[sclug] Comet Quad core offering - cheap high street commoditisation of computers

Tom Carbert-Allen tom at randominter.net
Sun Mar 16 17:06:57 UTC 2008

M.Blackmore wrote:
> Anyway I noticed in The Independent this saturday an advert from Comet
> (or was it Currys??) for a Acer AMD chipped quadcore computer, 19"
> monitor, nvidia 8500 summat 256mb vid card and 2gb of ram.
> Struck me as a lot of computer for ?499.99
?499 for a quad core from the high street is about right. For component 
prices try ebuyer.com, they list:

AMD Quad core Phenom ?118
2gb ram approx ?25
19" tft ?99
nvidia 8500 ?45
motherboard approx ?30
case and decent psu ?40
250gb hdd ?33
dvd-rw ?15

so that adds up to about ?405 (all this inc vat)
If they want windows legal you would be hard pushed to add that and beat 
the high street these days. But for linux you are looking at saving the 
best part of 20%

> What sort of comments do people have to make on that for conversion to
> Linux? 
Linux has amazing support these days, I haven't found a desktop yet that 
isn't supported well out of the box.

> In the 90s I made a nice living on a very part time basis (whilst doing
> a postgrad degree and building up a property portfolio of renovated
> houses and being housedad - can't believe nowadays I used to be so
> capable of so much activity as I view the world through an opiate haze
> of medications) anyway as I was saying back in the 90s one could
> undercut by some way any maker of PCs from components bought in from
> trade suppliers if you knew the right people. I doubt that is possible
> to achieve nowadays!
I was a box shifter in south london in the 90's too, was easily making 
30% on every sale, I did direct to home and small business, moving 3-4 a 
week whilst only working saturdays.
> Also i the same advert were a couple of dual core laptops - and amd 64
> and a core2duo for 399 I think.
Laptops are very popular these days. I believe they are even outselling 
base units in some markets.
> How much would a bulk purchase of refurbed laptops from someone like RDC
> put one back and what sort of dells run linux reliably?
They often have ?200 laptops, but I find there deals aren't as good as 
on the base units. Also second hand laptops will have battery wear 
(which creates a huge depreciation on them compared to base units in my 
eyes but this doesn't seem reflected in the price)

Building PC's is mainly best left to factories I think, I tend to only 
build pc's for niche markets these days. Eg. fanless for studio use, 
stupid overclock for video encoding or high end GPU for gaming. As you 
don't tend to get these in the shops

Oh, wait I forgot RAID! Why is it that most big box shifters only ever 
include RAID on server boxs? There is a big profit to be made from 
installing RAID. I often buy from high street stores add raid, then 
re-sell with ?75 profit each time. You would be suprised how easy it is 
to get a reputation for selling faster machines than the competition by 
fitting a slower CPU and a decent softraid array. Afterall the disk is 
often the biggest bottleneck and most regular point of failure in modern 


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