CNET First Look
HP Pavilion Elite HPE-190tHP's Pavilion Elite 190T isn't the most innovative desktop, nor the best-looking. It does, however, offer Intel's six-core Core i7 980X Extreme CPU, currently the fastest desktop chip on the market. Anyone with demanding productivity needs should find...
[ Background music ] >> Rich Brown: Hi I'm Senior Editor Rich Brown for CNET.com. Today we're gonna take a look at the HP Pavilion Elite 190T. So this is a higher end desktop from HP and it's notable because it has Intel's Core i7980X extreme chip. Now that's a 6 core CPU and it's the fastest desktop chip currently on the market. Now having that chip itself isn't that unique, but the fact that HP sells it in a system that starts at 1899 makes this the most affordable way to get a Core i7980X short of building a system yourself. Now this is a configurable system so in addition to the fast chip, HP also threw in a bunch of multimedia features. You get a Blu-ray drive, TV tuner, wireless networking and a very large hard drive. Now it might seem like kind of a [inaudible] matchup that a chip built for very fast performance and a multimedia features that maybe would be more at home in the living room in perhaps a smaller case. Still you can configure this PC and mix and match the parts as you want to a certain extent anyway. Down the front of the panel though you can see some of the system's cool features. You've got a media card reader up here. There's a Blu-ray drive behind the door here. You got a bay for HPs pocket media drive, sort of a removable hard drive you can take in and out, those cost extra, pop that in here, and behind the door here you get a couple of video inputs as well as USB and analog audio jacks. Around the back you see some of the multimedia features you got a TV tuner up here, there's a graphics card here with a couple DVI jacks as well as HDMI and display port. You've got analog audio here for 7.1 output, couple of USB ports, 2 ESATA jacks and a SPDIF digital audio output as well as fire wire and Ethernet jacks. That's fairly complete array out outputs, perhaps the only thing we might want to see in a system like this is USB 3 but that's not quite as standard yet so we can't get too bent out of shape that it's not here. Inside the case HPs mass market roots definitely show. You can see that wires are kind of a jumble we would never really see that in a system built from a boutique vendor. That said like we said this is the lowest cost system to offer Intel's Core i7980X chip so perhaps you're willing to make that sacrifice. So you can see the graphics card here, it's a midrange card, it's not really the best gaming card out there, although it should play most titles at reasonable resolution. Jammed up in here there is a TV tuner as well as a wireless card way back underneath there. There actually is a second graphics card on this motherboard, but because this is only a 480 watt power supply you probably would not be well advised to pull these parts out and put another card in after you purchased this system. That power mutation is really because the CPU eats up a lot of juice so adding a second card really would probably make this pretty unstable if it would run at all. In here you can see HPs very clunky hard drive cage. Now there's a 1.5TB drive jammed back in there but in order to add a second drive or take that drive out and replace it you need to remove the whole drive cage and it's kind of a clunky operation. Now the memory layout for this system is also a little bit weird at least in our configuration. Now this comes with a default memory spec of 9 gigs of 1066 RAM, not only is that RAM a little bit slower, it also only takes up 5 of the 6 memory slots. Now the good news is you do have a little bit of room to upgrade but because it's only 5 to 6 slots occupied the memory is not as fast as it could be, it really likes to run with all of the slots populated by memory sticks. So you never really see where HP cuts some corners to get the price down on this thing and make if affordable. That said it really does deliver on performance at least in its price category. This is without a doubt the fastest productivity oriented desktop we've seen between 1000 and 2000 dollars. So this might not be the most elegant desktops around but it definitely is one of the fastest at least in its price range. We recommend it for anybody who needs a fast PC to get through day to day applications or even higher end multimedia editing. [ Background music ] So I'm Rich Brown this is the HP Pavilion Elite 190T.