Real Life and What's Happening...

Best Selling RPGs - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com

Bunch

E-Rocker is a goose.
Joined
Aug 16, 2017
Messages
9,141
Reaction score
14,817
So, the car (2000 Nissan Maxima) has a standard transmission. I can probably push start it to verify whether it's a dead starter (it has been making the dead starter scream of death for a while) or a seized engine. I just need someone else who can drive a standard to drive while I push. The starter's under the air filter but it's really only about a dozen bolts and a plug in to get in and take it off.
Wouldn't it be easier to find someone who knows how to push? I mean that's a test most people should be able to pass...
 

Nobby-W

No, I have not got an onlyfans site.
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
4,651
Reaction score
8,102
On May Day, my desktop at home decided to go on strike. It would not start but instead would either (1) shut itself down or (2) try to restart repeatedly. I was able to get to a startup repair utility on at least two of the go-rounds and in one iteration I tried system recovery. No dice.

The next day (Sunday) the same thing occurred, except that the startup repair worked and the machine is back in business. For how long is anybody's guess.

I've been thinking of replacing it for a while now, since it is about 14 years old. Fortunately, everything of significance on its hard drive is backed up elsewhere, so it it does fail nothing will be lost.
So, here's my stock rant on how to buy a secondhand PC and save yourself a few bob.

The first caveat these days is that gaming video cards are in short supply and go for vastly inflated prices these days which means that doing a gaming PC on the cheap is somewhere between 'a bit tricky' and 'aspirational'. See the discussion below for a short blurb about purchasing secondhand workstations for converting into gaming PCs.

If you want a laptop, ex-lease X or T series thinkpads are good value for money. Thinkpads are the biggest player in the corporate leasing market and ex-lease machines come up on the secondhand market by the truckload at very reasonable prices. Take a look on Ebay for a T450 or T460. if you're moving off an older machine, these will probably work just fine. Get one with a SSD. The machines also have a second slot that can take a WWAN card or a small M.2 SSD so you can probably set them up with two drives. Depending on the model this could be a SATA or two lane NVMe drive so you will have to do your homework about models that will work. I can possibly help you here.

If you want a desktop then you can also get ex-lease office desktops from HP, Dell or Lenovo off ebay for peanuts.

If you want something you can put a gaming graphics card in then you can look at ex-lease workstations off Ebay as well. These are essentially upmarket 'professional' systems that have PSUs big enough to drive decent sized graphics cards. They're very expensive new but come up on the ex-lease market quite cheaply. Take a look at a HP Z420 or Z440; Dell and Lenovo also sell kit into this market but HP is the major player here.

Unfortunately the current graphics card shortage seems to have spilled into this market now. I got one with a midrange quadro and a good SSD/memory config for about £500 at the end of last year. However, a quick look on Ebay suggests that ones with these cards have been snapped up and most of the ones that are still available seem to be from refurbishers selling back into the pro market at much higher prices.

If you're using a 14 year old computer you're probably not playing modern AAA titles in quantity, so you might be able to re-use the graphics card from your old machine as a stop-gap.

There are secondhand cards on the market but the caveat here is that they have often been used for crypto mining and thrashed to death. Wiser crypto miners undervolted the cards to run them a bit cooler so it's not all bad news, but it's still a crap shoot. If you're comfortable with removing heat sinks and replacing the thermal gunk then this might be an option; depending on the model you can get replacement fans - see Asus Strix cards in particular. Take a look at GTX1060 or 1070 cards on the secondhand market but even used ones aren't very cheap.

This LTT video discusses an AMD CPU with pretty good integrated graphics that might also be an option, but they're only selling it through OEM channels at the moment. According to the video there are places you can buy them but it takes a bit of hunting. Alternatively you could hunt for a PC manufacturer offering a machine with this CPU.



TL;DR: Suggested options are:
  • Ex lease thinkpads if you want a laptop - good quality, widely available and cheap due to the quantity on the market.
  • Ex-lease desktops if you want a desktop but don't want to play modern AAA games.
  • Secondhand workstations and try your luck with a secondhand graphics card if you want a gaming machine on the cheap.
  • See what machines with a Ryzen 7 4750G APU go for.
 
Last edited:

Lofgeornost

Robot Head from Pluto!
Joined
Jul 8, 2020
Messages
891
Reaction score
2,205
14 years is a long run. My last laptop lasted 12 years and I thought that was good.

Yeah, thinking back I realized that each computer I've owned has lasted a bit longer than the one before. My first, a Commodore 64, I only kept for 3-4 years before I replaced it (though it never failed, or anything like that); the second, an I.B.M., lasted about 7 years before it literally died; the third, a Compaq, I used for about 12 years (and it still resides in my basement; I dust it off a couple of times a year to play Master of Orion); and the Dell which is now staggering to its end I've had for about 14 years.

So, here's my stock rant on how to buy a secondhand PC and save yourself a few bob...


TL;DR: Suggested options are:
  • Ex lease thinkpads if you want a laptop - good quality, widely available and cheap due to the quantity on the market.
  • Ex-lease desktops if you want a desktop but don't want to play modern AAA games.
  • Secondhand workstations and try your luck with a secondhand graphics card if you want a gaming machine on the cheap.
  • See what machines with a Ryzen 7 4750G APU go for.

Thanks for the detailed advice. I do no computer gaming at all, with the exception of occasional rounds of chess and Master of Orion on my basement Compaq for nostalgia's sake. But I'd not considered an ex-lease used machine and I think I will look into that.
 

