Amazon "Renewed" for a PC - thoughts/reviews?

Peter McM

Screenwriter
Joined
Nov 18, 1999
Messages
1,018
Location
Indianapolis, IN
Real Name
Peter
I'm shopping for a new desktop tower, as mine has been upgraded to its limits. I see some machines with good specs thru Amazon's "renewed" for decent prices. I've read their quality control and guarantee policies and they sound good; has anyone purchased a refurbished computer through Amazon? Can I expect quality?
 

jcroy

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2011
Messages
6,187
Real Name
jr
With a lifetime experience of being given a lot of older machines, I have come to the conclusion that refurbished computers are largely a waste of time and cash. In addition to headaches of troubleshooting vagarities of older hardware.

Easier and less headaches just buying a new desktop machine.
 

jcroy

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2011
Messages
6,187
Real Name
jr
Also nowadays I wouldn't "build" my own machine anymore, unless you're a hardcore videogamer who requires the cutting edge best hardware performance.
 

Dennis Nicholls

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 5, 1998
Messages
10,769
Location
Boise, ID
Real Name
Dennis
I've bought two Dell refurbs, but through sellers at Newegg. Both have been really good deals - older models but with new Win 10 licenses. Dell support for older models is fairly good which is why I stick with them vs. HP et al. Both have been upgraded to Win 10 2004 without issues.
 

jcroy

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2011
Messages
6,187
Real Name
jr
(Speaking in terms of hypotheticals).

The only scenario I would ever buy a "refurbished" desktop computer, is if the hard drive is brand new.

I generally don't trust second handed hard drives under any circumstances.
 

Dennis Nicholls

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 5, 1998
Messages
10,769
Location
Boise, ID
Real Name
Dennis
Neither do I. I stuck a new WD Blue 1TB drive in the desktop for $45, and a new WD Black 500GB drive in the laptop for $35.
 

ManW_TheUncool

His Own Fool
Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2001
Messages
7,179
Location
The BK
Real Name
ManW
These days might as well just immediately replace the main HDD w/ your own SSD of choice and relegate the HDD to other less critical duties.

Also, do consider newer AMD-based (CPU) options, not just Intel-inside...

_Man_
 
  • Like
Reactions: jcroy

ChrisOC

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 22, 2012
Messages
54
Real Name
Chris Peterson
Also nowadays I wouldn't "build" my own machine anymore, unless you're a hardcore videogamer who requires the cutting edge best hardware performance.
To each his own. A few years ago I bought a new Dell mid-tower for my wife, and the Dell setup alone was more trouble than a fresh install of Windows 10. When I looked further into the specs, I found them minimal for the components on board, with some proprietary hardware that would be difficult to replace or upgrade. I took it back and for about $100 more I bought all the parts I needed for a BYO with better specs and performance, and more flexibility for replacements or upgrades.
 

Scott Merryfield

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 16, 1998
Messages
16,147
Location
Michigan
The HP Elite Desk mini tower unit I am using was a refurbished deal, and it's been working great for a couple of years now. I also purchased a refurbished "all in one" HP unit (system unit integrated with the display) for my wife a year or so before that, and it has also been fine. I was able to get more "bang for the buck" by going refurbished. Also, the two devices did not come with the glut of crap applications that a lot of new PC's come with that I normally need to uninstall.

I added a SSD to my mini tower, but the wife's PC is using the hard drive it came with.
 

jcroy

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2011
Messages
6,187
Real Name
jr
These days might as well just immediately replace the main HDD w/ your own SSD of choice and relegate the HDD to other less critical duties.
This is what I would do nowadays. My next desktop will likely end up like this. The old style hard drive will be largely a drive for backup of personal files and some system stuff (such as c:/windows).

Currently I use external hard drives to do periodic backups of personal files.
 

quantumsnoga

Auditioning
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
11
Real Name
George P Snoga
Rebuilt computers are rather like rebuilt cars. Fun if you are into that thing, aggravating if you are not.

Personally, I'm a modest "computer gearhead"; I have the time to mess with them. I have used newegg for the base machines, not Amazon, do i don't have an opinion on Amazon.

You can save a lot of money with them, but they aren't going to go as fast as a new one.

Over the last few weeks, I have rebuilt 2 factory refurb machines. Both were Zotac AMD machines refurbed by a company called Datto. relative low powered, they came out in 2013. One was built as a windows 7 SP1 machine, one was built as a windows XP PRO SP2 machine. Neither will ever be connected to the internet, both use old software I already have from the past. Both are 5 in x 5 in x 2 inch boxes. (I like little box computers. They are all hooked up to a 5 port HDMI and USB switchers Push a clicker and punch a button to swap the machine you are using.).

