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Best desktop computer + monitor setup for a translator (Aug 2014)
Շարքի հրապարակողը: Hans Geluk

Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
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@Hans: Sep 1, 2014

If you like quiet computers, and are going to get a desktop, I suggest you also have a look here: http://www.quietpc.com/ (they specialise in 100% fanless, 100% silent machines!)

If I was going to get a desktop computer again I would probably try to go the SILENT route. I was planning on getting a 100% silent one, but in the end decided to go the super-laptop route instead.

About
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If you like quiet computers, and are going to get a desktop, I suggest you also have a look here: http://www.quietpc.com/ (they specialise in 100% fanless, 100% silent machines!)

If I was going to get a desktop computer again I would probably try to go the SILENT route. I was planning on getting a 100% silent one, but in the end decided to go the super-laptop route instead.

About monitor sizes: I agree, 24" is the perfect size. I have this one: https://www.samsung.com/us/computer/monitors/LS24A850DW/ZA

However, my experience with working on multiple screens hasn't been great. One thing you have to watch out for is that when working with more than one screen, the distances you ‘feel’ when moving your mouse and/or Wacom tablet might feel wrong. When working on a single screen, the relationship between the distances you move on your screen(s) and the distances you travel with your mouse/Wacom tablet feel much better than when you connect a second, or third, screen. With multiple screens (and screen dimensions/resolutions) things can quickly start to feel very out of sync. In any case, make sure you try working on 2 monitors before you take the plunge! I have several here at home (in my spare parts closet), and always end up disconnecting them all and using only my single 24" Samsung.

Michael

[Edited at 2014-09-01 22:45 GMT]
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Gloria Franks  Identity Verified
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Update for 2015 Aug 21, 2015

Although these posts are about a year old, this is by far my favourite information on the topic. Would anyone like to give us an update for 2015?

I am looking for a desktop at this point since you can get more bang for your buck with these as opposed to notebooks of which I have 2 at the moment; an older Toshiba and a Macbook Air. Most of their predecessors have gone by the wayside due to overheating (40 degrees is normal here). I fell in love with the new(ish) macbook air, and it
... See more
Although these posts are about a year old, this is by far my favourite information on the topic. Would anyone like to give us an update for 2015?

I am looking for a desktop at this point since you can get more bang for your buck with these as opposed to notebooks of which I have 2 at the moment; an older Toshiba and a Macbook Air. Most of their predecessors have gone by the wayside due to overheating (40 degrees is normal here). I fell in love with the new(ish) macbook air, and it does not have overheating problems, but it really isn't practical to run parallels with trados, dragon, abbyy, etc. It just seems silly to run mostly windows programs on a mac, as beautiful and amazing as they are. The Toshiba is too old to be of use anymore (although it is what I am using atm since parallels is refusing to work with Trados).

So a desktop then, the consensus seems to be that we get:
- Core i5 or i7
- A 24" inch monitor (how practical is it to hook up old flatscreens?)
SSD at whatever capacity you can afford
- 8 GB or 16 GB ram
graphics are not an issue (other than that gaming computers seem to fit the bill)

I live in Mexico and it's hard to get anything without a huge surcharge here. Parts for diy assembly may be impossible to attain, so I would be looking for a brand name with the best specs.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated!!!
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Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
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Think small Aug 21, 2015

Gloria Franks wrote:
So a desktop then, the consensus seems to be that we get:
- Core i5 or i7
- A 24" inch monitor (how practical is it to hook up old flatscreens?)
SSD at whatever capacity you can afford
- 8 GB or 16 GB ram
graphics are not an issue (other than that gaming computers seem to fit the bill)

Without doubt I would look carefully at the tiny but perfectly formed Intel NUC. I discussed this very recently in a post on another forum. Intel is a decent hardware brand and an i5 NUC would likely pack all the punch you need. You would need a decent USB hub though.

