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View Full Version : Some 2017 small Windows 10 Pcs ideal for DIY CNCs



Boyan Silyavski
07-09-2017, 06:15 PM
I couldn't help but notice recently some small PCs on windows 10 that could be ideal for new builds, all in one machines or integrated panels. Not to speak of upgrading the big old boxes that collect dust around:


HIGOLE F2 Quad-core Mini PC (https://www.gearbest.com/mini-pc/pp_673787.html) 92euo

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HIGOLE GOLE10 Mini PC 222283703 (https://www.gearbest.com/mini-pc/pp_690347.html)
Intel Atom X5-Z8350 1.44 - 1.92GHz Support for Windows 10 OS BT 4.0 143euro

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HIGOLE GOLE1 Plus Mini PC 208089501 (https://www.gearbest.com/tv-box-mini-pc/pp_608686.html) 160euro

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NEW BOXED - RM Minitablet 100 (1RT-540) Intel Atom, 10.1" touchscreen, Windows 7 (http://www.ebay.es/itm/NEW-BOXED-RM-Minitablet-100-1RT-540-Intel-Atom-10-1-touchscreen-Windows-7/282617812544?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649) 75euro in Uk ebay number 282617812544


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All is in no particular order but here is my favourite and the most powerfull one. i woudnt mind that for a tablet/laptop, though i have much better i5 tablet which i bought 2-3 years ago, but for the money and weight and Windows now this could be the best one for 2017...

4/64GB 10.1'' Windows 10 Android 5.1 Chuwi Hi10 PC Quad Core Tablet (http://www.ebay.es/itm/4GB-64GB-CHUWI-10-1-Hi10-Pro-Tablet-PC-WIN10-ANDROID-Dual-Camera-WIFI-HDMI-OTG-/222622858943?hash=item33d55b3ebf:g:cJEAAOSwkBZZnoa e) HDMI , full HD, IPS, etc Around 170 euros with keyboard /sold separately/. No LAN connectivity but that could easily be cured if you have a nice DHCP enabled router and use it instead to connect to the machine


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If you know of something else interesting just link it here

magicniner
07-09-2017, 10:47 PM
At this point in time I wouldn't pay you out in brass washers for any Windows 10 PC.

Boyan Silyavski
08-09-2017, 12:43 PM
At this point in time I wouldn't pay you out in brass washers for any Windows 10 PC.

Because of the nasty updates i assume? But anything else is very stable. This is the most stable system up to date. I hate the updates too.

m_c
08-09-2017, 08:50 PM
I bought a 150 Linx 1010 tablet a few months ago that came with Win 10 Pro, and I can't fault the tablet or Win10. One thing I'd found previously with cheap tablets, was the screens were rubbish, but this one is excellent for the money. I bought it for being used outside at events, hence not wanting to spend any more than I had to, and it's perfectly useable in all but the brightest of daylight.
I'm sure you could get something with as good a screen cheaper, but this model had already been tested by someone I know.

Since then I had to buy a new main laptop, and specced Win 10 pro. I find it just works, and is far more usable than previous incarnations of windows. As I read elsewhere, if you try using it like how you used previous versions, then you'll get frustrated. Spend the time learning how to use it how it's meant to be used, and it's far better.

With 10 Pro, you get the option to pause updates, but I've found no need to use it. Although I maybe should of done last month when it decided to chew through 1gb of mobile data during an event as it decided to download a MSSQL service pack, but it was smart enough not to install it as the database was in use.

magicniner
08-09-2017, 09:32 PM
I find it just works, and is far more usable than previous incarnations of windows.

I find Windows 7 Ultimate perfectly usable, given that my computing requirements are based around 3rd party modelling, CAD/CAM and CNC software how would Windows 10 improve my user experience?

m_c
09-09-2017, 12:31 AM
I find Windows 7 Ultimate perfectly usable, given that my computing requirements are based around 3rd party modelling, CAD/CAM and CNC software how would Windows 10 improve my user experience?

If what you've got works, then there isn't any reason to upgrade. Only reason I finally went to 10, was because my old Win 7 pro Dell finally died. I won't deny my first experience of 10 was not good, but now I've used it on some decent hardware, I now prefer it.

