip the "Clipboard" is such a bonus, adding much to usage & versatility.

    Windows 10 to date has put all my Mac's to shame for stability. Since I bought the Surface Book (November 2016) I have not observed a single system crash or failure, I can safely say the Surface Book is the best portable I have ever owned & used in the 13" class. Surface Book is not perfect mind, equally for Microsoft's first attempt at a notebook an amazing product, with a high expectation of a very solid follow up with Surface Book 2.

    The GUI is certainly not as consistent as OS X, however unless you live in the "settings" and the likes it's a non issue as real work is conducted in applications. You do need to give more consideration to the applications to be installed, as my systems are utilised professionally I don't tend to use them as test benches for unknown software. I am currently using Microsofts own backup solutions, and have tested multiple system images without issue which is reassuring. I was also pleasantly surprised on registering the Surface Book that Microsoft included two years international warranty.

    Initially I had a lot of qualms over the switch and move to Microsoft's hardware, that said all in all I am very pleased and looking forward to see what Microsoft delivers for the Creators Update & Surface Book 2.

    My work dictates portable solutions, sorry no pictures of super high-end rigs, equally as one can see at times my office is somewhat different to others, with my notebooks needing to be capable of dealing with what's thrown at them...

  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I bought a Surface Book this past fall, to take with me on a business trip. Since then, I've been traveling a few times lately and its been a great experience. The machine has been fast, stable and no issues with Windows 10.

    Lately I've been thinking of moving up from a 13" form factor to a 15". My short list of machines are in order importance:

    Dell XPS
    HP Spectre x306
    Apple MBP

    I'd opt of the Apple just for the sake of using OS X and the user experience is provides, but at this stage, I don't think that's worth spending 3,000 dollars. I may yet change my mind, especially since I have some Apple gift cards, but even so its still a bit pricey for what you get imo.

    The HP looks to be wonderfully designed machine, though its only a dual core. The XPS is my top choice, and while I haven't pulled the trigger, I'm leaning towards that.
  5. keeper macrumors 6502

    Apr 23, 2008
    I'm not a pro user, sold my 2011 mini media machine, don't use my Mac book pro 2012 that much, main use is iPhone and 9.7 iPad Pro.
    So desktops were getting old, but I wanted something to manage files, iTunes and photos and have a bigger screen if I wanted to look at multiple tabs in a browser.

    Being in the UK Macs started to look over priced for simple duties, plus I wanted something where I could upgrade ram and disks.

    I've installed a 24" IPS 1080 monitor with a Lenovo M900 Tiny mounted in a vesa mount.

    It's small fast, I can upgrade to M2 drive and have up to 32gig ram.

    Bit of effort to pick windows up again, disabled one drive, iCloud for windows syncs all my photo, contacts, mail and calendars.
    That's all backed up to my NAS hourly.

    Overall I'm very happy, doesn't look as simple as OSX, but it's doing the computing I needed it to do a lot cheaper than a Mac and i can upgrade.

    I'll sit back and see what develops and see if at some point I move to a windows tablet, but for now happy with my setup.
  6. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
  7. jeff7117 macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2009
    Built my Mac Pro replacement in January. So far, been super happy with the build. It's a silent running machine, and I didn't have to pay nMP prices to build it.

    Here's a link to the build on pcpartpicker. https://pcpartpicker.com/b/D8YTwP
  8. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I did that a few years ago, actually I think about 5+ years ago at this point, and it was a fun experience. The case I chose was really nice expect for one fact. The fans were so load, it was quite distracting. If memory serves me, instead of the fans being in the front and/or rear of the case, they were on the bottom and offered a different approach to cooling but I hadn't realized with 3 fans running it was very noisy.
  9. ozreth thread starter macrumors 65816


    Nov 5, 2009
    Wow. That thing is a beast! And you're still going to double the ram to 128gb! I'm also into the clear liquid choice.
  10. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Before MBP, I have build several Windows PC in the past, my last custom built was AMD Athlon 64 dual core 4800+ with ECS motherboard, Hyper X 2GB memory, Diamond Viper X1950 512MB GPU, two Seagate Barracuda HHD (750GB and 300GB) HDD and RaidMax Ninja tower case. I am tired of building it so It is in the self storage right now.
  11. JoelTheSuperior macrumors 6502


    Feb 10, 2014
    London, UK
    Out of curiosity, what sort of applications are you lot running on your Windows PCs?

    I'm still on a hackintosh and likely will be for quite some time but it's hard not to think I'm just delaying an inevitable switch to Windows when Apple continue to demonstrate that they have no interest in desktop hardware and as such making hackintoshing long-term unviable.

    So with that in mind, I've been considering a switch but I do also genuinely really like the Mac software and of course Logic Pro - I've yet to find a DAW for Windows that I like quite as much.
  12. bigfatipod macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2011
    Do you run iMessage on your hackintosh? I was considering going that route util I saw instructions on how to get iMessages working. It seemed like much more effort than I am willing to put into staying on mac os.
  13. jeff7117 macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2009
    Adobe creative suite, Fusion, C4D.

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