Buying a refurbrished computer question

I’m thinking about buying a refurbished computer from US Micro.
Processor Pentium D 2800 MHz
Hard Drive 80Gig Serial ATA
Memory 4096mb DDR2
Optical Drive DVD/CDRW
Form Factor Desktop
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium 32 Bit
Additional Programs word document, spreadsheet application & a shortcut to Microsoft Free virus protection
Power Comes with AC Adapter
Ports The Dell OptiPlex 745LP has all of the standard ports and slots required for everyday use. (2 serial, one parallel, 4 USB 2.0 slots, Ethernet plug-in)
Item Condition Please refer to the “Condition Rating” section above for details
What’s in the box? Dell OptiPlex 745LP with pre installed software, power cord, New Windows 7 Home Premium 32 Bit Operating System Disk, NEW keyboard & mouse, and software registration instructions
Price: 174.99 (Free shipping)
What do you think? Good or bad deal?
(Found it on eBay)

Good or bad for what purpose?

The price is not unreasonable for what you get. On the other hand, back to school sales are about to start up, and you could get something ten times as good for only thee times the money.

The Pentium D is an older processor so it’s not going to be lightning fast. The machine and OS are both 32 bits so you won’t be able to expand the RAM if later desired. Don’t plan on playing games on it. The built-in graphics card sucks for games. For general internet and business use the graphics are fine.

Physically, the OptiPlexes are a bit on the cheap side, IMHO. The case just feels a bit flimsy and everything is squished together with little room for expansion. I’ve had problems with fans dying on some of them. I think they use fairly cheap case fans.

As for the price, I would say it’s reasonable but it’s not a spectacular deal or anything.

If you want a cheap computer for internet access and such, it’s fine. If you want to play games, it’s a definite NO.

Problem is, I don’t have three, or even two, times the money. :slight_smile:
I’m just using it for home use, browsing, movies, and of course the Straight Dope!
And, I thank thee for the response…

Checkout your local WalMart or - seriously. You can get new and better for not very much more, and it will come with a much, much better return policy/warranty.

Huh, just gave a looksee, and they have lots of refurbished/outdated options even cheaper than what you’re looking at, if you really wanna scrape the bottom of the barrel. If I were buying refurbished, I’d much prefer that to some random eBay seller. And shipping through “In-Store Pickup” is free and fast.

I’d still try to pay a tiny bit more for a lot more capability, though.

Those PC specs will be fine for those purposes. I do all of that with PCs that have even lower specs and while I get the occasional video hiccup on streaming stuff, its nothing I’d spend another $200 to correct.

A Dell OptiPlex system is sold for use in corporations. So the parts in it are easy to swap out, but are basically proprietary. So if you want to replace the CD-RW drive with a DVD-RW drive or replace the power supply, you won’t be able to do so with parts that are commonly available. I’d recommend getting a system in a standard case, with a standard ATX power supply.

Thank’s all, for the responses. I think I’ll buy it.
You’ve been a big help!

On an optiplex? Simply not true. The only part of the CD/DVD drive that isn’t standard is the little plastic flap that opens up, which *might *(might!) not work with your replacement drive (but probably will), and in which case you will have to remove it. But the connectors on the back of the drive are perfectly standard.

The PSUs are generic too. I worked in an office where I supported about 500 of those suckers, and believe me we didn’t buy Dell-branded replacement parts, we bought “cheapest company in China” replacement parts, and they all fit and worked fine in those cases.

Actually… you might have a point if you’re referring to the Optiplex desktops, I was thinking about the towers. Optiplex desktops *might *have a non-standard PSU, but I highly doubt they use a non-standard optical drive.

Well, the Dell OptiPlex 745 systems (PDF warning) came in four form factors; minitower, desktop, small-form-factor and ultra-small-form-factor. How proprietary the components are depends on which one you’ve got.

I think you got it. It is the SFF and smaller units that are often wonky.

Which shouldn’t matter, since the OP’s data says the form factor is “desktop.”

Be prepared to have the hard drive replaced under warrranty or replace it yourself slightly outside warranty.

I have purchased three refurbished hard drives recently.

One was dead on arrival

One died after four days of minimal use

One died about a week after minimal use

Anecdotal sure but refurbished hard drives take a delicate piece of equipment prone to failure and make it a certainty.

I got almost the exact same thing this spring for $139, but, it included a monitor, from Sounds to me like no great deal.
Do the craigslist thing, and I bet you can top it.

Heh, that box is basically a way to move a copy of windows 7 and 2 sticks of ram bundled with a free computer,

Hansomeharry, that’s fine, but I don’t see anything on Craigslist about the computer being shipped. I don’t drive and can’t go anywhere to pick it up…
drachillix my present computer has 2gig ram and Windows Vista. I’m driving a laptop (Dell 1501) and I don’t think it’s possible to upgrade the RAM.
What would an upgrade cost to upgrade my present computer to Windows 7? Probably more than the computer I’m looking at.

Sigh, for under $200.00 I should just give it a shot.
What’s money for?? :wink:

A Vista era machine will most likely have a better CPU, faster RAM, and actually see a small net performance increase just by loading Windows7.