Nobby-W

No, I have not got an onlyfans site.
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
4,651
Reaction score
8,102
Yeah, thinking back I realized that each computer I've owned has lasted a bit longer than the one before. My first, a Commodore 64, I only kept for 3-4 years before I replaced it (though it never failed, or anything like that); the second, an I.B.M., lasted about 7 years before it literally died; the third, a Compaq, I used for about 12 years (and it still resides in my basement; I dust it off a couple of times a year to play Master of Orion); and the Dell which is now staggering to its end I've had for about 14 years.



Thanks for the detailed advice. I do no computer gaming at all, with the exception of occasional rounds of chess and Master of Orion on my basement Compaq for nostalgia's sake. But I'd not considered an ex-lease used machine and I think I will look into that.

I would suggest you get something with a SSD of at least 250G for Windows 10; 128GB is a bit slim for that. Check what interfaces your monitor supports; you may have to buy an adaptor for it unless you want to buy another monitor (which aren't all that expensive these days anyway, and can also be obtained on the off-lease market).
 
Last edited:

Toadmaster

Legendary Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2018
Messages
1,666
Reaction score
3,281
Yeah, thinking back I realized that each computer I've owned has lasted a bit longer than the one before. My first, a Commodore 64, I only kept for 3-4 years before I replaced it (though it never failed, or anything like that); the second, an I.B.M., lasted about 7 years before it literally died; the third, a Compaq, I used for about 12 years (and it still resides in my basement; I dust it off a couple of times a year to play Master of Orion); and the Dell which is now staggering to its end I've had for about 14 years.



Thanks for the detailed advice. I do no computer gaming at all, with the exception of occasional rounds of chess and Master of Orion on my basement Compaq for nostalgia's sake. But I'd not considered an ex-lease used machine and I think I will look into that.

I think 8 years is my record (bought in 2012, replaced in 2020). Honestly I could have kept running that one, but last year found me in a good place to upgrade. I think my previous record was 6 or 7 years.
 

Nobby-W

No, I have not got an onlyfans site.
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
4,651
Reaction score
8,102
Yeah, thinking back I realized that each computer I've owned has lasted a bit longer than the one before. My first, a Commodore 64, I only kept for 3-4 years before I replaced it (though it never failed, or anything like that); the second, an I.B.M., lasted about 7 years before it literally died; the third, a Compaq, I used for about 12 years (and it still resides in my basement; I dust it off a couple of times a year to play Master of Orion); and the Dell which is now staggering to its end I've had for about 14 years.

I've gotten about 9 years out of my current gen, which I'm just in the process of turning over now. In practice I could have gone longer, but I've got some requirements for a machine with a lot of memory that my last gen weren't that amenable to (I already tried to expand one to 32GB and it didn't work). My previous gen lasted about 5 years (and could have gone longer but I needed a laptop) and the gen before that was a bit of a mish-mash between about 2000-2007.
 
Last edited:

Kilted Rob

Where's your troosers?
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
Messages
701
Reaction score
2,099
My Mac Mini is coming up on its 10th anniversary. All my Macs have lasted a minimum of 8 years of use.
 

Nobby-W

No, I have not got an onlyfans site.
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
4,651
Reaction score
8,102
There was a period about 1985-2005 where PCs were getting faster so quickly that the useful life of a PC was about 3 years before they became obsolete and too slow to run modern software. The reason that ex-lease PCs are a good buy today is that the depreciation and tax laws around leasing PCs are still based on that assumption. However, in practice it's reasonable to expect about 10 years of life or so these days, so you get 3 year old machines coming off lease (often still in warranty) that are quite capable of running modern software and still in good condition with at least 5 or 10 years left in them.

If you go down that route there is also a nice hard cap on the repair costs. If you're buying a machine that cost a few hundred dollars then you can replace it for the same price - probably less if you're a few years down the track. If a repair would cost more than the replacement value of the machine, you can buy another machine and move your disk and other bits like memory or graphics cards across to it.
 
Last edited:

Bunch

E-Rocker is a goose.
Joined
Aug 16, 2017
Messages
9,141
Reaction score
14,817
I will just leave this here.



Teacher of the month for all the schools in the county, not just my district...
Congratulations! This has been a tremendously hard year to be a teacher in my opinion. Everyone wants different things, rules changing, virtual, part time, full time school. I hope your administration has been as supportive to you as this person.
 

Bunch

E-Rocker is a goose.
Joined
Aug 16, 2017
Messages
9,141
Reaction score
14,817
I don't know what exactly is going on with my kids but all four of them came up with this:

Who's going to win? Collosal Red Dragon? Mighty Muggs Galactus? Balor? The army of planeswalker warriors?

I'm excited to find out!
 

Attachments

  • PXL_20210506_030339497-02.jpeg
    PXL_20210506_030339497-02.jpeg
    147.8 KB · Views: 6

Ronnie Sanford

Legendary Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2017
Messages
1,362
Reaction score
2,015
You have to be stealthy on your bathroom trips for a little baking soda too. True facts. :grin:
Okay I knew I was one of the dumber kids. I don’t get it... Does this have something to do with the Russians swapping out urine samples during the Olympics? What’s the baking soda for?
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
20,980
Reaction score
50,836
A racoon just crawled into my apartment through the window! He was sitting on my couch, tearing open a loaf of bread. Didn't even do anything when I turned the light on. I went over and he slipped back out the window, so I dropped the loaf out after him, and he's sitting on the porch eating it now!
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
3,837
Reaction score
7,540
A racoon just crawled into my apartment through the window! He was sitting on my couch, tearing open a loaf of bread. Didn't even do anything when I turned the light on. I went over and he slipped back out the window, so I dropped the loaf out after him, and he's sitting on the porch eating it now!
This sounds like my teenagers every day.
 
Cthulhu Mythos - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com
Top