How do I chose a good budget desktop computer?

Started Nov 14, 2012 | Questions thread
Jim Cockfield Forum Pro • Posts: 16,333
Or, an XPS 8500 for $559-Core i5 3450, 8GB DDR3, etc.

The listings for them are a bit "sparse" right now. But, I just saw some lower priced XPS 8500 configs pop up in the available listings at Dell Outlet.

For example, here's one with a Core i5 3450 (3rd Generation "Ivy Bridge" model), 8GB of 1600Mhz DDR3 (leaving two slots open for more), 1TB 7200rpm Drive, Wireless N and Bluetooth, Integrated Card Reader, keyboard mouse, dedicated Nvidia GT 620 video card, 64 bit Win 7 Home Premium, plenty of USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports, mSATA slot you could use for an SSD without taking up one of the drive bays, etc. for $699 (before any extra discounts using a coupon code for more off).

After the current 20% off coupon code, a box like that would only run you $559.20 (and it's got a 1 year warranty with in home service after remote diagnostics, just like the new machines).

For how it sounds like how you use a machine, something like the cheaper Dell Inspiron 660 with a Core i3 2120 for around $335 after a coupon code should work just fine (see the link in my first post for the current deals they have).

But, if you wanted something a bit more powerful with a dedicated video card and better expandability for some reason, just move up to something like the XPS 8500 for around $559 after the current coupon code instead.

Just check the listings often, as they change on a very frequent basis.  Note that if you look often, you could probably find one with an even faster video card, larger drive and Core i7 3770 for very little more.

But, personally,  I wouldn't spend a small fortune for how it sounds like you're using a PC (browsing jpeg images with Picasa, internet browsing, office docs).   I'd probably go with a cheaper (under $400) box instead for that type of use, as mentioned in my first post to this thread

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