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CostHelper > Consumer Electronics  > Computers & Internet > Desktop Computer

Desktop Computer Cost


How Much Does a Desktop Computer Cost?

 
low costLow: Start Under $300average costMedium: Basic Home and Business Computers Run $400-$1,000high costHigh: High-End Computers Can Run $1,100-$3,000+
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Since computer technology changes so rapidly, with speed and performance increasing each year, buyers should decide how they intend to use their desktop computers in order to make the best long-term choice.

Typical costs:

  • General-purpose desktop computers start at less than $300, including a midsize or "midtower" case, keyboard and mouse. Expect a general-purpose desktop to come equipped with Windows Vista or Windows XP operating system. Add the cost of an inexpensive 17-inch LCD monitor and a basic up-and-running package will still cost under $400. An example of a low-budget model is the Compaq CQ2009F[1] for about $370. The 1GB of memory and 160GB of disk space is plenty for common household computer uses such as e-mailing, surfing the net, word processing and managing digital photos. In the $400 to $600 range, it's possible to find a desktop computer with a higher-end dual core processor. A dual-core CPU effectively means the computer combines multiple processors in one for higher performance.
  • Business or home office users will need to look at midrange desktop computers in the $700 to $1,000 and up range. Expect a dual-core CPU, and 2GB DDR2 memory, with a 250GB hard drive, a DVD burner and Windows Vista or the new Windows 7 operating system (due October 2009.) The Hewlett-Packard dc7900[2] is one example of a desktop computer designed for business use and costs in the region of $900 to $1,100.
  • For those home office and general-purpose users with limited space, small form or all-in-one desktop computers cost from $1,100 to $2,100. An all-in-one desktop unit hides the processor, memory and hard drive either in the base or behind the integrated flat-screen monitor. The Sony VGC-LV240J/S[3] starts at about $1,700 and combines a Blu-ray DVD burner and integrated DVR capability with a 20-inch LCD display in one space-saving device. The downside to an all-in-one desktop computer is that the expansion possibilities are limited and if either the components or the screen fail the entire unit has to be replaced. A small form desktop uses a very compact case to house the processor and hard drive. An example of a small form desktop is the Apple Mac mini[4] , which starts as low as $600 but of course requires a separate monitor.
  • Home theater PCs are ultra-small form computers designed for integration into an existing home entertainment system and cost from $1,500 to $3,000. Expect a DVD burner or Blu-ray player and TV tuner, along with audio cards that are compatible with 5.1, 6.1 or even 7.1 surround sound speaker systems. The Sony VAIO TP Home Theater PC[5] starts at about $1,500 and offers the ability to watch and record HDTV. Like all-in-one units, home theater PCs offer limited expansion possibilities.
  • Computer gamers and power users should look at high-end desktops with full-tower cases (large boxes associated with the traditional desktop computer design) that offer plenty of room for future upgrades and expansion for $2,500 to $3,500 and up. Expect lots of connectivity options and numerous slots for 3D gaming cards. The Apple Mac Pro offers plenty of power but many avid gamers stick with a PC. The Poly X5800I[6] costs about $3,400 and features a powerful Intel Core i7 965 Extreme processor, 6GB of DDR3-1066 memory and 792GB of storage.
What should be included:
  • A typical desktop PC will come with a keyboard, a mouse and necessary cables to start using the computer.
  • The computer typically will have at least one CD or DVD ROM drive.
  • It should come with Windows XP, Vista or the new Windows 7 (or Macintosh OS X Leopard) software, and basic applications.
  • A desktop computer from a reputable manufacturer should come with 1 year of warranty and support.
Additional costs:
  • Most desktop computers do not include a monitor. See: How Much Does a Computer Monitor Cost.
  • While most desktops include at least a basic mouse and keyboard, some users prefer to upgrade. A wireless keyboard costs from about $20 to over $200, a wireless mouse from about $20 to $100 or more.
Discounts:
  • Manufacturers such as Hewlett-Packard[7] offer closeout and refurbished models at discounted prices, as well as discounts for some government and education employees.
Shopping for a desktop computer:
  • CNet[8] offers a Buying Guide to desktop computers.
  • Check manufacturers' websites such as Dell[9] and Gateway for help configuring a suitable desktop PC.
  • Major retail outlets such as Best Buy[10] and Office Depot[11] stock a wide selection of desktop computers.
  • Compare prices with online sellers such as J&R.com[12] and Amazon[13] but remember to factor in delivery times, shipping costs and return policies.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.amazon.com/Hewlett-Packard-CQ2009F-Compaq-Desktop-PC/dp/B001P5GJCW/ref=pd_ybh_1?pf_...
  2.  h71016.www7.hp.com/MiddleFrame.asp?page=config&ProductLineId=429&FamilyId=2891&BaseId=2...
  3.  store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&l...
  4.  store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_mac/family/mac_mini?mco=MTI2MDI4MQ
  5.  store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&...
  6.  www.polywell.com/us/desktop/PolyX5800i.asp
  7.  www.hp.com/sbso/buspurchase_refurbished.html
  8.  reviews.cnet.com/desktop-computer-buying-guide/
  9.  www.dell.com/us/p/desktops
  10.  www.bestbuy.com/site/Computers-PCs/Desktop-Computers/abcat0501000.c?id=abcat0501000
  11.  www.officedepot.com/a/browse/desktop-computers/N=5+509616/
  12.  www.jr.com/category/computers/desktop-computers/pc-desktops
  13.  www.amazon.com/Desktops-Computers-Add-Ons/b/ref=amb_link_7061752_2?ie=UTF8&node=565098&...
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