If the new low-end is quad-core, what to do with all of the pure dual-cores?

Aug 25, 2001
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#1
@kwalkingcraze, you going to buy them all? LOL.

But seriously, I've got a stockpile of what, perhaps a year or two or three ago, they could have been decent entry-level web boxes, dual-cores with adequate RAM and SSDs. What to do with them?

Not just me though, are there any PCs in retail with only 2C/2T anymore? Laptops? I think that there are still 2C/4T in the channel, but those are still quasi-acceptable.
 
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SPBHM

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
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#2
hmmm?
these parts are basically as good as they were before, OK for web browsing and ms office.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
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#3
@VirtualLarry Ask this question in a few years. When we start seeing quad cores for ~$80 or less, then you have your answer.
 

XavierMace

Diamond Member
Apr 20, 2013
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#4
Perhaps it would be a good idea stop stockpiling parts in general. It feels like every time I see you talking about buying something because it's a good bargain, you're always buying like 10 of them. :) From what I've seen every build you sell ends up being a "custom" build (vs a box you already have assembled) of assorted parts so there doesn't seem to be a real incentive to keep parts on hand. When somebody wants you to build them a computer, buy the parts then. In regards to the dual cores....

Fast dual cores are still acceptable for basic cheap computing. Assuming you don't have windows licenses stockpiled already, I might suggest tossing Android x86 on one to verify there's no issues with your hardware and see if there's a market for them as barebones desktop 'droids. Android is REALLY light on resources, is reasonably familiar to anyone with a smart phone, and most of your common apps are available on it (Netflix, Office, etc). Win10 runs better than I expected on my Atom x5 based tablet, but Android runs fantastic and using it with a mouse or touchpad isn't as awkward as one might expect.
 

jpiniero

Diamond Member
Oct 1, 2010
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#5
Not just me though, are there any PCs in retail with only 2C/2T anymore? Laptops? I think that there are still 2C/4T in the channel, but those are still quasi-acceptable.
There's plenty of them... just at Dell there's 17 models of Celeron laptops. Most of them are the Atom version too.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
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#6
There's plenty of them... just at Dell there's 17 models of Celeron laptops. Most of them are the Atom version too.
No way in Hell would I buy a notebook with an Atom CPU, the i3 and i5 ones are slow enough.
 

XavierMace

Diamond Member
Apr 20, 2013
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#7
Most of them are the Atom version too.
For the record, you know most Atoms are 4C's or more now, right? Only 2 of the 20 x-series Atoms are 2C, and only 7 of 32 c-series.
 
Aug 25, 2001
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#8
Perhaps it would be a good idea stop stockpiling parts in general.
Point taken. I was tempted to post a picture of my "warehouse" (my living room and my bedroom closet walls), where I have new custom PCs stacked up, looking for buyers. If I don't find buyers, even at a small loss, by Christmas, I'll probably have to donate the rest of them. I have bi-annual housing inspections, and my hobby / side-gig is taking up too much of my living space. Yes, I have a storage unit. Yes, it's of decent size. Yes, it's full to capacity now. :|

Edit: I remember, five years ago, I donated all of my single-core machines, to get them out of my hair, since they were basically unsellable. Actually, could have been 7 years ago. Basically, back in the days of the Core2Duo and Athlon II.

Now, we're in the days of the G4560 2C/4T ("Pentium Gold") for $86, Ryzen 3 1200 4C/4T for $100 on ebay, and now, the i3-8100 CFL for $120, though that may even drop a little. It makes little sense to go with anything less, nowadays. The slight savings, when buying new, just isn't worth the performance hit.

And for those people with decent mid-range budgets, the i5-8400 and Ryzen 5 1600 would make good picks.

That's not to say that the G1820 Haswell Celerons are now useless, because they're not, they can still web browse pretty well, especially in Linux. Heck, even the FM1 A4-3420 APUs, are somewhat "bearable", if your expectations aren't too high. (Say, coming from a P4 or something pre-APU / pre-iGPU.) And the G3258 Haswell Pentium Anniv. Edition CPUs are darn speedy, for basic web browsing, when clocked to 4.0Ghz or above, although they may stutter playing GTA V.

Sad to say, I've even got some A4-6300 FM2 APUs, albeit with 2x4GB DDR3 and SSDs. Those Piledriver-derived APUs always struck me as somewhat laggy, for some reason. (Never been a fan of BD-derived architectures.)
 
