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Chapter 7. Where to Buy a PC > New, Used, or Refurbished

New, Used, or Refurbished

Most people buy new computers, but if you're looking for a bargain, consider buying a used one. Unlike a car, a PC isn't likely to break down just because it's old. Quite the contrary. Although it might be out of date now, the PC you bought five years ago should be just as good as the day you bought it. In fact, there are still some of the original, vintage 1981 IBM PCs in use, though if they're able to run Windows, they've been updated with modern components.

Before buying a used computer, make sure it can run today's software. Don't buy a machine with anything less than a Pentium CPU because it won't be able to run Windows XP or even do a decent job with Windows 98 or Me. (For more on CPUs, see Chapter 10.) If you want to upgrade an out-of-date PC, find out what the upgrade will cost and compare that to the price of a modern machine. You may be better off buying a new one.


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