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Understanding PC Sources, Vendors and Prices
Once you have determined what your system requirements are, and you've selected hardware to meet your needs, you must figure out where you are going to get the PC (or components) from. The PC industry has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years, based on the explosive growth in interest in computing. This is very good for the customer, who has more choices available now that at any time in history. It's also bad for the customer, because it can make it very difficult to figure out whom to buy from and why.
In this section I will attempt to provide you with all the tools you need to really understand how the PC industry works and how to choose a good vendor. This begins with a look at the PC industry and the PC market, a very confusing and complicated place. I then discuss different sources for PC systems and components, and talk about the better (and worse) ways of doing research into vendors and prices. Finally, I provide an exhaustive (but hopefully not exhausting :^) ) examination of the different factors you should keep in mind when selecting a vendor.