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Need new daily driver

I would build a box. I just don’t want to be in the position that I was with Windows 10. Where drivers stop working for no reason and I have to beat my head against the wall. That causes concussions you know. Because if I did build something I’d probably build something a bit nicer than I did the last time.

I had major issues with getting a monitor to work properly with the MacBook Pro I have at work. It worked but there was a bunch of color fringing with small details such as text. It took me several hours over a few days to troubleshoot, eventually being saved by somebody who had found the solution. Boot the Mac up in Recovery Mode, disable System Integrity Protection, overwrite some contents in one of those protected files with a carefully crafted file, reenable SIP and reboot. Apparently I should have gotten an Apple monitor if I expected it to just work like on a PC…

My general experience with stability isn’t that great, with a previous version of OS X I could reliably get it to hang due to a graphics related issue. XCode and related Apple developed tools for development which I primarily use crashes or stops responding a few times a day. Sometimes I get random graphical glitches when starting the computer, but they disappear after a few seconds so they are not an issue. Otherwise I guess the experience is decent, but it can be difficult to find software sometimes. Getting open source software to run often involves downloading third-party builds or compiling it yourself. Freeware stuff is much more rare than on Windows, which is annoying since I would need to go through management to get a clearance for using $10 for some random software which takes several days.
The experience isn’t bad, but I find it far from the perfect “It just works” I have been repeatably told about Macs. I’m also getting fed up with Windows, but I’m choosing Linux over Mac. It certainly is a lot more buggy than both Mac and Windows, but at least I have freedom to use what I want, they way I want to use it.

Ok, this is a pretty rare instance in Linux, but two key areas in general will give you some trouble;

  1. Rolling releases. Just don’t do it, things will break from time to time. Better to run something like Ubuntu LTS and only upgrade the base system once every other year. You might need to upgrade certain components over time however.

  2. Proprietary drivers. They work fine for a specific kernel but as soon as you upgrade to a newer kernel, you need to also update the driver or things will stop working. This is the reason I recommend AMD over nVidia for Linux users.


What do you really need? Because from the sound of some of the things you’ve mentioned i don’t see why you’d need an iMac unless you want the screen, or a MacBook unless you really need the portability.

If your happy with your current peripherals, screen, keyboard, etc. I would definitely consider the Mac Mini.

However if you want a new screen and like the all in one thing, are you looking at the 21" or the 27" iMac?

The 27" has user serviceable ram which is worth remembering.

Some monitors are absolute garbage. Its gotten better and Linux has struggled for decades to reverse engineer windows only peripherals, but people still make things that only work in Windows.

Use what works.

Having an iPhone does change the game a little, as the integration is that that good it cant just be ignored.

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From what the person who found the fix wrote, Mac OS X ignored some of the EDID information that the monitor supplied and suspected that Apple did it intentionally. I wouldn’t be surprised if that really was the case, but I didn’t dig further into it.

Incidentally, I have seen a similar issue on Windows after an update where my own 4K monitor (i.e. another monitor) sometimes end up in YCrCb mode, but unplugging and re-plugging the displayport cable fixes it.

Nothing works, that is the problem. It is to choose the lesser of 3 evils. I’m currently switching between Linux and Windows (mostly because of games) every 1-2 months. Linux constantly have issues you need to fix, Windows is becoming a mess, and Mac OS X forces you into their mindset of how to use it and to use their overpriced and evil hardware ecosystem.

I feel like the desktop is slowly dying outside professional stuff, with the attention slowly moving to mobile, web, and subscription services in the cloud. (My impression not based on real facts. I do see a lot of stuff in XCode which only works if you are targeting IOS though.)

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asks community for OS and hardware suggestions
windows is broken, I refuse to use it
get’s suggestions for linux and Mac OS
Apple’s business practices are bad and linux is too hard

You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

If your priority is usability and very little work to setup, then get the mac mini.

If your priority is not supporting the horrible business practices of a company and you are willing to put some effort into linux, get the build @wertigon suggested.

Level1 is a great community to post questions if you get stuck

We even have a thread dedicated to small problems


Id only add that every company can be have horrible business practices. Even ones who use Linux. So really there’s no where to turn, unless you just want to be a leach and use Linux without paying anyone. But even then, now your just supporting the horrible business practices of hardware manufacturers. At that point, are you going to start looking for the most ethical ones as well?

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This is very, very true.

