I recommend building LGA775-based PCs
When most tech ethusiasts are hyping the latest and greatest products and showing off their “rigs” that cost well over $1000 USD (sometimes multiple thousands of dollars), I am going to recommend that you build or configure a PC on Intel’s LGA775 platform with a Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Quad processor.
One of my favorite CPUs right now
The Core 2 Duo E8400 sells for less than $10 on the used market.
Short list of reasons
If you want to have some fun with computers, here’s why a LGA775 PC may be better than a Raspberry Pi or Chromebook:
- Availability (easy to find or buy)
- CPU upgrades for $25 or less
- Whole systems with accessories for less than a Chromebook
- PC platform with modular components
- upgradeable memory, up to 16GB
- processor sockets
- Standard SATA connectors for storage
- Lots of ports - USB, serial, parallel and more
- Less stress, more fun
- Still useful for current common workloads
Build a project PC
These computers are great for experimenting. Try out Linux on actual hardware. Build a server. Learn something new.
The HP Elite SFF (small form factor) series are excellent choices. This is an HP Elite 8000.