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Information on Used Computers
Robert writes in with a hardware question
Question: I need you help. I am looking to buy a computer on eBay but am unsure what to buy for my specific needs. This is what I do, surf the internet with DSL, do a lot of digital photography, watch videos online, kids do homework online and a lot of iTunes downloads. With that being said I see 10 and 20 megabyte hard drives. Is this enough with Pentium 3 processors? Anything else you can tell me to look for? Thank you.
Answer: I would be careful about buying used computers online unless it’s so cheap that it won’t be a big loss if you get a bad computer. You also have to worry about getting one with pirated software as well.
Pentium 3s are pretty old and a 20GB drive isn't going to get you far and you will most likely be stuck running Windows 98 or even worse Windows ME since XP will be slow on that type of system.
If you do a lot of iTunes downloads you will want a bigger hard drive such as an 80GB or higher. Plus newer drives are faster than the older types. Photo editing takes a good amount of hard drive space as well as processing power and RAM.
Even if you got the cheapest new computer you will be faster and have more hard drive space than one of these used computers you are describing. If you can find a new computer with Windows XP instead of Vista you may be better off since it will run faster on less hardware. Just try and get 512MB of RAM because it will make a difference. If you have to get Vista you may want to go for 1GB of RAM. For processors obviously something like a Intel Core Duo would be faster than a Celeron but will cost more. AMD makes some good processors as well but they also have cheaper slower ones.