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Get a quad-core desktop PC for $348

The sellout risk is high on this refurbished, space-saving desktop, which packs a blazingly fast processor, a huge hard drive, and Windows 7.

Small form factor, giant power. This quad-core Gateway desktop is on sale for $348 shipped. Buy.com

A couple weeks ago I posted a Gateway quad-core desktop PC for $279.99--a pretty killer deal by all rights, which is probably why it sold out almost instantly. Hopefully today's will last a little longer.

Update: Uh, no, guess it didn't. These quad-cores are obviously very popular items. It's beyond my control, I'm afraid, but I apologize once again for the quick sellout.

Update No. 2: Back in stock! For the moment, at least...

An outfit called BuyDakota (by way of Buy.com) has a much-better equipped Gateway SX2802-01 quad-core desktop PC for $347.99 shipped.

By "much better" I mean a faster processor, more RAM, more storage, and Windows 7 Home Premium instead of Windows Vista.

However, like the previous Gateway, this one's a refurb--and the product page doesn't mention anything about the warranty. (Assume 90 days, but check with the vendor before you order.)

The SX2802-01 packs a ton of power into its cute, small case. In addition to a 2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300 processor, you get 4GB of RAM, a 750GB hard drive, 5.1-channel audio support, an HDMI port, and a whopping nine USB ports.

The one and only letdown here is the integrated Intel X4500 graphics. The SX2802-01 does have an available PCI Express x16 expansion slot, meaning you could install a faster video card if desired--but it's a half-height slot, so your options are somewhat limited. Also, the 220-watt power supply won't be able to handle many of today's ultrahigh-end cards.

(That said, here's a GeForce 9400GT card for $44.99 shipped (after rebate) that would provide a major graphics boost. Food for thought.)

CNET hasn't reviewed this system, but PC Magazine gave the Gateway SX2802-01 high marks--and that was based on its $499.99 list price. If you don't mind going the refurb route, this is your chance to score some serious computing power for cheap, cheap, cheap.

Backup deal: Over at my Business Hacks blog (you've bookmarked it, right?), I've got three sweet deals for business users: free software, cheap domain registrations, and an unbeatable price on Entrepreneur Magazine subscriptions.

Backup deal No. 2: Today only, Giveaway of the Day has Extra DVD to iPhone Ripper absolutely free. Why pay iTunes for iPhone/iPod-compatible downloads of movies you already own? Haven't tried this utility myself, but, hey, you can't argue with the price.