Buy a Pre-Owned PC for Normal Use

Your desktop personal computer (PC) is on the blink. Or it takes too long to copy files from your thumb drive and the PC. Or it is too slow and takes almost a few minutes to boot up. Time to get a replacement. Buying a PC is straightforward, right? Just drop by the mall to visit the stores selling PCs or take a trip to Sim Lim Square? Well it is straightforward if you do not intend to save money.

If you want to save some money, you are better off purchasing a used PC. I was browsing online for a new desktop and one of the cheapest I could find goes for more than $600 with an Intel Celeron 4105 processor. To be fair, this new PC comes with a monitor so the price is not excessive.

However you just junked your PC but your monitor with its VGA socket probably still works fine. Then buying a second hand PC could save you quite a considerable sum. However before just buying any used PC, there are a few things you should look for. First the PC should have USB3.0 which transfer files 10 times faster than USB2.0. This high speed transfer is provided your thumbdrive is also USB3.0 or higher. Secondly, you should choose a PC with low power consumption to save on electricity costs. Your old desktop PC may be consuming up to 250 Watts of power when in operation. Notebooks or laptops have low power consumption. However their screen size is a bit small especially for those older folks. Alternative is a desktop PC with low power consumption of less than 65 Watts. Thirdly, with advancement in technology, the physical size of the desktop PC need not be the same as your old clunker. In fact it probably is about half the size of a 15.6in notebook. With such a small size,  you should have no trouble selecting a suitable location for your PC.

Given these requirements, I did some research and came up with a few suitable desktops. These small desktops came about around 2014 with the introduction of 4th generation Intel processors and USB3.0. The desktops are Dell 9020M micro, HP Elitedesk DM Mini (See photo above) and the Lenovo M73 Tiny. These desktops use DDR3-1600 RAM and come with the  LGA1150 socket for 4th generation Intel processors like i3-4160t, i5-4570t and i7-4765t. Thus with the i7 processor, these small desktops could deliver a performance almost as good as the lower end i5 processors in today’s notebooks. The used desktops with these processors would probably cost you more than $300 depending on the sizes of the RAM and hard disk. There are other small desktop PC models which could be cheaper but they would probably come with Intel 2nd or 3rd generation processors.

Some people may consider even the i3 processor to be more than adequate for their basic needs such as email, internet browsing and watching youtube videos. At the lower end, some of these desktops come with Intel Celeron G1820t, and Pentium G3220t and G3240t. These processors fit into LGA1150 socket and are comparable in performance to the much newer Intel Celeron 4105 mentioned above. You could probably get the used desktops with these lower end processors for less than $250. Since you could get a new monitor for about $100, your total outlay would amount to less than $300. This would mean a 50% saving of $300. If you are reusing your existing monitor, your savings are even higher at $400. This would amount to a two thirds saving.

You could probably purchase these desktop PCs more cheaply online through popular websites like Lazada, Shopee or Carousell. There are many others which are as popular though I have not mentioned them. Shop around and compare prices. Some of these websites could be difficult to search for the exact desktop you are looking for. It takes time and patience to go through many of the irrelevant posting before you could get to the PCs that you want. Be careful that you are purchasing the small desktop mentioned above. There are Dell, HP and Lenovo models which appear similar but are not the exact ones with the small footprint. Make sure that the desktops have exact descriptions such as Dell 9020M micro, HP Elitedesk DM Mini or HP Prodesk DM Mini and the Lenovo M73 Tiny. If the description does not have the word micro for Dell 9020 or DM or mini for HP or tiny for Lenovo, they may not be the correct models.  As a general guide, the small desktops mentioned above tend to be a bit more costly than the other larger footprint models. However with their electricity consumption, you should recover the slightly higher cost of these recommended desktops in a short time.

(Note: The author did not receive any payment or incentive from any company or organisation for their citation in this blog.)