ZDNet's Business Bargain Hunter scours the web for great deals on computers, phones, services and much more. Prices and availability are accurate at the time deals are shared. Some products and services may not be available outside the U.S. Follow BBH on Facebook and Twitter, where he's known as The Cheapskate. Plus: You'll find more Cheapskate deals on CNET.
True story: Recently a colleague asked my advice about a new desktop for the office. He's a graphics guy, someone who spends much of his time deep inside Photoshop layers.
That kind of work requires more than just a fast processor and whatever motherboard-integrated graphics chip is built into the average desktop. It requires a discrete graphics card, something with a lot more muscle to push pixels around.
Like the kind of thing you get in a gaming PC.
For example, Daily Steals has the refurbished HP Pavilion Power 580-023w desktop for $589.99 shipped when you apply promo code RICKHP at checkout. Reg. price: $599.99. Yep, that's an exclusive $10 savings from me to you. (Every little bit helps, am I right?)
You can find other similarly equipped desktops for around this price, with one notable exception: no discrete graphics card. This one features an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 with 3GB of dedicated memory.
Sure, it was designed with games in mind, but you know what else will take advantage of that visual horsepower? Photoshop. Video-editing software. CAD software.
So that's why I recommended a "gaming" PC to my aforementioned colleague. And like all smart people, he took my advice. Verdict: He loves it. In fact, he'd previously purchased a Core i7-powered machine with integrated graphics, but returned it in favor of a Core i5 model with discrete graphics. The latter proved considerably faster for his Photoshop work. (Your mileage may vary, of course.)
This particular HP also has an Intel Core i5, along with 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive. (In an ideal world, it would have an SSD, which I consider essential for peak performance -- but those are a little harder to come by in off-the-shelf desktops.)
Another noteworthy spec: a USB-C port on the front side. It also has a DVD drive, just in case you're still burning your own media.
For what it's worth, some 90 Amazon buyers gave the HP a 4.1-star rating. If there's one shortcoming here, especially for business customers, it's the 90-day warranty. You can buy an extra two-year policy for $60, not a bad investment.
But more than anything else, I want to make the case for gaming PCs. They might look like they're built for fun, but they often have just the right mix of hardware for businesses involved in visual arts.