Desktop PCs are a commodity these days. Manufacturing methods, raw materials, and labor has all contributed to the entry level PC falling to $300 or sometimes less. But when you are dealing with very low cost items, there is some risk involved. When manufacturers start cutting corners to lower the prices, the quality and reliability can often suffer. And with modern day software becoming more and more hardware intensive, performance issues can raise their ugly head too.
Another factor is that cheap to one person’s budget may not be cheap to another’s. The term is relative to your budget and even your purpose. If you paid $1000 for your first PC, and you find the same or similar one now for $500, that would be considered cheap. So it’s all about what your budget is and what you need to accomplish with your with the Desktop PC. Often times you can find legitimate bargains like a discontinued model that’s been reduced for a quick sale, or dent and scratch sale, and yearend specials to clear inventory.
What Are Your Requirements?
Decide on what features you must have on PC you buy. If you primarily surf the web and use email, your demands are much less than if you use high end software to do quantum physics. What about the software that comes with the unit, is there any special software you need to have to do your job or hobby? Everyone can have different requirements based on what their plans are for using a PC.
Pay attention to the minimum requirements for the install operating system. Three components to look at are the dhipset, amount and speed of ram, and the video chipset and amount of ram. With the intensive software of today you should have at least a dual core chipset, at least 2 gigs of DR3 ram, and some type of enhanced video chipset with it’s own ram. You can find computers that are super cheap that don’t even have these minimums but I would pass on those computers.
Do You Have A Budget?
Cost can be a relative factor as mentioned above. For buyers who have no special needs, cost could be the most important consideration. But be careful not to go so low in price that you fail to meet your needs, after all you often get what you pay for these days. And if your PC fails or breaks due to low quality parts it may not be the best deal after all. Even an extra $20 can make a big difference in quality. When you start breaking the less than $300 level you may be looking for trouble both in acceptable performance and reliability.
What About Reliability?
Does the PC have a warranty? Will the company be around to provide the warranty service? It’s always a good idea to check out the PC manufacturer and model online. Look for reviews and recommendations. Ask around to friends and associates to get some real world user reviews, especially if they have the same requirements as you. Consumer reports has a lot of info on desktop PCs too but there are so many variables that you need to find the exact model review if at all possible which can be difficult.
Any Necessary Accessories?
Watch out for low cost desktop PCs that don’t include accessories that you need for your particular computer chores. There are the standard monitor and printer that may not come with entry level PCs. Other accessories like speakers, DVD players, web cams, and other additional items that may be necessary for your needs. Look at the accessories, consider the real value (what they might cost if you bought separately) to make the best buying decision.
Refurbished or New Computers ?
If you are looking for a cheap computer then often the cheapest option can be to go for a refurbished or second-hand option. However, this is not always desirable especially if you need up-to-date technology and want the comfort of knowing your purchase comes with a full warranty. The good news is that it is still possible to find many cheap new computers, and here is a quick guide to where to start.
- Firstly you should start your search in stores. Viewing the budget desktop computers available will give you an idea of the way they look, their size and so on. This is also the perfect opportunity to ask the sales staff of any questions you may have. The computers you look at will depend on your specific needs, so make sure that the computers can fulfill these basic needs. As you go around, note down any makes and models you are interested in. You also need to decide whether a laptop/notebook or desktop PC is best for you.
- After you have browsed the cheap computers available in stores you can take your list and enter them into a search engine to see reviews as well as price comparisons available online. There won’t always be reviews available for every model so don’t worry if there aren’t. You should, however, find many online stores that have your particular computer model in stock. Browse several of these stores or even use a price comparison website to find out where the cheap new PCs are.
- Once you have found a computer and a price you are happy with you should think about where you are buying it from. If buying online, make sure that the website is reputable. In all cases you should also find out how long the warranty lasts and what kind of support is included in the price of the new computer. Online purchasing is one of the most popular methods of buying cheap new desktops.
Follow these steps and you should find it relatively easy to find budget new computers. It may take some time and research, but this will be well worth it when you find a computer that you are happy with and that provides you will all of the latest technology.