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  • Tips on Buying a Refurbished Computer

    We have been selling refurbished computers for over 20 years, so we like to think we know what we are talking about!  Please find to follow some basic hints and tips which may help newcomers to refurbished equipment in making a decision.  You can always call us on 01787 463635 if you wish to speak to a human being!


    Refurbished PC equipment is frequently graded to offer buyers an indication of condition - Grade A being the top grade. When buying a Grade A system, you can expect it to be as close to new condition as possible for second user refurbished equipment. There may be the odd tiny mark on exterior casing but certainly no serious scuffs and scratches and no dents or cracks. At Black Barn Computers, all of our systems will be Grade A by default. We occasionally sell Grade B products and if this is the case it will be clearly pointed out in the sales listing. 


    All of our refurbished systems are supplied with an operating system which is fully licensed and activated. We install Windows on the day of dispatch so that it is fully tested and updated. Therefore, the end customer will not spend hours downloading updates prior to actually using their new system!  These updates include Windows security updates, driver updates and Windows Store updates. We also now supply PCs and Laptops with the new Windows 11 operating system installed. There are strict system requirements for Windows 11 as laid out by Microsoft - the main ones being an 8th Generation or above processor and TPM 2.0 present. We only supply Windows 11 on systems that meet these minimum requirements, although we have noticed other suppliers selling systems with Windows 11 which do no meet those requirements. Make sure to check these requirements are met before purchasing any refurbished system with Windows 11.

    Solid State Drives

    All of our systems now come installed with Solid State Drives (SSDs). These offer a significant performance upgrade over the old style spinning platter hard drives (spinners), which were the standard for many years. Because an SSD is simply a memory chip and contains no moving parts, actions such as booting Windows, installing and loading programs and browsing the net happen far faster than the 'spinner' drives. Due to having no moving parts, they are also considerably more reliable. We no longer supply PC systems with 'spinner' drives and would no longer recommend them as a purchase option since SSDs offer such smooth and frustration free experience. No more turning the PC on and then going off to make a cup of tea whilst Windows grinds into life!

    There are two different SSD technologies we use in our systems and they operate at different speeds. We will compare them below in comparison to a standard hard drive to give you a better understanding of the terminology and speed.

    Hard Drive (Spinners) - Speeds up to 150 MB/s
    Solid State Drive (SSD) - Speeds up to 550 MB/s
    M.2 NVMe (SSD) - Speeds up to 3500 MB/s

    Monitor Connections

    There are various monitor connections that are used in PC systems and laptops. As we sell PC system units on their own, it is crucial to make sure that when you receive your PC it will connect to your monitor at home. If your monitor does not have a suitable connection for the PC that you have purchased you maybe able to get a converter. Below is a list of the monitor connections that are used on the PCs we sell: