Getting the most value from a desktop PC does not mean spending tons of money, or running from store to store using up valuable time. What it requires is knowledge of what you both want and need in a desktop PC. Ask yourself a few questions first:
What do you plan to use the computer to do? Browsing the web and corresponding with others via email, playing games including online versions, desktop publishing, and research for school or work, managing your digital photos including video, playing music, maybe even watching television? By defining what you want the computer to be capable of doing, you are less apt to waste money buying a substandard system, or investing in a high-end one with features that you will most likely never access.
Do you plan to make any other computer related purchases any time soon? If you do, shop for deals that provide you with a discount if you purchase these items together. Computer manufacturers may offer a discount if you add a printer, digital camera, even Internet service to the sale.
Next, look for systems that meet your requirements at various online stores such as Dell or Gateway, which allow you to custom build a desktop with the features you input, and that will provide you with an instant price. Most online stores such as these will also allow you to compare pre arranged configurations, and pricing across the board. Keep in mind that even slight configuration changes can drastically alter the price of a system. By knowing the features you want, those you need, and those that you really have no use for, you will be able to define the best system for your needs at the lowest possible price.
Do not overlook important value add-ons such as length of warranty service, processor speed, amount of memory, and size of monitors. Some companies might try to lower the cost of a system by skimping on these details. While you might be able to live with a smaller monitor, or a CRT monitor instead of a flat screen, choosing a much slower processor on a system that you plan to do a lot of graphic manipulation on, will only lead to frustration and a computer system that will be outdated for your needs before you even plug it in. At the same time, if money is an issue, save by eliminating items you do not need. If you are replacing a system for example, and your monitor, keyboard, and mouse are still good, recycle those instead of buying new.
Consider the following when comparing systems:
Processor speed and type
Included software including operating system
Types and number of drives
Optional ports for connectivity to various electronics such as digital cameras, video cameras, MP3 players, handhelds, and more
Is it upgradeable?
Modem or routers
Keyboards and mice, including wireless versions, and speakers
Getting top value on your next desktop PC purchase is possible. Shop informed, and you will end up with a computer that you know will both fit your needs and your budget.