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XavierMace

Diamond Member
Apr 20, 2013
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#9
Don't get me wrong, I get where you're coming from. I still buy way too much unnecessary stuff because "it was a good deal", although in much more moderation than I used to. I don't know what storage units cost out where you're at, but out here at least they're expensive enough that it's always served as a hard cutoff point for me. If I can't fit my stuff in my house, I don't need it and have too much stuff.

Try changing the market you're trying to appeal to. If you've got a spare ITX setup, experiment into making it into a little Android media box. I believe the latest version of Android x86 finally supports NVMe drives. A little ITX box with a small NVMe boot drive and a 2.5" spinner for media storage would make a decent little TV box. Many of the TV providers these days have Android App options.
 
Aug 25, 2001
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#10
As much as I'm from a DOS/Windows kind of background, and kind of hate to see Android taking desktop-like market share away from Windows, you do have a point. Many people use those Android TV-boxes. Then again, you can also buy them complete for $40 from Joe'sChinaImportersDirect (fictitous name), and I don't see quite how I would compete with something like that.

I've put CloudReady on an ITX box with an AM1 Sempron 3850 quad-core 1.3Ghz small-core AMD APU, and unlike Windows 10, which really sort of bogs down due to the low ST IPC (at least with Firefox 64-bit), the CloudReady (even 64-bit), with Chromium, really takes advantage of the quad-core APU, and doesn't bog down really much at all, at least in my limited testing. OTOH, it's still not mature enough to allow me to use the HDMI audio output on those mobos, either. (I should really try installing a more recent build, I guess.)
 

Leyawiin

Diamond Member
Nov 11, 2008
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#12
lol - thought I was bad with four working PCs when I only need one.
 

BSim500

Golden Member
Jun 5, 2013
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#13
But seriously, I've got a stockpile of what, perhaps a year or two or three ago, they could have been decent entry-level web boxes, dual-cores with adequate RAM and SSDs. What to do with them?
Sell them and buy only what you need. As others have said, making custom low-end stuff doesn't make much sense anymore. OEM's buy hardware and Windows licenses in bulk at a fraction of the cost of end-user retail prices.

Also define "entry level web boxes". Most of the world browses on 2 watt mobile and 15 watt "U" laptop CPU's. If browsing is too slow, the single fastest thing you can do is to stop trying to brute-force through all the cr*p and simply side-step the lot with uBlock. Pop-ups, pop-unders, trackers, analytics, adverts, IntelliTXT, disable auto-play flash ads, only load current tab on startup, etc. People will literally be thanking you for giving them the equivalent of a 6-15GHz 2C/2T CPU "for free" and making web pages readable again... If they have mechanical HDD's (no SSD's) but at least 8GB RAM, create a 0.5GB RAM Disk and move the browser cache onto that. Practical stuff like that will make it feel faster than it is.

I think gaming enthusiasts are too hung up on number chasing of model numbers, benchmarks, etc. Average people focus on tasks that are often relatively static. How many cores does single-threaded Word, LAME, MP3 playback, etc, need? Video playback has been GPU accelerated for years and even if that ran slow, most people will rather buy a $40 Amazon Fire stick than a $100-200 CPU for a HTPC and mess about with keeping up with DRM technical requirements. It's stuff like this that separates "enthusiasts buying for mainstream" vs how average Joe's actually use them. Biggest problem isn't that they aren't any good for browsing, etc, it's that you're being bumped down from Pentium to Celeron prices. But you already own them, it's a "sunk cost" so you may as well get back whatever you can for them.
 

kyubi

Senior member
Feb 11, 2008
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#14
Because Intel says so?

Dual core are good for basic office machines, POS machines and even for school tasks.

Hell even games.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
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#15
I think gaming enthusiasts are too hung up on number chasing of model numbers, benchmarks, etc. Average people focus on tasks that are often relatively static. How many cores does single-threaded Word, LAME, MP3 playback, etc, need? Video playback has been GPU accelerated for years and even if that ran slow, most people will rather buy a $40 Amazon Fire stick than a $100-200 CPU for a HTPC and mess about with keeping up with DRM technical requirements. It's stuff like this that separates "enthusiasts buying for mainstream" vs how average Joe's actually use them. Biggest problem isn't that they aren't any good for browsing, etc, it's that you're being bumped down from Pentium to Celeron prices. But you already own them, it's a "sunk cost" so you may as well get back whatever you can for them.
I agree, at this point folks who could buy from Larry can simply instead purchase good refurbish systems with decent specs at around the same price or even less then what Larry asks for his builds.

