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HP Pavilion a250e (Athlon XP 2.16 GHz review: HP Pavilion a250e (Athlon XP 2.16 GHz

Review Sections

3D graphics performance in fps  (Longer bars indicate better performance)
Quake III Arena  
Falcon Northwest FragBox (Nvidia GeForce FX 5600 Ultra)
246.0 
HP Pavilion a250e (Nvidia GeForce FX 5600)
223.1 
Gateway 500XL (ATI Radeon 9600)
178.5 
HP d325 business desktop (Nvidia GeForce4 MX 440 AGP 8X)
105.0 
Sony VAIO PCV-RS320 (Intel 865G)
41.0 

To measure 3D gaming performance, CNET Labs uses Quake III Arena. Although Quake III is an older game, it is still widely used as an industry-standard tool. Quake III does not require DX8 hardware support--as 3DMark2001 does--and is therefore an excellent means of comparing the performance of low- to high-end graphics subsystems. Quake III performance is reported in frames per second (fps).

Find out more about how we test desktop systems.

System configurations:

Falcon Northwest FragBox
Windows XP Home; 2.66GHz Intel P4; Intel 845G/GL chipset; 512MB DDR SDRAM 333MHz; Nvidia GeForce FX 5600 Ultra 128MB; IBM IC35L090AVV207 82GB 7,200rpm

Gateway 500XL
Windows XP Home; 2.6GHz Intel P4; Intel 865G chipset; 512MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; ATI Radeon 9600 128MB; Maxtor 6Y080L0 80GB 7,200rpm

HP d325 business desktop
Windows XP Professional; 2.17GHz AMD Athlon XP 3000+; Nvidia Nforce-2; 512MB DDR SDRAM 333MHz; Nvidia GeForce4 MX 440 AGP 8X 64MB; Maxtor 6Y0160L0 160GB 7,200rpm

HP Pavilion a250e
Windows XP Home; 2.17GHz AMD Athlon XP 3000+; Nvidia Nforce-2; 512MB DDR SDRAM 333MHz; Nvidia GeForce FX 5600 128MB; Seagate ST380011A 80GB 7,200rpm

Sony VAIO PCV-RS320
Windows XP Home; 2.6GHz Intel P4; Intel 865G chipset; 512MB DDR SDRAM 333MHz; integrated Intel 865G 64MB (shared memory); Seagate ST3120022A 120GB 7,200rpm

HP's service-and-support options are acceptable. While archcompetitor Dell offers a year's warranty and onsite service, plus lifetime tech support, HP's standard one-year warranty does not include onsite service, and tech-support lasts for only the length of the warranty. Two- and three-year plans are also available. If you buy the system retail, you can take it back to the store for service. HP also offers an end-user parts-replacement program. The system itself ships with a PC recovery tool, and PC Doctor--a hardware troubleshooter. Although not system-specific, documentation is comprehensive, as is online support.

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