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Discounts drive down prices of late-model 3000s

The longer a 3000 customer waits to upgrade a system, the better the deal gets. Few are as good as the one this summer where Matt Perdue walked away with a high-end 9x7 server for less than $300. But the more modern models of the 3000 are going for less than 50 percent of the HP-levied prices of four years ago.

Client Systems, which operates the Phoenix 3000 used hardware company, sent us notice of an A-Class server selling for under $6,000. Keep in mind that this particular A-Class is a 110MHz  one-CPU server, so it has a relative speed rating of 17 — just about half of that 987's speed rating. But the A-Class draws less power, qualifies for HP support (if you want to pay for that at HP's pricing) and connects with the latest generation of HP peripherals. The 987 won't boot MPE/iX 7.0, either.

We won't pretend that a $6,000 system that runs half as fast as a $300 is a relative deal. But compared to what HP was selling this same A-Class hardware for new in 2002, this box has become a bargain. Including the IMAGE database, an unlimited user license, 1GB of memory and an 18GB drive, the A400 is now priced almost $10,000 less than four years ago, new.

If your calculator is on your desktop, you might do the math: that's a next to latest generation HP 3000, selling for 38 percent of its original list price.

Even with HP's traditional discounts of 20 percent off list, at best, the A400 is still a server selling at less than half what it used to cost. You get that value because you waited, biding your time patiently with your 9x8 or 9x9 server. Customers like the City of Houston are computing just fine with an A400, a server so compact that HP's Dave Snow walked down the aislewith a server under his arm at the 2002 Interex e3000 Solutions Symposium

Spend $3,000 more at Client Systems and you get a A500 low-end system, one with a speed rating equal to the slowest 9x9, but with better connectivity and power efficiency. Client Systems reminds customers that like the rest of the used 3000 purveyors — Genisys, Ideal, Advant and others — it also has an inventory of 9x9s, N-Class servers and the old Emerald-class 99x 3000s. Client Systems also notes that they are still the only "HP-authorized, HP e3000 refurbished distributor in North America."

The major take-away from the sales announcement: Even the later models of the 3000 are being discounted heavy by now. You could get an even better deal, maybe, by asking around. But don't be holding out for another $300 server. Not yet.