Used Computers are Useless

I was looking at one of those hole-in-the-wall computer places, today. (Or rather, at their site).
I’ve always loved those build-your-own webpages, because you can see how much each component costs.
I rebuilt this desktop PC I bought two years ago, and it actually came out more expensive. Furthermore, I got it half that price, which means I would have to pay twice as much to get this piece of crap again.
Assuming I got an entry-level Vista computer (think 2GB RAM, 160GB HDD, cheapest Dual-core), it would be $858. A similar laptop would be about $550, and would include built-in speakers, pointing device, keyboard, screen (which alone would be more than $100), and possibly webcam.
For $1300, I could get a computer package which, at a big-box retailer, would sell for about $500.

This is a place that doesn’t really DO the online thing, so I’m assuming most of it is just the fact that he hasn’t updated the database in forever. Still, though…
Actually, that’s the place I got that horrible 1GB USB stick. I can’t believe something could be that slow. It’s because of that that I spent the extra $32 on that 2GB stick I got in September. I had come to expect that large sticks were really slow, so I didn’t think the 8GB would be very usable (it’s the same speed as my 2GB, and faster than my old 512MB, which was pretty fast in its day).

At the moment, my machine is worth:
Pentium D (Dual-core) 2.66GHz CPU – $120
Hitachi 160GB HDD – $60
ASUS P5RD2-VM Motherboard – $80
1GB DDR2 RAM – $30
DVD multi – $40
Microsoft Keyboard + Laser mouse – $20 or more
Floppy drive – whatever

It’s about $350 today. It was supposed to be for $600, but I was buying some swapped-out parts from malfunctional systems, so I got it for $300. Actually, it only came with 512MB RAM.
Since then, I’ve added a CPU fan, ATI HD 2600 512MB graphics card, modem, and an extra 10GB HDD. Without including my monitor, that would be at least $200 more in total, and my Wacom tablet is $100. I’d be keeping my monitor and tablet, though, so that means my entire system is worth about $600 new. It’s two years old, so I’d say about $400.

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