Which Asus or Lenovo desktop computer to buy?

I'm attempting to decide which computer to buy which will meet my needs.

Currently, I am using this Compaq Presario computer (running Windows 7 Home Premium).


As you can see it has 45 reviews, which average a high 4+ stars. I believe it came out in 2010 and sold for about $300. I think I bought mine in 2011 used for $150.

I think it is a fine computer for the average user.

I don't think I'm the average user. I'm constantly backing up to multiple hard drives, using my e-mail software (Eudora), having a web browser open, having Excel open, plus having the computer do other resource intensive tasks. As a result the memory is constantly getting eaten up by all these programs running and the everything just goes slow or freezes.

For me, the memory is a major downfall. It came with 3GB of RAM, with 2.75 usable. It maxes out at 4GB so the most I could go would be 3.75GB usable.

If you go here, www.cpubenchmark.net you'll see that its CPU gets a score of 1,616.

In my office, up until last June, I was using a 2007 vintage Dell Optiplex 740 (running XP Professional) with 2GB of RAM and a CPU with a score of 589.

Then last June, that Dell was replaced by a Lenovo computer (running Windows 7 Professional) with 8GB of RAM and an Intel i5 CPU with a score of 5,899.

I've now reached the point with my home computer that I can no longer put up all the slowness I'm constantly encountering.

I'm looking at buying one of three computers and would like input as to which you think would best meet my needs.

Excel has always been my favorite software but, unfortunately, since Excel 2010, it seems like Microsoft has somehow created serious flaws in this formerly jewel of a software.

I tend to use one workbook to hold many, many worksheets. I think the most worksheets I've even had is one spreadsheet / workbook was 400 worksheets. Works quite well as linking between spreadsheets is fraught with errors while linking within a spreadsheet is never a problem.

I've had one main spreadsheet that I've been using in my office since October 2008. It is now about 25MB. Big but Excel is built to have much larger spreadsheets than that. I only use a fraction of the rows / columns available in a worksheet.

Up until several months ago, I was using that 25MB spreadsheet in Excel 2007. On both my new Lenovo, my old Dell, and this computer, I never encountered any problems. However, when we upgraded to Excel 2013, I started getting not enough resource errors! Even when all I had running was this one spreadsheet I'd get this error message! On a computer with 8GB of RAM and an Intel i5 CPU! Luckily, we'd left Excel 2007 on my computer and on the same computer, the file opened fine with NO error messages.

Seemed like an open and shut case to me that there is clearly a flaw in Excel 2013 when on the same computer it gives a resource error message on a file while Excel 2007 opens and runs it fine.

I called Microsoft to complain and they told me I'd have to pay them to talk to a software engineer about this problem. I told the person I was quite irate that I had to pay them to tell them that they now had a flawed product!

I went online and discovered that other people were having the same problem as myself and that the problem actually first manifested itself in Excel 2010. They'd had semi-large files that'd run fine in Excel 2007 but Excel 2010 / 2013 gave them problems.

I live in Excel both professionally and personally so I need a computer that can handle my files in Excel 2013. I've been impressed with 2 laptops I've used that had Intel i7's so I'm certain my next computer must have an Intel i7. And, at least 8GB of RAM. I don't know if I need 16GB. One thing I have not tried and should is opening the file on one of our office notebooks that have the Intel i7.

Unless someone can convince me otherwise, I have a strong bias against Windows 8 and towards Windows 7. I've looked at the differences between Windows 7 Home Premium and Professional and the two main advantages to me for Windows 7 Professional is that it goes beyond the 16GB RAM limit of Windows 7 Home Premium and it allows encryption of a hard drive. A question I have regarding this can it only encrypt the hard drive in the computer? Or, can it also encrypt external hard drives attached to the computer?

A few other things about the way I like to operate.

I love having at least two independent monitors and three is even better.

For about 7 years now, I've kept no primary / original data on my internal hard drive, using it only for the operating system and installed software.

All of my data is kept on a 3TB external hard drive which is then at least daily backed up on to several other external hard drives. And then backed up on to external hard drives in my office. I do this because it is a huge amount of data which would either take way too much time to recreate, if it could be, and much of it would be irreplaceable. Plus, if my computer dies (or I have no electricity) I can take that main external hard drive (or one of its backups) and put it on one of my spare computers or office computer and in less than an hour I'm fully back in business.

Sorry for the extensive background but it explains why I'm looking at these three computers and what I see as the pros and cons of each.

Each of these has the same Intel i7 CPU, which gets a score of 9,418

1) Lenovo IdeaCentre K450 Desktop


5 reviews averaging a high 4+ stars
16GB RAM and 2TB hard drive
Windows 8 64

Pluses are the reviews and RAM. Big minus is Windows 8

2) Asus M11AD-US0060

1 5 star review
16GB RAM and 2TB hard drive
Windows 7 Home Premium

Pluses are the RAM and Windows 7.

3) Asus BP6375

3 reviews averaging 4 stars (however, if you go to Amazon, there are 6 total polar reviews - 3 give it 5 stars and 3 give it 1 star)
8GB RAM and 1TB hard drive
Windows 7 Professional 64-bit (with Windows 8 Pro upgrade disc)
3 yrs NBD on-site warranty
Support 3 independent displays
Iron Egg Price Guarantee (they'll match any advertised lower price within two weeks of purchase)

Pluses are the Windows 7 Professional, 3 year warranty, and supports 3 monitors out of the box.

I'm strongly leaning towards #3.

It has the far better operating system options without having to spend any more money on operating system upgrades.

It supports multiple monitors right out of the box so that I don't have to a) determine what is the correct video card to buy for the computer and b) getting it working in the computer.

It's warranty is 3 times as long as the other two computers.

With my reliance and need for a 3TB hard drive, which I have in my external (which may have to be replaced by a 4TB one), having a 1TB internal hard drive in my computer is more than enough for my needs. A 2TB internal hard drive is of only marginal value to me.

And, if the 8GB of RAM is not sufficient then I can expand it to 16GB. (According to this: http://www.asus.com/us/Commercial_Desktops/BP6375/#specifications)

Should it be a concern that 16GB is the max that this computer can take? That actually negates one of the values of having Windows 7 Professional on it as the computer tops out at this 16GB of RAM, which is the limit for Windows 7 Home Premium.

Starting in the late 90s I did start building some of my own computers and was going to build my super one in 2007 using this web site -

http://www.mysuperpc.com but I discovered there were a ton of used desktops around for $100 to $125 so, instead, I stock piled those.

Looking at what he is recommending today, it looks like to build a comparable computer to #3 would cost around $1,100. So, a lot of time ordering, putting it all together, hoping it all works, and costs more!

If you've made it this far, you get a medal! And, you get five medals for any valuable advice you can give me.


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More about asus lenovo desktop computer buy
  1. Short answer: none of the above.

    Long answer: None of the above because OEMs like Asus and Lenovo use non upgradable form factors and really go cheap on a lot of the PC's critical components like the power supply and the graphics card. And then they load down the operating system with so much garbage software you don't need that makes the operating system nearly unusable. Have you ever considered building your own? You can get a far better PC around that price range if you do, or even for less money.

    Although I will also say most store reviews are completely meaningless because you can't go into detail on a product in a 3000 word Amazon review like you can on a 10 page review on a website like Hardware Secrets or Jonnyguru. They're not a good method of judging products.
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