HP Pavilions


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Sorry to those who may have seen this on another thread, but I thought I'd start a new one to see if anyone has opinions on HP as a well known brand, as opposed to the smaller, well reviewed specialist companies such as Cyberpowersystems and Novatech.I'm now considering an HP Pavilion T3620 being sold locally for £550 - specs are:

Processor, operating system and memoryProcessor type
Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor E6300
• 2 x 1.86 GHz, Level 2 cache 2 MB, 1066 MHz
Operating system installed
Genuine Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 with Update Rollup 2
Upgradability
Windows Vista Capable PC*
Windows Vista Premium Ready
Platform
Intel® Viiv™ Technology
Chipset
Intel® P965 express chipset
Standard memory
1 GB
Memory type
DDR2-SDRAM
Memory slots
4 DIMM sockets
Internal drivesInternal hard disk drive
160 GB
Hard disk controller
SATA 3G Hard Disk Drive
Hard disk drive speed
(7200 rpm)
Optical drive type
DVD writer
Optical drive speed
SATA DVD RAM and Double Layer ±R/ ±RW 16x/8x max supporting LightScribe technology
System featuresMemory card device
9in1 memory card reader
Modem
High speed 56K modem
Network interface
Ethernet 10/100BT integrated network interface
Video capture interface
IEEE 1394 FireWire® Interface
Video adapter
NVIDIA® GeForce™ 7500 LE TurboCache with PureVideo technology
Video RAM
Up to 512 MB video memory
Internal audio
Intel® High Definition Audio 7.1
Audio connectors
3 front audio ports, 6 rear analog audio ports & 2 rear digital audio ports
Keyboard
PS/2 keyboard and optical mouse
External drive bays
2 external optical drive bays, 1 internal HDD bay
External I/O ports
7 USB 2.0 ports (3 in front); 2 FireWire®-IEEE-1394 ports (1 in front)
Expansion slots
3 PCI (2 free)
SoftwareSoftware - Productivity & finance
Microsoft® Works 8.0
Pre-installed software
Microsoft® Internet Explorer 6.0; Microsoft® Outlook® Express; Adobe® Reader 7.0
Optical drive driver software
Sonic™ DigitalMedia Plus: Sonic™ RecordNow, Sonic™ MyDVD, Sonic™ Easy Archive, Sonic™ Express Labeler; Microsoft® MovieMaker; Microsoft® Windows® Media Player ; RealPlayer ; HP Photosmart Premier ; DVD Play (powered by Cyberlink) with Dolby Digital Playback
Downloadable software
Special offer: for accessories, software and warranty promotions, please visit: www.mypcchoice.com
Software - internet & online
Easy Internet Signup with leading Internet Service Providers
Software included
HP Pavilion on-line user's guide, HP Help, HP Pavilion recovery partition (including possibility to recover system, applications and drivers separately); Optional re-allocation of recovery partition; Recovery CD/DVD creation tool; Symantec™ Norton Internet Security™ 2006 (60 days live update); Magic Desktop powered by EasyBits (Parental Control-Trial Version)

The advantage for me is that the local supplier will honour the HP warranty, but I can't find any performance reviews of this model. I can't find any info on the 7500 graphics card, and the young chap I spoke to seemed to think it was "onboard" although a separate card. This make any sense to anyone?
 
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muckshifter

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It is an "entry level" PC ... corners have been cut, primarily by using a crap MB. ;)


Also by using other underpowered components such as the Video card ...

"This gives casual consumers the ability to see what having a 'real' graphics (processor) is like." - Anandtech
TurboCashe ... in simple terms, a cut-down graphics card that will need to use system memory to even get a decent picture ... not for gamers.

Decent Graphic cards can equate to half the price of the PC ... :rolleyes:
 
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Cheers for the advice Muckshifter.


Looks like it's back to something like the Cyberpower / Novatech systems along the lines of
E6400, 2.13 GHz, Geforce 7600 GS, 1GB DDR2 RAM, 250MB SATA 7200. Total £596 - oh actually £508 ex VAT as I'm in Guernsey.
Not quite as sweet, but I think should still be a marked improvement over the current 3 yr old Carrera ( remember them?) Athlon 2800, 768MB Ram, 160GB H.disk, upgraded from onboard to Geforce FX 5200. cost: £180! It's starting to struggle running Office 2003, IE 7, a D-Link Broadband wireless network, plus all the games and other junk my teenagers have loaded, and now need to run Rome Total War, World of Warcraft etc.

