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How Much: Selling a Dual Xeon Workstation / Gaming Machine

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August 13, 2009 11:15:59 PM

Hello!

These past few weeks I have been building a computer that I intend to sell, however I have never sold a desktop before and I’m not entirely certain where, and how much I should ask for it. My hope is at very least to get what I paid for in parts back, and at best turn a bit of a profit.

Why I Am Selling

I originally built this machine intending to keep it for myself, however I discovered that my CPUs were a bit too new for the mobo and were incompatible. I already bought the RAM and video card specifically for the motherboard I had, and because the mobo is from 2006, I didn’t think I’d be able to find a replacement that would fit in an ATX case, support my CPUs, AND have an AGP slot.

Instead, I’ve replaced the CPUs for my machine with a couple slower ones that work with the mobo, and the system is functional.

What I Want to Know?

Where can I sell the machine to generate the most profit?

Where’s the most hassle free place to sell a desktop?

What suggestions do you have for inexpensive mods that might make the computer more appealing to buyers?

How much can I reasonably expect to get for it? I’m looking for low, middle, and high figures.

Specs

Motherboard: ASUS NCCH-DL (new)

CPUs: 2x Intel XEON 2.8ghz Processors (new) (I can get a pair of 3.2 ghz processors from someone locally fairly cheaply, but I don’t know if it’s worth it – they are used, but working)

Graphics: Sapphire HD3850 (ATI Radeon HD3850) AGPx8 512 MB (New)
(I’ve read that it was the most powerful video card created for AGP)

Power Supply: I currently have the system connected to a high end Antec 650w PSU but that seems a bit overkill considering the components. I am thinking to swap it out with an Ultra X-Connect 500w PSU,

Hard Drive: 1 TB SATA hard drive. (new)

OS: Windows XP Professional Installed, by the time I’m ready to sell everything will be up to date.

Sound: Onboard.

RAM: 3 1 GB sticks. 400mhz dual channel SDRAM installed (new)

Drives: 1 CD-RW drive, 1 regular CD drive… nothing special about them. I could fairly easily add a floppy drive or zip disk if needed. (used)

Additional Installed:

- TV Tuner / Video Capture Card (PCI)
- Generic USB Hub w/ 3 extra ports (PCI)
- 1 Ethernet Adaptor (Asus didn’t make on board drivers apparently for a 32 bit OS)
- Gaming case with clear window to see inside, and blue LEDs in front when the power is on
- Graphics Card Cooling Fans w/ Blue LED (takes up a PCI-X slot)
- HDD Cooler w/ Blue LEDs
- 2 additional fans w/ Blue-Green LEDs
- Replaced the fan that came with the case with one that produced a bit more airflow and is a bit higher quality (non-LED).
- Replaced the grill to protect the fan on side panel with something that is more cosmetically pleasing.
- I can include a gigantic CRT monitor if needed… It is HUGE… I forget how many inches, but it was what graphic designers used BEFORE LCD was the standard.

The mobo and processors alike support hyperthreading, so 4 2.8ghz CPUs appear in the device manager.

I was told by a co worker that the best way to market the machine would be to call it a gaming machine, and to make it as flashy as possible… like the PC version of a rice-rocket, hence all the LED, and the case that makes your desk look like a mini-rave as soon as it is powered on.

Final Thoughts and Questions

1 – Will a RAID-0 Array add enough value to the system to justify the cost of the drive?

The mobo supports onboard RAID. I have an identical also new1 TB drive that I am debating whether or not to use in a RAID-0 array for faster program loading and data retrieval. If I DON’T use it here, I will use it as extra storage on the next computer I build for myself, the question is, will adding it to the set up as either RAID-0 or simply as an extra drive add enough value to the machine to pay for itself? (I paid about 90 bucks for the hard drive).

2 – Will over clocking the CPUs make the machine more appealing to prospective buyers? (I don’t know how much actual extra performance you’ll see out of them – xeons run hot as it is… my thought is that some gamers will likely enjoy the bragging rights).

3- If I go buy a DVD drive to add to the machine, is it likely to pay for itself when I sell the system?

4 – 1 fan on each heatsink, 3 case fans, 1 HDD fan, and 1 graphics card cooler – Do I need more cooling? Normally I’d say no, but this is the first dual CPU…. Not to mention Xeon machine I’ve ever put together.

5 – The case is slightly damaged – it arrived to me in the mail that way when I bought it new online. It’s not a HUGE amount of damage, but I did have to add a clip to the front right hand corner to ensure that the face plate would remain secure. That is probably the one thing about this machine that ISN’T pretty… Cases are expensive… will the small bit of damage deter buyers enough to justify buying an entirely new case?

Thanks in advance!!

October 18, 2009 2:17:05 PM

I just bought a dual xeon intel e7505 chipset.

the xeons run at 3.06ghz
Its in a nice blue btx case with led fan on the plexi cover..pretty..
4 gigs of ram,,it only sees 3 gigs total.
Been using passmark to test this machine and a stripped down version of xp pr.
I'm getting ratings in the 500 to 600 range. depending on the bios settings and video card settings.
would definitely get higher scores with the scsi hooked up to some faster hadds.
this thing is a beast..I bought it for $300 from a friend who builds computers for fun.
October 20, 2009 7:51:51 PM

I can relate to your friend - it is fun. I have several projects going right now although the one that I made this post about I ended up stopping and using the parts for other things.
!