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Need your advice pls - Buying 2nd Hand PC

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Ive had this old computer for ages and ages, and now it's finally time to upgrade it. I know enough about software but when it comes to hardware Im a bit of a noob, in fact Im a total noob! I would like to play SWTOR on high settings but I dont think my budget will go that far. Ive decided to get a 2nd hand Gaming PC and have narrowed it down to two, my preference and a backup in case the first goes.


Im planning on buying it in a couple of nights but before I do I would really appreciate any opinion or advice from you guys 'n gals. As I said my knowledge of hardware is severly lacking.



Gaming Computer #1 (My preference due to my location, East London)


RAM: Corsair branded 4GB of RAM

CPU: A very fast Intel Core2 Duo 3.0GHz 8400 processor (Wolfdale cores).

GFX CARD: Top quality Asus branded 8800GTX 1GB Nvidia graphics card.

PSU: Super reliable Corsair 550Watt Power Supply Unit.

HDD: 500GB Hard driveDVD writer.

Flat screen 17inch LCD monitor.

Logitech gaming mouse.

Creative Soundblaster External Soundcard






Gaming Computer #2 with 1yr Warranty




CPU Family: AMD Athlon II X2

Processor Number: 250

CPU Speed: 3.0 GHz

L1 Cache: 16 KB

L2 Cache: 2 x 1024 KB




Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

SKU: 16127

Product Name: GA-M68MT-S2P

Model Number: GA-M68MT-S2P

BIOS: 2 x 8 Mbit flash‚Use of licensed AWARD BIOS‚Support for DualBIOS‚PnP 1.0a‚DMI 2.0‚SM BIOS 2.4‚ACPI 1.0b

Chipset: NVIDIA GeForce 7025 + nForce 630a

CPU Interface: Socket AM3

Front Side Bus: 2000MT/s

RAM Technology: DDR3 (Dual Channel)

RAM Slots: 2 x 240-Pin

RAM Speeds: DDR3 800‚DDR3 1066‚DDR3 1333 (O.C)

Max. Memory Support: 8GB

Expansion Slots: 1 x PCI Express x16‚2 x PCI Express x1‚1 x PCI

Storage Controller(s): 4 x S-ATA/300‚RAID 0‚RAID 1‚RAID 5‚RAID 10‚JBOD

On-Board LAN: Realtek RTL8211CL (10/100/1000Mbit)

On-Board Audio: Realtek ALC889 codec‚High Definition Audio

On-Board Video: Integrated in the Chipset




8GB DDR3 PC3-10600 1333MHZ 8 GB 1333 DESKTOP MEMORY RAM 240PIN 240 PIN


Graphic Card


Radeon HD 6450 Graphics Card 1GB

625 MHz Core - 1 GB DDR3 SDRAM - PCI Express 2.1 x16Low-profile (1334 MHz Memory Clock - 2560 x 1600 - CrossFireX - HDMI - DVI - VGA)


Hard Drive


Hard Drive Type HDD

Capacity 500 GB


Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit




Thanks so much in advance, I really appreciate any help before I go ahead and buy this :) The first one is £340 ono with monitor, keyboard, mouse and speakers etc. The second is £350 with everything and a new 22" HD LCD Monitor.






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A major part of my decision would be based on what type of MB the first system resides on - if it's capable of being upgraded to a core2quad processor, that would what I'd look more closely at.


You're going to run into some issues with top end graphics with the 8800 - they're still great mid-range cards, but there is no support for dx10/11 graphics, which is the direction most of the high end games are going towards. It's more than enough for the majority of games using mid-range graphics, and may even handle some middle/high capabilities as well, but I wouldn't count on any real performance on a monitor capable of 1920x1080 resolutions.


Personally, I'm very big on Corsair products - they're reliable, and, as funny as it sounds, they don't gradually die - either they're at peak performance, or they're dead (makes parts replacement much easier to diagnose, and makes it far less likely you'll lose data and/or other parts due to a gradual failure at an inopportune moment).


If I weren't something of an Intel/Nvidia bigot, I would say the second system is a slightly better option. Definately a better monitor, and a slightly more powerful GPU.


If the old conversion of $2US = 1pound still holds true, you should be able to do significantly better with new parts, or possibly even an already built new system with an aftermarket video card, as neither system really screams "gaming system". If you're looking for a system to carry you beyond another year or 2, neither of these are screaming for attention (barring further info on the MB for system 1).

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The first computer option is way over-priced. At most I'ld only pay between £150 for that. Core 2 Duo's are really out of date now compared to the modern examples. At that price for a second user model, you should be looking at a i3 intel chip or possibly a i5 if your lucky and definately not a low grade GFX like the 8800. You could build this machine yourself for alot less.


The second one is a better computer all round. It blows the Core 2 duo out of the water with regards to CPU, memory and GFX. Although your GFX card would benefit from a bit of an upgrade. For the price your getting a reasonable deal here. a 22" monitor (worth at lest £100), Windows 7 license and a machine thats capable of playing most modern games. I use a ATI 5870 on my machine and that runs Crysis 2 and Space Marine at full spec with no issues. While the 6450 is a 'higher' model range, it isnt higher spec that my GFX so I would aim for a high end GFX card in the 5xxx series or try to get a 68xx GFX card to make it a nice running machine.


But whatever you do, DO-NOT buy the first one. Its a complete rip off and rubbish compared to the other machine.

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Thankyou so much for your advice the both of you.Best that I asked first then hehe


So with regards to SWTOR the first pc is a no no then. What about the second ? Basically I was thinking I wanted to pay £400-£500 for a decent machine to play SWTOR with, and saw those two machines. As I sais my hardware knowledge is non so I thought they would be decent enough to play it on.


