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[OM] OT: Old PC, New PC

Subject: [OM] OT: Old PC, New PC
From: Peter Klein <boulanger.croissant@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 3 Nov 2022 23:25:30 -0700
OT but relevant:
My faithful, almost 10 year-old Dell Optiplex 980 is doing two odd things. I do plan to replace it after Christmas, when (if?) unload-the-inventory sales kick in. But in the meantime:

1. Whenever the power goes out, I have to crawl under my desk, pull the CMOS battery, and put it back. I can't just hit F2 and fix the configuration because the internal error checks kick in before "Press F2 for setup" happens. They display lights on the PC front that Dell does not document meaningfully. Once CMOS is reset, I find that the date and time are forgotten, and more important, the disk configuration forgets that it is a non-RAID AHCI SSD disk. Once I set those two things straight, all's well. No, it's not the battery, which reads slightly over 3v on my multimeter. And I've replaced the battery twice, with the same results.  Everything else in the BIOS is as I set it previously.

2. I cloned the original disk to an SSD a couple of years ago. Since then, the PC runs significantly faster in general. But every so often, there is a long hesitation when loading a program, or when switching from one program to another.

Gruesome details: Win10 professional (which was upgraded from Win7, so the registry has all old installation remnants on it).  8 GB RAM, 433 GB Crucial SSD system drive with 268 GB free, 1.81 TB conventional HDD data drive with 1.23 TB free. The latter has all my photos on it. The motherboard doesn't have a fast/broad enough path to take full advantage of the SSD, but it still helps. The SSD is trimmed and the HDD data drive is defragged weekly. I back up my data to both an external SSD and a conventional drive regularly.

1. Anything simple I could do to improve things?
2. Recommendations for a new PC?  I've not kept up with hardware in the last few years.

I wouldn't mind something smaller than an under-the-desk tower. I do want 16 GB RAM. I don't need a "screamer" gamer's PC, but low end is too low for me. Aside from the usual Web surfing, writing and email, I do three things with the PC:

* Photo editing, up to 24 GB Raw files.
* Music composition. Editing is not hugely resource intensive. Playback is comparable to photo editing. I don't do video except to occasionally trim the "dead air" at the beginning and end of a video musical performance. * Amateur radio.  Mostly digital signal processing, which is sometimes heavy on the processor, not really taxing the rest of the system much. And my log, which is a SQL light database.

Thanks for any input.
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