I have a Dell Precision 470 with a single 2.8 GHz processor, (but space for a complete second processor). It currently has only 2 GB Ram, Win 7, and an nVidia GeForce 6600 GT video card w/ dual dvi output.
I have a chance to buy a 2 year old Optiplex 380 with 4GB RAM, 2.93 GHz and Win 7 for $ 200. (I believe it is Intel Core 2 Duo.) This is a small form factor with fairly limited power supply. If I bought it, I would upgrade the video card, but probably not install a larger power supply.
Am I better off upgrading the Dell Precision 470 to 2 full processors, (maybe a matched pair at ~ 3.4 MHz), and also add 4GB more Ram? Those upgrades would run me ~ $150. Or, should I buy the Optiplex 380?
I use the computer primarily for Google Sketch Up, Quickbooks 2012, and AutoCAD 2007. No games.
For $200 you can find a used tower system with that same CPU and a better power supply. Look around for Lenovo ThinkStation systems, they are often sold as used lease items or from some hardware recycler.