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Buying a used computer, how much should I pay for this?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Twiz, Aug 21, 2002.

  1. Twiz

    Twiz 1/2 ton status

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    The computer's about 2 years old. It works and I'm useing it right now.
    I have some programs on it and some pics- I pretty much took over it.
    So I'm thinking I might buy the guy out of it.
    Whats a good price?

    E-machines computer (circut city thing ???)
    intel pentium III 600mhz
    64 MB syncDRAM
    256 KB L2 Cache
    20 GB harddrive
    DVD player
    56K modem
    3dAGP graphics
    17" moniter that I bought ($150)

    I only use it to check out CK5 and a few other sites, take some tranning classes and genneral use.
    No games, no music or anything too crazy.

    So what should I offer the guy?
     
  2. Goober

    Goober 1/2 ton status

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    Do you already own the monitor?

    Considering all the deals out there these days, I wouldn't offer any more than $250. or so for the system without the monitor.

    If he was a friend and really needed the cash, I may give up $300 but no more than that.
     
  3. gotmud?

    gotmud? 1/2 ton status

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    ditto.
     
  4. Twiz

    Twiz 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah, I bought the monitor, mostly because I've been useing the computer alot and the old one took a dive.

    $300 - ? WOW!
    You think that all it's worth? Why is that?
    I would guess computers don't hold their value well because they get better and better every year.
     
  5. gotmud?

    gotmud? 1/2 ton status

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    yep, order one today and by the time it's delivered it's obsolte. E-machine are sold by best buy, my dad just bought a brand new one for like $399 /forums/images/icons/shocked.gif
     
  6. NE79

    NE79 1/2 ton status

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    Check out the e-machines web site:
    http://www.e4me.com
    My wife has one, likes it a lot. $400 for 15" monitor, intel celeron 1GHz, 128mb ram, 3d integrated agp graphics, and color lexmark printer. Not a bad deal. E-machines are good computers, we've had ours for nearly a year, no probs (other than windows XP).
     
  7. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    A friend of mine went to Sam's Club and bought thier "Starter Kit" $199.00 Complete computer with out a monitor, CD-rom, 3.5 Discette drive, Prosseser, and memory or hard drive. He got the 256 memory for $49.99, the prosseser (AMD-2ghz) for another $199.00 . Had the drives from his old computer. So for under $500.00 , it's worth looking into. Great for someone wanting to upgrade thier computer.
     
  8. TITAN

    TITAN 1/2 ton status

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  9. m j

    m j 1/2 ton status

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    near worthless
     
  10. MudFrog

    MudFrog 1/2 ton status

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    $200 tops.. I can build one a heck of a lot faster for not a whole lot more. And stay away from emachines.. they are worthless. So like I said.. $200 tops, if he wants any more PM me I'll build ya a killer system for cheap and it will run circles around that thing.
     
  11. Twiz

    Twiz 1/2 ton status

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    WOW - again.
    I'm really suprized that these things loose their value so hard. Jeez...

    If what you guys are saying is correct, then the guys trying to screw me over. He said he wants $500 for it.

    O.K. so what does all this stuff mean?
    600 mHz intell penmtum III
    64 MB syncDRAM
    256 KB L2 cache
    20 GB harddrive

    What do you look for when your shopping for a computer?

    Again, I don't really need any bells and whistles, the training programs I run are probably the most taxing and this computer runs them jst fine.

    Thanks Dudes!!
     
  12. TITAN

    TITAN 1/2 ton status

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    JUST SAY NO. You can build a system that will be a far better system than the one that you are purchasing for less money. As far as the e-machine being crap, wrong. It is the software that is causing all of their problems not the hardware. C-O-N-F-I-G-U-R-A-T-I-O-N is the name of the game, regardless of the manufacturer, and being configured incorrectly will slow the fastest down, and make it not so impressive.
     
  13. MudFrog

    MudFrog 1/2 ton status

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    I've worked on several of my friends emachines and the quality parts in their are a joke. My budget PCs would kick the crap out of emachines for the same price. Which software do you think is the problem with emachines? Drivers? Preinstalled software?

