Please note that this review was written a while ago and obviously the prices have gone down a bit, so it may be inacurate.
Hi, this is my first review on ebay so don't judge too hard ;) Just a honest guide. (please excuse my grammar mistakes, if any)
So you came to ebay to buy a pc, what is it's initial purpouse, what will you be using the computer for? I know this sounds really obvious, but it's better to say it again and again, because it saves money. If you will not be using the pc for gaming or 3d/video/audio editing, do not buy a high spec computer - why ? It's simple: the real difference between a high and a mid-spec computer is: when it comes to doing hard work for the computer, it's obviously the high spec one that will handle it quicker, but that's about it, if you need the computer just to do your emails, listen to some music, download some music on your mp3 player, that is something that even the most basic computer theese days can handle easily. Ok, let's make it a bit more clear:
1. Low spec- around 250 pounds (no monitor)
~80 GB hard drive
~64mb or an integrated videocar
a floppy bay
a motherboard with 5.1 sound
a stylish case + a set of mouse, keyboard and speakers
------- a lot of people sell stuff like this on ebay, just don't stop looking for your item after seeing all of the "Featured" items
What could you use it for ? Internet, movies, oldschool games, msn, skype, it is good for all of this stuff, you won't even notice that it isn't a high spec setup, it you won't be attempting to do 3d rendering, or playing new games (wich I've tried doing, must admit that I've been using this setup for 3 years already and I'm quite pleased with it, if you have a little bit of patience, it's ok, I'm a web-designer myself and this is what I've been using for photoshop, dreamweaver and cinema 4d, must admit, get quite frustrated at some times, on slow downs, but as I've said a bit of patience and this setup will do the trick!)
2. Mid spec- around 550 pounds (no monitor)
most of this range PC's come with the 3800 amd athlon64 x2 dual core processor, wich I find the ultimate mid-spec processor
~160gb hard drive
~256 or 512 (only get 512 if using SLI) last year geforce
- a dual layer dvd-rw
-a floppy bay
- sometimes a 33-in one card reader
-a sli-ready motherboard with 5.1 or 7.1 sound, most of them use PCI-e, wich I find the best solution for a mid-spec
-probably a cheap, but good looking gaming case, don't understand why most of the sellers on ebay save money on cases and just get the cheapest stuff available, if its a mid spec pc, give it a mid spec case.. must admit, it's not so easy to find a pc of this spec with a nice case.
------- most of the pc's on ebay are in this price range (250-550), wich is quite pleasing, you shouldn't have any trouble finding one.
What could you use it for ? Well, this gives opportunities to do stuff like 3d-rendering (nothing too complicate), gaming is something that you would enjoy on a pc like this, basicly with a setup like this you can do most of the stuff that you want to do on your pc without having any trouble.
3. High-spec pc- around 1700 pounds, anything above it is just someone looking for "newbies"
~around a 3.6 ghz dual core p4 / QUAD
~4gb ram, usually more
~at least a latest video card with 1gb of memory on it (sli)
~at least 600 gb hard drive
-a 7.1 SOUND CARD, not integrated sound
a top of the range motherboard
dvd rw, card reader, floppy bay, wireless internet ready - if you don't get this, consider yourself pranked
should have a great case with EXTRA coolers
------- a lot of stuff like this if you only look for it ;)
What could you use it for ? EVERYTHING that computers today can do must be easy to do on a computer of this spec, pc's like this one are future-proof and should excite you for about 2-3 years.
With computers it's always like this: what you get is what you pay for, if you are willing to explore the world of computers and try to find it's limits, buy the high spec, but if you are only interested in surfing the net... save the money, give your loved ones a present, buy your wife some flowers and spend a night out, we only live our life once, enjoy it, computers are only computers, pieces of metal, that are overpriced - that's my opinion, if you disagree, each and single one of us is unique, that's all I can say ;)
Really hope that you found this usefull, if you have any questions, please do not hasitate to email me firstname.lastname@example.org