HP Pavilion Elite HPE-180
Does it justify the premium?
At this price point, we consider the performance of the HPE-180 is mediocre. The GTX 260 graphics card is outclassed by the current range of AMD hardware and delivers 15-25fp/s less than a single Radeon HD 5850. The Intel Core i7-860 CPU runs at the stock speed of 2.80GHz, but you get a 4GHz machine if you're prepared to shop around and buy from a less well-known brand than HP.
Power Draw Results
Power Draw in Watts (W)
At first we couldn’t get into the Bios to investigate CPU speed until we discovered that you have to press F1 during POST rather than the usual DEL or F2. The Bios is a major disappointment and offers no options apart from the ability to enable and disable integrated features. There is no control over voltage settings or clock speeds so the only way to get more speed from the Core i7 would be to replace the motherboard.
HP has installed a 1TB 3Gb/s Sata hard drive, which isn't exactly class-leading now 2TB drives are so readily available. And it seems cheapskate for a desktop costing more than a grand.
And that's the real problem here: HP is asking for a lot of money for a pretty PC that doesn't deliver the goods.
The Pavilion Elite HPE-180 is packed with good-sounding stuff: Core i7 CPU, Blu-ray drive, lots of memory and storage space. But the whole is less the sum of its parts - and you'll pay a tidy sum for it too. ®
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