    Twizted.. To break it down.
    600MHz Pentium III... this is your CPU (central processing unit)
    64 MB syncDRAM... This is your memory.. chances are it's running at PC100 or PC66 which is very slow in today's standards.
    256 KB L2 cache... this is the amount of cache on the CPU
    20 GB Hard drive.. a decent size HDD, would do fine for what it sounds like you need

    Deffinitely tell him no way if he wants to charge $500 for it. I have a budget PC that I put together for $400 consisting of:
    Athlon XP 1600+ CPU
    ASUS A7N266-VM motherboard
    Integrated GeForce2 MX200 video card
    Integrated Dolby Digital surround sound card
    Micro ATX case with 250w PS
    256MB PC2100 DDR Memory
    40 GB HDD (5400 RPM)
    56K modem
    52x CD and 3.5" Floppy
    Mouse and keyboard

    Like I said this is my "Budget" PC and it would run circles around what your friend is selling.
     
  14. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    If you can get it for $200, I'd say it's fine. Stuff loses it's value mostly because there's someone willing to drop a machine they just sank 5 bills on for the next best thing out there. My daughter's computer is a 300MHz with 128 Mb ram, and I even sit down and use it occasionally without any real drastic delay. Web surfing doesn't use a lot of CPU power. The value you place on the machine depends on how you plan to use it. Sure a faster computer is always better, but if you're surfing the web and watching videos from a CD, you might be wasting money on a big bad CPU you're not really going to use.

    Another consideration, especially when building or buying used, is the Operating system. For example, if you build a system and want to run Windows XP, you'll have to tag on extra (but not that much) ram to compensate for the OS, and extra money to pay for the OS (WinXP pro is over $200!). If you want to run win98, you might just do fine without the blazing fast new technology (computer geek pun in there). If you're buying this used system, make sure you get the original installation cd's, and think about wiping out the system and restoring it.

    M usually represents Meg/Mega, megabytes, megabits, megahertz
    G usually represents Gig/giga, about 1000 meg's
    T usually represents terra, about 1000 gig's

    MHz, the speed of the computer's main processor. The higher this number the better, but it's also dramatically affected by other factors, such as amount of ram, speed of hard disk, bus speed, etc. Generally, you want the most MHz you can get. BTW, GHz is better than MHz.
    Since this machine's a Pentium II (PII), I'd say it's fine. I had an Emachine once that was a Cyrex CPU. It quickly became a paper wieght...

    RAM is another major speed factor. Generally this is the computer's work space. When it has more ram, it has more room to work, and will usually run faster. With less ram, the computer has to keep dumping stuff to the hard drive to make room in ram to work, and that can slow it down a lot, especially if the drive is slow. Speed of the ram is also important, but not so much for average consumers. If the computers CPU speed is over 500MHz, you'll more than likely get fast enough ram.

    Gb Hard disk is amount of hard rive space available (Mb, Gb, Tb represent the unit's of capacity, in that order from least to greatest). 20Gb should be sufficient for you. The only people I know that have used more than 10Gb of necessary data are people at work that saved EVERYTHING for some reason. Other folks I know usually can fillup a 15Gb drive in a heartbeat with MP3's, movies, and junk like that. If you're planning to do that stuff (video especially), you definately need more ram anyway.


    If you're planning on running a lot of games and stuff, then you might want to think about a faster machine. Otherwise, I'd say this one will do fine. Heck, I'm still swapping people's 900MHz machines for 500MHz machines and they don't seem to notice a difference in speed!

    BTW, is this a laptop or a desktop?
     
  15. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    Sorry Mudfrog, didn't realize you already answered before I typed my small novel!
     
  16. MudFrog

    MudFrog 1/2 ton status

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    hey... no problem... you took more time and explained it better
     
  17. TITAN

    TITAN 1/2 ton status

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    The software that I am referring to is the drive image that comes with the e-machine. Yeah right as if it is even the beginning of a full version of windows, hell the dynamic link libraries, as well as the majority of the virtual device drivers are chopped out, only what it needs to run when it gets to the house when configured as the day you bought it. Changes are not warranted as well as the ability to run third party software. As far as the parts there are more expensive parts but I am keeping in mind exactly what the e-machine was geared towards, a disposable entry level computer. I can tell you this I am subject to certain information in regards to an e-machine, every part and I mean every part that is inside and e-machine cost them less that $30.00 including processor and HDD. They will replace an entire unit before they will send technical repair out to fix it, it is cheaper on them this way. So the cheap parts fact is true but the majority of the problems that are experienced with them are still due to software.

