Ultimate Refurbished Desktop Buying Guide 2023
Author: Luke Adkins Date Posted: 28 September 2023
With so many options available, finding the right desktop computer to suit your needs can be tough. Whether you’re upgrading your current desktop computer, you’re looking for a powerful upgrade from a laptop, or you’ve just discovered the world of refurbished computers, then you’ve landed in the right place. With our ultimate refurbished desktop buying guide, we aim to take empower you to get the best value and most suitable computer possible.
Benefits of choosing a refurbished desktop
- Cost Effective: Refurbished desktops offer great value for money, are more affordable than brand-new models, which makes them a great option for those on a budget, and are a popular choice for home and business-users alike.
- Sustainability – Buying renewed second hand desktops are, as it helps to reduce the demand for production of new devices and components, from resource extraction to production and energy consumption. It also helps to keep e-waste out of landfills.
- Quality Assurance – All of our desktop computers are refurbished by our qualified technicians, and meet performance and reliability standards through our testing and refurbishment process.
- Variety: Our range is large, and forever growing. We stock various makes, models, and configurations. We’re confident that we have a model to suit just about all types of users needs and preferences.
- Warranty: We stand behind the quality of our products, that’s why we offer a generous 12-month warranty to all of our A-Grade renewed desktop computers. See our transparent warranty policy for more information.
Our Best Desktop Computer Brands
Dell desktops have a long history and have become a household name in personal computing. They’re known for their reliability and are highly versatile machines that are perfect for home use, schools, and office environments. The most common and popular series and form factors are the OptiPlex and the Small Form Factors (SFF), and the Micro. View Dell Desktops.
HP has a long and proven track record for being a reliable and reputable choice when it comes to desktop computers. Their popular EliteDesk series, amongst others, can be found in a variety of styles, the most common being the Small Form Factor, and Micro. View HP Desktops.
The ThinkCentre line of products from Lenovo have made their way into offices around the world, and offer great value for money. While not as common as other brands, Lenovo have made their mark on the world by offering great performance and value. View Lenovo Desktops.
Apple redefined the all-in-one design when it released its iMac all the way back in 1998. Accompanied with their Pro tower and Mini desktop range, they chiseled their way into the desktop market with unique offerings. These devices are a popular choice for media and content creators, with their stylish build quality. They’ve essential items for those integrated into the Apple ecosystem. View Apple Desktops.
Understanding Form Factors
Desktop computers come in many shapes and sizes (form factors). Some form factors you’re most likely already aware of, but if you haven’t worked in an office or corporate environment before, then some of these may be new to you.
- Small Form Factor (SFF): More compact design than a traditional tower computer, while still using standard size components (such as CPU & RAM). Commonly found in schools and office spaces.
- Micro/Mini: The smallest type of computer form factor, these are designed to fit into small spaces or mounted on the back of LCD monitors. They’re great for those needing a space-saving computer that has most of the power of a full sized desktop PC. They use the same type of RAM found within laptops (SODIMM), and usually have a power-saving orientated CPU installed.
- Tower: Classic design that most will be familiar with, these computers offer great upgradability and use standard sized components. For those who need a powerful workstation, a tower computer is likely your best choice.
- All-In-One (AIO): These desktops have an integrated LCD monitor, which make them a great solution for space-saving applications. Usually offering similar performance to a Micro/Tiny PC (due to their hardware type). An Apple iMac is also considered an AIO computer, due to the integrated LCD screen.
Key Features To Consider
When searching for the perfect desktop computer for your setup, there are a few key hardware features to consider. In our Computer Components Guide, we break down the technical side of what each piece of hardware is. We’ll briefly go-through these below to help guide you through.
1. Processor (CPU) - When considering a processor for your desktop, especially from Intel’s range, there are a few factors that should be taken into consideration.
- Generations: Newer processor generations generally offer improved performance and efficiency. With Windows 10’s support ending in 2025, we recommend looking for a desktop with an 8th generation Intel processor (or newer) to help future-proof your purchase. In Intel’s naming scheme, the first number of the CPU model indicates it’s generation ie. Intel Core i5 8500 is an 8th gen processor.
- Core Count: Intel Core i3 usually have 2-4 cores, Intel Core i5 have 4-6 cores, and Intel Core i7 or higher can have 8 cores (or more). In simple terms, the more cores a processor has, the better multitasking will be.
- Clock Speed: Measured in GHz, a higher clock speed could mean faster processing, however this number is commonly mistaken for ‘higher number means more performance’.
Example: Imagine an older CPU with a clock speed of 4.0 GHz and a newer CPU with a clock speed of 3.2 GHz. Even though the older CPU has a higher clock speed, the newer CPU will likely outperform it for several reasons.
- Hyperthreading: Usually found in higher end Core i7 processors, hyperthreading allows a single core to handle two threads simultaneously. This improves multitasking tasks.
- Branding Series: ‘K’ series = unlocked processor (can be overclocked). ‘T’ series = power-optimised. ‘U’ series = Ultra-low power. ‘X’ series = high-end processors for gaming and content creation.
2. Memory (RAM) - RAM is the computer’s temporary storage space for active applications and their data.
Essentially, having more RAM allows for smoother multitasking and enhances system performance. While Microsoft Windows recommends a minimum of 4GB of RAM to operate, we recommend 8GB of RAM or above.
3. Storage (HDD or SSD) - This relates to the amount of storage space that is inside your computer.
Popular cloud storage solutions, such as OneDrive and Google Drive, have solved the need for most users to require a large amount of local storage. We recommend a minimum of 256GB storage space, and highly recommend that you ensure your device has a Solid State Drive (SSD) as its main hard drive. The newer SSD’s offer much greater reliability and performance compared to their older counterparts, the Hard Disk Drive (HDD).
In our ultimate desktop computer buying guide, we’ve covered everything from the core specifications and features to consider, to understanding the difference between the types and brands available. It’s important to not only consider what meets your needs today, but what is also equipped for the future.
Your next Desktop Computers is just a click away. Check out our massive refurbished desktop computer range to discover the best PCs. We aim to provide affordable and dependable computers that both exceed your expectations and promote sustainability. If you have any further questions or would like a hand-picking your next laptop, you’re welcome to contact our customer support team on 1300 727 516, or send them an email.