04-28-2009 09:01 AM
Howdy all! Just a quick question about the m9600t since I'm really familiar with HP products. Is the power supply in this machine a standard retail PSU or are their proprietary connectors on it like Dell tends to use? I will most likely want to upgrade this down the road and I just want to be sure I'll be able to order one off of Newegg or something.
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04-28-2009 09:24 AM
Should work with a standard ATX PSU. Note that the gum-ball HP case does not vent well. This may be a problem if you're going to upgrade to a long PSU and/or GPU. The HP case is not designed for high-end gaming, which would require a fast GPU, CPU, and superior case ventilation.
The best strategy is to look for a good custom builder in your area. Start out with a good case like the Antec 300. I'd go with an AMD Phenom II X4 955 rig, which should permit CPU overclock up to about 3.8-4.0GHz. Alternatively, you could also stick with an E8400 and overclock this chip north of 4.0GHz. Now that the CPU is no longer an issue, drop in a Radeon 4870. The 4770 is also a good value.
I7 is not a very good value. Put the extra $ saved toward a better GPU. The key is to build your rig around superior components that will allow you to extract the maximum speed out of the CPU, GPU, and RAM. You don't want to deal with an expensive stock HP...locked CPU and BIOS. Also note that BIOS support is very very poor. You'll see a new BIOS update 4-6x per year with an enthusiast motherboard to address software/hardware issues.
HP and DELL are okay for basic office use because the price of entry is usually under $400. Stick with a custom rig if you demand quality and high performance.
04-28-2009 09:37 AM
Thank you sir! This machine will be for a friend of mine who doesn't do any gaming but may need a better card for media center one day. I build all my own machines.
For what it's worth, I think the i7 is a great value for high end users. You just can't beat triple channel DDR3.
Here's my latest i7.