As late as last November, the company was primarily trading in 486-based machines at the $300 price point.
For the first time, remanufactured Pentium PCs at this price come with a 66-MHz system bus, the same speed as Pentium II systems now on the market, according to the company. The system bus is a PC's most critical data pathway, determining how fast the processor talks to main memory and other components.
The Austin, Texas, company's refurbished Compaq Deskpro PCs include 100-MHz Intel Pentium chips, 16MB of memory, and 1GB hard drives. Targeted at business customers, the systems also come with a 10BaseT network card.
Recompute's business model is based around the fact that the acceleration of the technology upgrade cycle has created a growing supply of used, but still very functional, business-use computers. One of several companies in the field, Recompute typically offers top-tier brands, and its refurbishing process includes adding new components when necessary as well as extensive testing, the company said.
The price drop follows recent Intel price cuts, according to Recompute CEO Brian Kushner. "Just about every quarter when Intel makes its drops, we're able to match those drops," he said.
"By the end of the year we'll be offering 133- and 166-MHz systems [for $299]," Kushner predicted.
Once devoted to classified ad-type sales, the used PC market has become much more accepting of remanufactured PCs as a viable option in corporate desktop settings where lower-end computing power will suffice.