Regards
Dan


 

Yumiko Imamori
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BenQ-GW2470H monitor Apr 12, 2017

I have a question about the monitor recommended by Mr Tom.
After read your comment on it, I started thinking to get 24 inch of BenQ monitor (BenQ-GW2470H).
However I am not sure if it is compatible with macbook pro Retina, 15-inch, Early 2013 which I will use to connect to the monitor.
Please advise me if you have any informations about it and also I would like to know if someone has experience of BenQ-GW2470H.


 

Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
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Most modern flatscreen monitors are Mac compatible Apr 15, 2017

Yumiko Imamori wrote:

I have a question about the monitor recommended by Mr Tom.
After read your comment on it, I started thinking to get 24 inch of BenQ monitor (BenQ-GW2470H).
However I am not sure if it is compatible with macbook pro Retina, 15-inch, Early 2013 which I will use to connect to the monitor.
Please advise me if you have any informations about it and also I would like to know if someone has experience of BenQ-GW2470H.


Hello, Yumiko,

I know this is a thread that spans 2 years but I'll try to be specific and helpful.

First, if you have a MacBook (you mentioned Retina display), it is very helpful to have one or more video adapters, such as the miniDisplayPort to VGA, HDMI and DVI (such as this found on ebay.es: http://www.ebay.es/itm/191829080845?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT)

This adapter (looks like a white box with a cable, and three video connectors for DVI, HDMI and VGA) is essential to work with external monitors. At home, I use a 24-inch Dell monitor via a DVI cable (I use the adapter mostly for my traveling MacBook). If your Mac doesn't have a DisplayPort, maybe it has a Thunderbolt connector, I don't know.

Second, most flatscreen monitors are compatible with current Macs. By order of technical preference, from low to high: VGA (very old standard), DVI (pretty good) and HDMI (quite good). So, I would buy a DVI or HDMI connector flatscreen monitor to connect to my Mac in any case.

I live in the United States, so I have a wide selection of brand names to choose from and buy from a local store or from Amazon.com. For other countries, one has to be satisfied with lesser-known brands that are equally acceptable, like Hier, HP or some other. I wouldn't pay double just because it's a world-famous brand. Monitors last for many years anyways.

Good luck!

Mario
from travel office in Lisbon, Portugal


 

Bo Wang  Identity Verified
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21.5-23'' display, entry level graphics card Apr 17, 2017

I bought a Lenovo desktop this year, 8G RAM, 1T hard drive, I5 6400 processor, 21.5'' screen. It well suits my needs, quiet and fast, much better than my laptop. 21.5" screen is big enough for translators, no larger than 23''. I think entry-level independent graphics card can do the job for us, providing a good balance between performance and power consumption.

 

Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
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Agree - another money-saving thought Apr 17, 2017

Bo Wang wrote:

I bought a Lenovo desktop this year, 8G RAM, 1T hard drive, I5 6400 processor, 21.5'' screen. It well suits my needs, quiet and fast, much better than my laptop. 21.5" screen is big enough for translators, no larger than 23''. I think entry-level independent graphics card can do the job for us, providing a good balance between performance and power consumption.


Thanks, Bo, that's a good setup. Intel's i5, i3 and i7 are still very good processors and 8 GB of RAM should be enough for the basics of translating, using a multitab browser and running a CAT tool or two. For those who like working with two or more monitors, I would say: experiment with a used monitor first.

Even 19-inch new monitors are a serious expenditure ($60-100). If you live in the United States, go to Goodwill or The Salvation Army, or a similar charity shop and get a 19 or 20-inch flat monitor for very few dollars. If you are in Portugal or in other European countries, try Cash Converters: I bought a temporary 19-inch flatscreen Haier monitor for 17 euros (I need it while I work overseas).

I suspect there are several stores where a second-hand monitor, or keyboard or mouse can be found. If you really like the model, just keep it or buy an updated version. Same goes for cellphones.


 
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