We mentioned the HP's card expandability. We should add that if you want to upgrade to a discrete graphics card, the Pavilion's 250-watt power supply will prevent you from adding anything beyond a lower midrange GPU. Other upgrade options include a spare RAM slot, as well as a free hard-drive bay, but, as usual with the midtower Pavilion, the clunky hard-drive cage makes adding a second storage device harder than it should be.
You'll also need to add a graphics card to this system if you want an HDMI output, as the motherboard only offers DVI and VGA outputs. We can forgive the absence of HDMI given the midtower case, but we're less tolerant of the absent eSATA and FireWire jacks. HP did at least include coaxial digital audio and 7.1 analog audio jacks, as well as a plentiful assortment of USB jacks.
|HP Pavilion p6720f||Average watts per hour|
|Raw (annual kWh)||261.08304|
|Energy Star compliant||Yes|
|Annual operating cost (@$0.1135/kWh)||$29.63|
As we've come to expect from the AMD-based PCs, the Pavilion p6720f is not comparatively power-efficient. You'll pay almost twice as much in annual power bills for this HP as you will for the Intel-based Gateway DX4840-03e or a system like it. Fortunately, in real-dollar terms, that comes down to $2.47 a month for the HP, as compared with $1.41 for the Gateway, so the difference won't beat up your wallet too badly.
HP includes a standard one-year parts and labor warranty with the Pavilion p6720f. You also get 24-7 toll-free phone support and a variety of support resources available on HP's Web site, as well as on the system itself.
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HP Pavilion p6720f
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.9GHz AMD Phenom II X4 810T; 6GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 256MB (shared) Radeon HD 4200 integrated graphics chip; 1TB 7,200rpm Seagate hard drive
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.8GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core E5500; 4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 128MB (shared) Intel GMA X4500 HD integrated graphics chip; 1TB 7,200rpm Hitachi hard drive
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.7GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core E5400; 4GB 1,066MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 32MB (shared) Intel GMA X4500 HD integrated graphics chip; 500GB 7,200rpm Western Digital hard drive
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 3.0GHz Intel Core i3 540; 8GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 64MB (shared) Intel GMA X4500 HD integrated graphics chip; 1TB 7,200rpm Western Digital hard drive
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.8GHz AMD Athlon II X4 630; 4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 256MB (shared) Radeon HD 4200 integrated graphics chip; 750GB 7,200rpm Seagate hard drive