dealshp pavilion h8 core i7 desktop pc with 1.5tb hard…

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Is this the beginning of a Flash Thursday?

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@bsmith1: If you don't mind my asking, what do you use it for and did you do any modifications first?

Here's why I ask: I know the big criticism of these HP refurbs is that the power supply isn't enough if you want to replace the existing video card with a more powerful video card for gaming. But we don't do any PC gaming, so that doesn't trouble me.

But if I'm buying this to manage media for the family* plus the usual web stuff, it's plenty good as it is, right? i7 + 8GB RAM + Win7 + 1.5TB HDD = screamingly fast for most purposes, right?

* By that I mean:
- managing photos (very little post-processing with Photoshop etc, mostly I'm just dumping photos off the camera and organizing them);
- ripping the CD collection to MP3 for the iPod; and
- very little home video management, e.g. editing less than full HD video of my kids' sports games

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@bls1: If all you need is a machine to store files and be easily accessible throughout the house (and via internet) you could consider just buying a something something like this -- > http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822319019

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@bls1: also "the power supply isn't enough" I looked at the specs and saw an AMD Radeon HD 6670 is in this machine and I just KNOW a 300 watt PSU isn't enough. AMD recommends a MINIMUM of 400watts. How does HP stay in business while ignoring specifications like that, I wonder.

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@bls1: I do my gaming on my Xbox 360, so I don't use it for that.

I did no modifications. I got it as an upgrade to my 5-6 year old desktop. I use it for the usual web stuff; email, Amazon streaming, woot, ordering pizza, submitting tax returns, online banking, etc... We do some word processing and spreadsheet stuff on it too. I also have a bunch of pictures and mp3s that I migrated from my old PC. I do a bit of image/audio/video editing and it is MUCH faster than my old PC. I use GIMP for image editing and it loads up really fast. I currently use an old Roxio suite for audio and video editing. Again, it converts audio formats really quickly and I'm able to trim video clips and all that really smooth-like. I've burnt a couple mp3 RW-CDs for my car stereo and that seemed much faster than the old PC. It serves as a network media hub for our home network.
more...

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@bls1: ...
I'm sharing pictures, music, and files from it with another Win 7 machine, 1 XP netbook and 1 XP desktop, 2 network enabled TVs, 1 network enabled Blu-ray player, my Xbox 360...I think that's it... I connect to it from my Touchpad and phone, but not very often.

The PC is much faster than my old one and it runs quieter and cooler too.

It sounds like, for your purposes, it would work great.

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I have a similar question, if you would be so kind.

I don't do any gaming either but I do have several home music recording / mixing programs and they can be resource intensive. I'm currently using a 32 bit Lennovo system with 4G max RAM, core duo processor, an 80G hd and a 2TB external hd. The PC doesn't seem to handle more than one monitor.
I don't know if you're familiar with applications like Ableton Live 8, Reason 5.0, Spectrosonics Omnisphere, etc. Some are quite large with many gigs of sampled sounds. I see this unit has multiple display capability (which I need) but the HD runs at 5400. I'm not very PC savvy but isn't that slow? In your opinion, do you think this would be a step in the right direction, that is, will it last a while before I'd need to upgrade again?
Thanks!

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I'll add to this discussion. I'm running a mediacenter right now and this is what I've found:

1. I never play games on the machine because there is always a competition for access to the TV. I since moved that machine to another room for gaming and use a lower performance box.

2. You want a dedicated hard drive for your data. You will run out within a couple of years or sooner and you want to easily be able to upgrade.

3. You want a backup drive that is much bigger than your data drive. I perform constant incrementals and can restore to any point in time within the last year.

4. Blu-ray is nice for this. I wish I had one instead of constantly relying on the PS3.

5. You want at least a 7200 RPM data drive. My 5400 does not hold up too well to my family streaming movies at the same time.

6. Memory - the more the better. Go with 64bit OS.

7. Good video card. I'm using an FX3500 and run at 1080p, but hulu stutters on startup.

8. Optical out to your stereo for DD5.1

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Addendum:

If you rip your movies to MKV like I do, the i5 processors work ok, but my xeon processors work much better. I imagine the i7 to be somewhere in between or comparable to the older xeons I use.

Expect roughly 1GB/hour of standard dvd using Handbrake.

Don't use mediacenter in windows 7, use XBMC. It's faster for browsing, doesn't require xml tagging, and was recently updated and will be getting more updates shortly. Windows media center is too slow for cataloging and browsing plus it just looks ugly.

I'm currently waiting on the next version of kinect and windows 8 before I rebuild my machine. I want voice and gesture control instead of a remote. I also want an easier interface for my kids and wife. Metro is goofy looking, but it will be ideal for the less technically inclined in the house.

