HP Pavilion Elite m9250f (500 GB, Intel Core 2 Quad, 2.66 GHz, 4 GB) Desktop Reviews
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HP Pavilion Elite m9250f (500 GB, Intel Core 2 Quad, 2.66 GHz, 4 GB) Desktop

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HP M9250F Quad Core - One powerful/loaded computer for the price. HP did something right!

May 13, 2008 (Updated Jun 5, 2008)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Ease of Use:

Pros:Quad Core Speed, 64bit Vista, 1TB Storage, 4GB Ram, NVIDIA 8600GT Card, RAID.

Cons:Wireless keyboard/mouse built nicely, yet impractical. 350w power supply not for major video card upgrade.

The Bottom Line: Best features: Excellent speed, Lots of ram and hard drive space, Cool running temps, Attractive case, Decent video card included, Low noise, 1yr warranty, TV Tuner Card and Remote Control.


COST / COMPARISON
I purchased this computer at “Best Buy” for $1,159 about 1 month ago.
Hint: BestBuy Reward Zone members earn over 800 points for purchasing this pc, which takes exactly 32 days from purchase, per calling.

This computer is a relatively new offering by HP and has been on the market for a short time. I didn’t even know it existed when I started computer shopping (March 08) and I compared multiple vendors.

I consider the price reasonable considering the sum of all parts (hardware and software) in conjunction with overall performance. This price does not include a monitor, printer, or speakers. If you want to package it, Best Buy (in store) offers the ability to do so at an additional cost. I already have a nice collection of hardware peripherals and was not interested in paying for extras.

This is not my first quad core computer, I originally upgraded to a HP M8330F (AMD Phenom 9500 processor), owned it for a week, hated it, returned it. That particular system had multiple issues which I will not dive into since I’m not reviewing it. I’ll put it this way; the M9250F saved the day and restored some faith in HP as a company. HP is the largest worldwide computer manufacturer (multiple sources, yet not the largest technology company) and that means very little to me.

QUAD CORE - Intel Q6700 Style
Quad Core Definition per ZDNET:
A single chip with four distinct processors that work simultaneously.
My definition of the "Intel Q6700 Core 2 Quad":
A processor capable of lightning quick application manipulation while maintaining low processor temps. Please see the benchmarking section below.

Can you believe that some 64bit processor based computers come with 32bit Vista? Thankfully, not this one and I’m also happy to see Premium not the Basic version of Vista installed. This HP computer is quite beefy in the CPU performance and features department. Slower dual core processor based computers still dominate local retailers, faster quad cores are quickly gaining ground.

I will provide you with plenty of information you will not see posted in a specification sheet.

BOX INVENTORY - everything!
Every single last component of the box is listed right here, nothing is left out.
---Main Box:---
1) Quick Setup Poster
2) The Computer Itself (PC Case Type: Tower)

---Two Additional boxes are inside the main box--
---Box 1:---
1) Wireless Keyboard – (2 Duracell AA batteries included)
2) Small Poster (color illustrations) on how to setup keyboard.

---Box 2:---
1) Power Cord
2) DVI to VGA adapter
3) Antenna (FM)
4) IR Receiver Cable
5) One RCA to SVGA Adapter – White Colored
6) One RCA to SVGA Adapter – Yellow Colored
7) Wireless HP Mouse (2 Duracell AA batteries included)
8) USB remote receiver for wireless mouse
9) Windows Media Center Remote Control
10) Two Fujitsu brand “AAA” batteries for Remote
11) RJ-11 Phone Cable (Modem)
12) IR Blaster Cable
13) All documentation contained in one oversized Ziploc type bag (sliding tab to open and close)
-A) “MyAOL” in partnership with HP personalized internet services offer/ad (requires sign-up, monthly cost applies)
-B) Lightscribe Direct Disc Labeling Ad with help information included (for newbies)
-C) 10% off coupon code for online or phone shopping on HP Accessories.
-D) “Important Information about your computer” statement, just a reminder that you are using a 64bit processor with 64bit Vista and you should make sure all your programs and hardware add-ons will work (duh?).
-E) “Processor Speed with SpeedStep” statement.
SpeedStep is an Intel based feature of the processor (it’s a good thing)
Maximum Performance Mode – Provides the maximum processing power
Battery Optimized Mode – Uses less power, and reduces heat output