How much did they cost? Each "barebones" cost $32. I already had several leftover 500 Gig HDD drives gathering dust. Cost free. Memory sticks were expensive because they are obsolete, 8 Gig for $37.50 per. OSes were free, I keep all my old software disks and related info. Net $60 per machine. I have leftover slower memory sticks, but I couldn't use them.

The time consumer was searching the internet for them old drivers for the machines. Windows 7 SP1 was no problem, but XP was. (I'm still unable to find USB controller for the the Chipset and XP, it limits my USB usage. Still I have 2 working USB 2.0 ports, it's Ok as is. Just like finding parts for a 1947 Chevy. Half the fun is the search. . .)
 

ManW_TheUncool

His Own Fool
Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2001
Messages
7,179
Location
The BK
Real Name
ManW
My somewhat recent new-ish PC (from last Dec) was a DIY build (taking over for a then-6-yo, 4th gen Core i7, baseline Dell XPS 8700 w/ a few solid upgrades), but that's mostly because I wanted it for video editing and such and (also) wanted to go w/ AMD instead of Intel. Yeah, I did also go w/ a (moderately advanced) gamer's video card running nVidia RTX2070 Super, but that choice was mostly for video editing -- I'm not a gamer... though I was OUAT and do sorta fancy the idea of getting more casually back into it, but still haven't at all so far even though my AMD CPU purchase (of Ryzen 7 3800x) actually came w/ a couple free games and promo trial subscription.

Most of the workout this build has gotten came from running [email protected] (to help battle Covid-19) pretty much 24/7 since early March (mostly w/ the GPU apparently running at circa 95% utilization)...

The old Dell XPS 8700 is still very functional for regular stuff and used as the shared family/common machine now (w/ a new, bargain priced, 37" ultrawide 21:9, 1440p Dell screen) replacing a dead(?), ancient-ish Dell OptiPlex (that was repurposed from my old employer way back). Briefly considered upgrading it some more w/ an nVidia GTX1660Ti GPU (partly to run [email protected]), but never got around to it -- it's currently only using Intel's integrated graphics (as the ancient, low-end AMD card Dell used doesn't seem to play nice w/ the ultrawide 1440p screen)...

_Man_
 
Last edited:

jcroy

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2011
Messages
6,187
Real Name
jr
Rebuilt computers are rather like rebuilt cars. Fun if you are into that thing, aggravating if you are not.

Personally, I'm a modest "computer gearhead"; I have the time to mess with them.
Same here.

Most of my "rebuilt" desktops, is putting together scrap parts I have accumulated over the years from old computers given to me.

I usually end up running Linux or one of the BSDs as the operating system on these rebuilt units, and not m$ windoze nor maco$
 

John Dirk

Premium
Ambassador
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 7, 2000
Messages
3,823
Location
ATL
Real Name
JOHN
These days might as well just immediately replace the main HDD w/ your own SSD of choice and relegate the HDD to other less critical duties.

Also, do consider newer AMD-based (CPU) options, not just Intel-inside...

_Man_
Completely agree on point #1. Personally, I don't buy AMD processors as I've had some weird compatibility issues over the years. By now this may no longer be an issue but I just don't like chancing it.
 

John Dirk

Premium
Ambassador
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 7, 2000
Messages
3,823
Location
ATL
Real Name
JOHN
I'm shopping for a new desktop tower, as mine has been upgraded to its limits. I see some machines with good specs thru Amazon's "renewed" for decent prices. I've read their quality control and guarantee policies and they sound good; has anyone purchased a refurbished computer through Amazon? Can I expect quality?
I don't know about Amazon. Personally, I need to see and touch a PC before I buy. I picked this one up just a few days ago from Micro Center and it's a beast! I bumped the RAM up to 32GB for something like $85.00 extra but 16GB is more than enough for most.

If you have Micro Center or a similar option in your area I would highly recommend this route.
 

Sam Posten

Moderator
Premium
HW Reviewer
Joined
Oct 30, 1997
Messages
29,312
Location
Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
Real Name
Sam Posten

John Dirk

Premium
Ambassador
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 7, 2000
Messages
3,823
Location
ATL
Real Name
JOHN
If anyone is looking for a PC that 'just works' out of the box and has enough oomph for light gaming including decent FPS scores I highly recommend this HP Omen from Best Buy.

It's 899 right now but we got one for my parents for $850. 512 SSD, a decent i5 and a 1660 super. Best of all: NO CRAPWARE.
Best Buy. No crapware. What's that again?
 
  • Haha
Reactions: ManW_TheUncool

jcroy

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2011
Messages
6,187
Real Name
jr
I don't think I ever got a prebuilt pc which didn't have crapware coming with it.

Most of the time, the crapware was easy to disable (or delete) by hand.

The most annoying crapware I had to deal with, were trial copies of mcafee antivirus which would repeatedly spawn every time I killed the process. It took some elbow grease to finally get it to not respawn at all.
 

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
345,536
Messages
4,744,846
Members
141,475
Latest member
Macoco