Computer Died, Thinking of Laptop Replacement

My extremely (like, 8 or 9 years) old desktop just pulled a fast one on me. I pressed the power button and nothing happened. I thought, maybe I didn’t actually hit it, so I hit it again, nothing. Third time I heard a pop (not loud but distinct) and then the thing turned on but no POST. Fans spin, mobo LEDs come on, what I can only assume is a temperature readout, etc. But no video output, and again, no POST. Not sure what the most likely culprit to be dead here, is. I would ordinarily assume motherboard since the POST is a pretty low-level part of that, right? Who knows what else might be fried. The pop makes me think the PSU shorted out, so I guess I’d better replace that, too. Anyway, just curious what you guys think (my girlfriend just came in and told me she thought she smelled a little electrical burning smell. I unplugged the tower after that.).

If you have any motherboard POST readout, LEDs, or beep codes, that may tell you something. But it first guess would be PSU for me, you can maybe try a new one without disassembling much if you can get to the cables.

Burst capacitor in the PSU?

I just did a BIOS update and apparently bricked a motherboard last week. I don’t have any decent soldering setup to swap a new chip and it’s an older cheap OEM system so I just went for a secondhand motherboard for $50. Will find out if that works this weekend…

What do you guys think of this thing:

It’s pretty cheap as far as laptops go and has a ton of reviews. I’d be using it as a stopgap, building a new desktop in three or four years. It’s obviously nowhere near top performance, but given the display is 1080p (which I’m fine with), it seems ok to me. Any obvious red flags?

For reference the machine it would be replacing was a Core i5-2500k, 8GB DDR3, 1TB SATA SSD, GTX 1060 6GB.

I’ve owned Acer systems before and they’ve been fine. However, Newegg has a similar system (smaller SSD, different manufacturer) with nowhere near as many reviews, but it’s almost $200 cheaper:

The keyboard on that is complete shit. I bought that in a similar situation. Laptop itself is fine but regret getting it due to the completely awful keyboard. Keys don’t register sometimes and I’ve cracked at least four keys while typing.

Same on my MSI Stealth after about 18 months, W key especially is getting pretty annoying.

Thanks, guys, that’s kind of what I was afraid of. I have a several years old Dell XPS whose build quality I’ve never been a fan of. It seems tough to find well-made laptops. A bad keyboard is a pretty unforgivable sin!

I’ve had several gaming laptops, including an Acer. They are fine but they run a bit hot, or at least mine did. Be aware they are hefty enough and hog power enough they aren’t really mobile in as much as they are a gaming rig that’s easier to travel with. I don’t think I could have sat on the couch and used mine, even if I had a cooling pad for it. Mine was too bulky for that.

I’m back on a gaming PC now but still have my last gaming laptop (an ASUS) for the occasional long work trip. They are pretty expensive as a gaming platform in regards to bang for your buck.

Yeah, just got a move coming up and I’ve always seen them as appealing because you can take them with you visit a friend and game or just sit on the couch next to someone instead of off by yourself as a desk, but I may just slap my video card (assuming it still works, I have no way of knowing) in an old Dell workstation or something.

If I started using mine again I’d probably get one of those larger laptop trays for the couch, the ones that have a pan on bottom and allow you a little room for a mouse, even. I could just never get into it much and I think it may have been that I didn’t have enough, “space,” like I would sitting at a desk.

I’m holding out for a bit on renewing mine. In the meantime I’m keeping an eye open for how some of these folks are doing with the new Steam deck. If that really holds up, that may be the ticket I need for couch gaming.

I haven’t read this thread, fair warning.

Thinking of getting a laptop? Do you think you’d actually travel with it? No? Then don’t. Everyone thinks they want a laptop, they pay a premium for a fraction of the power a cheaper desktop could provide, and then it sits on the table where the desktop would have been 95% of the time anyway.

EDIT: This goes double for a (lol) gaming laptop.

Okay, now /rant over

That post was applicable in like, 2011. These days laptops are extremely cheap and laptops with GPUs are often cheaper than standalone PCIe GPUs alone.

Desktops really only make sense for enthusiast-level gaming and production work these days. If you’re the sort of person who wants to game locked over 60fps at 1440p or even higher (like me) then yeah, a desktop would be much cheaper.

Well pound for pound the laptops are more expensive than a desktop, for sure, but the difference is not orders of magnitude.

I’ve got room for a desktop PC, so that’s where I do my gaming. My buddy, however, doesn’t have enough space for a dedicated gaming rig, so he uses a gaming laptop on the kitchen table. When he’s done, he folds up the laptop and gets his table back. Works for him, and I get a gaming partner!

Hard disagree. Anyone that throws money at a “gaming laptop” is a fool, imo.

Tough room!

What if you just want to play minecraft or fortnite? That applies to a ton of people. More than hardcore gamers, for sure. Do they need a desktop also?

Or what if you want to play current-gen games, but you’re fine with 1080p60. Do you need a desktop too?

You are always, always limiting your gaming potential. Sure, what if you only want to play Minecraft right now but no one is one thing for long and at some point in a year, or two, you’ll regret dropping a ton of money on a “decent” gaming laptop that can’t play anything besides Fortnight or whatever.

Also, laptops have batteries and most of the time you end up tethered to a wall anyway. Even just for regular tasks you don’t get a lot of juice while the laptop runs higher end hardware and the battery can’t keep up.

And through ALL of this you could have just gotten a desktop for half the price that can also play Minecraft really well.

I guess if you are travelling a lot and still want to be able to game and spend a lot of time on airplanes or in hotels, sure, go for it. But outside of a few edge cases, you’ll not sway me. Laptops are not for gaming.