The processor will occasionally run in a lower power state, when application usage is minimal.
-F) “Moving Files from My Old Computer to My New Computer” pamphlet. If you are a computer novice and are unsure how to migrate files (from Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, or XP) read this.
-G) Warning Statement sheet: “Energized and Moving Parts inside. Disconnect power to the equipment before removing the enclosure. Replace and secure the enclosure before re-energizing the equipment”
This statement is listed in 25 languages (I’m not joking).
-H) Wireless Mouse and Keyboard Troubleshooting Information sheet.
-I) Setting up RAID Configuration Using Intel Matrix Storage Technology pamphlet.
-J) “Your HP Pavillion Elite PC – Special Features” pamphlet
Describes and provides help with multiple features of this computer: Buit-in wireless (LAN), HP Easy Backup and File Restoration, Remote Control Usage, IR receiver & blaster usage.
-K) Using an HDMI Monitor or TV instruction sheet.
Very informative, with graphics (Black and White)
-L) Limited Warranty and Support Guide – 17 pages and covers all legalities and warranty aspects.
Warranty is 1 year from date of purchase/registration. Click on the “comments” link at the bottom of this page to see the online warranty report from HP (post registration).
-M)Troubleshooting and Maintenance Guide – 27 pages (B+W) and covers large territory (both Hardware & Software). Contains table of contents, illustrations, easy to follow/use.
-N) “Advanced Setup Guide” – 61 pages (B+W), Table of contents and Index, All aspects of PC setup, Setting up network, adding peripherals, lots of in depth info.

--- Note: ---
Wireless keyboard and wireless mouse both use the same wireless USB receiver. Both wireless devices have batteries installed in respective compartments, pull out the paper tabs to activate batteries, plug the USB receiver in computer, and both can be immediately used. See “Hardware” section of review for more info.

CASE DESIGN, NOISE, & TEMPERATURES
--- Appearance: ---
I give the HP M9250F case an enthusiastic approval for design. I describe the overall appearance as conservatively sexy and refined.

Case is predominately black with silver undertones. Front of case (plastic) has a nice mirror like shine on all black colored surfacing. Entire front of casing comes with individually placed static cling protective plastic coverings (to be removed or leave on if you are a worry-wort?).

Front of computer facing me, access panel removes from right side of case and motherboard is located on left side of case. This is opposite of any computer I have previously owned. No biggie, just wanted to mention. One oversized screw (Phillips or Flat Head drive) holds access panel in place.

Wireless networking antenna is built into case (802.11b/g). I don't use wireless, am a hard wired guy all the way (except laptops). Nice feature though.

"Recessed landing pad" with Anti-Skid soft durable rubber:
Built into top of computer casing, an intuitive design idea. Top rear of case has a hinged (snaps in place) large tab. Tab neatly organizes/holds loose wiring running from back to front of computer.

Open Expansion Ports/Slots:
1 PCI x1 slot is open
1 External 5.25" Bay is Open
Remove the Modem and you will gain a PCI slot.

Power button and HP logo are back lit with large serene blue LEDs. Power button is located on top right of casing near front and I find that to be an excellent location. When computer is set to sleep mode, power button LED changes to orange in color and HP logo LED shuts off.

--- Front casing layout (top to bottom): ---
1) Card Reader is located at top and contains “Smart Media / xD”, “SD/mini/MMC/RS/Plus/Mobile”, “Compact Flash I / II / MD”, and “MS / PRO / Duo / PRO Duo” slots.
2) Lightscribe DVD/CD read/write drive.
3) Unoccupied Expansion Bay
4) HP Pocket Media Drive Bay
The following areas are side by side and take up approximately half of the front casing bottom section, appearing from left to right:
5) Connector Ports: “ 1394 ” Firewire port, 2 USB ports, Headphone Jack, Microphone Jack, Audio Jacks (R+L), Video Jack, S-video jack.
6) “HP Easy Backup” Button, Wireless Network Connectivity LED, Hard Drive LED, Nvidia Logo, Win Vista Logo, & Intel Core 2 Quad Logo.
7) Unoccupied HP Media Drive.

--- Note: ---
All aspects of front casing are very nicely labeled.
If you do not like the Intel, Vista, & Nvidia logos located on the front middle near bottom of case, peel them off, they are only stickers. I left them in place, they are not gaudy.
Media Drive slot can easily be converted to hold a secondary hard drive (for extra storage or maybe RAID purposes) but is intended for HP Media Drives.

--- Rear casing layout (top to bottom): ---
1) Power Cord input to power supply.
2) Green LED power indicator.
3) Power Supply Fan.
4) Modem - RJ11 input.
5) WinTV Card - FM Antenna coaxial input, TV/Cable Ant coaxial input, DTV coaxial input, S-Video Input, 2 RCA Audio Jacks (Red+White).
6) Slot cover to unused PCI x1 slot on Motherboard.
7) Video Card - S-Video input, HDMI input, DVI input.
8) Integrated Motherboard Audio mini jacks - "in", "out", "mic", "c/sub", "rear", & "side"
9) Ethernet Jack
10) 4 USB inputs
11) Firewire (1394) input
12) Motherboard Video Input - Not in use, capped with plastic cover (2 phillips retaining screws)
13) Digital Audio "out" mini-jack
14) Digital Audio "in" mini jack.
15) PS2 mouse and PS2 keyboard inputs.

