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Shopping for a Desktop PC

by breezy55417 / July 7, 2007 9:13 AM PDT

I'm curious as to where all of the refurbished computers offered for sale come from, why there are so many, and are they worth considering buying?

I would think having a lot of a certain model being offered as "Refurbished" would be indicative of a sub-par product.

Am I just asking for trouble considering a computer offered at an online auction? There is a lot of stuff out there.Why are there so many model numbers? It is very hard to make comparisons.

Any thoughts?

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Well...
by ozos / July 7, 2007 11:10 PM PDT

There's a lot of model numbers to go along with a very large number of different models from different manufacturers, you can make comparisons based on the parts inside.

Refurbished computers are common because the average turnover for a desktop PC is about 3-5 years, however the average shelf life of a desktop PC is about 10-15 years. Which means the system still works after the original owner discards it. Another source of refurbished computers is schools and businesses which buy hundreds of the same system, and 5 years later replace them (usually needlessly) and the old systems are scalped for a minimal profit.

Buying from an online auction is risky, generally speaking, as many people out there are just trying to rip you off and take advantage of you. However, buying refurbished computer hardware (when its correctly refurbished, as in factory refurbished) usually saves you a great deal. There isn't much you can do to "damage" a computer, its either broken or working, so if its been discarded because the original owner doesn't want it for whatever reason, it should be entirely capable of continuing work for another number of years.

I'm sure there are a number of members here willing to help you make an accurate comparison of two systems, if thats what you're after.

Re the sub-par question, normally if a particular model line is known as terrible, it doesn't resell very well because IT managers know to be wary of it.

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i've bought refurbished from tigerdirect...
by bklynrickel / July 8, 2007 1:03 AM PDT
In reply to: Well...

with good success in the past.get the extended warranty though just in case you need it.

i have been shopping too, and have found it to be a daunting task. i was looking for an amd 64x2, but then found out that quad processors are coming into prominence. trying to keep up with what's coming is quite a thing. then the XP vs. Vista thing as well.

i finally ended up with a vista machine. an acer with a quad core for $734 before tax. i figured why spend $600 on an amd x2 if i could get a quad for a little more. i almost wish i hadn't started looking.

anyway, checkout tigerdirect.com. they've got a ton of refurbs and good service in my experience.

only thing i'd stay away from are refurb lcd tvs. too dicey for me.
computers are good for refurbs but with extended warranty.

happy shopping Happy

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Thanks for the input
by breezy55417 / July 8, 2007 4:13 PM PDT

Thanks for the input bklynrickel & ozos.

I'm considering a refurb for a couple of reasons
a) I like the idea of recycling.
b) I do not need nor can afford the latest and greatest.
And like everyone,
C) I'm trying to get the most for my buck.

I want something that has room for expansion. That I won't grow out of in two years. I'm not comfortable with the mini or slimline towers so that isn't important. I like some room to work with.

My primary uses for the computer are:
Web browsing & Email,
Downloading and collecting mp3 files of Old Time Radio programs,
CD & DVD Burning, Movies
Maintaining several data bases.
Some work with photos.
I do very little to no gaming.
I'm interested in TV.

I tend to push things to the limit by having a lot of things going on at once. A dual core processor would be a must.

I'm thinking I would be better off with M$ XP Media center than with Vista. I'm not opposed to upgrading the OS later.

I've tried narrowing my search to 1 manufacturer, HP.
They are familiar.
My first and only computer purchased was a HP Pavilion 7855 that served me believe it or not for more than 6 years. I think it has been a fair run.
I'm not opposed to the others, just staying with what I know. I hear good and bad about all of them. It is difficult to find unbiased reviews on the different models. If they have one, the Cnet reviews and User reviews are helpful.

Any other input would be appreciated.

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You might look at Dell's current generation
by ozos / July 11, 2007 1:17 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks for the input

of low cost systems, currently they're offering Athlon64 x2's shipped for around $500, I realize it isn't playing into the recycling thing, but it gets you almost verbatim what you described for a good price.

Another idea would be to build the system yourself, which can be done from used parts, but it takes a lot of studying up before you go buying stuff. Generally you'll need to add the TV tuner aftermarket, as very few systems come with one stock, but they don't cost much ($40-$50). XP Media Center isn't a requirement, if you were considering it to due to the TV watching, it actually lowers hardware compatability with TV tuners, so unless the system is explicitly going to be a HTPC I'd suggest going with XP Professional or XP Home.

More or less all refurbished systems:
http://www.geeks.com/products.asp?cat=SYS

Finding the dual core might be a bit of a problem, however if you find a system that can be upgraded to a dual core that can work too.

Athlon64 Socket 939 can upgrade to Athlon64 x2 socket 939

Pentium 4 and Celeron D for LGA 775 can upgrade to Pentium D for LGA 775 (and in a few cases Core 2)

Athlon64 and Sempron for Socket AM2 can upgrade to Athlon64 x2 for Socket AM2.

Just ensure the power supply will handle the new processor and it should upgrade just fine.

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Upgrading to a Dual Core.
by breezy55417 / July 27, 2007 1:35 PM PDT

You mentioned:
"Finding the dual core might be a bit of a problem, however if you find a system that can be upgraded to a dual core that can work too.

Athlon64 Socket 939 can upgrade to Athlon 64 x2 socket 939"

I found a
Hp Compaq SR1950NX http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/genericDocument?docname=c00680698&cc=us&lc=en&dlc=en&dlc=en&lang=en
for a good price, which has:

An Athlon 64 (V) 3800+ 2.4 GHz
2000 MT/s (mega transfers/second)
Socket 939
(Which is described as "Dual Channel"??)

The Motherboard is:
Manufacturer: Asus
Motherboard Name: A8N-LA
HP/Compaq motherboard name: Nagami2-GL8E

I'm not sure of the specs of the power supply.

I'm sure I'm going to want something faster.
How involved is it to upgrade to a Dual Core processor?

This is all new territory for me. Any advice would be
appreciated.

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