Despite having a dual-core Pentium D 830, one of the highest-end processors available today, the m7260n's performance doesn't shine. In testing it lagged behind other systems with nearly identical configurations, scoring 5 percent slower than thein CNET Labs' SysMark 2004 benchmarks. (To the m7260n's credit, it costs less and provides a larger hard drive than the VAIO RC110G.) Though it lags behind other dual-core systems, the m7260n far outpaces the single-core Pentium 4 530-based by a healthy 13 percent. A dual-core CPU is a smart choice for a versatile Media Center system such as the m7260n, where you might find yourself recording TV while running an antivirus app and Web browsing, as dual-core CPUs are better equipped to handle multitasking than single-core CPUs.
HP may think users interested in a midrange media machine aren't going to want anything more powerful than the system's Radeon X300 graphics card, but any serious 3D gaming will require an aftermarket upgrade. The m7260n will play only older games at modest resolutions.
The m7260n includes, , and InterVideo's WinDVD 5, as well as HP's ImageZone photo-editing software. A Media Center remote, an optical USB mouse, and a USB Internet keyboard round out the bundle. Neither a display nor speakers are included with the system.
The HP Media Center m7260n Photosmart PC includes a standard one-year warranty, including a program to send user-installable replacement parts via overnight mail. The HP support Web site offers FAQs, drivers, and tutorials. Toll-free phone support is 24/7 and real-time chat and e-mail support are also available. A two-year warranty extension will run you $169.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
|BAPCo SysMark 2004 rating||SysMark 2004 Internet-content-creation rating||SysMark 2004 office-productivity rating|
Find out more about how we test desktop systems.
Dell Dimension XPS 400
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 SP2; 3.2GHz Intel Pentium D 840; Intel 945GP chipset; 1,024MB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 6800 (PCIe); two WDC WD160JD-75HBB0 160GB Serial ATA 7,200rpm; integrated Intel 82801GR/GH SATA RAID Controller (RAID 0)
Windows XP Professional SP2; 3.0GHz Intel Pentium D 830, 1,024MB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; Intel 945GP chipset; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 6800 (PCIe); Hitachi HDS722525VLSA80 250GB 7,200rpm Serial ATA (two separate drives no RAID)
HP Media Center m7260n Photosmart PC
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005; 3.0GHz Intel Pentium D 830; Intel 945P chipset; 1,024MB DDR2 SDRAM 400MHz; 128MB ATI Radeon X300 (PCIe); Seagate ST3300831AS 300GB 7,200rpm Serial ATA
Shuttle XPC G5 8300mc
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005; 3.0GHz Intel P4 530; Intel 915G chipset; 512MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 6600 (PCIe); WDC WD2500JD-98HBB0 250GB 7,200rpm Serial ATA
Sony VAIO VGC-RC110G
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005; 3.0GHz Intel Pentium D 830; Intel 945P chipset; 1,024MB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; 128MB ATI Radeon X300 (PCIe); WDC WD2500JS-98MHB0 250GB 7,200rpm Serial ATA