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Thread: Ubuntu Compatible Used Desktops?

  1. #1
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    Ubuntu Compatible Used Desktops?

    My computer is OLD... and I mean old, by today's standards. Only reason it operates still at a functional level is that I'm running Ubuntu. Anyway, I need to upgrade. I was looking to get maybe a refurbished desktop machine on ebay. Not spend a ton, my only worry is how will I know if Ubuntu will install on it once it arrives? Does anyone know safe bets of desktop computers that Ubuntu should easily install on? Any advice is appreciate. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: Ubuntu Compatible Used Desktops?

    Most Dells should be a safe bet. I have had luck with average Acers. Probably best bet is to google Ubuntu, install, and make model of computer you see on ebay/amazon before buying. People have bought that model before and ten to one their problems will show up on google.

  3. #3
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    Re: Ubuntu Compatible Used Desktops?

    This might help

    https://certification.ubuntu.com/desktop

    If your present computer is as old as mine then it will have a BIOS motherboard. The newer machine will likely have a UEFI motherboard. You need to do a bit of studying.

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UEFI

    Installation will be easier if you do not want to dual boot with whatever version of Windows is installed on the machine.

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  4. #4
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    Re: Ubuntu Compatible Used Desktops?

    Here's a bunch of refurbished Dells and Lenovos with at least an i5 processor at NewEgg: https://www.newegg.com/p/pl?d=refurb...190701&Order=1.
    Last edited by SeijiSensei; 4 Weeks Ago at 11:53 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Ubuntu Compatible Used Desktops?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnsmoke View Post
    My computer is OLD... and I mean old, by today's standards. Only reason it operates still at a functional level is that I'm running Ubuntu. Anyway, I need to upgrade. I was looking to get maybe a refurbished desktop machine on ebay. Not spend a ton, my only worry is how will I know if Ubuntu will install on it once it arrives? Does anyone know safe bets of desktop computers that Ubuntu should easily install on? Any advice is appreciate. Thanks.
    I do not know your level of expertise or experience but have you considered a motherboard/processor/video (if needed) transplant? I've done this a couple times and have been able to get a machine with up-to-date core components for around $250. The first thing to consider is your current case. If it's 'generic' it should work. If it's branded e.g. Dell, Acer, Lenovo etc. then I'm not sure if a standard ATX/mATX motherboard would fit.

  6. #6
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    Re: Ubuntu Compatible Used Desktops?

    also if case is very old you might need newer one to use USB 3.0. luckily standard cases go for about 30 EUR (here), so they don't add too much to the price.
    you can use video on the CPU and reduce cost even further. intel and AMD APU are quite good now even for some light gaming.
    here prices would be
    what si the usage? for example for office usage i3 or ryzen 3 would do.
    Ryzen 3 or Core i3 with GPU on them cost here about 100 EUR (ryzen 5 is 150 EUR here).
    RAM depens but buy as much as you can afford but at least 8GB. 8 GB costs about 35 EUR here, 16 GB (2x8GB) is 60 EUR
    power supply is about 50 EUR
    motherboard descent no frills would be about 70 EUR here.
    ---
    230 EUR+ 30 EUR for the case and you have a nice new PC for office work and maybe even some light gaming. use old drives if they are sata, if not, then you need to add 60 EUR for HDD or for a small SSD drive.

    i am sure it is much cheaper in US. must be at least 20% less.

    edit mine is Single core from 2004 and i could do what i described above. i haven't decided if i should do it like this or just get a new one and use the current one for media server.
    Read the easy to understand, lots of pics Ubuntu manual.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Ubuntu Compatible Used Desktops?

    Quote Originally Posted by kurt18947 View Post
    I do not know your level of expertise or experience but have you considered a motherboard/processor/video (if needed) transplant? I've done this a couple times and have been able to get a machine with up-to-date core components for around $250. The first thing to consider is your current case. If it's 'generic' it should work. If it's branded e.g. Dell, Acer, Lenovo etc. then I'm not sure if a standard ATX/mATX motherboard would fit.
    +1!

    For $250-ish, should be able to get about 13,000 passmarks. Found parts with a Ryzen 2600, MB and 16G of 3000 Mhz RAM for $275. https://pcpartpicker.com/list/6G8F4q There were cheaper options.

    If nothing else, always compare systems based on passmarks. It isn't exact, but it is a reasonable apples-to-apples comparison and much better than guessing.

  8. #8
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    Re: Ubuntu Compatible Used Desktops?

    The make doesn't matter - it's not like you're going to be getting support - it's what the components are that's important.

    "Value-added" deviations from specifications are the things that cause issues. Bog-standard desktop machines doing bog-standard desktop things is mostly a solved problem. Ex-corporate machines and things aimed at the corporate market are the best things to look for, since they tend to be the most bog-standard.

    Intel WiFi is better than not-Intel WiFi, if you want WiFi. For graphics, Nvidia will need the proprietary driver, and cards will drop out of support from the proprietary driver when they get too old, but desktop things will be fine with integrated graphics from either AMD or Intel, which don't need you to install anything else. AMD cards take a while to start working, but will work OK after that without your needing to install anything else. Onboard sound is generally fine, particularly bog-standard onboard sound. RGB lighting generally won't work.

    SSDs are much better than HDDs, and less than 8 GB RAM should be avoided. It's easy to swap out the drive if you need to, but RAM gets expensive once the manufacturers stop making more of that type, so upgrading the RAM in an old machine can be not-cheap. Once you've found the right stuff, though, it's easy to change in a desktop machine.

    Compressed air and a soft paintbrush/toothbrush are useful tools to have when dealing with older machines.

  9. #9
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    Re: Ubuntu Compatible Used Desktops?

    Quote Originally Posted by CatKiller View Post
    SSDs are much better than HDDs, and less than 8 GB RAM should be avoided.
    Here's that same list from NewEgg with a minimum 8 GB RAM and an SSD of at least 256 GB. https://www.newegg.com/p/pl?d=refurb...272828&Order=1

    Upping the SSD to 500 GB+ adds about $50 to the price. Going from 8 to 16 GB of memory adds about the same amount.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Ubuntu Compatible Used Desktops?

    I bought a refurbished Dell with i7 processor on Ebay, pre-loaded with Ubuntu 20.04 - all is good now! Thanks folks!

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