Personal computing discussed

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Anovoca
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Investing in Hardware

Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:31 am

So, I was going through some totes of old hardware and I came across a pair of Crucial DDR4 16gb x2 ECC memory modules I bought two years ago for a sever I was putting together. The modules never ended up booting with my board and I forgot all about them after I threw them in the tote in frustration. Pulling them out today, I decided to see if I could post them on ebay and get my money back for them, only to find their value had gone up from the initial purchase price of $215 to $420-$460.

This had me wondering how many of you have had similar return on investment stories with hardware. On a side note, I am not talking about people who buy new release items like GPUs when quantities are low and jack up the price on ebay because of high demand (you are scum and I don't want to talk to you); I'm talking about hardware you find in storage collecting dust worth more today then when you purchased it.
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the
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Re: Investing in Hardware

Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:42 am

I ordered the original Apple G4 (450 Mhz Sawtooth) before Apple infamously increased the price by $500 a couple of months after the announcement since they had to cancel the 500 Mhz version.

I ordered a bunch of 16 GB registered ECC DDR3 DIMMs pretty much when they hit rock bottom. Now they're worth twice that. There are still plenty of DDR3 machines in use so the upgrade side of demand hasn't changed but OEMs have all moved to DDR4. Generally the aftermarket tends to have a downward slope but it appears that things are flat-lining.
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techguy
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Re: Investing in Hardware

Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:51 am

I've only made money on hardware once, and it was also RAM. I bought some G.Skill DDR3 2800 which was the fastest RAM on the planet at the time and re-sold it at a profit after a couple months of use.

Other good sales I've made include a 2016 Titan X(p) with a waterblock and about 4-5 months use for close to what I paid for it new. Sold a Macbook Pro for close to what I paid new after a couple months of use also.
 
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Re: Investing in Hardware

Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:14 am

I've never done it, but I imagine there are some potential opportunities with commodity parts that tend to have volatile pricing (e.g. RAM, as noted above). Maybe GPUs too, if you happen to buy right before the next big crypto-currency bubble hits.
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Re: Investing in Hardware

Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:23 am

just brew it! wrote:
Maybe GPUs too, if you happen to buy right before the next big crypto-currency bubble hits.

Just what we need, a crypto-currency derivatives market. 8)
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Re: Investing in Hardware

Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:05 am

I have various Commodore 64s and Amigas with peripherals that I generally got for less than they could be sold for today (particularly the dead and dirty ones that I repaired and cleaned up). The price has generally gone up on those machines over the last 5-10 years (mostly on Amigas as 64s are still generally cheap and plentiful). While I could sell most of that stuff for more than I paid originally, you need to take into consideration that some of the stuff you buy needs to be written off as it dies or develops some fault while you have it.

Generally I wouldn't advice anyone to invest in any kind of computer hardware as 95% of the stuff I bought over the years very quickly dropped in value. Buy it because you need it now and not because you think you might need it later or think it will increase in value. Sometimes when I have built a new PC for myself, I would check the prices of the components 2-6 months after I bought it and almost become depressed seeing how much money I have thrown away, so now I stopped looking at the price levels after my purchase. What's done is done. :-)
 
Anovoca
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Re: Investing in Hardware

Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:25 am

I wouldnt be surprised if old videocards become a collectors item some day. TBH, I wouldnt mind paying a pretty penny myself for an xfx geForce 1,2,3, or 4 in original packaging with the bulldog boxes.
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Re: Investing in Hardware

Thu Nov 23, 2017 3:27 am

Anovoca wrote:
I wouldnt be surprised if old videocards become a collectors item some day. TBH, I wouldnt mind paying a pretty penny myself for an xfx geForce 1,2,3, or 4 in original packaging with the bulldog boxes.

Usually it is top of the line cards within a given tech that becomes sought after. Voodoo 5 cards are also quite valuable today, although as an investment it still isn't good since they were quite expensive from new as well. :-)
 
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Re: Investing in Hardware

Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:48 am

Anovoca wrote:
I wouldnt be surprised if old videocards become a collectors item some day. TBH, I wouldnt mind paying a pretty penny myself for an xfx geForce 1,2,3, or 4 in original packaging with the bulldog boxes.

When you're dealing with really old stuff like that you also have to consider inflation. $200 in 1997 would be ~$305 today just due to inflation, so you'd have to adjust the selling price of a $200 card accordingly to determine if you really made a profit. (And that's not even thinking about what you could have ended up with if you had invested it in something other than a GPU...)
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Re: Investing in Hardware

Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:23 am

The only hardware that has gained in value for me in the last decade is a trio of RX480 cards that I bought for €249 each and sold for ~€550 each a few months later (after the Etherium mining craze dried up all the existing stocks).
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whm1974
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Re: Investing in Hardware

Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:02 am

This whole idea of investing in Hardware is rather silly. The only real way of getting your money's worth out of any hardware you buy, is to use it as we should be doing in the first place. Now that said, I can see collecting older hardware that are considered to be the classics of computering such as the Atari 800XL, the ST/TT or the classic Amiga and the like. But spending good money on hardware that is too old to of any use is downright silly. :roll:
 
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Re: Investing in Hardware

Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:06 am

It's probably easier just to buy stock in a DRAM company (like Micron) when demand is low, and hold it for a year or two than it is to buy actual DIMMs to sell on ebay.
 