I find it's the subtle things like to launch a program on the desktop, just click the search box, and start typing the name. It remembers what program you normally launch that starts with that letter, and if that's what you want you just need to type one letter, hit enter, and the program gets opened. Win 7 you had to either double click a shortcut, dig through the start menu, or wait for the search to find what you want.
I no longer have a task bar full of icons, or a desktop cluttered with shortcuts.

Then in the file explorer, there's a quick access list of folders that you regularly access. In 7, I had to edit my favourites list to add/remove regularly used folders. The quick access list in 10 automatically adds any folder you've opened a more than a couple times recently and bumps of any you've not accessed recently.

The best way I can think to describe it overall, is you had to make 7 work for you, whereas 10 adapts to how you work, provided you let it.

One thing to be aware of is how 10 works varies depending on what it's being run on, and how it's been configured.
My tablet can be set to desktop or tablet mode. Tablet mode forces most windows to fullscreen, removes the taskbar, and lets you swipe between apps. Desktop mode lets you resize windows, and have multiple windows visible, and adds the taskbar but it means you need an accurate touchscreen (or connect a mouse). Start button opens a start screen similar to 8. Swiping from the right edge opens a quick setting window.

On the laptop, it's got a very similar feel to 7. Start opens a conventional menu like you get in 7 and earlier, with an 8 style box tacked on the side (MS have to peddle their app store somehow!). Biggest problem is usually finding the right settings page, but search is your friend there.

magicniner
09-09-2017, 12:40 AM
Microsoft have rendered the Desktop redundant so you now have a full window of unusable space?
What a waste ;-)

m_c
09-09-2017, 12:43 AM
Microsoft have rendered the Desktop redundant so you now have a full window of unusable space?
What a waste ;-)

it means I don't have to keep showing the desktop to find another shortcut.
Plus I get to look at pictures which aren't covered in shortcuts ;-)

magicniner
09-09-2017, 01:10 AM
Plus I get to look at pictures which aren't covered in shortcuts ;-)

Only if you show the desktop though :D

I do get that's just different, no worse and no better from an ergonomic point of view but it's Microsoft's new revenue stream model plans that I worry about and how that's going to work out down the line, they are desperate to move to annual licences for as much of their product range as possible and I want nothing to do with any of that.

Neale
09-09-2017, 10:24 AM
What worries me about W10 is performance. I'm not talking about general speed - when things are working normally, I see no difference from W7 - but after some recent updates, my garage PC based on a new motherboard with AMD CPU installed about a year ago has been running like a dog - a three-legged dog. Some of the system processes including desktop manager can take up to 50% of the CPU, and response is so slow that it even drops the connection to the CSMIO motion controller from time to time. Last night I was giving a talk and demo of my 3D printer to a local society and the printer started running very slowly as well. Looked like the laptop was not sending gcode fast enough to the printer every so often. I couldn't chase the issue as I was busy talking, but that was a combination of laptop and printer that's been working without a single issue for a few years now, including W10 for a year or so. The only change was W10 updates, as far as I know. Both machines have installed the latest Creator Update, which looks as if it might be part of the problem. I have a few other W10 PCs which seem to be working fine but aren't doing anything "real time" in the same way.

Don't know is anyone else is seeing W10 problems but i'm starting to get a bit twitchy about it. Done a fair bit of googling around this issue and although there are generic performance complaints, I haven't found a fix for my problem yet. Bit of an issue as my router is built around the CSMIO so Linux is not an option. Upgrade to W7? Is Microsoft on a "Well, our compulsory updates might make your hardware obsolete" strategy?

AndyGuid
09-09-2017, 10:53 AM
Only if you show the desktop though :D

I do get that's just different, no worse and no better from an ergonomic point of view but it's Microsoft's new revenue stream model plans that I worry about and how that's going to work out down the line, they are desperate to move to annual licences for as much of their product range as possible and I want nothing to do with any of that.

I also want nothing to do with any of that, the prospect of the end user becoming increasingly controlled ala 1984 makes me feel quite sick. Also, I have been deceived into installing what are effectively downgrades too many times now. I will be saying goodbye to the Proprietary world as soon as I can no longer get by on Windows-7.

I recently watched a video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6xUaK4DZU0 of a talk by Richard Stallman at TEDx 2014 and reckon GNU/Linux is the closest thing to an alternative to the Microsoft/Apple world. I only hope that my brain is still capable of adapting to yet another big change!

magicniner
09-09-2017, 11:10 AM
Don't know is anyone else is seeing W10 problems but i'm starting to get a bit twitchy about it.

