So I got bit by the technology bug really hard during the holidays as can be seen in other recent cubes. I'm a tech fan/guru/enthusiast and have always been a fan of state of the art equipment. Of course I'm very budget conscious and would not even begin to qualify as an early adopter. I wait for things to get cheap and then upgrade. There have been a few things on my list that I needed to upgrade and atop that list was my computer.
An Intel Celeron 2.6GHz purchased in pieces from TigerDirect in 2005 and assembled by yours truly had run its course. This was not the first computer I'd put together and it will certainly not be the last. As a matter of fact, I assembled the first computer I ever owned – that was one of dad's life lessons that is still paying off.
This time around I priced a new system every which way - complete system, barebones kits, in pieces. At minimum I wanted an Intel Duo Quad Core Q8200 (2.300GHz) with 4Gb of RAM and 500Gb HDD under or close to $500. This would constitute an improvement of roughly 10 times the processing power. After much looking I found a unit at Costco that met that criterion, but I was hesitant to pull the trigger. Something about the brand of the unit kept me away.
While being vigilant I came across a crazy Dell sale on their refurbished computers. For $50 less than expected I got a Q8200 with 6Gb of RAM, 750Gb HDD, Vista Home Premium 64bit, Gigabit Ethernet, 256Mb Video Card with HDMI output, 1 year full Dell warranty, keyboard, mouse, a partridge and a pear tree.
Granted, I was not too excited about getting Vista, but upon getting the system I realized it was pretty cool and I have not yet had any issues (famous last words). The CPU rocks and rolls – it's very quick and smooth. I am very pleased with my purchase. I finally have the power to do video editing at home. It's a sad thing when my work laptop was my fastest pc.
By the way, refurbished? Sure, if they say so. The computer looks brand spanking new and runs accordingly. Almost half price from its new counterpart, what's the point of buying new? Same warranty, same components, same brand.