Buying a used laptop

Here in Portland (OR), we have Free Geek, a computer recycler and thrift store. I’m thinking of buying a used laptop from them, replacing the disk with an SSD, and using it to run Roon Core. All their used computers are loaded with Ubuntu, and I figure I can do the whole thing for <$300, probably <$250.

What should I look for in a used laptop? I imagine fastest processor and most RAM?

Or would I be better off biting the bullet and shelling out the $600+ for an SGC preconfigured box?


Fastest 64 bit x86 processor. An i5 would be ideal. 8 Gb of RAM is fine (assuming dedicated to Roon Server). A working Ethernet port.

I have Roon Server running under Ubuntu 16.04 on a dual core Intel NUC which only cost $128 plus memory and SSD. Right around 200 total brand new; reliable and quite power efficient. The model number is NUC5CPYH; available from many sellers online.

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Thanks, @Mike_Horgan, @andybob. Useful information. I’ll do a little shopping around after using Roon for a couple of more months.