desktop machine failing ... thinking of substituting Surface Pro

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro' started by Arizona Willie, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. Arizona Willie

    Arizona Willie Active Member

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    This desktop computer is beginning to give me problems.
    Intermittent Bluetooth and USB controller and now video driver is stopping by itself and being restarted by the system.
    I run it 18 hours a day and it is a few months over 2 years old.

    I'm thinking of just trying to use the Surface Pro ( original ) but I have 4 drives in the desktop for storage and, of course, Windows and programs itself plus an optical DVD drive.

    Is there any way I could buy external houses for the drives and hook them up to the Surface somehow?
    That seems to be one of the big weaknesses of the Surface.

    Or should I just bite the bullet and buy a new motherboard and tear this system down and re-build it?
     
  2. Nuspieds

    Nuspieds Active Member

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    Yes, adapters of all sorts are available for USB. For example: Amazon.com : StarTech.com USB3S2ESATA 3 Feet SuperSpeed USB 3.0 to eSATA Cable Adapter : Electronics Cable Adapters : Computers & Accessories.

    If that's the direction you want to go and you have several drives, then you'll definitely need a USB hub. However, if you are fully comfortable abandoning your Desktop PC for the Surface Pro, then I would suggest simply copying all your data from your Desktop PC onto the SP and also reinstalling all the apps onto it. If space is an issue, make use of an external USB 3.0 drive, as opposed to having multiple legacy drives (from your Desktop PC) connected to a hub on your SP.

    The Desktop PC is obviously a completely different form factor and it has its advantages and disadvantages. Thus, before abandoning it for the SP, do all your homework to make sure you'll be satisfied with the transition.
     
  3. Omni

    Omni Active Member

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    You could use a NAS if wanted and then access the hard drives over the network. Would be slower than USB 3 though but saves you connecting a USB cable each time.
     
  4. jeffskent

    jeffskent Member

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    I've use my 128 GB Pro as my main and only pc since I bought it almost a year ago. It meets all of my needs and still fits in my backpack and acts as a Kindle when I eat alone in restaurants. I have two other laptops, an i7 ASUS and a Fujitsu i5, both of which simply sit and wait. They are noticeably slower in boot up, shut down, and general operations than is the SP, but both have DVD or Blu-Ray drives and more usb ports. I use a 4 port Satchi usb 3.0 docking cable to hook up my iPhones, iPods, 3 external 1 TB or more drives, a printer, and an LG external Blu-Ray drive. When I leave home I disconnect the power cord, the Mini Display port to the 27" monitor cable, and the usb docking cable, and the SP goes in my backpack.

    I just got the MS Docking Station a couple of days ago. It has multiple usb ports and allows me to simply pull the SP out of the Docking Station after sliding the two wing things outward. The first day I used it all worked well, except it didn't charge the SP. That night I had trouble inserting the SP into the Docking Station because it wouldn't allow the SP to turn on or something. I went back to the original power cable, Mini DP cable, and usb cable and all is well again. I'll look at the Docking Station later to see if I can't make it work properly, but for now my older system works flawlessly again and I am happy.
     
  5. mtalinm

    mtalinm Active Member

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    Just keep in mind that the SP uses an ultra-low-voltage i5, so you can easily get a much more powerful desktop for less money.

    On processing-intensive tasks, my i7 laptop and desktop are both 3-4x as fast as my SP
     
  6. daniielrp

    daniielrp Active Member

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    Personally I wouldn't use it as a full time desktop (18hrs a day) but I could see it being a transient desktop - plugged into peripherals/dock at home and then taken with you to work/college etc. I keep my desktop (2012 iMac) on almost all day as a media server and is the primary computer I use for writing/design work simply due to the larger screen as this is what is was designed for, I could not see myself doing them same thing with my Pro 2. Although we are dealing the Pro version, I still feel it's components etc. are more suited to mobile computing rather than full time desktop.

    In terms of raw power I could see it doing rather well as a desktop replacement, but you'd get a far better and cheaper experience with an actual desktop.
     
  7. kristalsoldier

    kristalsoldier Well-Known Member

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    Maybe I am misunderstanding you and if I am, I stand to be corrected. Are you suggesting that the SP2 is not robust enough - component-wise - to be used as a primary desktop machine? Of course, in terms of processing power, it is certainly the case that there are other machines - laptops and desktops - that offer much more power and for less money. I completely agree with that.
     
  8. daniielrp

    daniielrp Active Member

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    No I think it robust enough and would do well as a desktop replacment, but it has obviously been designed for mobile computing, so makes compromises in terms of power and cooling efficiency compared to a dedicated desktop.
     
  9. kayzee

    kayzee Well-Known Member

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    I guess it depends what you're doing with it. I'm not much of a 'hardcore' computer user these days... so of course general browsing, Skype, Twitter, drawing and DJ mixing work absolutely flawlessly :)
     
  10. Arizona Willie

    Arizona Willie Active Member

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    No the small screen of the SP would not do for all day use -- for me anyway. I figured I would be able to somehow also hookup my large monitor(s) because I see where people have talked about doing that, so I figured there was a way to do that.

    I was thinking I would have to use a HUB and plug keyboards and mice and drives into it, but I don't know if that is really going to be a satisfactory solution.
    I believe my final decision will probably be to re-build the desktop. I'm trying to find a new motherboard the same as this -- but not having any luck. Newegg and Tiger are both sold out.

    ASUS tech support this morning told me to install a new chipset driver ( which I did but it was no apparent help ) and they said that there were problems with Bluetooth under Windows 8.1 -- they wanted to know if it worked normally before updating to 8.1 and it did.

    Somehow I don't think there is a solution for that, but fortunately, I don't < need > Bluetooth for the desktop --- although it did synch the desktop to my phone so I could transfer picture files without emailing them to myself. Other than that I haven't really used the Bluetooth. But I saw the exclamation mark when I got an error message that there was no Battery Backup connected == and there was a cable hooked up to my UPS. So I went into Device Manager and discovered the USB port was disabled and that I could enable it and it would work. It seems if there is nothing plugged in, it will boot and the USB controller is enabled fine, but if anything is plugged in to those 4 ports -- no go until I manually enable it. So I have moved everything to my 6 USB 3.0 ports which < seem > to be working ok.

    Guess I will need to study the latest CPU'S and decide if I want to find a motherboard that lets me re-use this CPU an I-7 or get a whole new rig.

     
  11. kayzee

    kayzee Well-Known Member

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    This is of course possible, I have it set up at home :) although I use the Type Cover and Bluetooth mouse so I don't actually need a hub for anything. Looks much better with no cables as well...
     

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