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Best Buy's HP m7470n a good deal or not?

by mseburn / April 10, 2006 8:28 AM PDT

Want to get the advice of the fine folks in this forum. I need a new computer. I am hoping to use it for the basics (spreadsheets, word processing, digital pictures) and mid-range gaming. Basically if I want to play any of the real fancy stuff I will use a XBox360. The computer I would use for strategy games like Civ4 and Rise of Legends.

Best buy currently offers a
Hewlett-Packard - Pavilion 4200+ Media Center Desktop m7470n with a AMD Athlon? 64 X2 dual-core processor 4200+* for $1015.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp;jsessionid=RLCZDEJPA0QENKC4D3EFAGA?skuId=7726026&productCategoryId=pcmcat60700050019&type=product&tab=1&id=1140391940047

This seems like a pretty good deal.

It has a decent amount of memory, a big hard drive.

The main downside is that the graphics card seems weak. (On board ATI xpress 200). But it has a pci-e x16 available slot so could be upgraded pretty easily. Am I correct?

Am I missing anything? Is there any reason not to get this computer? Is it not as upgradable as it seems? Am I better off with an intel for mid-range gaming?

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If you want a gaming computer...
by nathanpsz2 / April 10, 2006 10:41 AM PDT

...build one yourself. It's not very hard, and there are multiple guides online. Just Google it, and you'll have more information than you ever could imagine.

I wouldn't recommend an HP to anyone, and here's why: My current machine is an HP, and whoever built it didn't put enough thermal grease between the CPU and the heatsink. This made the CPU run very hot, which wasn't helped by the badly designed case which had terrible airflow.

After about 6 months of use, the thing started shutting down at random. I put a new CPU cooler, reapplied the thermal grease which was all vaporized, and put the thing in a new case, but the problem persisted.

I gave it to a geek that I know, he tried his chip in the board, and it still shut down. He tried my chip in his board, and he couldn't even finish installing Windows.

So now I'm paying $300-400 for a new CPU and board, and another $50-100 for a new power supply.

About adding a video card: HP uses crappy power supplies that supply just enough power to run the system. If you were to add a powerful video card, you would need a new power supply, which probably wouldn't fit in the case, so you'd need a new case... you get the message.

If you give me your budget, I can put together some components on newegg. Hope this helps

-Nathan

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budget is
by mseburn / April 10, 2006 11:40 AM PDT

1200.

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I'm going to sleep now...
by nathanpsz2 / April 10, 2006 12:41 PM PDT
In reply to: budget is

...so I'll post those specs tomorrow after school. At like 3:00PM Eastern time.

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Re: Best Buy's HP m7470n a good deal or not?
by don54 / April 11, 2006 12:14 AM PDT

1) If you think of gaming you must be on AMD.
2) Yes it does with a PCI 16x slot so that you can upgrade to high end graphic card later
3) The onboard x200 has a video memory of 256mb as it uses Ati's Hypermemory Technology.
4)The System is Vista Capable as well, i.e it Meets the Vista Hardware Requirement.

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So do you think the power supply would be okay....
by mseburn / April 11, 2006 1:45 AM PDT

So do you think the power supply would be okay....to upgrade the video card? This seem like a reasonable machine for someone who is not a hard core gamer?

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It works fine for me
by davelazar / April 11, 2006 2:16 AM PDT

I have the 7470 and I put the ATI x1600 card in it and it works great no power issues as of yet and I have run quite a few games on it. I might still upgrade the power supply when I get my new sound card just to be safe.

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You're pushing your luck
by nathanpsz2 / April 11, 2006 4:46 AM PDT
In reply to: It works fine for me

With the $h!tty HP case and power supply. HP also installs a lot of bloatware which uses your hard drive space, and runs in the background, sucking up your system resources. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: If you care 1% about PC performance, build; don't buy.

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(NT) (NT) You will have problems :)
by jrmar07 / April 11, 2006 4:49 AM PDT
In reply to: It works fine for me
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THE END IS NEAR!
by nathanpsz2 / April 11, 2006 6:05 AM PDT

(\___/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")

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Nathan, do you think I can build a decent machine for 1200?
by mseburn / April 11, 2006 6:46 AM PDT
In reply to: THE END IS NEAR!

And my other question for you is how hard is it to build a computer. I have added memory, swapped out pci cards, but never installed a heat sink on a cpu. How tough is that?

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You can build a very nice machine for $1,200
by nathanpsz2 / April 11, 2006 11:21 AM PDT
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I have this computer
by reformerz / April 12, 2006 6:01 PM PDT
In reply to: And here they are!

Circuit City has HUGE deal on a system with it this week. You get a 17" LCD monitor, combo printer/scanner, and the computer, and there is a 300 rebate. My total, for ALL THREE THINGS, after the rebate, was 1150 plus tax! Heck even if you don't want the printer or monitor, you can sell them!

I am extremely pleased with this computer. It is FAST. I do mostly heavy 2D graphics work, so the graphics card in the machine is fine for now, and it is so nice having a fast processor and lots of memory so nothing gets bogged down. Multitasking is a whole new world on it too.

Think carefully before building your own computer if you have never done it before. Fiddling with everything and getting it all to work together is a royal pain in the rear. Been there, done that, won't do it again Happy

Good luck!

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You're a n00b...
by nathanpsz2 / April 12, 2006 9:19 PM PDT
In reply to: I have this computer

...and I HATE HP!

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My my, we certainly get snitty when people have a different
by reformerz / April 13, 2006 2:08 AM PDT
In reply to: You're a n00b...

opinion.

If I were reading this thread, I wouldn't take anything you said seriously after that little outburst.

And, by the way, I use my computers professionally, and have been so doing since probably before you were born. I have had HP, Dell, my own build, IBM, Packard Bell (ugh),Compaq and NEC. I have replaced motherboards, power supplies, hard drives, memories, sound cards, video cards, processors....you get the drift. I would never build my own computer again because it a serious pain in the rear to get everything to cooperate with each other and there is no tech support to call if it DOESN'T. Since I get paid between $50 and $100 an hour when I bill my services out, the cost of building a computer would run me FAR more than the nice $1200 that this set up costs assembled, too.

You might want to think before you blast someone next time. Your age and inexperience are showing.

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thanks
by mseburn / April 12, 2006 11:03 PM PDT

Thanks for taking the time on the list. From the original list I wondered if it would be wise to get an sli capable motherboard, not for today, but for the future. but I see with this list you included one.
I agree with you that a much more modest video card is what I need. thanks for your work.

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My pleasure :)
by nathanpsz2 / April 12, 2006 11:40 PM PDT
In reply to: thanks

(\___/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")


Bunny!

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$1200 budget including...?
by WhyFi / April 12, 2006 9:36 PM PDT

Is a monitor included in this budget? Operating system?

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yes operating system. no monitor
by mseburn / April 12, 2006 11:00 PM PDT

Of course I am trying to weigh building my own system vs. this HP deal which is 1200 for monitor printer and pc.

I of course have added memory, added pci cards, but never built a machine.

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To Nathanpsz2...
by jackintucson / April 13, 2006 2:52 AM PDT

I've locked this thread due to your attempt at "hiding" words that are in violation of forum palicies. This is a warning that further violations may result in a ban. There are better ways to express yourself.

and life goes on...

Jack

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