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

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

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

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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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@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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@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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@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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@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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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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@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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@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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@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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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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@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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@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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@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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@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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@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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@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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@goodeggray: I agree. When you get a new pc you are prompted to make recovery discs in case one day you do need to replace the HD. The HD can be changed/cloned as long as it is attached to the original MB.

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@gak0090, 5400RPM is definitely not better than any 7200RPM drive. The RPM directly affect seek times and throughput, since the higher the RPM, the faster it will reach sectors on the other side of the platter.

I'm surprised nobody is talking about the motherboard, which is also very, very low-end. The Motherboard controls the data passing to each component, and the lower-quality motherboards are less able to deliver.
I had an HP from WOOT. Hooked up a second drive inside as a backup and began copying from one drive to another. I got about 10MB/s transfer rate.
That board died so I had to get a new one: 80MB/s transfer rate with the same exact drives.
A good quality motherboard gets all of the components talking much faster, which makes for a much better overall computer experience, regardless of usage.

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@guswalken: This is definitely better. Even though this is a 5400 rpm drive it's probably no slower than the older 7200 rpm drive. The videocard here is fine for HTPC. It's probably pretty quiet. The processor may seem like overkill, unless you start converting blu-ray, copying blu-ray, video editing, or using cable cards with 4 hi def tuners- then you will clearly be happy to have that processing power. I have built 8 different home theater PC's- this would be a good one to start with and buy a blu-ray burner for it. If you get power issues you may have to upgrade the power supply, but you are only talking about $40. If the HD is sluggish, you can always add a 7200 rpm drive and use the 1.5TB as storage- it won't go unused.

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HP does not key Windows to the motherboard. Microsoft does that. You have OEM version of Windows on the hard drive and it's keyed to the OEM motherboard. A full version of Windows is twice the price of a OEM version. What you do when you replace a hard drive or motherboard is to call Microsoft to request a new activation key for Windows. That so people wouldn't clone the hard drive and use it on several computers.

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@rammerjammer: I think you are better off with this than the IBUYPOWER deal above. The videocard in this is fine for what you need, the HD even though it is 5400 rpm is probably faster than what is in your current PC even though your current PC has a 7200 rpm drive. The technology of the newer drives makes them faster at a lower speed than the older generation. For instance: this Samsung HD154UI 1.5tb 5400rpm drive has a benchmark of 545, this WDC WD7500AAKS 7200 rpm 750gb drive has a benchmark of 510 (look these up on passmark if you want). I don't know what brand drive is in this PC, I was just giving an example. Ideally you would want to update this drive to an SSD (clone your OS to this drive) and use the one it comes with as storage. The SSD would speed things up tremendously when it comes to photoshop rendering (much more than 7200rpm drive).Processor in this PC is significantly faster than the IBUYPOWER,using photoshop, it will take advantage of the additional cores.

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Last year I bought a new Dell computer and build four computers. I have bought refurbished HP computers in the pass. This computer is not a good deal. The specs look good but it not the right computer for many people at its price. If the price was $150 to $200 less it would be worth buying. It's too powerful for the causal user (web browsing and lite word processing) but yet not good enough for gaming or photo shopping or using it as a base for upgrading. My rule for buying a OEM computer is dose it does what I need it for and is less that what it cost for me to build. If you really know how to mod OEM computers then you can build one. There's too many things to change in this computer to improve it. It would be less money to buy a better one or build one.

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I had to replace the motherboard, which meant I had to replace the case (YMMV; it was because I bought a rectangle standard shape MB instead of the square shape like the original setup had). And then I had to replace that 300W power supply, not because it was so small, but because the CPU power cable/wire was too short to reach in the new case.
Also, that lovely HP power supply doesn't have its own independent on/off button, which is horrendous if you're having trouble with the power connection in the new case....

So, ultimately, when I wanted to replace my hard drive, I had to replace my HD, MB, case, and power supply. The only components I could keep were the CPU and DVD player & my [aftermarket] graphics card.

That computer was purchased in July of 2010. I suppose they could have ceased the tattooing practices, but I can safely guess that the 300W power supply is the same junky one that won't reach across the case and doesn't have an on-off switch.

DO NOT RECOMMEND.

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@tphili17: If your HP was anything like mine, HP broke the motherboard when you installed a new drive. I used to be a big fan of HP; now, I will never buy one again.

HP has the charming practice of creating a "tattoo" that identifies the hard drive to the motherboard. If a new hard drive does not have that tattoo, the motherboard will not recognize it and will refuse to work with it. Thus, if your hard drive goes bad, you are forced to buy the new one from them, or replace your computer.