Cyberpower's cases look cool ( perhaps literally!) and they seem to have less bad feedback out there than Novatech - although I know it's difficult to generalise. Novatech do a buy now pay later until September, which is tempting, but I shouldn't base my decision on that. Both companies now seem to only offer Vista pre-installed, but I would prefer say XP Mediacentre and upgrade once all the inevitable compatibility issues have been sorted. I've asked if they can do this.

Any other thoughts?
 
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Novatech are OK and seem to build solid PC's.
Not so many complaints on forums about them.
If you go to their home page check out their own forum for more info if you need to.
Hope that helps.
 

muckshifter

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Any other thoughts?
Loads ... but we is on about computers, yes? ;)

Your "old" PC ain't dead yet, granted it ain't no modern gaming machine, but, take off some of the "crap" and it will do office work till the day it dies. MS Office, other than Office 95, is just bloat ... IE7 is, err, not for me, I use Firefox & OpenOffice. :p

Vista ... well, that's another ball game entirely ... the 32bit version is fine, but, it is turning out that the "sweet spot" for memory is 3gig. And, before anybody tells me that it will work with 512mb ram, I suggest they better go do some more reading. Oh, and all you need is Vista Home premium. If you do go (get) for XP, then make it XP Pro ... it will do anything and all you need, incl MC stuff.

I have a simple rule of thumb ... start from the ground up ... the Motherboard. :thumb:
 
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Actually ... the old PC is a bit dead at the moment, suspected hard drive failure ... but that's another story.:(


Some good points made Muckshifter - so if we start with the motherboard, how about : 1) Cyberpowersystem - (Quad-Core Supports) ECS P965T-A P965 Chipset LGA775 Supports Core 2 Duo CPU FSB1066 DDR2/800 Mainboard w/GbLAN,USB2.0,IEEE1394&7.1AudioCPU: (Sckt775)Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6400 CPU @ 2.13GHz 1066FSB 2x1MB L2 Cache EM64T

2) Novatech - can't find motherboards details, just says Processor
Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 2MB Cache Dual Core 64 BitProcessor


Thanks again for your help.

Cheers
 
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muckshifter

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ECS = Exceptionally Crap Systemboards

... sorry, I am old school, I remember seeing some of their MBs, I'm not impressed. Others here, have, a different opinions, I wouldn't have one.

One of the "failings" with nearly all system builders out there is their lack of information on the MB they use. I know one reason, most are crap and they are hiding that fact. If you do find the spec list on their pages, then they are "showing off" that fact and it will be a more expensive PC.

I'm out of the loop these days having retired from major system building some time ago, I do, however, still read a lot. My comment was meant as a guide, everything you use in a PC is connected to the MB, everything. I will always buy the best I can at the time ... my 4 year old system can run Vista no problem.

You should be able to "phone" a company and ask for more details, if not, then I walk also. ;)
 
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Hi. Thanks again for all the advice - Novatech came back and referred me to a website where the M/B specs for the particular model are:

Manufacturer-Foxconn Mainboard Chipset-Intel 946GZ+ICH7R Front Side Bus-1066/800/533 MHz CPU Support-Socket 775 RAM Support-Dual Channel DDR2 667/533 IDE Support-ATA 100 x 1 SATA Support-Serial ATAII x 4 RAID Support-RAID 0, 1, 5, 0+1 Onboard VGA-Integrated Expansion-1xPCI-E x16
1xPCI-E x1
2xPCI Onboard Audio-7.1 channel Audio, Realtek ALC883 (HDA) Onboard LAN-GbE LAN,Marvell 88E8001 (PCI) Rear Connectors-7.1 channel Audio jack (6 jacks)
PS/2keyboard
PS/2mouse
parallel
VGA
RJ45
4 x USB 2.0
Serial Internal Connectors-USB 2.0 headers support 4 ports
S/PDIF out header
Buzzer
IrDA header
CD-IN header
AUX-IN header
Speaker(reserve)
Front panel header
COM2 header(reserve) Form Factor-Micro ATX
To be honest, I wouldn't know one motherboard from another, but if you have any views on this one vs. the Cyberpower one I would much appreciate it.Also, Cyberpower quote for a second " gaming" or "data" hard disk. Are there any advantages in this?
Cheers.
 

muckshifter

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Cyberpower quote for a second " gaming" or "data" hard disk. Are there any advantages in this?
LoL ... nope! you'll be paying for it anyway, you can add one yourself if you need to later. ;)

Onboard VGA
oops ... err, why do they do that? :rolleyes:

Micro ATX
err, no thanks ... what have they left off the MB to make it that small???

Sorry, lets put it this way ... look, or ask, for an Asus/DFI/MSI/Gigabyte motherboard, in that order ... now don't get me wrong here ... ALL MB manufactures produce "cheap" MBs ... maybe DFI is an exception but they ain't often found in "Joe Blogs" PCs

Maybe I'm over complicating things here as I personally always look for the best MB ... ?


