I decided to replace my stuttering old Dell Optiplex desktop (Core 2 circa 2008) with a new desktop. I saw a very good deal on Woot!–an HP Pavilion with a quad core AMD CPU and 1TB HDD for all of $ 300. It was, of course, refurbished.
That was a mistake.
The HP came loaded down with crapware (trials, useless media players, etc.). The Pavilion case was made of very thin metal, and thing made a lof of an and drive noise compared to my old machine. But the worse part was that it came broken. Despite having 4 RAM slots, the motherboard would not boot if I put more than 2 sticks of memory in it. HP agreed this was an issue, but informed me my machine was out of warranty. After several long phone calls with customer service (in India) I finally got them to extend my warranty to the proper 90 days, and accept the machine for repair.
It came back with a new motherboard, and would accept more memory. But this one would run for a seemingly random amount of time, and then freeze solid. It wouldn’t even write the errors into the Windows system log, so I had no way of knowing what was wrong.
The machine went back to Woot for a refund, and I bought a factory refurbished Dell Optiplex 780, with Intel Core 2 Quad CPU.
The Dell Optiplex came with no crapware, other than a a free trial for a virus scanner, which was easily removed. The machine is quiet, and fast, and with a free web coupon, it was cheap too. And, unlike the HP, the Dell came with a 3 year warranty, and an actual restore DVD.