If you're looking to save money on a desktop computer, you're in the right place. Before you get started, review our general tips for saving money on Electronics where we cover such topics as comparison shopping, finding the best coupons and more.
Then check this category to get the LOZO on the best ways to get a PC or Mac desktop computer for less.
- Save on software with Family upgrades
Now that many homes have multiple PCs - desktops, laptops, netbooks - it's getting very expensive to try to upgrade a whole household. That's where family discounts come in.
Anti-virus software companies were among the first to offer [...]
- Always read these desktop computer reviews before buying
Be sure to read desktop reviews so you'll understand the pros & cons of a particular desktop and to give you an overall sense of what's available. Based on that, make an informed choice about what you need and what fits your budget.
For a [...]
- Buy only the software you need
Just as you should read reviews to determine the best desktop for your needs and budget, be sure to do the same for software. There is no shortage of options available and you can easily spend thousands of additional dollars. For example: if [...]
- Upgrade an old PC instead of buying a new one
If you have an old PC, see if it's possible to prolong its life or do an upgrade on it before you buy a totally new machine. Sometimes, adding more memory, upgrading the operating system or unloading years worth of accumulated junk can extend an [...]
- Computer coupons (we love 'em!)
To get the best deals on computers, always check for coupons before you buy. A lot of people overlook this, but it can be a great way to save money. You can check your local stores and the Sunday newspaper, but the best coupons are usually found [...]
- Smaller computer screens mean lower prices
One simple way to save money when buying a computer is to select a smaller monitor. If you're doing serious film editing or other visual creative work, you may need to splurge on a large screen. For most of us, though, a smaller screen will be [...]
- Custom build a PC rather than buying a ready-made one
For most consumers, the 'off the shelf', pre-built PC is the cheapest and simplest way to go. This tip only applies to tech-savvy consumers who are capable (and, heck, might even enjoy) custom building their own PC.
By purchasing all the parts [...]
- Save money by configuring the computer to your needs
After you've read computer reviews and gotten a clear sense of the computer you want, consider buying it from the manufacturer's website rather than a store.
This gives you more custom options than an off-the-shelf computer you'll find in a store. [...]
- Buy less RAM with your PC and upgrade later
When you buy a new desktop or laptop, you'll have the option of buying it with its base level of RAM (aka computer memory) or 'upgrading' to get more. Usually, it's cheaper to buy less RAM at the time of your initial purchase and then pick up more [...]
- Prolong your PC's life
One of the best ways to keep your computer costs down is to keep your current computer running smoothly. This prolongs its life and postpones the need to buy a new system.
For example: back up your files to ensure you don't lose valuable files, [...]
- Don't waste valuable memory
When you buy a new computer, a lot of the memory will be taken up by the operating system and any applications and software you're running on it.
In addition, though, manufacturers often put on their own extra "bloatware" (aka foistware or [...]
- Turn your old computer into a server
When you can't prolong your PC's life any longer as your main computer, you can still use it in other capacities that will save you money. For example: turn your old computer into a server. This could save you as much as $120 (the approximate cost [...]
- Get free software
There are three basic types of free software:
1) Available online
2) Download-able to your computer
3) "Free to Try" (aka a trial offer that you'll need to pay for if you continue to use it)
Free Online Software
These days, you can get a lot of [...]
- Buy a refurbished computer
Many manufacturers repair (or 'refurbish') used or slightly damaged computers so they can re-sell them. This allows you to buy a high quality computer at a substantially lower cost than a brand new model. Refurbished models usually even come with [...]
- Buy a flat panel instead of a CRT monitor
On average, a flat panel monitor uses 100 watts less than a CRT (cathode ray tube) monitor while it's awake and 25 watts less when in sleep mode. Although a flat panel monitor may cost a little more up-front, it'll end up saving you money in the [...]
- Buy cheaper cables
The range of costs for cables varies greatly, though the quality doesn't. For example: a popular name brand HDMI cable may cost $100, but the same cable from a lesser known company could be half that or even less. The performance, however, will be [...]
- If possible, use old software and old accessories
See if your new computer is compatible with your existing software and accessories such as printer, MP3 player, speakers, etc. This isn't always possible, but--when it is--it can save you money because it allows you to hold off on buying additional [...]
- Optimize your computer’s energy settings
Whether you're on a PC or a Mac, new computers are coming with more and more energy setting options. For example: lowering the brightness of your monitor or programming your computer to go to sleep mode after a few minutes of inactivity. By [...]
- Keep your old software boxes & manuals
If you have the space to store them, your old packages for certain types of software can come in handy. Lots of new virus, security, and other types of software programs often offer an "upgrade" rebate when you buy a new one. To prove that you are [...]