dealshp pavilion h8 hexa-core desktop for $539.99 + $5…

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@tphili17: You are wrong regarding that no 5400 rpm drive is faster than 7200 rpm drives. Newer drives have higher platter density,newer processing technology and better algorithms for reading and writing to the drives. Rotational speed is not the only determinant of read and write performance.

Below is one example I found:
benchmarks below- higher is better

http://www.harddrivebenchmark.net/hdd.php?hdd=SAMSUNG+HD154UI

http://www.harddrivebenchmark.net/hdd.php?hdd=WDC+WD7500AAKS

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@gak0090: Thanks - you made me feel better. I think I'd be fine with the purchase, if I didn't know that upgrading to an SSD drive will kill the motherboard.

I'm planning on buying a $150 video card from Amazon, as well as a 650 power supply, so hopefully this machine should be fine.

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@kay0sth30ry: When does upgrading to an SSD kill the motherboard? I just upgraded my HPE-500y (HP model number) with a 128gb SSD drive and it works flawlessly.

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@alextoth: I think for a dev machine this should be more than adequate, but no matter what you have to replace the power supply. 300w is just too low.

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@coolbrys: Well apparently for this particular model it does. At least according to the very first comment. I think it'll prove true, since they're already nickel and dining you on the power supply.

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@kay0sth30ry: Wow, just saw that. If that truly is the case, I will not be purchasing any more items from HP. The nickle and diming business model is something I will not tolerate (except from cell phone companies, which is basically a necessity nowadays.) I guess it's back to building my own machines. I used to just upgrade OEM models, as it is cheaper than building from scratch.

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So if I drop my old Gtx260 card and 650w power supply in this, it seems like a good upgrade right?

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@gak0090: It's all about marketing. The average consumer knows nothing about power supplies or HDD RPM. They see CPU cores and clock speed (without knowing that six cores are practically no better than two for nearly all their use cases), disk capacity, and maybe RAM amount. So companies like HP and Dell try to save as much money as they can on things like PSUs and motherboards, to the detriment of the consumer--especially in the area of PSUs, which don't get much more expensive when the quality is vastly improved.

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@coolbrys: Yes- I agree, i don't know who told her that and SSD would kill a motherboard- (but for clarification , I didn't)

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@kay0sth30ry: I think SSd's are fine I think this person just had a bad experience.

Here is one example that is specifically marketed for that PC
SSD Upgrade for the HP - Compaq Pavilion HPE h8-1214 Desktop/PC:

http://www.crucial.com/store/mpartspecs.aspx?mtbpoid=F48C179BA5CA7304

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It's not just HP the use barely capable parts all OEM PC makers do. PC are throw away items like cell phones. Consumers want the latest feathers. Apple uses very good parts in their computers but they don't support the OS as long as Microsoft so you update to use the newer software.

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@sfidance: I noticed this too, I couldn't figure out the 10gb RAM unless they just threw in 3 random sticks (likely 4-4-2). Kind of defeats the purpose

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@disruptorgun:

Yeah- it should make a decent machine. Down the line you can update the HD and put the OS on either 7200 rpm drive, or better yet an SSD and using the 1.5TB drive for storage

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@goodeggray: In case that was a response to me - and even if it wasn't, just to clarify - I was not referring to anything Windows-related. HP specifically stated that the hard drive itself was "tattooed" (their phrase) to lock the MB from allowing any new HD to be installed, as described above.

When I received the computer in the first place, the original hard drive died (BIOHD-8) within 24 hours, so they had to send me a replacement one; they explained the tattooing issue at that time. They explicitly confirmed this information during the kerfuffle this month (described above).

Finally, again for clarity, my model was Pavilion 6310f purchased in 2010.

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@goodeggray: "Apple uses very good parts in their computers but they don't support the OS as long as Microsoft so you update to use the newer software."

Apple does support their OS's pretty long. It's just that they have less variation of hardware to support compared to the army of different computer models and parts that MS has to deal with. Besides, even if Apple's support for a particular version is a little shorter, Apple OS upgrades for the best version only cost $25 as opposed to $199 or even $99 for the most basic MS options.

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The only reason the hard drive would need to be "tattooed" is for the HP recovery discs to work. HP is unique, most manufacturers only "tattoo" the motherboard to keep manufacturer specific recovery discs from running on all PC's. HP does both the HDD and Mobo.

If you replace the drive and have an OEM windows disc you will be fine. Use the serial key stuck on the back of your PC. You will probably have to call Microsoft during the activation to get it to work (The CD key you are using is retail OEM, the disc is regular OEM. Windows won't activate it unless you call and explain the situation.) but they will give you a new activation code. That would give you a clean bloat free windows install, something I prefer over HP.

There are tools available from HP's website to "tattoo" a new drive, should you want the god awful HP bloated windows experience on your PC for some odd reason.

Hope that helps! If you don't believe me search HP's support forum. Tons and tons of info there.

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@cherman1: people may disagree with me but I think the intel is a better deal.

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I canceled my order on this and went with the i5 over at Moofi. Better processor, faster and bigger hard drive, better graphics card. Only $50 more. Still will swap the power supply at only 300w, but oh well.

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I'm an AMD guy but lolldozer is possibly the weakest CPU release in the last ten years from either side of the fence. Zambezi loses out to even many of the Phenom II chips, and six-core is even worse for anything but multimedia editing because nothing else can utilize more than 1-2 cores. Plus the graphics are bad and, well, it's an HP...for $540 you can build a way better system than this.

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If one person says an SSD will kill the motherboard, it must be true. Just like all the parrots with the "it needs a bigger power supply" people. Serously, there's even a guy bagging on it because it MIGHT have a power supply with short wires that might not work with an aftermarket case!
Good grief, people...

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@skrutinizr: If you do the power supply calculators you will find that this system configured as is will require a minimum of 250-270 watts of continuous power. The power supply here is rated at 300 watts peak power which means it barely fits the bill. If you have any experience building or working on computers you would appreciate that a clean adequate consistent power supply is what is needed. This may work or it may not- and if you are doing important work and you don't want your computer to shut down in the middle of something a $40 investment is the ounce of prevention that beats a pound of cure. This not only goes for this system, but the I5 system as well.

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It says the PCI Express x16 is "occupied" is that by the hd 7450 and can i just take that out and replace it?

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@bogus: Agreed. I actually just ordered an Intel i5 (3750k ivy bridge) for my build today, but strongly considered the 8 core BD. Then I read how useless it was (although cheap). Overall the Intel chips are much better, definitely worth $50 extra bucks in this case.

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@agonz114: Yes. But make sure the power supply can handle whatever you put in there (i.e. REPLACE IMMEDIATELY!). It can barely handle what it's got already. Although it should be noted there is no onboard video so you can't just "take it out" and leave it like that, you'd have to replace it with another video card.

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Could someone spell out in clear English / amazon links what power supply might be needed to make this PC work healthily for non-gaming needs?

I bought this computer and do graphic/photoshop work as a business.

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Thank you! Very helpful! I'll be drawing up a storm now