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I bought a 2013 Era Workstation last year. (Dell Precision T3600) It had a 6 core xeon, and 32GB of ECC ram, and was $300 (I had my own hard drives, and got a decent video card)

it works great as a linux workstation, but its just so hot. My whole room is the warmest room in the house. I actually have to run a window air conditioner in the room to make it comfortable (I work from home, so use the office all day). I imagine its probably one of the largest power consumers (including the cost to cool with the window ac) in the house.

I look forward to tax season, I am going to replace it with a new AMD 3700x based system next year.

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