On a personal level and with Apple specifically, you are locking yourself into a five star luxury prison and you will pay an arm and a leg for the privilege. The problem isn’t that it’s a five star luxury accomodation, it’s the fact that you’re not free to leave, bring certain things with you or walk outside the walls, and this you are happily paying for.

Other than that I have no real gripe with Apple stuff - just doesn’t fit my vision of how things ought to work, if you know what I mean… And while I know most companies do not share that vision, Apple is pretty much the opposite direction of what I want from a PC. But that is just me and my personal opinions on the matter.

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Just because some companies have horrible business practices doesn’t mean everyone has. By continuing to buy from them you are still supporting such business practices, and claiming other companies might do the same doesn’t change this fact.

If you can’t avoid buying products from a company which have business practices you don’t agree with, consider supporting organizations which fight against those.

I don’t think Apple is really that evil. Well, some of their practices with making active measures to limit the hardware ecosystem does seem to me that they are trying to maintain a local monopoly on that marked (especially since they are overpricing it as well) and should be on the edge with antitrust… And what they are doing currently to fight against the right to repair is definitely horrible as well.
Err, I don’t know actually. I’m not going to buy from them anyway.

If I get aware that some hardware manufacture is using child labor or similar bad things, I would definitely buy from another manufacturer even if I have to pay extra. I’m not actively checking out each company in depth to make sure they don’t do evil, but I hope people such as Level1 news help inform me of such.

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Let me just fix that for you. Mac OS X is great. The hardware Mac’s use most of the time is pretty fucking garbage.

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Just so happens I have an HD7950 that my Plex server won’t be utilizing. As I use software transcoding.

I keep looking at Apples prices and they kinda scare me a bit. The iMac with the config I was looking at was going to be about $2K and it only had an i3, I was leaning toward the iMac for one reason… dGPU. The cheaper Mac mini doesn’t offer one. While I don’t do much PC gaming now days, I still have a massive steam library I don’t want to just throw away.

I looked at external GPU enclosures but the cheapest from Razer is like $299. And what I have is an old ass GPU which isn’t worth much. Sure it plays the games i like at 1080p fine, but I don’t think it’s worth $299 for the privilege to use it. Plus I don’t even know if it would work under Mac OS. I know they support AMD cards, but I don’t think they support stuff that old.

Don’t get me wrong. This is a big decision for me. I’m trying to weigh out all the options. I’ve also been told that Apple should be announcing new hardware. So I’m kinda in a holding pattern as of right now.

I thought with thunderbolt 3 we were finally going to start seeing external GPUs that “just work”? Guess not yet (also waiting for GPUs with up-gradable parts, RAM at least). Since I thought thunderbolt was originally an Apple spec, I would think they would sort of have a vested interest in making that happen, but I don’t know.

Also, I agree 110% with wertigon’s post that macs are great but there are essentially 3 caveats. #2 being the one I have the most problem with personally. You really are putting the future of your computing in the hands of Apple more so (I feel personally) than you did with Microsoft. I’ve known several engineers over the years who are/were stuck running slow and buggy windows VMs on their macs for professional engineering software because the switching cost from the mac ecosystem would have been too high for them. That, combined with my feeling that if you’re paying a price premium, you really shouldn’t have to deal with those recent hardware QC issues, otherwise what are you paying for? The rights to their apple garden I guess but you already paid a cost for that–they get to keep you as a customer (most likely) much longer because of the artificially high switching cost they have worked so hard to keep high over the years. That’s a big -no thank- you for me, I’ll go with Ubuntu…even though my patience for tinkering is also running short; similar to yours lol. Ubuntu 16 and 18 LTS (with maybe monthly use of a windows 7 virtual box for odd stuff) have worked fine for me as a daily driver (with a few minor issues) BUT I mostly only web browse, program and watch movies (and no games). Two bonuses are that it has been nice to learn more *nix stuff (even if it was initially a pain in the butt) and Ubuntu comes with a lot of small tools I would have to install when using windows (SMART checking, hash verification, watch, grep, ect). There really needs to be a 4th option without Apple’s drawbacks. If I were you, I’d start a company like that and then buy their computers =p

It’s an Intel Spec. Though I think AMD might be getting it as well.

The only issue with Ubuntu is its loosing steam support I heard. If I build a machine it’s going to have gaming ability.

