The following has nothing to do with silent computing ... just hoping to get some ideas from the community.
At work, we have saved many thousands of dollars buying off-lease or refurbished Dell Optiplex desktops from Dell Financial Services. All have included Windows installation media. We are a Windows shop, driven primary by our ERP and accounting software packages. All of our current client machines are C2D desktops running Windows XP Pro. They all still work and are adequate for our needs.
While I anticipated Windows XP's EOL, I did not expect Microsoft's "Security Essentials will not get updates on XP
So, time to migrate to Windows 7. We do not want to take the leap to Windows 8.
I've been watching available refurbished Dells, and there are now hundreds of Optiplex machines with Windows 7 Professional for sale on DFS. They can be had for under $200 if you hunt for coupon codes. For example, a Dell Optiplex 780 with Win 7 Pro
is $243, less 30% (coupon code DELL30WINTER) = $170.10.
Like the above, most everything on DFS are Athlon 64 and C2D era machines. Not a hardware upgrade for us; this is purely for the OS. Luckily, out clients are not performance bottlenecks.
A retail copy of Windows 7 Pro is $140 by itself (Amazon or Newegg), and slightly cheaper from resellers and brokers. So while $170 seems like a bargain, there's even cheaper options:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6883256342
Refurbished B-grade HP DC7900 - $125
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 (3.0 Ghz)
2GB RAM (4 slots total, 2 populated)
Windows 7 Professional (both Win7 32- and 64-bit media are included)
So $15 less than a retail copy of Windows 7 Professional, and I get a desktop PC as well. Like getting paid $15 to take some hardware with my Windows media.
I bought a similar DC7900 for my mother last November; it included 32 & 64-bit media and brand new mouse & KB. It came with a WD Blue HDD, but I forgot to check the date code. I just bought three more of them to evaluate for use at work in our S&R dept.
In a perfect world, I'd prefer to move to a newer chipset / CPU architecture. In my experience, either Core i3 / i5 machines have not hit the off-lease / refurb market yet, or they're all immediately bought up and I just haven't seen them for sale. We have 15 clients here, and $new hardware isn't in the budget. I'm hoping to find some off-lease Core i3 or i5 machines by April to replace the XP machines in our office. Question to the forum: is there a cheaper (legal) path to Windows 7 Professional than the refurb route