Refurbished XP class computer- comments please

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

Threaded View
I am in need of an XP class computer for home office use. Is this unit
worth the price?


http://www.overstock.com/Electronics/Dell-OptiPlex-745-3-GHz-2GB-500GB-Desktop-Computer-Refurbished/5281901/product.html


Also any comments about or experience with 'overstock.com' would be
appreciated.


I have a VGA monitor that still works well for now. When and if it goes
bad I'll add a modestly priced video card and LCD monitor.


Thanks,
John

Re: Refurbished XP class computer- comments please

John wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it
http://www.overstock.com/Electronics/Dell-OptiPlex-745-3-GHz-2GB-500GB-Desktop-Computer-Refurbished/5281901/product.html
Quoted text here. Click to load it

http://en.community.dell.com/dell-blogs/direct2dell/b/direct2dell/archive/2010/07/01/dell-on-the-nichicon-capacitor-issue.aspx

    "If this is a problem with specific Capacitors then why do I have
     over 40% failure in my OptiPlex 745's all with Capacitor problems.
     I am not really interested in buying any more Dell computers.
     Our 745's replaced the 270's. ;( "

When the word Optiplex comes up, Google is your friend. They're undoubtedly
safe to buy now (new models), but for older gear, ask lots of
questions. Maybe a motherboard would be safe, it it had been
"re-capped", and all the bad caps were changed out. Perhaps then,
it would run forever. If the owner can't tell you what's been
done to work that issue, then don't buy it.

The thing is, if you buy one, and it turns out to be a turkey,
you can't even safely go to Ebay and buy a replacement motherboard,
because it too could be in the same shape. If nobody can tell
you it's been fixed, then you'll need somebody to recap it for
you, to be sure.

    Paul

Re: Refurbished XP class computer- comments please

Paul wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it
http://en.community.dell.com/dell-blogs/direct2dell/b/direct2dell/archive/2010/07/01/dell-on-the-nichicon-capacitor-issue.aspx
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Thanks Paul.

I will look at other brands and since Overstock.com seems to have all
Dells in the XP timeframe, other places.

John

Re: Refurbished XP class computer- comments please


Quoted text here. Click to load it

I don't know if this is true, but I think someone told me there was a
"scandal" involving Overstock.  Google and find out.   Just some sort
of overcharging, not sex.

Why not check out "bare bones" computers.  I don't know how bare they
all are.  I know that means no monitor (no keyboard, no mouse, no
speakers?, but I think it still has CD or DVD drives.  Don't know
about hard drives. It might vary.)  Newegg sells such things and I
think they are considered very reliable and not an overcharger.  Is
that right, guys?

You can take stuff from your current computer for whatever the
barebones doesn't have. Or you can buy from Newegg what isn't
included, like "bare drives".

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Won't LCD monitors work with most video cards?  I really have no idea,
except I thought the improvement was not more exacting specs, but
thinness, less weight, and no warm-up time.
Quoted text here. Click to load it


Re: Refurbished XP class computer- comments please

wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it


The problem might be that almost all new monitors are 9:16 or
10:16. A mode that may not be supported by older video adapters.

Replacing a video adapter may prove to be tricky too because
current models do support widescreen monitors, but demand a more
modern interface to the motherboard.

--
Kind regards,
Gerard Bok

Re: Refurbished XP class computer- comments please

mm wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it


As Gerard indicated its not so much not work at all as the resultant
picture wouldn't be too tasty.
The PC in question had on-board video (guaranteed VGA compatibility)
with room for a 1/2 half
height dedicated video card. The on-board stuff isn't the best way to
drive an LCD monitor. And since I have a VGA monitor, fine for business
use, the deal was pretty much plug it in, install software and go for
$300 bucks.

Bare bones are far from complete PC's, most are a case with questionable
power supply, mother board, and processor, maybe even some memory and a
cheapo burner thrown in. More building than I wanted in this case. The
deal here was no immediate building needed for a very reasonable price.
The included OS CD's (always a wise choice) matches the software suites
I have on hand for that particular application.

Thank you for your response,
John


Re: Refurbished XP class computer- comments please

On 12/20/2010 4:26 PM, John wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it
http://www.overstock.com/Electronics/Dell-OptiPlex-745-3-GHz-2GB-500GB-Desktop-Computer-Refurbished/5281901/product.html
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Sorry for jumping in late, and perhaps redundantly, but I'm not a fan of
the slimline desktops.  I replace a disproportionate number of power
supplies in those little buggers, and they're getting more expensive to
obtain.  On client has replaced three of them in the last three years.
(Unfortunately you cannot get one with more than a 90 day warranty.)



Re: Refurbished XP class computer- comments please

Grinder wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Thanks, one more reason to look elsewhere. Its never easy is it?

