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I currently use Dell as the vendor for servers, it has worked well and I do not see switching vendors.

For PC purchases, however, I have found it cheaper to just go to a retail store like Best Buy and purchase one of there 'deal' hp machines for around $350, put win7 professional on it and then configure it for our systems.

I tried to search around for a vendor that we could purchase directly from, that would ship the same systems with no operating system configured. A lot of them said this would work only in bulk purchases, which we don't do. Others simply told us that they do not offer anything of this type.

Another option was purchasing bare bone kits and building them ourselves, which I am also not too interested in..

Does anyone know of a vendor, or a better method then purchasing from retail stores for buying equipment that might streamline the process, or even save some money? Looking for some feedback from someone else who manages this area.

Addition: We do HP/compaq at Best Buy right now - They cost around $350 each machine, and then we build the best buy reward points and get a good number of $5 - $10 certificates, which of course build up after awhile so price wise this seems to be OK, but I want to try to keep hardware variations limited.

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closed as not constructive by ceejayoz, Shane Madden, Ward, Zoredache, voretaq7 Jan 14 '12 at 5:25

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Shopping questions are not generally OK here. – ceejayoz Dec 22 '11 at 17:05
It was a toss up between here and superuser, wasn't to sure. – Jeff Dec 22 '11 at 17:11
No, in general across all SE sites, questions along the lines of "what should I buy?" are considered undesirable. They're too localized to what's available to you at this point in time to be widely useful. – Ward Dec 22 '11 at 17:17
Oh I understand, I didn't really mean to be 'what should I buy', I was trying to see what other SAs might use along of a purchasing 'plan', instead of the specifics of what to buy.. – Jeff Dec 22 '11 at 17:18
@Jeff The general recommendation you'll get is "Buy hardware assembled by a vendor that carries a warranty". Building your own hardware from parts is great until you get a bad part - then it's all on you to fix it. Vendor warranties will one day save your tail. – voretaq7 Jan 14 '12 at 5:27

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Obviously you don't mention volumes here but usually when you buy a new PC the OS is cheaper than installing a retail copy onto later, so it pays to buy it with the OS bundled. As for supplier - well all of them will happily sell you a specific model/spec for a set price that they'll keep to for say 12 months, this means you end up with less variation of hardware around the place, less BIOS versions to update, the same upgrade paths etc. throughout. That sounds like a better plan than you have, they'll want to have some volume projections too of course but why not start with Dell if you have a good relationship with them already, then try the other usual suspects (HP, IBM, Sony, even Apple?) and see how they compare.

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The mention of 'the kids' makes me suspect he is under MS school agreement or similar. – Zoredache Dec 22 '11 at 17:35
Well spotted, they should be able to get epic deals from dell on edu-pricing – Chopper3 Dec 22 '11 at 17:36

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