The Bottom Line
Oct 11 2011 - HP's Pavilion p7-1002 does a few things well but has a number of flaws that end up with it just been an average desktop for just under $500. For those that like to multitask or work on digital video, the quad core AMD processor does give it a bit of an edge over dual core processor. The problem is that for many, they won't notice any benefit as they generally don't do these. At least HP does include 6GB of memory which is a benefit. The big downside is the external peripheral ports. It lacks many of the latest high speed ports including USB 3.0 or eSATA and it doesn't even come with an HDMI port. This can make it problematic for those looking at doing external upgrades.
- Quad Core Processor
- 6GB Of Memory
- Wireless Networking
- System Offers Less Performance For Those Than Don't Multitask
- Only Six USB 2.0 Ports For Limited External Expansion
- No HDMI Port
- AMD Athlon II X4 650 Quad Core Desktop Processor
- 6GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Memory
- 1TB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 16x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer DVD Burner
- AMD Radeon HD 4200 Integrated Graphics
- 7.1 Audio Support
- Fast Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless
- Six USB 2.0, DVI, VGA, 15-in-1 Card Reader
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Office Starter
Review - HP Pavilion p7-1002
Oct 11 2011 - While the majority of HP's Pavilion p7 desktop models are based upon the Intel architecture, the p7-1002 uses the more affordable AMD platform in order to keep a price just under $500. The processor is an AMD Athlon II X4 650 quad core processor. Now, in many tasks, this performs much lower than the new Intel Core i3 processors but unlike those dual core processor, this offers four full processors. Combine this with 6GB of DDR3 memory and this system gets a slight edge for those that heavily multitask or might be looking to do some more demanding tasks such as desktop video that can benefit from the extra cores. Another benefit is that the motherboard supports four memory modules for up to 16GB through memory upgrades which the Intel based models cannot with their two memory slots.
Storage features are pretty typical of the average budget desktop system. There is a one terabyte hard drive that should provide it with a fair amount of storage space for applications, data and media files. The drive spins at the traditional 7200rpm desktop rate which gives it a bit of edge in performance over many budget systems that have moved to slower green class drives that spin around 5400rpms. The one downside here though is the ability for external expansion. It does not feature either USB 3.0 or eSATA ports for use with high speed external drives that offer performance similar to internal drives. In addition to this, there are just six USB 2.0 ports which is fairly low for a standard mini-tower desktop system. A dual layer DVD burner handles playback and recording of CD or DVD media. There is also a multi-card reader for use with the most common flash media cards.
The graphics system used by AMD has both good and bad points. The AMD Radeon HD 4200 integrated graphics does offer better 3D performance than what the new Intel HD Graphics card achive. It still lacks any real significant performance for even casual 3D casual PC gaming. In addition, it doesn't offer the same level of media acceleration that Intel's offers with its QuickSync. Finally, the system uses a DVI digital connector rather than the more prevalent HDMI connector used on most TVs and monitors today. There is space within the system for a PCI-Express graphics card but the low wattage power supply means that only most basic of dedicated graphics cards can be installed as upgrades.
Thankfully, HP continues to include an 802.11b/g/n wireless networking adapter with the Pavilion p7-1022 as it does with the more expensive models. This allows the system to be easily integrated a home wireless network rather than relying on network cables. While this is becoming more common in desktops, it still is not found on the majority of desktops in the under $500 price range.