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HP Pavilion p6510y review: HP Pavilion p6510y

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MSRP: $519.99

The Good Moderate application speed for the price; open interior offers room to upgrade; wireless LAN, includes FireWire port.

The Bad Competition offers more storage for $30 less, lacks HDMI.

The Bottom Line The HP Pavilion p6510y midtower desktop is a solid computer that makes quick work in a multitasking environment thanks to its quad-core AMD CPU, and the external connections give video editors the upper hand in terms of speed and versatility. The p6510y deserves our recommendation, but if Photoshop and Dreamweaver aren't part of your daily routine, you can trade the HP's multicore speed for extra hard-drive space and save a couple bucks with a competing Asus system.

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7.0 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 7
  • Performance 7
  • Support 7

Editors' note: This review is part of our 2010 retail laptop and desktop back-to-school roundup, covering specific fixed configurations of popular systems found in retail stores.

The appeal of the HP Pavilion p6510y, and really all budget computers, is the amount of features you get for the same price as the competition. For $530, the p6510y gives you a quad-core 2.8GHz chip from AMD, 750GB of data storage, 4GB RAM and wireless networking. The robust quad-core processor is versatile, and we recommend this system to anyone shopping for a low-cost desktop for basic productivity, and maybe some light-duty media editing. We also point to the Asus Essentio CM5671-05, a less expensive solution for budget-minded shoppers willing to sacrifice speed for storage space.

The HP p6510y 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 media card reader up top, and a sliding panel on the bottom that reveals two audio jacks and two USB 2.0 ports, and you have a visually attractive tower that can easily disappear into your office setup.

  HP Pavilion p6510y Asus Essentio CM5671-05
Price $530 $500
CPU 2.8GHz AMD Athlon II X4 630 2.8GHz Intel Dual-Core E5500
Memory 4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM 4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM
Graphics 256MB (shared) ATI RS880 integrated graphics chip 128MB (shared) Intel GMA X4500 integrated graphics chip
Hard drives 750GB, 7,200 rpm 1TB, 7,200 rpm
Optical drive dual-layer DVD burner dual-layer DVD burner
Networking 10/100/1000 Ethernet LAN, 802.11 b/g/n wireless 10/100/1000 Ethernet LAN
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)

This comparison chart shows the similarities between the two systems. While the HP benefits from a faster quad-core processor, double the video memory, and wireless LAN, the Asus responds with a larger 1TB hard drive and an HDMI port on the back if you want to stream high definition videos on your HDTV--all for $30 less than the HP Pavilion p6510y. We assume most people shopping for a budget midtower desktop will value speed over living room connectivity. The Asus's storage size advantage might sway some, but mostly the HP seems like the stronger configuration.

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)
Gateway DX4840-03e

Multimedia multitasking (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Gateway DX4840-03e

Cinebench (in frames per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Rendering multiple CPUs  
Rendering single CPU  
HP Pavilion p6510y
Asus Essentio CM5675-07
Gateway DX4840-03e
Asus Essentio CM5671-05
Dell Inspiron i560-2050NBK

The HP makes a compelling argument with a victory over the Asus Essentio CM5671-05 in three out of four of our benchmark tests. The Gateway DX4840-03e included in the comparison is more than $100 more than the HP with a faster clock speed to its Core i3 processor, so its unmatched triumph over the HP isn't surprising. Based on the results, the HP is a good match for use with multicore applications like certain media editing programs that take advantage of its quad-core AMD chip, which even bested the Gateway in our multicore CineBench test.

Inside the HP you'll find a well-organized interior ready for expansion by way of a standard PCI slot and three 1x PCI Express slots. The motherboard has room for two more memory sticks, the other two slots are occupied by the 2GB DIMMs, and there's plenty of space for another optical drive and hard drive. By comparison, the Asus Essentio CM5671-05 tells a similar story inside.

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