Neale,
Even with Windows 7 I have Internet connectivity disabled on my main CAD/CAM PC and my CNC PC, you can do this whilst maintaining local area network connectivity so file transfer isn't a problem, work and anything you need to download with an "Internet PC" can be stored centrally on NAS,

- Nick

Neale
09-09-2017, 11:46 AM
Nick,
I'm not so worried about my cad/cam machine, especially as I use F360 which needs to be cloud-connected to get the best out of it (yes, I know, another can of worms :smile:). However, the machine control PC has a dedicated Ethernet connection to the motion controller, and a wireless dongle for connection to the main WiFi network in the house for file transfer but which is unplugged during cutting. Because I run W10 Pro, I can also turn off automatic update download and install - a little-documented (by Microsoft) feature which isn't in W10 Home. My problem with that machine is continuous CPU load, not "hang on a bit, I've decided to do a bunch of downloads and installs". Main difference between that machine and all my other machines is that that one is AMD and the others Intel. All latest drivers, so hardware still current and supported by AMD.
I only mention this because Boyan's post about cheap PCs makes me a bit nervous, not because the hardware isn't a good buy but whether or not there might be a longer-term issue with W10 supporting the hardware. I'm also leaning towards the idea of Linux for the future, but there is some software I'm using today that just can't migrate - like Mach3.

magicniner
10-09-2017, 12:34 AM
Windows 10 is not yet fully suitable for applications where the user expects their requirements to be paramount, regardless of whether you have control of when it installs updates it will use system resources for things which are out of your control at times which are out of your control.
Windows 10 has been designed for "Surfers", "Gamers" and "Makers" and is no place for engineers and manufacturers at this time, they don't call it the "Bleeding Edge" for nothing :D

- Nick

Desertboy
10-09-2017, 07:40 AM
Just "upgraded" to Windows 10 when I got a new pc it's truly dreadful. I almost miss OSX it's that bad! Having no Microphone or webcam in this pc makes me a lot more comfortable with it.

If it wasn't for Fusion I'd have Linux on this machine either Ubuntu or Fedora.

The best solution for me is 2 pc's one cheap to run pc with linux for day to day use and 1 for Fusion, from what I read you only need to sync occasionally to fusion for it to work the pc I have now has no wifi so easy to unplug the ethernet to ensure it's offline.

I'm guessing windows 10 doesn't play so nice with Parallel ports and breakout boards, I'm going the Linuxcnc route because at least it works today and will work in 5 years from now unlike winblows which is going to need dedicated motion controller.

Ger21
11-09-2017, 04:19 PM
I'm guessing windows 10 doesn't play so nice with Parallel ports and breakout boards

If you want to use Mach3/4 with a parallel port, Win7 32 bit is the last OS they will work on.

Boyan Silyavski
11-09-2017, 06:30 PM
If you want to use Mach3/4 with a parallel port, Win7 32 bit is the last OS they will work on.

Another nail in Mach3/4 coffin

magicniner
11-09-2017, 07:23 PM
Another nail in Mach3/4 coffin

You say that but people are still doing perfectly good work running Mach3 on Windows 98 so the hammer is falling very, very, very, very slowly on those particular nails ;-)
The latest incumbent really screwed the pooch by ditching Mach3 development and support but given their performance probably best they left it alone rather than bugger it up further :D

- Nick

Boyan Silyavski
11-09-2017, 08:14 PM
What i am saying is before some years when had my first CNC i had Mach3 "pirate" edition downloaded from torrent. Then even if i don't needed i payed the money for the original version, just to help the product. Because I understood then the value of the program in terms of what it brings to the table.

Nowadays? I don't think so. Plus have in mind each cheap chinese board ships with pirated Mach3. If they were any clever they would have continued to develop the product, maybe even lower the price to under 100 and continue to make money by offering better product.

if i was starting with first machine today, the only thing that could make me purchase Mach4 is a specific machine/ plasma or similar/ that could be made to work otherwise due to special plugin or similar.



But my point here in this thread was to show some new nice All in one Pcs with touchscreen and all . Which nowadays can be very cheap. And are nice to play with. Not some old buggers running on windows 98. I like to enjoy using nice things, not some rusty boxes. Not that i dont have one or 2 of them still.

magicniner
11-09-2017, 10:23 PM
And are nice to play with.

