Computers – Stop The Insanity!

Posted by Don Moore on September 8, 2007 at 10:57 am under Uncategorized | 2 Comments to Read

Every so often, I am asked to help a friend out with the computer they just bought from a friend….

They think they got a deal because they bought a used computer that cost over $2,000 new and they paid $300. I have yet to see anyone who got a good deal.

If you pay more than $150 for a computer slower than 2 Ghz, you got ripped off! Computers today are grouped into two types: Single Processors (286, 386, PI, PII, PIII, P4) and Dual Core. Dual Core is the newest, so you rarely see those for sale used. Laptops are a little more expensive; but rarely worth the risk because they are very expensive to repair and upgrade. I recommend people stay away from used laptops, unless you are prepared to spend another $200 upgrading it.

If you want a good used computer, check out Dell’s Off Lease Auction Site. The computers are basic office computers with just enough computer for the Internet and some work. They are selling P4-2.4Ghz machines with Windows XP for under $150 with shipping. (Windows XP costs $139 by itself!)

I’m still helping friends out, but now, I look at their computer, figure out how much adding new ram, new hard drive and other upgrades will cost and hand them two sheets of paper: 1 – Their costs to buy the parts to make their computer work and 2 – A off-lease Dell that makes their computer look like a Model-T. Later, I take their old computer down to the electronics recycling location on Patterson Ave. Not even the Non-Profits can use these clunkers.


  • PagePirates44 said,

    Buying a used computer with those specifications is a waste of money. period. Those used Dell computers these days, especially with MS Vista’s first Service Pack coming out in Q1 of 2008, wont be able to run even the simplest Vista programs. Thats why people are complaining about Vista having so many problems with compatibility, fixes, drivers, and patches, because the companies that make the software haven’t made their programs to be compatible yet. But, in the near future they will and people with a slow used computer from Dell will need to buy a new one and that money they spent is wasted.

    For around $900.00 you can build a computer with a Intel Q6600 Quad-Core processor, 680i nVidia motherboard, 4GB of RAM, a Seagate 320GB HDD @ 7200RPM, DVD burner optical drive w/ lightscribe, and a nVidia 8800GTS graphics card.
    — A computer like this will last you well over 6-7 years without future upgrades.

    Buying a P4 computer in 2007, is just ignorant.

  • Don said,

    I agree and you appear to have the knowledge to help stop the insanity. My point was simple, if you are going to buy a used computer for $300, at least get one that will last a few more years.

    Personally, I would prefer to migrate users away from Windows Vista until software catches up. There are too many programs having problems with Vista. Given a choice, I’d set folks up with Ubuntu Linux.