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I bought this the last time it was up and this puppy, straight out of the box, can handle almost anything you throw at it.
I'm a casual gamer and I tinker around with sound recording here and there and have had no problems
Reason works like a dream on it and I got bf3 to test out this bad boy and I could play it on high settings at a constant 60fps.
The psu is FINE for this pc the way it is.
http://www.msi.com/service/power-supply-calculator/
I used this site and the max peak wattage needed only came around to ~225W which is good cause you want to be using less than ~75% of your psu anyway.
I'm not saying to push the thing 24/7. But I played almost the entire bf campaign in one sitting and this thing stayed quiet as a wistle and relatively cool.

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@jertyrael: Because realistically the TDP of a 6670 is under 70W, and it's unlikely to even use 100 at full load. That CPU will chew a max of say 100W itself being the locked variant, leaving over 100W to monkey with for hard disks, etc. Now, the PSU might be somewhat overrated, but it's probably at least 250W.

TL;DR-- GPU manufacturers overstate requirements.

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@jertyrael: Thanks, but the machine I'm looking to replace is a 2002 Pentium 4 maxed out to 2gb RAM running Win Xp Pro very, very slowly. Honestly, it's like I'm back on dialup circa 1995. So an actual PC upgrade, not just a NAS, is needed.

I'm actually looking to get a fast desktop like this HP H8, then take that old P4 machine and turn it into some sort of home server.

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One more thing.

Does "SuperMulti Blu-Ray Player Drive" mean it is NOT a burner?

Thanks

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Would this run Diablo 3 on high settings @ 1920x1080 resolution?
Also, what are your opinions on the hard drive? Would the 5400 rpm drastically affect my 'gaming experience'?

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@bsmith1 and @imaginationades: Thanks for sharing your experience. I do think it will be more than I need. To be honest if I just reinstalled Win XP Pro from scratch I would probably see a performance boost (even after all sorts of uninstalling of unnecessary programs, there's 5+ years of junk in the Windows Registry probably slowing me down).

@bane3d: Thanks also for the tips. I don't think I'll be converting any DVDs or BDs to digital files for storage and streaming. For our needs, it's just easier to pop the disc in a player. Good to know about XBMC.

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@lminor7: Right. It can't burn Blu-ray discs, but it'll burn CD and DVD discs. It can only read (or play) Blu-ray discs.

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@bls1:

-manage media for the family*

When transferring photos from your camera to the PC doesn't really rely on much except the HDD speed. This is only a 5400rpm HDD which won't be as fast as a 7200rpm (if you want an extremely fast HDD, look into a solid state drive).

As for photoshop rendering time and rendering movies, the i7 will help and make it go quicker. But depending on how much you do will really decide if it's worth it or not. Considering there's an i5 2320 deal for $400, that will nearly as well most of the time for all of your applications, I would go with that instead.

-plus the usual web stuff

Do you really need an i7 to play youtube videos and go on facebook or look at deals on Woot? You could easily get that done with a solid i3 machine that would run at least $250 less.

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This will handle games no problem at max spec, don't let anyone kid you, the power supply is ample to handle it, the only bottleneck you might see would be the memory, there is 8gb but it's not the best memory around, regardless, this system would have no issues doing everything most people would want and the price is about $100 less than say ebay or other places that sell this refurb unit.

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@bmason3604: Totally get your point about not overbuying. But given that we get a new PC once every 10 years (!) I'd like to future-proof a little bit. I can totally imagine that in 2022 an i3 will have a hard time keeping up with the latest OS, media processing needs, etc. Will that be true of i7's as well? Who knows.

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dead moofi. Only 10 units! I bought one last month for the wife, and want one now for myself...guess I'll just have to build one.

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@bls1:

If an i3 or i5 can't keep up with 2022 needs (which it probably won't), the i7 won't fare much better. The top of the line processor ten years ago sucks just as bad as the mid-rung one today.

Hell, a $300 processor 5 years ago can't compete with a $130 i3 processor today.

Future-proof is pretty futile in the computer world. You can future proof for maybe the next 1-3 years, but after that it's pretty useless.

I mean, four years ago you could have purchased a graphics card called a GeForce 9800 GTX for about $350 (that was the launch price). It played games at very high settings for maybe the next couple years. Now, people might have thought it was worth it because maybe it could play games at high settings for much longer than other cards. However, a newer radeon 6870 that costs $150 is nearly three times as powerful.

I used gpu's because I know them better than processors, but the same logic should apply. Just buy what you need, and upgrade later.

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@bmason3604: Thanks, this is great advice. I missed out on this one but in the end it's probably end up saving me money to wait for an i3 or i5 deal.

Does anyone have any strong opinions about AMD's competing processors? I was reading that the Phenom II X4 is roughly comparable to the Intel i5.