Getting a desktop for home or smaller office is easy, as those computers don’t often need to be fancy – basic is enough. So you just pick one. But choosing the one from myriads of choices can be a tough job to do. Here we’ll let you know if HP Pavilion 550-150 is worthy of picking up…
If you’re wondering whether application X runs on this HP, I can say it most likely does. The desktop’s processor is a very beefy Intel Core i5-6400 with a full quad-core setup and clock speed between 2.7GHz and 3.3GHz depending on turbo. It’s a real desktop CPU, not a mobile one, and this is evident in benchmark tests: CPU Mark rates this at ~6500 points. If there’s a bottleneck somewhere in this computer, it won’t be the processor for sure.
Perhaps it’s the memory that’s bad here? Not really, 8GB RAM is installed. And you can easily add more, there is one available memory slot, meaning the most RAM this system accepts is 16 gigabytes.
I must say one thing is disappointing here, and that is the hard drive (1TB 7200RPM). If you’ve tasted an SSD you know what I’m talking about; those solid-state drives are so much faster. But luckily, there is one regular 3.5″ bay free in the case (and at least two free SATA ports on mainboard) so adding an SSD will be a smooth sail.
How well does it work for gaming?
Sad to say this, but HP Pavilion 550-150 is not good for gaming. The video graphics are handled by Intel HD 530 which uses the system memory, in other words it’s not a dedicated graphics engine. Titles such as League of Legends and Minecraft have no issues running, but to get ~40 frames per second with games like Grand Theft Auto 5 low settings and 720p resolution must be used.
What peripherals can be plugged in?
The back panel of HP Pavilion 550-150 houses two USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports for common peripherals. Also two regular HDMI-outs are offered, hence a PC monitor or even HDTV can be used with this rig. Dual display setup works too. The front panel offers two more USB 3.0 connectors.
There’s a 10/100Mbps RJ-45 port for networking, but fear not, also WiFi adapter (802.11n with Bluetooth 4.0) is also present.
The desktop features a DVD burner, it works with CDs and DVDs but not with BluRays. Media card reader is included as well.
Some miscellaneous things
This is standard, but don’t forget that monitor isn’t shipped with this computer. You must get display separately. But a good thing, USB keyboard and mouse are included.
The PSU is rated at 180 Watts.
The motherboard has PCIe x1 and x16 slots free so you could add in a low-profile graphics card. Also M.2 slot is present but it’s occupied by the WiFi card.
Operating system is Windows 10 Home (64-bit).
HP Pavilion 550-150 doesn’t take your breath away but it’s a reliable workhorse for offices or a solid everyday computer for home users. It has everything you need: a fast processor, plenty or RAM and required ports & connectors. One thing to keep in mind is the limited gaming performance, but if you don’t care, there are no obvious drawbacks in this HP for you.