How to Buy a Desktop PC

You've reached our old Desktop Buying guide, and much has changed since this was written. For an updated take on the world of Desktop PCs, head on over to our new Desktop PC Buying Guides, where we'll show you how to choose the right Desktop PC, offer an explanation of the latest specs, and offer up some handy shopping tips.  -- Nate Ralph

Introduction

Desktop PC Buying Guide graphic
Graphic: Rick Rizner, Chip Taylor

The Big Picture
Before you go shopping for a new desktop computer, ask yourself this question: "What am I going to do with it?" We'll guide you through the options. more

The Specs Explained
From CPUs and motherboards to LCD monitors and optical storage, we'll clear up the jargon--and tell you which specs are most important to your purchase. more

Desktop PC Shopping Tips
Want some advice before you head to the store or visit a Web site? Our recommendations will help you build a system that fits your needs and your pocketbook. more

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