When I finally accepted this fact (my hard drive failed a SMART test on 5/6*), I asked them to tattoo the replacement drive I purchased. They won't do it. I then asked to buy a new drive from them, to avoid buying a new computer. The only thing they had available was a drive half the size of the original (500GB instead of 1TB). I hung up before getting a price, afraid I'd cuss someone out.

(continued in next comment)

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With:
-7200RPM Hard Drive
-AMD Radeon HD 6670
-Quad Core FX 4100 Processor 3.6GHz
-only $50 more with free shipping
I think the iBuyPower http://amzn.to/JD7Ud1 makes a better gaming desktop

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I'm a photographer. Will this machine be good for photoshop and other photo software??

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How would this compare to my old HTPC ?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883113078

I've wanted to add more ram to it but have no idea if it can handle it ?
It's still going strong, but I would love to have better sound, USB 3.0, Bluetooth, and a hopefully otherwise faster machine than mine all the way around. Although my HD is 7200 on my old gateway. I just wish this HP had Blu-ray. It would be a no brainer for me. I'm also not a gamer so no worries there. I just watch/stream a lot of movies, listen to tunes, and surf. I guess my main concern would be it failing.

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Is this machine suitable to install vmware on it. Will vmware be able to recognize all the components.

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@sfidance: It's all marketing now. 10gb will not give you any advantage over 8gb. But DDR3 is so cheap, that everyone has been upping the RAM in their machines. HP probably bought (or is contracted)a boatload of the 2gb modules that are almost obsolete since everyone is using the 4gb modules, so what they do is throw one of these in their machine because 10gb looks better than 8gb when most people are comparing specs. It really doesn't add performance, and it could slightly hinder performance depending on the motherboard.

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I don't think anyone else has pointed this out so far, so I will. I can't figure out the memory configurations on a lot of modern computers. 10GB is a very strange amount of RAM, and the reason is that it has 3 DIMMs installed. My guess is 4+4+2, but could be 8+1+1. In any case, that kills the ability of the system to use the RAM in dual channel out of the box. I understand that the benefits of dual channel memory only come to light in some circumstances, but I just wanted to bring this to light. Not really sure why a lot of manufacturers have been doing this lately.

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Don't be a H8-er. heh heh... see what I did there....

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@john1863: did you read the forum??? you have no idea what you are talking about

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For anybody asking about Diablo III that game has substandard graphics and can be run easily by a duo core processor with the correct video card

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I bought one of these on Moofi a couple of days ago (it hasn't shipped yet, so I can't give a hands-on review yet). Best Buy is selling this same unit new for $789, or $250 more than this refurb:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/HP+-+Pavilion+Desktop+-+10GB+Memory+-+1.5TB+Hard+Drive/4602991.p?id=1218501940330&skuId=4602991&st=H8-1214%20&cp=1&lp=1

I wanted a basic home PC (web surfing, some word processing), and something that could handle HD video editing. This seems like it should more than fit the bill, and it blows the machine I have now out of the water.

I've got a 650 watt PSU kicking around that I can swap in. I'm looking around for a harddrive (newegg has a 3tb Seagate external drive on sale for $139; I've thought about getting that & pulling the drive out & installing it in this machine).

Any recommendations on a graphics card? Links to cheap 7200 rpm harddrives? And should I steer clear of an SSD boot drive?

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@shelburnecountrystore: Don't get me wrong, I don't think this is a bad deal- I just think it's an odd configuration of components. it almost seems that there was left over inventory of stuff and they just threw it all together. The value is there- the configuration is odd.

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@kay0sth30ry: Not so fast. This HP has a better processor (not just because 6 cores, but because the passmark rating is about 1600 points higher-5600 vs 4000 approx) and the HP has USB 3.0 already. The video card on the HP is not horrible unless you decide to do serious gaming-98% of most users would be fine with that video card. The HP power supply is anemic, but if you have any issues spend about $40 get a decent power supply - this will work http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182075

I think this is a better deal, in time buy yourself a different HD and clone the current one to a 7200 rpm - this samsung is a good drive for $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152181
and then you can use the 1.5 TB drive as a nice media storage.

Ibuypower looks flashy and stuff, but from what I read the stuff feels cheap. I think this is better of the two.

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Does anybody have any thoughts on using this as a development machine? I have a nice (but old Dell) that has served me well and I was thinking of upgrading to a new i7 based Dell. This seems like a pretty good package. I'm guessing 6 core would make compiling nice and zippy!