By John Dodge
I just bought a new desktop after eight years living on a Dell 8300 Pentium 4 for which I plunked down $2562 on April 2, 2003.
This time around, I spent $799.98 for a HP Pavilion Elite 410F. My purchase reaffirms Moore’s Law that says PCs double in power every 18 months (technically, Moore referred to doubling the number of transistors on the CPU). So I am paying a third for equivalent power by today’s standards – 6 core Phenom II, 5570 Radeon graphics with a 1GB of video RAM, 1T hard drive, 8 GB of DDR3 RAM, Blu-ray drive, memory slots and three USB ports on the front of the unit…..I wanted a loaded PC because it could be another eight years before I buy another one if they still exist!
Nonetheless, so far, so good. The HP unit is up and running. I will detail more of the travails of working up a new system later in this post. But first, here’s the scoop on purchase experience.
After exhaustive research for more than month which I wrote about Nov. 22, I made my purchase, surprisingly enough, at Staples. I had often casually glanced at Staples’ slim selection of machines and thought they were pricey. For the exact same model, Staples beat Amazon by $45, Walmart mail order by $100 and HP.com by $30. And here’s the clincher: the machine I bought is now $920 at Staples online.
Timing is everything I guess and I am very a happy camper. The HP units are getting good reviews and must selling well. And prices are creeping up Christmas gets closer from their lows in the sales just after Thanksgiving. I made the purchase on Saturday, Nov. 27, which was sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
I also bought a 23-inch Samsung Syncmaster XL2370HD LED TV/Monitor for $$230 at Staples. At Amazon and most everywhere else , the same model is $280. At Staples online, it’s now $300! What’s more, the monitor is more than half the story. More on that in a bit.