Actually, the price didn't increase but rather the video card you mentioned sold out & was replaced with the next lowest-priced option (same card but 2GB) which raised the base price.
The last two weeks, the Dell XPS 8500 was rated a "hot deal" throughout the Internet at $660. Comparing this system to that one (which is no longer available at that price):
- HP includes a 2GB version of the graphics card & Dell a 1GB version of the same card;
- HP includes a two-year warranty vs. Dell's one-year;
- HP includes Adobe Photoshop & Premier Elements 11;
- HP utilizes the Z75 chipset compared to the H77 at Dell;
- HP utilizes one 8GB DIMM vs. two 4GB DIMMs at Dell;
- Dell includes BT (a $10 upgrade at HP);
- Dell includes 15-month McAfee subscription;
- Dell includes a 460W power supply (a $30 upgrade at HP)
Obviously, most of these advantages will have little appeal to many, but at $30 less overall, the HP is clearly the better deal. Especially if you're in the market for the Elements software, which rarely sells below $80 (and typically much closer to $100) -- even though OEM have the ability to purchase it for about $40.
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