Compaq's budget desktop will do the job, but others do it better

If you're buying a budget computer, it's worth your time to look into the Compaq Presario SR5610f desktop. It's not far off from a barebones machine, and you don't get a ton of extra features, but the price is so low that it's hard to complain.

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If you're buying a budget computer, it's worth your time to look into the Compaq Presario SR5610f desktop. It's not far off from a barebones machine, and you don't get a ton of extra features, but the price is so low that it's hard to complain. You get a dual-core 2.5GHz AMD processor, 3 gigs of ram, an integrated video card, and a 320GB hard drive, which should be enough power to get you through the standard applications, stuff like word processing, streaming video, mp3 playback, etc...but you definitely shouldn't expect it to handle intense gaming or programs that require accelerated graphics. If did have to raise a stink, it'd have to be about the lack of a dedicated media card reader! Sure, it's a sub-$600 system, but even this eMachines has one built in! If you decide on this computer, dust off that USB cord--you'll be seeing it a lot more in the future.

You'll have to read the full review for our complete analysis, but the long and short of it is that you can spend a scant $50 more and get a much better deal in the Acer x3200, a slimline PC that adds gigabit Ethernet, a more powerful video card (still integrated), more memory, and even an extra CPU core that will let you handle a wider breadth of applications. In the end, it's your choice and totally dependent on how you'll use it, but check out both reviews--they'll help you with your difficult shopping decisions.

Read our full review of the HP Compaq Presario SR5610f

 

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