Desktop computers have become just another appliance. Fully loaded desktops selling for less than $600 are common, even among established brands. For help in choosing a desktop computer, see our free computer buying guide for more information.
These two budget models performed well in our tests. They had very good ergonomics and features, and a DVD burner, but were only fair for 3D gaming. Both brands' reliability has been undistinguished. HP has had disappointing tech support, while Dell support has been above average for problem-solving. Still, both computers are good values.
With excellent performance, this was the best of the new budget models tested. It has a Core 2 Duo processor, 3GB of memory, and six free USB ports.
With very good performance, this has a Pentium Dual Core processor, 3GB of memory, a 320GB hard drive, and 128MB of video memory. It uses the 64-bit version of Windows, so make sure your peripherals and software are compatible.
These previously tested models are also worth considering: