HP Pavilion a6750y review: HP Pavilion a6750y

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CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
  • Overall: 6.9
  • Design: 6.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 7.0
  • Service and support: 8.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Strong multitasking performance; 8GB of RAM a bargain at this price; wireless networking; room to upgrade.

The Bad Unimpressive single application scores; clunky hard-drive cage.

The Bottom Line HP's Pavilion a6750y highlights the multitasking benefits of a mainstream quad-core CPU. It's also a fairly stable base on which to build a more capable system. You can find desktops with more raw performance out there, but this one is a reliable multitasker for the dollar.

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Thanks to a smart balance of components and features, we're actually charmed by HP's Pavilion a6750y. Unlike the disappointing lower-end model, this $710 mainstream desktop packs in the right amount of horsepower alongside some useful extras. Yes, you can spend an additional $70 for a more capable Gateway, but at some point we have to recognize the value a product brings at its given price. We like this HP because it's a relatively clean and capable slate for a standard midtower. You might also use it as a base for modest upgrading. In either case we think you'll be happy with this PC.

The Pavilion's case is a straightforward glossy and matte black combination. It's unobtrusive enough, and we like the fact that HP situated the media card slots conveniently at the top, unobstructed by any kind of sliding panel. We dislike the internal hard-drive cage, however, which is needlessly convoluted and makes adding a second drive more difficult than it needs to be.

  HP Pavilion a6750y Dell Inspiron I530-120B
Price $710 $650
CPU 2.3GHz AMD Phenom X4 9650 2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E7400
Memory 8GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM 6GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM
Graphics 256MB 800Mhz DDR2 SDRAM 128MB (shared) Intel GMA 3100 integrated graphics chip
Hard drives 750GB, 7200 rpm Hitachi 750GB, 7,200 rpm Seagate
Optical drive dual-layer DVD burner dual-layer DVD burner
Networking Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g wireless 10/100 Ethernet
Operating system 64-bit Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit Windows Vista Home Premium SP1

This HP sits right between two other retail desktops, Dell's $650 Inspiron I530-120B, and Gateway's $780 LX6810-01. We've chosen the Dell for the direct match-up because it's close in price, and with no discrete graphics cards the two make a good performance match-up. We also like the Gateway system for its 3D card, which is rare at that price. Budget-bound gamers especially should be sure to give that system a look. For the features of the HP compared with the Dell, HP gives you more RAM and the benefit of wireless networking. Dell has only wired Ethernet. As we've said before, Wi-Fi in a desktop might not be necessary, but we'll credit HP for adding it here without a major sacrifice to other system specs.

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Multimedia multitasking (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Cinebench
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Rendering multiple CPUs  
Rendering single CPU  
Gateway LX6810-01
9,545 
2,983 
HP Pavilion a6750y
9,087 
2,448 
HP Pavilion a6700y
6,697 
1,923 
Dell Inspiron I530-120B
6,501 
3,382 
Gateway DX4200-09
5,819 
1,627 

As we mentioned in our review of the Dell system, these two PCs help us show the various benefits right now of quad-core and dual-core CPUs. For straight-ahead application performance, the fast Dell system outperforms even the $780 Gateway. But in multitasking and multithreaded programs, the HP and its quad-core chip leaves the Dell behind. We'd like to see a point where this either/or performance scenario goes away. For now, we tend to value multitasking capability more than single program speed, especially in lower-end PCs that aren't meant for gaming or serious digital media editing.

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Where to Buy

HP Pavilion a6750y

Part Number: NC684AA#ABA Released: Jan 1, 2009

MSRP: $887.00

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Jan 1, 2009
  • OS Provided Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition
  • Monitor Type None.