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Buy refurb or new?

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March 31, 2010 10:14:22 PM

There didn't seem to be a form specific for this question but I thought you guys might be able to provide the best answer.

I built our current computer about five years ago so we are well past the time when it needs to be replaced. I've been upgrading RAM and storage as we go, but we've reached the end of the road with this one.

I'm considering two different computers for purchase: one is a refurbished from buy.com, and one is a newer tower from Best Buy. Regardless of which one I get I plan on installing a second hard drive (to separate the operating system from the data) which I'm guessing would void any warranty that comes with the machine. So bear that in mind.

I don't do any gaming or video editing so we are looking at photos, music, streaming video, etc.

Gateway DX4822-01 (refurb) $399 (http://bit.ly/a1x05X)

2.6GHz Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5300 Processor (Benchmark = 1723 on cpubenchmark.net)
6GB DDR2 Memory
1TB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive, 16X DVD±R/RW SuperMulti Drive
Integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X4500
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
90-Day Warranty


Gateway - DX4831-01e (new) $559 (http://bit.ly/boIniD)

• Processor Intel® Core™ i3 ((Benchmark = 2677 on cpubenchmark.net)
• Processor 2.93GHz
• Cache Memory 4MB
• System Memory (RAM)6GB
• Type of Memory (RAM)DDR3
• Hard Drive Type SATA
• Hard Drive Size 1TB
• Graphics Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator HD
• Video Memory 128MB
• Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit


For comparison our current processor benchmarks at 348 so anything is going to be a gigantic improvement.

Ultimately my question ends up being: is the additional processing power and graphics power worth it if I'm going to invalidate the warranty right away by adding components?

I've asked the question over at the CNet forums and am looking for more opinions. (http://bit.ly/cZvkJp)

Gib

More about : buy refurb

March 31, 2010 10:35:02 PM

Hi newcomer and welcome to the Tom's hardware forum.

Build NEW.
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April 1, 2010 1:55:57 AM



AMD Athlon IIx4 635 2.9 "Quad core" Overclock, optional
4G DDR2 1066 Ram
500G Hard drive 7400 rpm
DvD Burner/reader
Onboard Video
Onboard sound
All in one media card reader
Wired internet
Wireless internet
Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
Office 2007

$549 NEW!!!

PM me if interested.

Can add a Hard drive, new or used if you have one to provide.
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April 1, 2010 2:00:54 AM

hmm....the refurbed machine has a slow 5400 rpm hard drive. also, the cpu aint that great. build ur own, it has more value than prebuilt (ps gateways are lousy)
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April 1, 2010 2:14:56 AM

Uuuughhh. Man, strike the word "refurb" from your vocabulary. I cannot believe they allow us to use that word on the forums.
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April 1, 2010 2:14:57 AM

I recommend building (at the end). Here's advice if you buy a prebuilt:

You should add an external SATA case so you need not open the case, you can turn it completely OFF when not using it for long periods and can move the data to another spot if needed.

Get a computer with an eSATA connection (not just a normal SATA connector). So you need:
1) eSATA connection on computer
2) eSATA connection on the external hard drive case
3) eSATA->eSATA cable

I do NOT recommend buying refurbished.

Building:
It's actually not too hard to build your own PC. You should consider that. Just start by choosing a motherboard (with onboard video) and CPU that suit your needs and go from there. For the same price you can build a PC with better parts, not to mention you don't get the crap software on prebuilt systems.

- uATX 1156 Motherboard w/onboard NVIdia or ATI graphics
- Intel i3 530 CPU
- 4GB DDR3
- Main drive: WD 640GB (or similar)
- Secondary drive (storage and backup): 1TB WD Green
- Windows 7 Premium 64bit OEM (the only one you should choose)
- 450W PSU
- uATX case (uATX aka micro-ATX is just for size. A normal ATX offers more slots that you likely don't need but increases size)
- SATA drive

Summary:
It's very enjoyable to build your own computer and easier than it might seem. You can choose a motherboard and PSU of higher quality than you might otherwise get and avoid all the crap software that comes in a prebuilt.

Many prebuilts also have issues upgrading drivers because they force you to upgrade only from their site but stop upgrading them (more of an issue for laptops).
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April 1, 2010 4:32:37 AM

Not looking to build my own. No time. No inclination. I did it before and had a great time but that was before I had two kids and was back in school.

I expected that everybody here would have lots of experience with building their own machines, and I truly do appreciate the enthusiasm, but what I'm looking for is some type of decision between these two. Believe me, I totally get what you guys are talking about but my time/money/value ratios are a bit different now than they once were.

I've done all my research, we have our budget, I know what I might do with the machine in the future, etc. But I have never purchased a computer retail before and I haven't been keeping up with components over the past few years.

Just need to know: if you had to choose between these two, which would you feel was a better value?

Thanks for all your help,

Gib
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April 1, 2010 4:43:58 AM

The second one, of course. It's new and it's on a newer socket. I checked that site and it's the best value for the money.
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April 1, 2010 5:47:19 AM

While some people here would suggest that you build your own PC (I build my own as well), there is NO WAY to place a dollar value on support after the sale in the event something breaks or goes wrong. You probably won't void your warranty by adding another HDD, but I would check with the vendor to verify what their policy is. I'm sure they will happily sell you another HDD to add in but it'll be a higher cost than what you would pay to purchase it yourself. Do not expect them to provide support for the additional HDD unless you buy it from the vendor.

Buy new from a local vendor if possible and stay the hell away from eBay!!
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