    The only thing about homegrown systems that anyone reading this needs to remember, and there is no disrespect intended,

    a) Are they going to stand behind their product?
    b) How long have they been in business and how long will they be?
    c) Does it even come with a warranty, and for how long?
    d) What is covered under their warranty?
    d) What is the turn around time on warranty repair?
    e) Does it come with an Operating System, and is it licensed? (Not that I care if it is licensed, but some do.)(Depending on Operating system could be out 100.00 plus easily.)

    I personally have always built my computers and always will. There are a few instances that I have built for others, but when the liability of providing warranty work for these systems comes in play, I choose not too. There are too many ways and too much work that might have to be done to begin to compare to the profit. Not to mention the loss's that I might incur attempting to match a 3 year warranty when the majority of warranties are only one year when piecing one together. As far as buying the computer from Mud Frog is sounds like an awesome deal, I just personally don’t like integrated sound and video, not that they are not performers and the system that I am using now has onboard, it just steals from the system resource, it shares memory in most cases. That and the 250 watt power supply, AMD's and their huge heat sinks are greedy with the power, so when I do build I use no less than 300 watts. I have played this game too long and there are a million arguments for good and bad, it is all really dependant on who is buying it and what you think it is worth. If you pay $10.00 for it and later think that it was too much for what you got, then it still not a good deal. Just my two cents. TITAN

    P.S. I want to state again that this is no way meant in disrespect to anyone that has posted, I do not believe that I am the techno God, and Mud Frog as well as several others here know what they are talking about no doubts. I have done this professionally for several years, and would not hesitate to ask them if I did not know. I hope that they feel the same.
     
  18. MudFrog

    MudFrog 1/2 ton status

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    Ok.. yes I agree with you on the whole "restore" software, but even without using the restore software and a clean install of windows (95, 98, 2k or XP tried them all) the systems still run like crap. I am speaking in terms of an older PC so maybe they are actually better now, but I still would never use an emachines.

    Just my oppinion /forums/images/icons/wink.gif
     
  19. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    Actually, that reminds me, I picked up an E-machine a couple years ago with a well-done (cooked) Cyrix chip... Swapped it with an AMD chip and the system seems ok. It has this weird hang at boot, though. I have to power cycle it once or twice to get it to get past the stupid splash logo.

    But it runs Win2k Server just fine...
     
  20. Prembird

    Prembird 1/2 ton status

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    I have built many systems for myself and many other people... As for the 500 for the emachine.. I would say, Stay away from it... It is not worth that amount of money considering you can either build one or buy one cheaper that is a better computer...

    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    a) Are they going to stand behind their product?

    [/ QUOTE ]
    I stand behind everything I build... Because I know the parts going into the system are of good quality and reliablity...
    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    b) How long have they been in business and how long will they be?

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Well considering I work from my home and give out my number.. I can always be reached pretty easly..
    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    c) Does it even come with a warranty, and for how long?

    [/ QUOTE ]
    I personally give a 6 month parts and labor, then another 6 months on parts.. This is the warrenty i get from the place I get my parts.. But I also give free tech advice and correction of OS mishaps they make... Also do trade in when people decide to upgrade so they end up getting a better price on parts..
    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    d) What is covered under their warranty?

    [/ QUOTE ]
    See Above...
    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    d) What is the turn around time on warranty repair?

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Well depending on how long it takes them to get me the machine... If it has hardware problems (hasnt happened yet) and depending on how much the parts are, I usually just buy a new one.. stick it in and send the old on off for warrenty.. This way when i get it back I have new parts in case anything like that happens again... Basically I can get it back in under a week...
    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    e) Does it come with an Operating System, and is it licensed? (Not that I care if it is licensed, but some do.)(Depending on Operating system could be out 100.00 plus easily.)

    [/ QUOTE ]
    I do not supply an operating system with my systems unless I am asked to.. Basically I say agree with what you said...

    But I will agree.. Those are very good questions to ask.. But at the same time.. They extra money you end up shelling out if just for a longer warranty that you will probably never use anyways... I make it a point that when buying a pre-fabbed system to tell people that you will only get what you pay for.. I.E. Not really upgradeable, Warrenty hassles, cheap products inside, Crappy customer service, etc...

    I personally believe in AMD setups so that is what i build... The setups I use are fully upgradeable to whatever AMD is offering as of right now and the near future since they are not planing on changing chipsets right away (unlike Intel which thinks they need to change chips every year or so causing you to have to buy a mobo in order to upgrade)
     

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