HP Pavilion 550-126 Desktop Review

June 21, 2016
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Looking for a powerful desktop, are you? In this case you might’ve set your eyes on HP Pavilion 550-126. It’s a computer full of “oomph”, with 6th generation Core i5 CPU and 12GB RAM being the most essential components for a power user. In the below review, I’ll let you know more about what you will get should you choose this HP desktop…

The good

Processor is essential when choosing your computer, and in HP Pavilion 550-126 it’s the Intel Core i5-6400. A heavyweight processor, it features a quad-core setup with 2.7GHz clock speed, 3.3GHz turbo and a maximum thermal design power (TDP) of 65W. The chip does a good job in CPU Mark tests, the CPU getting a score of ~6600. It’s good to know that there aren’t any programs I can think of that would not run on this chip.

In addition to the CPU performance, there’s also a great deal of memory here. 8GB and 4GB RAM sticks are installed on the mainboard, so the total RAM is 12GB. The board features two memory slots all in all, so upgrading to 16GB would be possible (however not very smart because the jump from 12GB to 16GB is hardly noticeable).

Both Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45) and WiFi (802.11bgn with Bluetooth 4.0) are included, so you can choose between wired and wireless Internet connection.

The neutral

Like most today’s desktops, also HP Pavilion 550-126 features a spinning hard disk, not a solid-state drive. It’s a regular 1TB 7200RPM version which should suffice as far as the storage is concerned. Bear in mind the motherboard doesn’t support M.2 SSDs, but there are free SATA connectors and 3.5″ slots to accommodate a secondary SATA drive.

In total, the desktop comes with six USB ports – four of those are USB 3.0. Video connections includes two HDMI-out. Hence, plugging in two monitors simultaneously is supported.

There’s a DVD burner and media card reader (SD & MS formats) installed in the unit.

The computer includes keyboard and mouse, but both are wired. Monitor you must acquire separately.

The bad

Gaming performance is not excellent with HP Pavilion 550-126. The desktop does not feature dedicated graphics (however it’s possible to install one to the PCI-e x16 slot). So by default, graphics are handled by the integrated Intel HD 530 chip. For example, GTA 5 on conservative settings won’t give more than 30FPS. On the other hand, Minecraft and other easy-on-the-system games will run great.

The 180W power supply is a weakling: it works for the default configuration, but if you’re adding a graphics card also the PSU needs to be upgraded.


HP Pavilion 550-126 is a desktop for a person who wants smooth experience with his software. The processor and RAM are good here so programs, including YouTube, photo editing and MS Office, are going to operate great. The installed WiFi card is also a desired feature, not every desktop has one. Just keep in mind the limited gaming performance and you should find this HP only a positive surprise!

2 thoughts on “HP Pavilion 550-126 Desktop Review

  1. Josh Hyatt

    After reading your review of this desktop, I had a question about the hard drive. I got this desktop earlier this year and I love it. The only problem I have is that it takes awhile for stuff to load up. For example, if I want to use Microsoft Word, it takes a few minutes for it to load up. The drive just spins and spins and spins. I should also mention that I am using less than a 1/4 of the hard drive storage. I want to install an SSD drive either as a secondary or main drive. Am I not able to do this? Thanks for your help!

    1. Tech For Pennies Post author

      Hey. You can install SSD here – just not the small M.2 SSD because the desktop doesn’t have M.2 interface. However, what the desktop has is a free 3.5″ (regulard sized drive, SATA interface) slot, and you can install a 2.5″ SATA SSD to that with a 2.5″ to 3.5″ adapter. Hope this helps.


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