Sunday, December 4, 2011

Rules for Buying a Used Computer on Craigslist

I have been teaching myself how to build computers for the past 8 months now and I have been learning quite a bit. I read as much as I can about the theory and operation of computer hardware and then I get to actually go and build computers form spare and refurbished parts. I also check out Craigslist a lot for cheap desktops and it kills me at what I find for sale on Craigslist.

I need to remind myself that most people are not in touch with reality when they go to sell their computer that they paid $750 for over 10 years ago. Most people don't know that Pentium 4 computers are not worth $200 unless they have a new $150 video card in them. Computers and their parts have dropped significantly in the past 5 years and it is no longer necessary to buy a basic computer for $750 anymore. Here are some guidelines on prices that are worth paying for older computers.

Pentium 4 Computers:

  • Do not buy anything lower than a Pentium 4, 2.4GHz computer. Actually that means do not buy any computer that has a lower CPU rating of 300. Even with a decent video card performance on sites like YouTube will be less than desirable.
  • I would only pay $50 for a P4 tower only if I saw it running, it has a 40GB or larger hard drive, and it has at least 512mb of ram.
  • If you happen to get come across a P4, 3.0GHz or higher you can pay a little more for those but nothing over $75 unless it comes with a graphics card of 128mb or higher.
Pentium Duo or Dual Cores:
  • There are a few dual core Pentiums that Intel came out with. There are Pentium D's, Dual Core's and Core 2 Duo's.
  • These are all pretty good processors but don't over pay only because they are dual cores. Always check current CPU prices and system prices on That is where I get all of my current prices on what to pay and what not to pay.
  • Always check the performance of every CPU you plan on buying used or not at
AMD Athlon XP's:
  • These are older processors but don't write them off quite yet. Athlon XP 1800+ and larger are still capable of getting on the internet when using a Linux operating system.
  • I have an Athlon XP 1700+ & 1800+ running with Linux Mint just fine, not the fastest, but definitely capable on the internet.
AMD Athlon 64's:
  • I like the AMD Athlon 64 processors. I have built a 3500 and two 3800 machines and these when combined with a good graphics card are capable of playing 3D games like Nexuiz and Assault Cube.
AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core:
  • I have one of these as well, a x2 3800 and it runs as fast as my $1,000 Dell. I built the X2 3800 for about $80 with an ok graphics card. I could use an upgrade there.
AMD Athlon II X3:
  • This is a fast processor, faster than anything my internet connection can throw my way.
  • I have the X3 450 that is rated at 2802, yes that is almost 4 times faster than the fastest P4.
  • I built my X3 system with kick ass graphics card for $220.
In summary I would only go to Craigslist to buy a cheap machine that you plan on upgrading yourself. It is worth it to me to get a nice looking desktop and get a case, usable hard drive, and power supply for $40. Buy yourself a nice CPU motherboard combo and some memory and you could have a really nice desktop for $100.

1 comment:

  1. Many different types computer processors presents in the market so it must be require to decide before going to purchase that which processor is suit to your working requirement. You have post very informative information which helpful for buying the best used computer with good processor.

    Used Computers