Discussion:New Computer

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BFStax (talk|edits) said:

18 November 2013
I am in need of a new computer and wanted to know what most other accountants are upgrading to these days. I will be using ProSeries tax software, Adobe Acrobat Pro, various Quickbooks software, Excel and Word, streaming videos, web browsing, and other usual activity. I do LOTS of multitasking with these software and need something that can handle the load. I don't necessarily need anything high end, but want something that will last 5+ years. My budget is somewhere in the $500 - $800 range and with black friday/holiday deals coming up I think now is the best time to buy.

Any suggestions?

AgwmTax (talk|edits) said:

18 November 2013
You can pick up an i5 CPU with 8GB RAM and 1TB Hard Drive from Lenovo/HP/Dell for that price. I would recommend Win 7 instead of Win 8 for tax software.

BFStax (talk|edits) said:

18 November 2013
I agree with the i5, I think i7 is too much power for my needs, and 8GB RAM is a must. Hard Drive space is non issue since even the smaller ones (320GB, 500GB, etc.) are still massive. Plus, I use cloud storage for personal stuff.

Why do you recommend Win 7? My understanding is that all of my software needs are already Win 8 compatible.

What brands are the best these days? I currently have an Acer and I don't like it.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

18 November 2013
My last two computers have been laptops of the T400 series from Lenovo.....they have a great keyboard, and are very rugged....this one was purchased in 2010. I am looking now to replace it; it continues to run well, but 3 years (and five years of tax software) are pushing it. It is running Win 7 and I see Lenovo offers it on its newest models. I suspect most software would continue to run on XP.

PDXTaxman (talk|edits) said:

19 November 2013
I personally much prefer Win7, but it's very hard to find now. Do check with ProSeries tech support to determine if they've had any problems running their software on Win8, but honestly they shouldn't have since the underlying engine is pretty much the same as Win7. If they say Win8 is okay, and unless you find a box with Win7 pre-installed, you'll probably have no choice in the matter. (You probably can find Win7 as an after-market OS. You could buy it, then have Win8 stripped from your new computer and Win7 installed. But it will be costly! And unless your tech is pretty good, they can screw it up).

We bought all new computers last year, and went with Lenovo. We got an i5 for the server, i3s for the three work stations, all with Win7. They have been pretty reliable. We previously used HPs, did have some problems with them. Mostly I objected to how they came loaded with so much horse manure, but you may be able to avoid some of that by ordering explicit business computers from their website. (We bought our Lenovos from, IIRC, Egghead or one of the other large internet retailers).

Sounds as though you plan on getting just one. Two are nice, even if you're a sole practitioner, because (1) you can keep all client files on the server, locked away somewhere, while your workstation (which could be a laptop) does the actual work; (2) if you bring in a reviewer or junior preparer, or even an admin person, he or she can have a computer to work on (in this case, you'd move the server to your desk, move the workstation to the reception or other desk); and, (3) if one computer fails, you're not out of business so long as you've been backing up everything daily. But you pay more for it: cost of the computer, obviously, and also any additional charged by Intuit for your network license each year.

CathysTaxes (talk|edits) said:

19 November 2013
If you want Windows 7, Dell includes Windows 7 Professional on many of it's business computers.

I always order my computers and select each option that I want. That way, I get many years out of it.

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

20 November 2013
I have heard from several IT people that Win 8 is still buggy. If you're only getting one and do any outside work at all, I'd recommend a good laptop with a side 10-key. While a cloud backup is good (and recommended), I'd also recommend another backup system. Restoring from the cloud can be time consuming and frustrating ( I know!!)

Mcbreck (talk|edits) said:

20 November 2013
I went with a laptop shortly after getting into tax work many years ago. Wow it was liberating. I take the laptop to meetings so I can bring up old returns if they have questions. I can do returns in client's homes if ultra easy / quick. Doing a few returns at home in the evening are a breeze. After having the laptop, I can't imagine going back to a desktop.

I have a Sony that I've used for probably 8 years, the last 3 as a 1-function laptop on my credenza. Generally great, the Sony software add-ons slow it down and the case showed extensive wear where my palms rest. SERIOUS wear. Otherwise, a solid machine.

My last was a Lenovo and the entire case fell apart after 2 years. The computer itself was decent but the plastic case just completely fell apart and the computer repair place said it was becoming common with their laptops. I'd gladly still be using otherwise.

After the last tax season I went to Best Buy and got a clearance computer that turned out to be just them liquidating a particular color of Dell. i7, 8 GB. I absolutely love this computer for $550. 6 months of constant use during working hours and it looks brand new still.

Windows 8 isn't bad, just download the Shell Classic software program and you'll think you are on a Windows 7. I'm pretty sure you can set it up to even look like an XP if that's what you are used to.

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