John

Re: Refurbished XP class computer- comments please



John wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it
http://www.overstock.com/Electronics/Dell-OptiPlex-745-3-GHz-2GB-500GB-Desktop-Computer-Refurbished/5281901/product.html

The Overstock ad doesn't say who refurbished the computer, only that
it was "factory refurbished" by a "Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher".
IOW, not Dell.  That's important for Optiplex computers because most
were made with faulty capacitors that eventually made the computers
unreliable or even inoperative.  Dell always replaces those caps, even
when they're OK and the computer works normally, but other
refurbishers probably leave bad caps alone unless the computer doesn't
pass testing, meaning the computer may fail shortly after purchase.

You may want to check SalesCircular.com for local store deals because
they currently list brand-new desktops for $320-400 that are similarly
equipped with 2GB - 4GB of memory, Windows 7, and 500GB hard drives --
brand-new hard drives, not used ones that may have been banged up and
have 10,000 hours on them.




Re: Refurbished XP class computer- comments please

Quoted text here. Click to load it
http://www.overstock.com/Electronics/Dell-OptiPlex-745-3-GHz-2GB-500GB-Desktop-Computer-Refurbished/5281901/product.html
Quoted text here. Click to load it


Hi,

Overstock.com
a 4.56 rating out of 10 doesn't excite me.

http://www.resellerratings.com/store/Overstock

You can read reviews from other folks who rated them by going to the site.

For slightly more than $300 I would be putting a system together from parts
from Newegg  or another reputable seller as long as you have an operating
system that you can transplant.

I'm fine to suggest individual parts that you might use if you're interested
for a modest but much faster system than Overstock would supply you with for
that money, or I'm pretty certain other folks would have suggestions. Also
I'm wondering if you need the floppy drive the refurbished unit is showing.
One of the things that constantly dogs the computer field is to get the
fastest system for the money you spend.

--
Jan Alter
bearpuf@verizon.net



Re: Refurbished XP class computer- comments please

Jan Alter wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it


I'm all ears about suggestions.

Agreed about the floppy, USB sticks, CDs or plain old e-mail would suffice.

But as I said other than an old but still (for now at least) working VGA
monitor, XP pro and XP class business software I have nothing on hand to
cannibalize for this unit. Its purpose is to replace a failed 8 year old
P4-2.4 that had so many bad parts that it was chucked to the trash bin.

Thanks in advance for your expertise,
John

Re: Refurbished XP class computer- comments please

John wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

If you'd kept the computer case, we could have made a "home builder"
out of you :-) It's not hard to put together a computer, and it can
be done at a reasonable price.

*******

$60 motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157115

$125 dual core processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115056

A short movie, on how to install your new LGA775 processor.

http://web.archive.org /*/http://cache-www.intel.com/cd/00/00/24/12/241209_241209.wmv

(Use an old AGP video card, if you still have one. I have an FX5200 in mine.
Mine is running as a server, and is sitting on a table as a pile of parts.
No case around it.)

GIGABYTE GV-N62256DP2-RH GeForce 6200 256MB  AGP 4X/8X   $39
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125249

Max amount of memory it'll take 2GB total (for $40)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231098

Power supply bought by customer rating (in a quick scan, don't
see a lot of reports that it "pops" on you). $29.95

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182006

Power supply ratings label (it's a bit weak on 12V, but this
should be plenty for a basic system - this supply would only
be an issue, if you installed a "gamer" video card).

http://images17.newegg.com/is/image/newegg/17-182-006-S04 ?$S640W$

You can get a CD/DVD drive for $25 and a hard drive for $50, to round
it out.

60+125+39+40+30+25+50 = $369 plus a copy of Windows.

What's missing is keyboard, mouse, computer case, monitor. That's
why it's important to keep the little stuff, because it can
reduce the price of building an upgrade. I spent about $300,
at the time I did the upgrade using the above motherboard,
because I already had lots of spare parts around (not very
modern, but still workable).

That motherboard, is one of the last "legacy" ones around. It
has a parallel port. It has a serial port. It supports a floppy.
It has an AGP video card slot. It has a PCI Express video card
slot (but the AGP slot is recommended). It has two IDE ribbon
cable connectors, plus two SATA ports. The SATA ports will run
at SATA II rates, no jumpers required. It accepts DDR or DDR2
RAM (two sticks max installed at any one time - two DDR2
recommended as above). I like that board, just for it's
ability to use the stuff in my "junk" box.

    Paul

Re: Refurbished XP class computer- comments please

Paul wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it
http://web.archive.org /*/http://cache-www.intel.com/cd/00/00/24/12/241209_241209.wmv
Quoted text here. Click to load it

A question, Paul, about the video card. I don't see a VGA port on it and
for now I would like to re-use the VGA monitor I have. Is there an
adapter or something for the DVI or S-video port?

