One of the popular desktops right now is HP Pavilion 550-110. Reasons for that could be many, but the most important one is the value. It seems to offer a good price/performance ratio, in another words, good bang for your buck. But there are also bad things you should know about, and I’ll tell you my professional opinion about this system below…
Speaking in absolute terms, no component in HP Pavilion 550-110 is a beast. But we also have to take the low price into account: now, it looks much better. For example, the processor is Intel Core i3-4170, a dual-core mainstream model with 3.7GHz clock speed (and no turbo). Many are interested in benchmarks, so let me tell you the CPU Mark grade for this chip is ~5200. It allows you to operate pretty much any software without lagging and slowdowns.
Another thing I consider good is the RAM. You will get 8GB DDR3 memory – a very healthy amount for a home desktop – on a single stick. There is one empty slot for upgrading the RAM to 16 gigabytes if you think you need that much.
The desktop has both WiFi (802.11bgn + Bluetooth 4.0) and wired (Gigabit RJ-45) interfaces to get you connected.
Again, we must remember HP Pavilion 550-110 is rather inexpensive, but still I can’t help saying a word about the storage section. There’s a 1TB hard drive (7200RPM) attached to SATA connector. It doesn’t suck, but a solid-state drive makes computer much, much faster. There are no M.2 slots on the mainboard, but by replacing the current drive you can add a solid-state drive.
The desktop is not blessed with a great selection of ports, however it should suffice for a home user: four USB 3.0, two USB 2.0 and VGA + HDMI outputs for monitors (yes, two displays can be connected at the same time).
Audio ports in the back are the basic mic-in, line-in and line-out. The front has connectors for headphones and microphone.
For those who still require it, a DVD burner is available. Media card reader is also available.
Operating system is Windows 10 Home (64-bit) and it should be pre-installed on the system.
HP Pavilion 550-110 is not pricey enough to include a dedicated graphics card. You’ll have to do with Intel HD 4400 which is an integrated unit on the processor. It won’t work wonders, many new games will have quite poor FPS. As an example, you will get 20-25FPS on GTA 5 played with normal settings and 720p resolution. It’s far from ideal but can be called poorly playable. However, in case you like League of Legends you’re lucky, that game you can play with much eye candy on and get far more than 60 frames per second.
Power supply has only 180W wattage. It’s not a problem unless you want to upgrade graphics card. There surely is an unoccupied PCI-E x16 slot on the motherboard, but if you’re installing a graphics card to that I’m sure you will need a better PSU as well.
You need to get a monitor separately, that is not shipped with the desktop. Keyboard and mouse however are.
Many have liked the HP Pavilion 550-110 desktop, I can join that lot and recommend this computer if you’re not a very demanding person. Running everyday programs like Google Chrome, MS Office and YouTube is a piece of cake. Very graphics-heavy games don’t however work unless you install a dedicated graphics card. But for a casual user this HP should be a great choice.