Computer upgrade on a budget

  Carryduff 21:31 23 Dec 2013

Hi,I would like to upgrade my old desktop which is really slow and has seen better days..I have a very small budget of £200 and am looking at something in the DellPrecision 490 or HP XW4400 range. Both of these are readily available reconditioned and seem to be capable enough for what I need. I was thinking of dual core processors and 4GB memory with perhaps a 500GB hard drive. I would really appreciate any help or advice on this as i'm not much into the technical stuff and realise there are so many options out there.Thanks again

  rdave13 21:39 23 Dec 2013

You won't get much for £200 I'm sorry, not even 'reconditioned'. That word rings alarm bells for me as usually they are termed as refurbished if from professionals.

  Ian in Northampton 08:37 24 Dec 2013

Much as I hate to, I disagree with rdave13... I've bought many (too many...) PCs for that amount or less, mostly from eBay, and have always found them more than adequate. If you're happy with eBay (and I've had over 500 successful transactions) then there are some great bargains to be had, and £200 will easily get you a Dell or HP with the kind of spec you mention. See here for example. Or here.

  Jollyjohn 09:13 24 Dec 2013


Have a look at this click here from 3000rpm in Dundee.

I have just set one up for a customer. It runs W7 64 bit so spend the balance of your budget on more RAM, about £25 to double it to 4GB.

  Ian in Northampton 09:25 24 Dec 2013

It's interesting, this thing about 'reconditioned/refurbished'. It seems to me that there's very little in the way of refurbishing/reconditioning you can do. Clean up inside the case and free the fan vents from crap, reformat the hard drive and reinstall Windows, drivers etc., give the case a polish - and Bob's your uncle. It's not like there are mechanical parts to replace as you might get with a reconditioned hoover.

  spuds 10:53 24 Dec 2013

I have also purchased a number of used computer's including complete systems from eBay, all at 'very silly' prices. I did buy a brand new computer from eBay once, and when it arrived the specifications were rather suspect on the motherboard and combined cpu. So if you go for new, check fully on arrival, and if no satisfaction, use the eBay protection scheme.

Trying to upgrade an old computer can have its pitfalls, so I would suggest that you reconsider on that score.

The other suggestion, if going the eBay way, is to get the computer or complete system from a easy to travel local source, so that you can arrange inspection and trial before making a purchase. If the seller doesn't respond to an email, then certainly steer clear of that 'bargain'.

  rdave13 14:31 24 Dec 2013

If you could add another £50 on your budget then I'd consider a new one Argos. This is just my personal preference of buying a new PC rather than second hand, though, Ian in Northampton, Jollyjohn and spuds seem to have had some bargains.

  Woolwell 14:39 24 Dec 2013

It depends on the computer's history and what usage it has been put to. Many of the cheaper end "refurbished" systems are ex-office where they will have had a high usage and perhaps not well looked after. It is down to what you want to use it for. Hard drives are mechanical parts.

  martd7 16:13 24 Dec 2013

Rdave 13 good price that ill pass that onto a mate who's been looking for a cheapish pc base unit for college work

  spuds 16:17 24 Dec 2013

Going on the ex-office suggetion, I have also made a number of purchases via liquidation and similar sales for these items. Again can be very cheap if you do not get carried away with the bidding. Old type monitors at virtually skip prices. But be warned, there might be confidential information that might need erasing first.And most certainly no software disks or instructions.

  rdave13 16:21 24 Dec 2013

mart7, scroll down to 'Alternatives' there's a Windows 7 machine for a tenner less but only has 2GIG ram and smaller hard drive lol.

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