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OK thanks again -Cyberpower can do MSI so i think I'll be going for:

Case: Raidmax Sagitta Mid-Tower 420W Gaming Case w/ Side Panel Window (BLACK COLOR)
CPU: (Sckt775)Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6400 CPU @ 2.13GHz 1066FSB 2x1MB L2 Cache EM64T
Motherboard: (Quad-Core Supports) MSI P6N SLI-FI nForce 650i SLI Chipset LGA775 FSB1333 DDR2 Mainboard
Memory: (Req.DDR2 MainBoard)1GB (2x512MB) PC6400 DDR2/800 Dual Channel Memory (Corsair Value Select or Major Brand)
Video Card: NEW !!! NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT 256MB PCI Express x16 Video Card
Video Card 2: NONE
Monitor & LCD: NONE
Hard Drive: Extreme Performance (RAID-0) with 2 Identical Hard Drives (160GB (80GBx2) SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 8MB Cache 7200RPM HDD)
Data Hard Drive: NONE
Optical Drive: SONY DUAL FORMAT 18X DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW DRIVE DUAL LAYER (BLACK COLOR)
Optical Drive 2: NONE
Sound: HIGH DEFINITION ON-BOARD 7.1 AUDIO

Presumably "Quad Core supports means it can be upgraded to quad core in future?
 

muckshifter

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ah, finally, it's out now ... ain't you a lucky one. :)

That MB has only just been released by MSI ... it should be a good board. :thumb:


However, I don't get this bit ... :confused:

Hard Drive: Extreme Performance (RAID-0) with 2 Identical Hard Drives (160GB (80GBx2) SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 8MB Cache 7200RPM HDD)
RAID ? and only 80gb ?? is this a "suggestion" or is that what you are getting ? ... not for me! You want a 250gb HD at least. Again, I'm old school here, why offer RAID to a home user I'll never know. If I want RAID, I'll DIMS (do it myself).

You do get RAID options with MB these days, heck, I got it on my old system, but I personally see no reason to implement it for a home user ... unless you know how to use RAID. Anyway, you really need 4 HDs to implement a "proper" RAID array.

Presumably "Quad Core supports means it can be upgraded to quad core in future?
Yup. ;)

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Well ... I just thought the idea was to keep the gaming stuff separate, perhaps to stop the other disk getting clogged up. Also having had a hard disk fail, it might also spread the risk. But I'll be guided by your advice and save some money. Good to hear about the motherboard.


Oh and there's also an option to get " Corsair XMS2 Xtreme Memory w/ Heat Spreader " for another 12 quid - apparently this is worth it?

So looks like I'm nearly sorted. Thanks again for all the advice and I'll report back on how I get on.

p.s. I also found a link to this US site http://www.hardwarelogic.com/news/118/ARTICLE/1344/3/2007-02-05.html which is very complimentary to Cyberpower over there - I note the US prices seem to be about the same in US$ as we pay in £ :confused: - not much you can do about that I suppose.
 
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muckshifter said:
Oh, and all you need is Vista Home premium. If you do go (get) for XP, then make it XP Pro ... it will do anything and all you need, incl MC stuff.
. :thumb:

Sorry - me again - is this right? according to the XP website, I can't see that XP Pro has W Media Center features??:confused:
 
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muckshifter

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A 'Tuin said:
Well ... I just thought the idea was to keep the gaming stuff separate, perhaps to stop the other disk getting clogged up. Also having had a hard disk fail, it might also spread the risk. But I'll be guided by your advice and save some money. Good to hear about the motherboard.
You misunderstand the meaning of RAID ... if you want two HDs fine, but do not RAID them. oh, and make sure you ain't getting HDs smaller than 250gb


Oh and there's also an option to get " Corsair XMS2 Xtreme Memory w/ Heat Spreader " for another 12 quid - apparently this is worth it?
Yup, go for it ... Corsair are a very good brand memory, the £12 extra is probably for the "heat spreaders", a joke in my book, but get them anyway.

So looks like I'm nearly sorted. Thanks again for all the advice and I'll report back on how I get on.
You is welcome. ;)

I note the US prices seem to be about the same in US$ as we pay in £ :confused: - not much you can do about that I suppose.
yup ... the "yanks" can't count and have no idea of what an Exchange Rate means. :D

Sorry - me again - is this right? according to the XP website, I can't see that XP Pro has W Media Center features??
You is right, but what "features" are you wantin ... a "stereo" or a PC ... you will still be able to do what MC does AND a lot more too. :thumb:

Get Vista Home Premium if you like. ;)


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