If there’s a newer driver available I keep thinking that I should have it installed even if the computer is working just fine. This Acer Z3771 has been driving me a little crazy because it keeps crashing when I try to install various Intel system drivers; some that are installed are 2-3 years old (the newest available is from early 2018) whilst others are the basic Microsoft ones that date back to 2006. Everything works as it should as best I can tell, but I keep thinking that I’m missing something by not being current.
Windows is up-to-date, the processor (now an i5 2500S instead of the stock Pentium G630, with no need to spend twice as much as I spent on the whole computer for an i7), RAM upgrades (now maxed out at a whopping 8GB) and SSD install went just fine, although I’m still a little ticked that I can’t upgrade the BIOS to use Ivy Bridge chips (like the one I ordered...) There is a little more expansion on this system than I expected - one free PCIe mini slot (some systems came with TV tuners), an extra SATA port and a low-profile PCIe x16 slot for a video card; I tested that x16 slot with a video card and it installed and was recognized, but I’m sure that it is only active when an app needs the performance, like on a notebook computer with the same arrangement. But can anything I throw in there really make much of a difference? I have newer, better, faster computers, so it’s not like I’m going to be using this one for folding, gaming, or even watching TV (re: PCIe-mini slot). About the closest thing to gaming I might do with it would be to use it as the instrument panel display when doing flight simulation, provided I can get two computers connected to do this. I think the touchscreen might come in quite handy here.
I do have to admit that I really do like the touchscreen. Yeah, it’s going to get a little messy with fingerprints and I know some people don’t like that, but I’m a slob so that really doesn’t bother me (and it can easily be fixed if it does). I’ve been a big iPad user since 2010, so having to actually use a keyboard and mouse is sometimes a bother. I’ll probably keep this system just off to my left so that I can swing around and check email, Oppo, F@H status etc. with just a simple touch, keyboard tucked just underneath for easy access if I need it.
I was thinking of giving this to my mother, but I don’t know if I can part with it now. She has a decent AMD system, although I think this one is a little faster. She seems content with her computer but I found it to be a tad slow, at least for my tastes; I might just send a GPU and some RAM for dad to install (and maybe an SSD)...