The ABCs of PC Shopping

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This is the best time in years to be in the market for a home computer. With the holiday sales discounting already low-priced computers, you can get a powerhouse system for a lot less than you may think.

UTTM Computer Consultant John Quain considered all the deals, the plusses and the minuses, and came up with what he calls, "the sweet spot." It's a happy medium of price and performance that should help get you the best deal possible.

Here's his suggestions, by the numbers. First of all, count on spending about $1,200 to $1,400. For that, you should get a 1.5 gigaherz Pentium processor, 256 megabytes of SDRAM, to help you run your programs, a 40-60 gigabyte hard disk drive and a CD-RW/DVD drive to burn CDs and watch DVD movies.

Looking to spend a little extra? Then consider adding more RAM, getting a faster processor, a larger hard drive, or better speakers. Watch his report by clicking on the video icon on the right.