Econobox alternative - HP Pavilion 6710f

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Econobox alternative - HP Pavilion 6710f

Postposted on Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:15 am

Hi all,

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).
Last edited by Voldenuit on Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Econobox alternative - HP Pavilion 6710f

Postposted on Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:51 am

Yeah, we've bought similar machines here at work for those "Oh crap we need another desktop PC ASAP!" moments that inevitably arise from time to time. $500 is the magic threshold where purchase orders incur additional red tape, so I am fairly well acquainted with HP's offerings in that price range! :lol:

In general they seem to be unremarkable, but reasonably well-built and reliable. Pretty much what you'd want/expect from a commodity desktop.

Voldenuit wrote:- There is no windows or recovery CD, will go looking for a recovery partition or check out options for recovery

If it is like the similar HPs we've bought here, there should be a recovery partition and a tool you can run to burn a recovery DVD from the contents of the recovery partition; assuming this is the case, I suggest you do so at the earliest opportunity. Failing that, I suggest imaging the system disk to a spare hard drive, wrapping the spare in a static bag and storing it in a safe place.
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Re: Econobox alternative - HP Pavilion 6710f

Postposted on Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:08 pm

Voldenuit wrote:$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. We walked off with it for ~$420 after tax.
Good deal. That's also half as much sales tax as we pay in my part of the country.

Voldenuit wrote:- 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.
I've not had good luck with Bestec. If you do decide to add a graphics card to this PC, be prepared to replace the power supply shortly thereafter.


How close can we get to $420?
$103 Gigabyte GA-880GMA-UD2H
or $105 Asus M4A88TD-M/USB3
or $ 74 BioStar TA890GXB HD
$100 AMD Athlon II X4 640
$ 45 2x2 GiB PC3-12800 Patriot PSD34G1600K (DDR3-1600)
or $ 40 2x2 GiB PC3-10600 G.Skill F3-10666CL9D-4GBNS (DDR3-1333)
$ 65 1 TB Samsung HD103SJ Spinpoint F3
or $ 55 1 TB Hitachi HDS721010CLA332 Deskstar 7K1000.C
$ 18 DVD-RW Samsung SH-S223C
$ 90 Antec Three Hundred w/ BP-430 (30 amps)
or $ 35 Super-cheap case w/ PSU (17 amps)
$ 15 Cheap keyboard and mouse
$100 Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM
=====
$407 and up :)
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Re: Econobox alternative - HP Pavilion 6710f

Postposted on Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:27 pm

HP is always so amusing to me - they never sell the machines you can buy in-store on their site for the in-store price. For example, they want $430 online for an Athlon II X2 system in a 6700z series which you can't even get a factory-direct X4 upgrade for that is otherwise similar to what you bought. Their laptops on Newegg are universally cheaper than they are from HP direct. Their CQ56z series starts at $380 on their website but Best Buy has the base config for $320. It's just WEIRD.
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Re: Econobox alternative - HP Pavilion 6710f

Postposted on Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:42 pm

Newegg has a nice shell-shocker deal today (Combo Price: $279.99; $269.99 after $10.00 Mail-In Rebate(s)
* AMD Phenom II X4 820 Deneb 2.8GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 4MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor (Model:HDX820WFK4FGI) - OEM
* GIGABYTE AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard (Model:GA-880GM-D2H)
* G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory (Model:F3-10600CL9D-4GBNT)
* Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive (Model:ST31000528AS)
* LOGISYS Computer Black solid 6.0mm SECC metal ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 480W Power Supply (Model:CS301BK)
* COOLER MASTER Hyper "Heatpipe Direct Contact" 92mm CPU Cooler (Model:TX3 RR-910-HTX3-G1)

Price Breakdown
    1. Logisys Computer CS301BK :$34.99
    2. GIGABYTE GA-880GM-D2H :$79.99
    3. AMD HDX820WFK4FGI :$104.99
    4. G.SKILL F3-10600CL9D-4GBNT :$39.99
    5. Seagate ST31000528AS :$64.99
    6. Cooler Master RR-910-HTX3-G1 :$21.99

    * Combined Total:$346.94
    * Combo Discounts:-$66.95
    * Combo Price:$279.99
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