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Buying Computers at the Best Prices, Deals
The first step in determining how much your going to spend on your new computer is how you will be using it. The fact is, what many users are using their desktop pc's for, really doesn't require the processing power and storage of some of the newer pc's and chips. Therefore, before even pricing, take a closer look at the applications you will be running. 1
Factory reburbished computers are offered at advertised savings over retail pricing of 50 to 80% off and more. Typically for name brands like Dell, HP, Compaq, Sony and Gateway, these units usually carry an assurance that the pc has been checked out and is in proper operating condition. If so, you will want to verify this, and that the computer comes with adequate warranty coverage and technical support 2 with contingencies in place to hedge on how much data recovery costs. Aware that there are a number practical ways to lower data recovery costs.
Also, make sure the advertised price savings is significantly lower than for buying the newer models. Of course, when buying a refurbished machine you will not have the flexibility to configure components to your needs.
Generic pc's/self-build If you posess some basic technical abilities, chances are you can put together your own. This will typically give enough of a total discount to allow for a major upgrade, or, substantial savings of at least 20 to 30% over what you would normally pay over retail, depending on place of purchase (of both parts and pc). In additions, many suppliers of parts are more than happy to accomodate any questions sent their way such as those relating to inter-compatibility or otherwise.3
Generic pc/custom Many suppliers of computer parts do custom builds as well. With this option, you can can configure your own system typically with an OEM installed operating system. If you go this route, try and find a parts warehouse that deals in bulk purchases of the components like hard drives, motherboards, ram, etc. in the interest of having the ability to pass on the savings to the consumer.
Rebates on pc's. Promotional ebates are generally a great way to go, both for purchasing entire pc's and for componenets. And it's also a great way for companies to stimulate sales. The downside however is wait time. See if you will have to wait two weeks or three months to see the check or credit in the mail (some manufactures are in the habit of issuing prepaid credit cards in lieu of checks -- know the terms of these beforehand, & any potential fees to you)
Lastly, be specific, make sure you are getting what you are paying for. As an example, many retailers are focused on storage capacity and don't offer specifications on hard drive cache, whether it is 8mb, 16mb, 32mb and this is a common oversight by consumers. The cache factor does, in fact, affect data access times. Same for disk speed.
1 While some internet service providers plan on upgrading to faster load times, the more intensive downloads such as movies at these increased speeds will place a greater burden on pc components, such as ram. And if you are running antivirus program(s) in the background, these have a tendency to hog resources while you are doing other things.
2 Which brings up another point. Even if you are in the practice of making regular backups, glitches in pc's pose a major inconvenience and downtime. Too, keep in mind that returning the pc to for a fix might mean leaving any sensitive data on the machine
3 Note that if you do assemle your own, you will need to supply your own software such as Windows, while OEM versions usually comes with pre-assembled units. Though having your own full version restore disk may have its advantages in the long run such as to perform 'detect and repair' on the operating system.
Cartridge Types: OEM Cartridges Remanufactured Compatible Cartridges
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