HP Pavilion 500-214 is one of the affordable desktops, which might make you think if there’s something wrong with it. Well, at a glance, it seems to have decent components: AMD’s quad-core processor, 8GB RAM and a nice two terabytes hard drive. But surely there must be a reason they’re selling this for so inexpensive price? Of course, I’ll tell you my thoughts below!
What is it good for?
HP Pavilion 500-214 is good for all the home users with a variety of programs, ranging from simple Google Chrome browser to heavier types, such as image editors or 1080p videos. The included AMD A8-6500 APU can take that kind of applications without issues, the unit featuring a dual-core setup with 3.5-4.1GHz clock speed. Average CPU Mark score is ~4400, similar to better processors in laptop computers.
The memory is 8GB DDR3-1600MHz type, it comes on one stick. The RAM is expandable all the way to 32GB because there are four memory slots inside. But believe me, 8GB should be all you need. Also the storage solution isn’t bad, at least it’s big, you’ll get a whopping 2TB hard drive here. However, spindle speed would be 7200RPM so not very good performance can be expected. I don’t think there are mSATA slots on the motherboad, and only 3.5″ bay is available – if you want to put in a solid-state drive, you’ll need to remove the hard drive first.
So what’s the catch then?
The reason for low price is simple, HP Pavilion 500-214 has a cheap graphics unit. In fact, it’s an engine integrated on the processor, bearing the name AMD Radeon HD 8570D. According to benchmarks it’s tad faster than HD 5500 from the Intel side, but it’s still far from a great gaming engine. You’ll need to keep settings medium and resolution not much higher than 720p if you’re playing the latest games (for example, with GTA 5 and Battlefield 4 you’d get ~30FPS). Of course Minecraft and other simpler types will get superior FPS even with increased settings.
What connections does it have?
The back panel of HP Pavilion 500-214 houses many of the usual ports you find in desktops. There are four USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 at your disposal. Also a duo of video outputs is there: VGA and DVI-D but sadly no HDMI. However, with special cables and adapters you can connect a HDMI-supporting device, too. Also a Gigabit RJ-45 port is there in case you want Internet access using wire.
In the front, you’ll find two USB 2.0 ports. Next to them is SD card slot (slip in a memory card and transfer files that way). There’s also DVD burner in case you want to use discs, not download your desired programs off Internet.
So the desktop sports a nice 1000Mbps LAN port, but that’s not the only thing you’ll get for Internet. There’s also a basic 802.11bgn-type WiFi card installed inside. Bluetooth isn’t supported, with USB adapter that’s possible too.
Other things to keep in mind?
HP Pavilion 500-214 has a 300W power supply and 1 PCI-E x16 slot. Hence, you can surely put in a dedicated graphics in case you’re a devout gamer. Keep in mind the dimensions (14.5″ x 6.9″ x 15.4″ HxWxL) if buying a big card. Other slots inside include three PCI-E x1 and one half-length card. The system case has slot for one 3.5″ and one 5.25″ drive and both are occupied.
USB keyboard and mouse are shipped with this unit, monitor is not.
HP Pavilion 500-214 is a viable option for someone who’s not interested in having excellent performance but values affordable price more. Because this unit surely costs only a little, but in exchange offers good-enough components for web surfing, online video services and text editing programs. Gaming is bad idea at least if you want to have maximum settings, there’s no proper graphics card for that. The HP would make a good tool for home or maybe small office user.