HP Pavilion p6310y review: HP Pavilion p6310y

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CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
  • Overall: 6.4
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 6.0
  • Performance: 6.0
  • Service and support: 7.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Decent performance for the price; organized interior with room for upgrades.

The Bad Lacks wireless networking; Gateway gives you faster performance for less money.

The Bottom Line The HP Pavilion p6310y is a midtower desktop computer with average performance coupled with a disappointing set of features. Sure, it can handle low-demand processing, but we recommend the Gateway DX4831-01e over it. The Gateway is a faster computer with more versatile connections that costs $50 less.

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Editors' note: This review is part of our , which covers specific fixed configurations of popular systems found in retail stores.

The Gateway DX4831-01e is the budget midtower to beat in this spring's retail roundup, and subsequent testing on this HP Pavilion p6310y only makes that argument more persuasive. Although it's a decent multitasker, we're not surprised to see that HP suffers from the same pitfalls as its predecessor: It has an attractive design and average scores, but is outshadowed by Gateway's competitive CPU and abundance of onboard connections. If it isn't obvious already, we're sticking with recommending the Gateway DX4831-01e until a more valuable system comes along.

The HP p6310y features the same aesthetic design that we continue to see in HP's p-series seasonal offerings, and the recipe is simple: take a minimal glossy black case, add a soft-blue LED-lit power button, a sliding panel on the bottom that reveals a media card reader, and two USB 2.0 ports underneath, and you have a visually attractive tower that can easily disappear into your office setup.

  HP Pavilion p6310y Gateway DX4831-01e
Price $599 $549
CPU 2.8GHz AMD Phenom II X4 630 2.93GHz Intel Core i3 530
Memory 6GB 1,066MHz DDR3 SDRAM 6GB DDR3 SDRAM
Graphics 256MB (shared) Nvidia GeForce 9100 integrated graphics chip 32MB (shared) Intel GMA HD integrated graphics chip
Hard drives 1TB, 7,200rpm 1TB, 7,200rpm
Optical drive dual-layer DVD burner dual-layer DVD burner
Networking 10/100 Ethernet LAN 10/100 Ethernet LAN, Gigabit Ethernet
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)

A side-by-side comparison of the desktops shows that the HP Pavilion p6310y shares almost exactly the same configuration as the Gateway DX4831-01e. In fact, the Gateway offers a Gigabit Ethernet connection and a $50 price cut, which we assume budget-minded users will consider more valuable. Unfortunately, neither system offers wireless networking, although you can purchase a Wi-Fi card online for less than $50. The Gateway also uses Intel's new Core i3 chip that gives it a noticeable speed boost that you can see in the chart.

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

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

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

Cinebench test
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Rendering multiple CPUs  
Rendering single CPU  
HP Pavilion p6320y
11356 
3,249 
HP Pavilion p6310y
10,515 
2,993 
Gateway DX4300-15e
10,402 
2,964 
Gateway DX4831-01e
9,263 
4,018 
Dell Inspiron i560-4000NBK
6,816 
3,542 

HP's AMD Phenom II chip takes the lead in both the multitasking and Cinebench tests that take advantage of its two extra physical cores; however, the Gateway is able to fight back with significant leads in single-threaded applications like iTunes and Photoshop. This is because the Gateway's Intel Core i3 chip emulates two extra cores when necessary, essentially turning it into a virtual quad-core CPU. At the end of the day, neither system will satisfy the demands of hard-core video editors, but at this price range, we prefer the extra clock speed of the Gateway and its i3 CPU.

Gateway gets even more points over HP thanks to its comprehensive set of external connections. While the back of the HP Pavilion p6310y gives you options like DVI, VGA, and FireWire 400, the Gateway offers all of the same but with more USB ports (eight total), two eSATA ports for external storage, optical S/PDIF audio, and swaps the DVI port with HDMI for serving high-definition media from the Web. Connected to a standard desktop monitor via a VGA cable, the Gateway ran full-screen video from sites like YouTube, Hulu, Vimeo, and Netflix without a glitch. It also smoothly played full 1080p HD movie trailers from Apple's Web site, but we strongly recommend the slim tower Gateway SX2840-01 over either system if you plan to view your media on a TV in the living room.

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Where to Buy

HP Pavilion p6310y

Part Number: AY747AA#ABA

MSRP: $599.99

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Graphics Processor NVIDIA GeForce 9100
  • Capacity 1 x 1 TB
  • OS Provided Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Edition
  • Installed Size 6 GB / 16 GB (max)
  • Monitor Type None.
About The Author

Justin Yu covers headphones and peripherals for CNET. When he's not wading through Web gulch or challenging colleagues to typing tests, you can find him making fun of technology with Jeff Bakalar every afternoon on The 404 show.