Steve is getting a gaming computer for work because it's powerful enough to do 3D design for dental implants. What should he get? Leo says it largely depends on what the software supports in the way of minimum hardware. A quad-core i7 with 16GB of RAM and a dedicated GPU (GTX 650 or above) should be enough for Blue Sky Bio. A basic or mid-level gaming system would probably work. He doesn't need to break the bank and pack it with specs.
LeAnn has an older Mac laptop that she wants to upgrade. Leo says the best thing to make your old Mac faster is to get an SSD drive. Adding more RAM will boost it as well. Should she downgrade to OS X Sierra? Leo says that High Sierra is actually faster, so there's no need to downgrade. But make sure to back up the existing hard drive before changing out.
Carmine wants to buy the Windows Surface Book 2, and wants to know if he can buy after market RAM and install it. Leo says he should be able to. It's a standard laptop. He can go to Crucial.com and enter in the model. It'll tell him if RAM is available and how to install it. Micron.com is also a good idea. He can check out the Windows Surface Reddit too.
John gave his mom an Acer Cloudbook and it's really slow. Can he replace or upgrade it? Leo says that the Cloudbook is part of Acer's cheaper consumer line, and it will likely cost more to repair than replace. And at 32GB, and 2GB of RAM, he'll be better off buying a newer one and spending a little more on their higher end line. Then he could give that Cloudbook to his son and let him play Minecraft with it.
Dennis wants to upgrade his HP laptop. He wants to double his RAM and install an SSD. Will that help? Leo says that if he has a fast enough bus for the computer, an SSD will certainly speed things up, as an SSD has zero latency. Reads are very fast. But he won't get as much as a modern laptop. It'll still be noticeable. And he'll get at least a 10-20% boost by doubling his RAM.
Timothy started a new job and he's using a 5-year-old Mac Pro. Leo says that's not that old, actually. Leo prefers them to the recent models. Tim says that there's not a lot of RAM — only 4GB. Leo says that 4GB is OK for most things he'll do online and for documents. But he recommends running the activity monitor to make sure all the RAM is functioning. Sometimes, though, a program doesn't release the RAM when it no longer needs it, and it may be that is what's happening here. The hard drive may be slowing things down as well.
Jesse wants to know how he can bypass the BIOS password on his laptop. Leo says BIOS is backed up with a battery and he'll need to pop that out and then reset the CMOS memory jumper switch. He could find instructions on iFixIt, or a simple Google search will do. But it may not work.
(Disclaimer: iFixit is a sponsor)
Jack is looking to get a new laptop for music recording. Should he buy an i7? Leo says that an i5 is fine, and he should spend the money on a larger SSD and more RAM. 16GB is good. But after that, the performance slows down when using more RAM, and most applications don't even use it. So he should stick with 16GB. He should get a good screen as well.
Joe needs a high end chromebook with 16GM RAM. Leo says the challenge will be 16GB of RAM. The highest end Chromebooks have about 8GB of RAM. He really wouldn't need 16GB of RAM with a Chromebook because it doesn't have to deal with the requirements of a full Windows system. ChromeOS is very light. Leo recommends taking a look at ASUS.
Paul is going to college to study mechanical engineering and he needs a good laptop that can handle the work load. Leo says ideally, he'll get more bang for his buck with a PC. He'll also get more choices. Also, it's always best to check with the college or university for what they prefer. They may require more powerful hardware and specific software. He'll also want an SSD because it'll boot up faster.