$600 budget for possible for this is?

By Raymond Danner ·
Given an absolute budget of $600 (which must include taxes and shipping), what is the /absolute best/ machine possible?

Note that this is not an OS-specific question. I'm asking for the absolute best including OS and enough software to make the machine useful for business and/or light-medium gaming.

Also: Assume user has no need (who really does?) for a windowed case and lighting. This should lower costs and improve price/performance ratio considerably, although it may make the machine itself look "dull" to the teenage crowd.

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purchase a pre-built system

by w2ktechman In reply to $600 budget for computer. ...

because building a system from parts will cost a bit more.
Any of the major manufacturers wil have systems of varying abilities starting at a low cost, and additions make it cost more. Furthermore, you may even find shipping as free, so only taxes to worry about.
Personally, I prefer HP over Compaq (I know), Dell, and Gateway. The HP Compaq line is cheaper than the HP Pavilion line. But for that price, even e-machines and other vendors can compete well for your business.
Do some comparisons from all of these manufacturers websites, and online stores for a good idea of what you can get.

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Hm. Interesting.

by Raymond Danner In reply to purchase a pre-built syst ...

Considering I purchased a very well-equipped HP for $4** (which was traded up to an eMachines T6420 by insistence of the customer!) this is basically what I've done in one particular case. However, I'd like to keep specifications as high as possible for the type; it is often better to concentrate on the tower than get a full system, as many times, the customer doesn't need a monitor or printer, just a replacement tower.

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get a Dell

by CG IT In reply to $600 budget for computer. ...

Dell has desktops under $600.00 that comes with a 17" LCD and are Windows Vista ready [ha ha but not Vista Ultimate ]

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Hm. Dell?

by Raymond Danner In reply to get a Dell

As I stated, I'm not looking for a machine designed especially for a specific OS. I'd prefer, in fact, for the machine to be able to do any OS it's thrown with minimal problems. Unfortunately, the best modems for this are hard to find now. (hardware-based modems, as opposed to software-driver based)

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Definition of Best

by jdmercha In reply to $600 budget for computer. ...

That depends on what your definition of best is. Does best mean the fastest for the money, the most reliable?

Personally I would go with Dell. You may be able to find a cheaper machine, a more reliable machine or a faster machine. But I believe tha Dell provides the best overall value.

With that in mind, the best way to purchase a Dell is to check out They always have the best available deal listed.

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I Agree

by animatech In reply to Definition of Best

I have too agree with J as you should check the system spec as per you definition of "best".
I would choose Dell as well as it should provide the answer to your needs.

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by bcmathis In reply to $600 budget for computer. ...

They have some decent off-lease (used from large companies with a short life cycle) pcs with real decent specs... the computers start around $100+ to over $400.

Check it out and let us know what you think.

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by mjd420nova In reply to $600 budget for computer. ...

A larger view would be to look at future expansion and technology advancement $600. would really get you close But as always, there are trade offs to be made, and compromises. You need a nice core duo motherboard and processor speed around 3 Ghz , a frontside buss of 1 gbs with 667 mbs sata drives running around 500 mbs. Add two Gbytes of 800 mbs to match the FSB as close as possible. Now that's just a starter. And the video and sound are PCI-e interface you're maxed out now. So you begin to down grade your expectations and revise how and to what degree you need video that would exceed your needs and still be a viable base unit to expand upon. Power suppies need to be expored and cases are not and never were to be ornamental. Besides they only get covered with junk any way. Keyboards and pointing devices along with joysticks and such all dictate what types of ports are needed and again be upgradable. Armed with your basic needs, you could do it, most likely a deal could be stuck and if you could lay it all out on your bed and make it work, you don't need a case.

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Ok, everyone. Good ideas abound here... :)

by Raymond Danner In reply to D I Y

With the often slippery nature of tech, we all know that one cannot ever get state of the art (much less bleeding-edge) tech for this price-point. Everyone has good ideas so far, some ideas would be good for some, but not for others (for example, those who have dealt with Dell's tech support :raises hand: would not be overly inclined to deal with Dell. That being said, none of the big PC manufacturers have much to be happy about in their support channel, in the average user's experience. (and outsourcing to India just makes it worse. Not only do they use a script, they use it slavishly; it took me two and a half hours on the phone with Dell for them to finally give me the proper solution (delete a key in the Registry that was causing the problem for a customer of mine, which was that all their optical drives were invisible to Windows, but not to any other OS. Two and a half hours? Bad experience.

The Big Three (or however few there are nowadays) PC makers also need to get a life and extend their base warranty back to a year. This having to pay over $100 for a one year warranty is just nuts. (eMachines, who made my current box, has a 1-year standard warranty, however.) Any company that tries to say that "Break the seal, void the warranty" is simply wrong, IMO. (Have heard there has been a court case that proved it to not be legal. Have yet to find the references.)

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