Oh, my mistake. I could have sworn apple was at least part of the thunderbolt 2 spec at least…

Yeah, I’m of no use when it comes to gaming, unfortunately. Good luck! My friend did successfully build a neat Linux desktop with GPU pass-through to a windows VM using the help of the L1 discord but you said you were done with windows.

As I stated. Windows is NOT an option. Microsoft has failed me for the last time. 3 machines in 1 week taken out by Microsoft. Too much.

Not very likely even if Valve stops packaging for Ubuntu someone else will do it just like all the other distros.

I am going to be very real here. The solution to your NAS problem was pretty easy to fix: you mount an NFS share on the PLEX machine.

The Mac Mini and a game console is probably the easiest and least stressful solution for you.

Once you leave the world of web browsing and a few proprietary software suites computers become harder regardless of OS.

I am not sure what windows did but would guess it could be fixed. Drivers aren’t always perfect on Windows and they can’t seem to figure out Control Panel vs Settings. DLLs and registries suck to fix. But you got software and hardware support for days.

On Linux drivers are a mixed bag. Printers are easier with CUPs and AMD GPU drivers are baked in (barring you have the right kernel). But a lot (and I mean a lot) of software don’t have native Linux versions. So you are going to have to use Wine to “emulate” Windows software. That can be hit or miss.

Apple has issues with upgradability and self repair. You also have to live with EOL issues with hardware support, so be prepared to upgrade at least every 5 years. Gaming is the worst here. You get what you get hardware wise. And I believe Linux has a larger library than Mac on Steam now. Its command line is horribly out of date and needs homebrew to make it worthwhile.vBut OSX is easy to admin and it plays very well with in ecosystem devices. Plus there is some nice OSX only software.

The coice is yours.


What windows 10 did was never work properly. On my gaming rig i always had bugs and driver issues. Since upgrading to 1903, by upgrading I mean a full clean install. It was out right broken. Network drivers would die if I put the computer to sleep. No the power saving shit was not turned on. That was the first thing I checked. Intel no longer supports the nic and MSI has very out of date drivers. The default Windows drivers didn’t work. Then to top thing off on my moms computer Windows did an update and fucked the graphics driver. Neither the monitor or TV could get a signal. The TV said the signal was not supported. Luckily I was able to get it to boot to safe mode and determine it was a driver issue. Then I just did a reset of Windows. The fact is this computer was less than a year old.

Then there is the fact Microsoft decides when my PC should restart for updates. How about NO. I’ll decide when I want it to restart. Like it decided to restart while my Plex server was recording a show.

Ok not sure how much of that is the GPU OEM vs Microsoft and I could possibly be a bad HDMI or a DRM issue. The NIC issue sucks.

Going forward media center PCs are really not that good anymore. Something like a Roku, Apple TV, Android TV as you front end for Plex and any other streaming.

Im thinking the Linux route is the way to go. Reading an article at Mac Rumor suggests Apple may start using its CPU’s in its Computers starting next year. If it was anyone else Id probably say bullshit on this rumor, but Apple has done this before and they have a cult following.

Now I gotta figure out a setup. I want to do something kinda nice. Maybe some lighting.

Bought an Nvidia Shield 3 years back ( i think). Best. Investment. Ever! I fiddled with HTPC’s since that was a word and Windows XP Media Center Edition was a thing. I never could get the HTPC 100% right.
The Shield has been awesome and after 3 years it’s been the first Android TV to Recieve the Android 9 Update. I’m really impressed by the Nvidia support. Can’t recommend it enough.

In terms of Windows: I haven’t had Problems in a long time. My wife has some here and there, but she just never updates here box. Some day it’ll then force reboot and shit hits the fan. I keep mine updated at least monthly and haven’t had problems. Yes, you should disable windows update installing drivers (GUI Option). Other than that…
In terms of Apple Hardware, if you’re willing to pay for it, a slightly used MB Pro from 2014 should serve well. I wouldn’t touch anything newer as the hardware is spotty at best and apples customer service in most cases is not getting better either.

Linux is a GREAT option. Seriously. I recommend you start with Pop_OS and go from there. 90% of stuff will work with little hassle.
Gaming can be anywhere between heaven and hell. Look at the games you need beforehand. Anything Blizzard, Epic or such is often a Bad time. Anything from Steam will either work natively or can be made to work with more or less workarounds.

Plan for some learning curve. It’s free, so it certainly doesn’t hurt to give it a try.

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