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HP Pavilion p6510y review: HP Pavilion p6510y

HP Pavilion p6510y

Justin Yu Associate Editor / Reviews - Printers and peripherals
Justin Yu covered headphones and peripherals for CNET.
Justin Yu
5 min read

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.


HP Pavilion p6510y

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Around back, the HP Pavilion earns points for including DVI and VGA video ports, optical audio out, FireWire400, and 8 USB ports, but the Essentio offers the added benefit of HDMI for easy living room connections. Connected to a standard desktop monitor via a VGA cable, the p6510y ran full-screen video from sites like YouTube, Hulu, Vimeo, and Netflix without any hiccups and also played full 1080p HD movie trailers from Apple's Web site. Some of you might miss HDMI here, but if you're seriously planning to view your media on a TV in a living room, we much prefer a slim-tower system like the Gateway SX2840-01 (or the recently released follow-up, the SX2801-01e).

Annual power consumption cost
Gateway DX4840-03e

Juice box
HP Pavilion p6510y Average watts per hour
Off (60 percent) 1.44
Sleep (10 percent) 2.93
Idle (25 percent) 66.57
Load (5 percent) 107.32
Raw kWh 259.33
EnergyStar compliant No
Annual energy cost $29.43

Out of the five comparison desktops we used in this chart, the HP Pavilion costs the most to power over the course of a year at $29.43. Compared with the $19.32 it takes to power the Asus Essentio, another boon for the Asus is that it won't make as large of an impact on your wallet over time. Even still, you shouldn't be surprised to learn that neither HP comes close to earning an Energy Star certification.

HP includes a standard one-year warranty with the Pavilion p6510y, with just enough free support to keep you happy. Within the allotted time, you get 24-7 toll-free phone assistance, a comprehensive list of Web help, including manuals, FAQs, live customer service chat, and driver updates.

Find out more about how we test desktop systems.

System configurations:

Asus Essentio CM5671-05
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.8GHz Intel Dual-Core E5500; 4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 128MB (shared) Intel GMA X4500 integrated graphics chip; 1TB, 7,200 rpm hard drive

Gateway DX4840-03e
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 7,200 rpm Western Digital hard drive

HP Pavilion p6510y
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.8GHz AMD Athlon II X4 630; 4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 256MB (shared) ATI RS880 integrated graphics chip; 750GB, 7,200 rpm hard drive

HP Pavilion Slimline s5510y
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.8GHz AMD Athlon II X2 240; 3GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 256MB (shared) Nvidia GeForce 6150SE integrated graphics chip; 640GB 7,200rpm Western Digital hard drive


HP Pavilion p6510y

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 7Performance 7Support 7