Good DEsktop offer??

  Dellman 11:23 30 Dec 2010

Is this a good offer at Currys? £279

Primary usage is Office applications, web browsing and video editing.

AMD Athlon II X2 220 Processor
- 2.8 GHz
- 2.0 GHz HT (4000 MT/s)
- 1 MB L2 Cache
Operating System Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-bit
RAM - 2GB installed DDR3 RAM
- 4GB maximum RAM capacity (2 DIMM slots)
Graphics card ATI Radeon™ 3000 series
- up to 891 MB total available graphics memory
Screen type None
Hard drive 320GB SATA 7200rpm
Optical disk drive DVD Rewriter
Memory card reader 6-in-1 memory card reader
USB 6 x USB 2.0 ports (2 in front)
FireWire No
Modem/Ethernet Ethernet 10/100BT integrated network interface
Wi-Fi No
Bluetooth No
Video interface 1 x VGA
TV output VGA (analogue video)
Extension card slot 2 x PCI-Express 1x (2 free)
Sound High Definition Audio 5.1ch
Keyboard & Mouse USB keyboard and mouse
Accessories included Keyboard, mouse, power cable, documentation, 1-year warranty
Software included - Microsoft® Office Starter 2010 (includes reduced-functionality versions of Word® and Excel® only, with advertising)
- Microsoft® Internet Explorer
- Windows® Live Messenger, Adobe® Reader, Adobe® Flash Player
- HP Power Assistant
- HP Setup
- HP Advisor
- HP Support Assistant
- Windows Live™ Applications
- Cyberlink DVD Suite
- HP Music Station: Discover, download, play and share millions of music tracks
- HP Games Console with hours of free game play
- Norton Online Backup (30-day trial)
- EasyBits Magic Desktop
- Windows Media Centre
Size 414 x 175 x 387 mm (H x W x D)
Weight 7.5 kg

  The Kestrel 13:46 30 Dec 2010

It looks a good deal at that price for the uses you list. One thing you may wish to consider is the amount of RAM at 2Gb. This is quite low for modern operating systems and I'm not sure whether the graphics card supplied uses RAM memory, perhaps other forum members may be able to advise you. Either way, consider increasing the RAM up to 4Gb if you decide to purchase.

  Woolwell 15:37 30 Dec 2010

Personally I wouldn't want to do much video editing on it. It almost certainly has shared graphics, low ram for the task and a smallish hard drive. For your other purposes it is fine. Note also no firewire and this may be useful if your camcorder connects that way.

  Dellman 18:50 30 Dec 2010

what would be a good minimum spec to go for then?

  Dellman 19:35 30 Dec 2010

Is this a better buy - £349 at Comet with an i3 processor?

Technical specifications
Brand: HP
Processor: Intel Core i3
Intel Processor Star Rating: Intel 3 star processor
Processor model number: I3-540
Processor speed: tbc
Processor bus: tbc
Processor cache: tbc
Memory (RAM): 3 GB
Storage Capacity (hard drive): 500 GB
Operating system: Windows 7 Home Premium
Shared graphics:
Dedicated graphics:
Optical drive: Plays & records CDs and DVDs
S-Video output:
VGA output:
HDMI output:
Media card slots: tbc
USB 2.0 slots: 8x
Built-in Bluetooth: Not featured
Built-in TV Tuner:
Built-in Sound Card:
Speakers: Not included
Wired Keyboard:
Wired Mouse:
Wireless Mouse and Keyboard:
Monitor: Not included
Dual Number of Cores/Threads
3.06GHz Processor clock speed
4MB processor cache
H57 PCH Chipset
Up to 16GB Maximum supported memory
Supports Double layer & Dual Format +/- recording
Lightscribe CD/DVD label creation
Shared graphics
Intel HDMB Graphics detail
9.53kg weight
426 x 377 xmm Dimensions (D x H x W)
100 MPPS Wired Networking Speed
6 pin firewire port
Express Card Slot
Microphone Jack
Headphone jack
Wired Keyboard and mouse

48 / 0.6watts :in use/powered-down power consumption

  Dellman 22:37 30 Dec 2010


  Dellman 10:01 31 Dec 2010

Anyone able to comment on the Comet kit?

  Ian in Northampton 11:47 31 Dec 2010


For the extra £70, you're getting a better processor (IMHO) and 50% more memory, and W7 likes memory. You're also getting a 50% bigger disk, although with external drives being so cheap, I think large internal drives are somewhat overrated (and you'll be thrilled that all your data is on an external disk if you ever have to reinstall Windows...) On the other hand, it isn't clear what graphics you get on the Comet machine, but I'd assume they'd be similar to the Curry's machine. The Curry's machine has a card reader, which the Comet machine isn't clear about. (But that's more a matter of convenience: I use a card reader I got from the 99p store, and it's fine). The Curry's machine gives you 64-bit W7 - the Comet machine doesn't say it does. (Not sure I'd be bothered either way, but people say 64-bit is the future...) The Comet machine has 8 USB ports and HDMI out - the Comet 6 USB ports and no HDMI: I think you can never have too many USB ports, and HDMI might be useful for connecting your PC to your TV. The Comet machine has a Lightscribe DVD: I'm a convert to Lightscribe, because I like the pretty labels you can make (but Lightscribe disks aren't available in e.g. Tesco.) And the Comet machine has Firewire. Plus, its memory is expandable to 16GB (good for 64-but W7 and video editing) while the Curry's machine is limited to 4GB.

On balance, I'd have said both machines were competitively priced. However, if it were me, I'd definitely spend the extra £70 on the Comet machine.

I hope the above helps.

  961 11:56 31 Dec 2010

I'd go for the Comet machine as well


For video editing I suggest you're probably going to need to buy a graphics card and some more ram

Before doing that you need to find out what size power supply the machine has to see if it can cope with the power needs of the graphics card you select

You may find you can find the full spec of the machine from the HP website or other reviews. Use google

  Ian in Northampton 12:05 31 Dec 2010

961: not all video editing software can take advantage of a graphics card, I don't think. Also, 'video editing' covers a multitude of sins. There's a big difference, I think, in stitching together some clips with Windows Movie Maker on the one hand, and some hard core effects/transitions/subtitles and rendering using Adobe Premier. I have to say, I've historically used Premier on a 2GB machine and had no problems (which isn't to say it couldn't have been faster).

But, it is worth finding out what kind of expansion capability the Comet machine has. The Curry's machine notes 2 x PCI Express expansion slots - the Comet machine doesn't say.

Also: I made the mistake of buying a Medion PC from Tesco. Don't get me wrong, it performs very well - but until I got it home and tried to do some upgrades, I hadn't realised how much a small case affects things. I won't make that mistake again: generally, a larger case is easier to mess about with inside to add hard drives, optical drives, graphics cards and so on.

Oh, and - I'm a big fan of HP build quality. Not sure what the Curry's machine is, but HP is a brand I trust.

  Dellman 12:46 31 Dec 2010

The Comet HP comes with:

Video graphics
Integrated Intel H57
*Integrated video is not available if a graphics card is installed.
Integrated graphics using Intel H57 chipset.
Intel HD Graphics

W7 - 64bit

It does have a multimedia card slots x 6

Expansion Slots:
1 PCI Express x16 slot for graphics card
3 PCI Express x1 slots
1 PCI Express x1 minicard slot

In terms of video editing - it will be very light usage - holiday videos etc - Windows Movie Maker type software
so hopefully the Comet HP is still suitable.

link to full HP specs:

click here

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