Also at this point in time, I'm wouldn't build a basic system with a CPU less then 2c/4t and an SSD.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
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#16
Because Intel says so?

Dual core are good for basic office machines, POS machines and even for school tasks.

Hell even games.
Yes any modern 2c/4t processor is capable of playing games, even AAA titles.
 
Aug 25, 2001
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#18
If browsing is too slow, the single fastest thing you can do is to stop trying to brute-force through all the cr*p and simply side-step the lot with uBlock. Pop-ups, pop-unders, trackers, analytics, adverts, IntelliTXT, disable auto-play flash ads, only load current tab on startup, etc. People will literally be thanking you for giving them the equivalent of a 6-15GHz 2C/2T CPU "for free" and making web pages readable again
Oh, I agree completely! Firefox Nightly 58a1, with multi-process enhancements, faster rendering, etc. is standard, as is uBlock Origin, Privacy Badger, and Tracking Protection (always on).
 
Aug 8, 2001
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#19
Decide whether you aree a business or an enthusiast.

If you are a business, you can put a lot of work into finding small businesses and individuals locally to sell your systems to, as well as providing support.

If you are an enthusiast, you'd be better off giving up on the idea of selling budget systems. Part out what you don't need, selling the parts here or on ebay. Yes, you'll take a loss, but that's how "used" works.

The dual cores I had (down to just a G1820 as far as low end CPUs) I sold recently paid for themselves in mining systems.
 

scannall

Golden Member
Jan 1, 2012
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#20
As much as I'm from a DOS/Windows kind of background, and kind of hate to see Android taking desktop-like market share away from Windows, you do have a point. Many people use those Android TV-boxes. Then again, you can also buy them complete for $40 from Joe'sChinaImportersDirect (fictitous name), and I don't see quite how I would compete with something like that.

I've put CloudReady on an ITX box with an AM1 Sempron 3850 quad-core 1.3Ghz small-core AMD APU, and unlike Windows 10, which really sort of bogs down due to the low ST IPC (at least with Firefox 64-bit), the CloudReady (even 64-bit), with Chromium, really takes advantage of the quad-core APU, and doesn't bog down really much at all, at least in my limited testing. OTOH, it's still not mature enough to allow me to use the HDMI audio output on those mobos, either. (I should really try installing a more recent build, I guess.)
Use Linux, and MythTV. You can set it up to just run, for the less technically inclined. Should be able to sell a few that way, and avoid the Windows license.

MythTV
 

Torn Mind

Diamond Member
Nov 25, 2012
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#21
If your "browsing box" can't beat a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, 2013 edition, it's a poor value. Having used the T-mobile one with the Snapdragon 800, I can firmly state that it makes a good baseline for "good enough" tablet browsing. IPad Airs and Air 2 are going for $290 a pop with 32 or 64 GB of storage as well, and you can take them wherever there is Wi-Fi.

It's the "upscale" end that you should be targeting. Gamers are suckered into believing "better VRMS", big money=quality, and ZOMG i9 is the BESTEST, etc; not all of them are knowledgeable geeks like here and do get suckered in by mis- and disinformation and will part with their dough.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
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#23
If your "browsing box" can't beat a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, 2013 edition, it's a poor value. Having used the T-mobile one with the Snapdragon 800, I can firmly state that it makes a good baseline for "good enough" tablet browsing. IPad Airs and Air 2 are going for $290 a pop with 32 or 64 GB of storage as well, and you can take them wherever there is Wi-Fi.

It's the "upscale" end that you should be targeting. Gamers are suckered into believing "better VRMS", big money=quality, and ZOMG i9 is the BESTEST, etc; not all of them are knowledgeable geeks like here and do get suckered in by mis- and disinformation and will part with their dough.
Unless you are building for yourself(and a few others) and enjoy doing it, it isn't really worthwhile to build cheap systems for sale . Especially once you factor in the cost of a legal copy of Windows and providing support.

Since I started building my systems back in 2000, I had only sold only two computers I've built in 17 years. The first was a rig I put together from older parts for a landlord(Still way better then what he had), and the other one was for my dad three years ago.
 
Apr 20, 2008
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#24
@VirtualLarry Ask this question in a few years. When we start seeing quad cores for ~$80 or less, then you have your answer.
Few years? In a few months we're going to be seeing CPUs like Ryzen 1200 hit $80 consistently once Ryzen 2 hits.
 


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