For me Windows 10 spoils the deal, it's one of their "First version's a complete dog" operating systems and there's no sign of OSR2, SE, SP1 or whatever term they will use for "Ooh look, we've fixed it now" this time around.

Serious business isn't mass-adopting 10 yet and Microsoft have had to extend support for Windows 7 (as 8 is a dog too from a business perspective) because even their major vendors have complained about the negative impact of such early retirement of support for Windows 7 on their big customers.

Fingers crossed Microsoft will sort it out, but on the bright side their constant cock-ups are resulting in increased uptake of open source and perhaps serious open source CAD/CAM will experience the same kind of surge that 3D printing software has seen, although uptake of "free until you are committed and then we decide to shaft you" packages such as Autodesk is reducing the chance of this.

m_c
11-09-2017, 11:42 PM
I think the bigger reason businesses aren't updating OS's, is they simply don't need to. Why update something that works?

I'd say 7 was probably the last version where you gained any real benefit from updating. I work for a major company who can run whatever MS software they want, and things now only get updated when the hardware is replaced, and as a company, hardware is now ran until it breaks or needs upgraded. There's no X years renewal policy, as for over 90% of employees, even 10 year old hardware still runs perfectly well enough. However all computers are locked down so you can't install anything you're not meant to, which means they don't get bogged down with rubbish.

At work I've personally got access to a Win7 desktop, and a Win8 tablet. If either were to break today and be replaced with new, they'd come with Win10. When I get a new computer, I simply log in, and connect to the company intranet, then all my required programs get downloaded, installed and configured, and my personal files get copied out the cloud, with no input from me.

Neale
12-09-2017, 12:09 AM
There are two (at least) issues here. One is the business about Microsoft and inability to make version 1 of anything work properly (although some Windows releases have been worse than others). The other, maybe more relevant to this forum, is whether Windows is an appropriate platform for CNC machine control anyway. I think the honest answer to that is, and always has been, no. We have been misled by Mach3 and the black magic performed by its creator to believe that Windows is OK. Never has been more than "good enough" in some situations, which is why there have been so many external motion control solutions developed (was SmoothStepper the first? Not sure - wasn't active in this area at the time). Linux isn't actually more than "good enough" either - performance with LCNC still has hardware dependence that is unpredictable without testing specific boards and hardware configurations. That's because some of the issues come from the underlying hardware anyway, as well as OSs that were never written with real-time control as a goal. They can work fine, but it's unreasonable to expect Microsoft to do anything to support what was in reality no more than a backdoor bodge. I'm not knocking Mach3 - that it worked at all, and well enough for many home and hobby users, was a brilliant achievement, and I use it myself (although with an external motion controller).

Will the future be open-source via Linux, maybe with the aid of motion controllers like the Mesa cards, or will it be something like a descendant of grbl, running on bigger, faster hardware than it does today? Or Boyan's favourite Chinese box with proprietary software?

I was happy with Win7 but have updated all my machines to Win10. I have six Intel PCs which are running fine. I have one AMD machine with a year-old motherboard which runs like a dog. I ended up using my laptop to finish a job on the router earlier today because the AMD PC couldn't even manage to keep the network connection open to the CSMIO. No idea if that is AMD or Microsoft's fault. It's not just Microsoft, though - I can't run the latest version of Mach3 because it does not work properly with the CSMIO (although there's a lot of finger-pointing about that problem). I'm expecting to go open-source, probably Linux, one day but at the moment I'm taking the pragmatic Win/Mach3 approach because my CSMIO won't work with anything else. Might end up "upgrading" the garage PC to Win7, though, if my key still works...

magicniner
12-09-2017, 12:30 AM
I think the bigger reason businesses aren't updating OS's, is they simply don't need to. Why update something that works?

Blue Chip businesses have IT departments which test updates on a representative hardware/software sample of the company estate, problem updates are spotted before they stuff the estate and are delayed/omitted if they cause problems until a fix is found, this is the way Siemens and Cadbury worked when I worked for them in IT support.

Your scenario means that your business IT department has tested all the software you need on W10 and is happy nothing can break your system in a way they can't fix quickly but is irrelevant for the home user, especially when Microsoft state clearly that "updates may render your hardware obsolete" :D