How do I chose a good budget desktop computer?

Started Nov 14, 2012 | Questions thread
OP FNorman New Member • Posts: 15
I appreciate everybody's advice! I ended up getting a new base model Dell XPS 8500.

It is expected to be delivered this coming Wednesday. The computer has an Intel i5 processor, 1TB hard drive, and 8GB of ram. It came to $686.60 with tax (which is always ridiculous living in NY). Two day shipping was free. Additionally I will be getting a Dell gift card for 5% of the purchase price for having purchased it through the Dell Member program (Who knew AAA could get you a discount on a PC?) and another 5% Cash back on my credit card.

Based on what I have read on other threads the only thing I'm nervous about at this point is Windows 8. I would have purchased a Windows 7 machine, but they seemed to be in short supply, and some of them actually seemed to cost slightly more.

I think I can learn to live without the "Start menu." The compatibility issues with older programs could be an issue. I see Picasa hasn't released a version specifically for Windows 8 yet. Additionally I bought a Canon Canoscan 9000f to bring some of my family's old photos back to life, so fingers crossed that it works well on the new OS.

All in all, I think I will be happy. I ended up spending a little more (I had been leaning towards a sub $500 model for the past few weeks) but the expandability of the XPS appealed to me and I like that I can add to it if I want to down the road.

 FNorman's gear list:FNorman's gear list
Nikon Coolpix S33 Canon EOS 450D Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Apple iPhone SE
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