the wife and I were wanting a basic desktop to do simple tasks - office, netflix, photoshop, handbrake, maybe some light gaming, but were on a pretty tight budget.
For a while, we were thinking of a DIY build, when we came across this: http://www.staples.com/HP-Pavilion-p6710f-Desktop-PC/product_918389?storeId=10001&AID=10422268&CID=AFF%253A3224826%253A3224826%253A10422268&cm_mmc=CJ-_-3224826-_-3224826-_-10422268&SID=nil-11904-nil-11-nil-nil&PID=3224826
$399 for a Athlon II X4 640 with 4 GB of RAM (2 DIMMs), onboard 4200 graphics, 1 TB HDD, ODD, 802.11 b/g/n and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. Niice.
Needless to say, this was cheaper than a comparable econobox build (especially with the Windows license), so we couldn't resist. The people at Staples were very helpful and not in the least pushy about extended warranties/upgrade services etc etc, so we walked off with it for ~$420 after tax.
Here are my impressions after setting it up:
- About average OEM bloat. There are some hp software apps and extraneous things like Norton antivirus (removed, replaced with MSE), bing toolbar, Office 2010 trial, etc.
- There is no windows or recovery CD, will go looking for a recovery partition or check out options for recovery
- Screws use a star driver, but will accept a flat-head (this is repeated throughout the build)
- interior layout is decent, cables are tied together but not routed
- there is room for 2 extra 3.5" HDDs in the HDD cage and one free 5.25" bay
- there are 4 free expansion ports (1x16x PCIE and 4x1x), the wifi antenna has a dedicated expansion slot cover that doesn't interfere with anything else
- PSU is 250W Bestec (ATX, I believe). Should be good for a 5770 or maybe even a 460. No PEG plug but a couple of free molexes.
- CPU fan is stock AMD heatsink with stock retention lever. So it's loud(ish). There are no BIOS fan controls, I might try speedfan at some point, or consider an aftermarket cooler.
- memory card reader is a nice touch, as we will be using this for photoshop and lightroom
If anyone is curious about the PC, I'll try and answer any specific questions. This particular model is a Staples exclusive, but there are similar models at Best Buy, Sam's Club and other retailers (as well as online).
Wind, Sand and Stars.