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Re: Investing in Hardware

Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:14 pm

Only hardware I made a direct profit on would be a bunch of triple channel DDR3 kits I acquired when they were literally cheap as dirt after MIRs. Prices were so absurdly low I just began buying a bunch of them and sat on them for most of a year.

Also an R9 380 I got used, my original goal was to wait for Volta and invest into a flagship model but the crazy prices on old Radeons made it too appealing to buy a 1080 Ti early and cash out on the 380. I'm sure I'll regret that when GDDR6 Volta appears, as I don't think any reviews bothered to mention that GDDR5X clocks down under compute workloads. :-?
 
Anovoca
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Re: Investing in Hardware

Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:07 pm

whm1974 wrote:
This whole idea of investing in Hardware is rather silly. The only real way of getting your money's worth out of any hardware you buy, is to use it as we should be doing in the first place. Now that said, I can see collecting older hardware that are considered to be the classics of computering such as the Atari 800XL, the ST/TT or the classic Amiga and the like. But spending good money on hardware that is too old to of any use is downright silly. :roll:


Agreed, I am not advocating for people to do so intentionally, just curious if people have made incidental profits off their old hardware, for what-ever the reason.
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Re: Investing in Hardware

Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:37 pm

It happens, but other than commodity products with highly volatile prices like RAM, and rare "collector's item" cards like the previously mentioned Voodoo 5, computer hardware is not a good investment in general.
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Re: Investing in Hardware

Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:52 pm

Yeah......"investing" in computer hardware is about as logical as buying new cars in order to drive off the lot and then sell them again. It's not impossible to make money, but generally requires some type of supply constraint to occur after your purchase (hard drive facilities get flooded, cryptominers buy all GPUs, all NAND gets bought by Apple, etc), which (unless you have insider information) is purely timing and luck. Items becoming collectible years later is similarly luck.
 
TwistedKestrel
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Re: Investing in Hardware

Fri Nov 24, 2017 2:59 pm

Value increased on a few things for me, though I never sold them (and they have since depreciated back down)
-AMD 7950 (XFX) (I think this is still pretty close to what I paid for it new)
-WD 2TB hard drive (bought it before the mess in Thailand)
-8GB DDR3 (bought a looooong time ago, before everyone was putting 16GB in everything. It was still dirt cheap - I bought another 8GB much later and it wasn't nearly as good of a deal)
-Xonar D1 (bought it when it was current, it is *still* worth more than what I paid for it)

P.S. If you ever bought a used laptop that has a socketed CPU that was top of the range for that socket, the CPU has probably appreciated in value
 
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Re: Investing in Hardware

Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:05 pm

TwistedKestrel wrote:
P.S. If you ever bought a used laptop that has a socketed CPU that was top of the range for that socket, the CPU has probably appreciated in value

In a similar vein, a few years ago the going rate for a used Phenom II 1090T appreciated to more than I originally paid for it; I imagine demand was being driven by people looking for hex-core Thuban CPUs as "last gasp" upgrades for AM2+ and AM3 systems. Looks like the price has finally come back down, so I missed the opportunity to recoup what I originally paid (plus a small profit). Looks like they're still going for $100 to $120 though, which isn't bad for a 7 year old CPU. I'd try to sell it, except it is currently in my home file server. :wink:
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Re: Investing in Hardware

Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:51 am

A year or more ago I passed on a Crucial 250GB MX200 SSD for around $100, Amazon now wants $172. :(
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whm1974
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Re: Investing in Hardware

Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:22 am

farmpuma wrote:
A year or more ago I passed on a Crucial 250GB MX200 SSD for around $100, Amazon now wants $172. :(

Why would anyone pay that much for 250GB when you can buy a 512GB SSD for the same or even a lower price?
 
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Re: Investing in Hardware

Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:10 pm

whm1974 wrote:
farmpuma wrote:
A year or more ago I passed on a Crucial 250GB MX200 SSD for around $100, Amazon now wants $172. :(

Why would anyone pay that much for 250GB when you can buy a 512GB SSD for the same or even a lower price?

All SSDs are not created equal. Some of the newer "budget" models have pretty lousy performance.
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whm1974
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Re: Investing in Hardware

Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:19 pm

just brew it! wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
farmpuma wrote:
A year or more ago I passed on a Crucial 250GB MX200 SSD for around $100, Amazon now wants $172. :(

Why would anyone pay that much for 250GB when you can buy a 512GB SSD for the same or even a lower price?

All SSDs are not created equal. Some of the newer "budget" models have pretty lousy performance.

While true, it does pay go shopping around and I'm sure I've seen Samsung $512 SSDs sale for that price. As shown here:
https://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductL ... 0600052674

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