Maybe with my budegt I should be able to find a better one then, new or second hand. Any ideas on what I could get for that budget if not the two I mentioned ?


Thanks again for your help, I really appreciate it :)

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The second system seems good value to be honest. It exceeds SWTOR requirements however the only bone of contention would be the graphics card. If your looking at spending about 400-500 then I'ld go for the second system and upgrade the graphics card to a ATI 5870 or 6870. They still sell in excess of £100 but you might be lucky and find a bargin.


As its a AM3 based motherboard you can easilly upgrade in future to a Phenom based CPU which might increase performance. It has 8gb of ram which beats my system so you wont have to worry about upgrading that for a while. The other option if you can afford it is to buy a bigger hard drive. I have 1tb in my system and I'm still having to offload data to my external HD.


The 22" monitor is definately a must, I use a 21" monitor and even now I think sometimes its too small when I play Crysis 2 lol. I'ld go for the second one mostly becuase it has all the extras you'ld need and it has a 1 year warranty which is nice.

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I might as well post my computer's specs.


First, I was looking at a PC at Walmart. Walmart.com: eMachines (Refurbished) EL1358G-51W Desktop PC with AMD Athlon II X2 Dual-Core 220 Processor, 3GB Memory, 1TB Hard Drive and Windows 7 Home Premium: Computers I'm pretty sure this is it.




Here's my computer.... it's a Dell Dimension E-520.

Intel® Pentium® D CPU 2.80GHz

You Have: 2.8 GHz Performance Rated at: 3.36 GHz


2.1 GB RAM


Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 3 (build 2600)

GeForce 8400 GS


Video RAM 64 MB 744.0 MB

3D Yes Yes

Hardware T&L Yes Yes

Pixel Shader version 1.0 4.0

Vertex Shader version 1.0 4.0


You Have: 9.0c directX


You Have: SigmaTel High Definition Audio CODEC


516.8 GB disc space.



At minimum I would swap out the 250 GB second hard drive on this PC for another 1TB one. Then I would get two more Gig of RAM. Maybe even upgrade to a better graphics card so I can play Final Fantasy XIV.


Do you think the Walmart PC I posted above is upgradeable? Can I stick an extra hard hard drive in it? Is it PCI or PCI express for the graphics card???

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I'll be honest, the video card more and more is the important part of the computer where gaming is concerned. Followed closely by Memory. The Dual Core and Quad Core processors are standard these days. But you can throw a ton of money into the video card for the best performance

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Im still looking around for a pc. Thanks for all the help and advice, although now Im armed with a little more knowledge Im still undecided. I had a look at the cheap new PCs at PCWorld now, and was thinking what about getting a i3 or something with 4mb RAM and a normal(!!!!) graphics card. Then buy a new or 2nd hand Video card like the nVidia GTX 560 for getting the most out of the SWTOR game.


Currently at PCWorld is a i3 for £400 with monitor and everything:

Lenovo H420 Desktop PC

Processor Intel i3-2120 (3.3GHz,3MB cache)

Operating System Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

RAM 4GB, DDR3, 1333MHz

Graphics card Intel HD 2000

Hard drive 500GB, 7200rpm, SATA2

Optical disk drive DVD-RW

Memory card reader 6-in-1


Modem/Ethernet 10/100 Ethernet

Video interface VGA

AOC 2036Sa 20" Widescreen LCD Monitor


It has a crappy Graphics Video Card I think, but could I upgrade it with something like this (from ebay ):-


0.768GB nVidia GeForce GTX460 (£50 2ndhand?)

1GB nVidia GeForce GTX 560 (£120 2ndhand?)

or a

1GB Ati Radeon HD 6850 (£110 2h?)

1GB Ati Radeon HD 6870 (£13 2h?)


So for £450 I would get a new i3 and then a 0.768GB nVidia GeForce GTX460 with new monitor and that. I think you also get a £50 voucher to spend which I could buy SWTOR with or put towards the Video Card etc. (edit nvm, you dont get the voucher until end of February)


Can always upgrade it later as well with other things such as 8Gb Ram etc. What do u think about this option ? Thanks again for your help guys.

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Id like to get my new pc tomorrow and will probrably spend the whole day looking around for it, as Ive been working late all week. Salivern Diago or anyone else, what do you think about the above option ? Ie getting the i3 and a good video card (Im thinking Nvidea Geforce GTX560 or Ati Radeon HD 6870) ? That would be well within my budget and maybe a bit left over for some other upgrades too ?


Thanks :)

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I'm not 100% on the Intel based systems (I left Intel based systems back when the AMD K6-2/400's came out) but the i3 is a current chip and the data seems to be good. double check though that the Motherboad can take a new graphics card.


I have to be honest though, I wouldnt buy a PC from PC World. In the past I've had some 'issues' with thier advice thats been given to people and it isnt always the right advice. What I would suggest is www.aria.co.uk which is where I get all of my computer hardware from.


Something like Gladiator Punisher Pro AMD Llano 3850 @ 2.90GHz DDR3 Gaming PC - Aria PC or Gladiator IBIS Deluxe Intel Core i3-2100 @ 3.10GHz DDR3 Gaming PC - Aria PC which are designed to be gaming rigs. You can then upgrade the graphics card at a later date if you wish. The only other cravat is you would need a monitor, keyboard and speakers.


For monitors I'ld suggest 22" ASUS VH228H Widescreen LED Monitor - Aria Technology or if thats a little too expensive then you have the AOC e2250Swda 21.5" DVI Widescreen LED Monitor - Aria Technology but I would go for the Asus monitor as its the better quality and LED.


With those together it'll cost a little over 500 but it would be a decent gaming rig that you can easilly upgrade in time. The benefit here however is that it will be a quality machine with quality parts rather than a mass produced machine that has everything intergrated.

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