John


Re: Refurbished XP class computer- comments please


Quoted text here. Click to load it

It appears to be a DVI-I port.  The "-I" refers to "integrated" and
means that it puts out digital *and* analog (VGA) signals.  Use the
supplied adapter (you can see it in the product photos) to get an actual
VGA port.

Re: Refurbished XP class computer- comments please

Grinder wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Thank you Grinder, that should work.

Now that both Jan & Paul have made suggestions the only real question I
have is the extra $55 worth it to go for Paul's suggested processor
(2012 passmark) :

Intel Core2 Duo E7500 Wolfdale 2.93GHz 3MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W
Dual-Core Processor BX80571E7500  $125
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115056

over Jan's suggested (1908 passmark):
Intel Pentium E5500 2.8GHz 2MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Dual-Core Desktop Processor
BX80571E5500  $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116367

??

John

Re: Refurbished XP class computer- comments please

On 12/22/2010 12:36 PM, John wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

If you've got it, spending the extra $55 is worth it.

Re: Refurbished XP class computer- comments please

Grinder wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Thanx!

One more question, I like Jan's board better, it has *much* better
reviews but it only has an X16 slot and the vast majority of cards I can
find are directx10 (9 is officially the top of the line for XP). Any
solutions for when I need to go to an LCD monitor (the VGA monitor I
want to use for now is 8 years old).  I figure I had best get a card now
cause in future it may be un-obtainable.

Thanks,
John



Re: Refurbished XP class computer- comments please

On 12/22/2010 1:49 PM, John wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it
are directx10 (9 is officially the top of the line for XP).

ASRock 4CoreDual-SATA2 R2.0  $60 (Paul)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157115

GIGABYTE GA-G31M-ES2L  $50 (Jan)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128357

I like the Gigabyte board as well, and have bought half a dozen of them
this last year.  One gotcha I ran into, that might not matter for you,
is the PCIe x1 slot is far enough in on the board that a long card (like
a dual TV tuner) will conflict with the memory slots.

I'm uncertain what your concern is concerning DirectX, as cards that
support DirectX 10 will typically support DirectX 9 as well.  In fact,
I've never seen a card that was not downwardly compatible.  So, don't be
worried about one of the newer PCIe x16 cards not working in Windows XP.
  If it says it's compatible, it will be just fine.

Maybe it's already been pointed out, but that Gigabyte board (Jan's
pick) has onboard video, so you don't even need a video card.

Gigabyte also makes basically this same board with the G41 chipset, for
$7 more:

GIGABYTE GA-G41M-ES2L  $57
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128388

Quoted text here. Click to load it

It's hard to find an LCD monitor that will not take VGA input.  If you
start getting into the higher resolutions, I would suggest going with
DVI, but about any PCIe x16 card can provide that.  Unless you're going
to wait another 8 years, I wouldn't worry too much about availability.

Just a word about monitors, though.  The trend now is for wide screen
monitors, which I think is unfortunate.  Web pages are longer than they
are wide, so it's the height of the monitor that best determines
visibility.

When I upgraded from my 19" (1280x1024) monitor, I wanted more vertical
resolution.  I ended up getting a 25.5" (1920x1200) just to get a modest
20% increase in vertical resolution.  I wish I had bought a nice 22"
(1600x1200) monitor before they became so scarce.  The only one at
newegg now, costs $900.

19" (1280x1024) are getting increasingly scarce, so if some of this
argument makes sense to you, you might want to make an emergency call to
Santa.  /He/ can still get one from newegg for about $160.

If you do go with a widescreen, try to get one that has an aspect ratio
of 16:10, instead of the tragically narrow 16:9.  22" (1680x1050) is
sort of the sweet spot now for a reasonably priced monitor.  You can get
one for around $150.

I've bought a couple of these, and the built-in webcam has been handy,
but probably does not justify the added cost:

ASUS VK222H 22" HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor w/Webcam  $175
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236043

There's no built-in microphone or USB hub, but it does have built-in
speakers (crappy, like always) and a headphone jack.



Re: Refurbished XP class computer- comments please

Grinder wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it


 From what I can see on Newegg *all* the G41 chip mother boards got bad
reviews unless you get into a pricey one. So what is the advantage of
G41 over G31?

John

Re: Refurbished XP class computer- comments please

On 12/24/2010 5:49 AM, John wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

There's not a ton of difference, but the G41 chipset has beefier video
and supports a newer set of intel processors.  Max RAM on these boards
is 8GB (vs 4GB) for the G41, but that won't really matter if you're
going to run a 32-bit operating system.

Newer is not always better, of course, but I still tend to shop those
items if the price is close, and there's no report of design problems.
Paul might be able to chime in with particulars that would collaborate
or conflict with my dimly-understood tropisms.

Site Timeline