--- Note: ---
Inputs are nicely labelled on rear of case.
All 8 mini jacks are color coded and labelled on rear of case. Digital and analog jacks grouped/separated from one another.
WARNING Do not tilt rear of case higher than front of case while computer is standing on ground (ex: making connections, opening side access panel), you will risk breaking the 2 front panel doors ("Connector Ports" Door and "Media Drive" door). These hinged doors are very close to the ground and I almost broke them twice while writing this review.

Bottom of case has 4 anti-skid (rubber coated) protruding feet. Product# and Serial# are located on left side and underneath of computer case.

--- CPU, Video Card, and Hard Drive Temps: ---
Using the freeware application “Speedfan v4.33” to monitor CPU Temps:
Each core (4 core processor = 4 measurements) temp is individually reported by this program.

Light CPU Load:
Open Programs / IE7, Netscape 9, & MS Word
CPU Usage: Bouncing around 5%
Core temps bounced between 13 to 17 degrees Celsius, consistently hanging around 15C 16C (Fahrenheit conversion = 15C/59F to 16C/60.8F.

Heavy CPU Load:
IE7, Netscape 9, MS Word, MS Excel, Outlook, Acrobat 8.1, Windows Media Center - ESPN tuned in, Cinebench Benchmarking on.
CPU hit 100% usage, max temp read 37C/98.6F
It took less than one minute after closing programs to jump down to 24C/75.2F. Perfectly fine by me considering my last computer consistently ran mid 50's Celsius under no load.

Nvidia 8600GT Videocard Temps (measurement obtained from the free “Nmonitor” part of “Ntune” program):
Light Load (Graphics Processor Unit @ 47% Memory Usage):
Open programs / IE7, Netscape 9, & MS Word
Consistently 51C/123.8F

Heavy Load:
Running Unreal Tournament 3 windowed (1024x768), Hardware Physics On, Texture Detail Max, World Detail Max, Framerate Smoothing on, Resolution set at maximum offered by UT3 “ 1680x1050 ” on my 22 inch LCD.
Max Temp 73C/163.4F
One Minute after closing UT3, 54C/129.2F

Hard drive temperatures remain steady between 35C and 38C every time I have checked using the included HP Hardware Diagnostics software.

--- Note: ---
All readings were not obtained from a cold boot! My computer has been on for hours at time of testing.
I am very happy with the CPU temps! CPU temperatures readings are very impressive to say the least. Excessive heat drastically effects electronic lifespan, which appears to be in check regarding this computer. Don’t sweat the video card temps, it may have broke a small sweat under the duress of the graphically intense FPS like UT3, but it never concerned me. I play UT3 for hours at a time with no glitches. This is my 5th Nvidia card and each one has always outlived the computer it was installed in.

--- Noise: ---
Sound emanating from case is minimal and easy to drown out. In a quiet backdrop it’s slightly noticeable. Hard drive access noise trumps any steady hum generated from constant running of case cooling fan combined with processor fan (and power supply fan). CPU fan is the largest I have seen on a computer owned by me, it is minutely smaller than case fan. I’m perfectly content with overall noise.

HARDWARE
This computer clocks in at just under 25lbs on the scale.

--- Motherboard ---
ASUS Motherboard with Intel G33 Express Chipset.
Two name brands I trust, both have been around for many years. The Intel chipset is designed with the following in mind: multimedia capability, low power consumption, and low noise output.

I'm impressed that a 350 watt power supply easily runs this motherboard including: A quad core processor, 2 Hard drives, a NVIDIA 8600 GT video card, a WinTV Tuner Card, High Definition Integrated Sound, Modem, DVD Drive, 4 fans (Processor, Case, Video Card, and Power Suppply Fan), etc.

--- Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700 processor ---
4 cores running @ 2.66 GHZ each, 1066MHz bus, 8MB L2 Cache. One powerful processor, excellent at sharing processor loads between cores. Execution speed of running programs (open, save, cut/paste, merge, edit, print) is lightening quick compared to any other computer I have owned. I upgraded from a 3GHZ Sony Vaio running XP and tried an AMD Phenom 9500 Quad Core.

--- RAM ---
Samsung – Manufacture Date: Week 9, 2008
4GB DDR2 @ 800mhz
8GB maximum.
4 slots on motherboard, all in use.
Per my research, the included memory is an excellent fit in relation to the motherboard, processor, and bus speed. I have not come close to maxing out RAM during heavy duty multitasking of multiple apps while running video games. Application execution is always responsive.

--- 2 Seagate Barracuda Hard Drives ---
7200rpm, SATA
Each hard drive is 500GB, totaling 1 Terabyte of storage
3 Partitions
C: Operating System
D: Factory Image (10GB in size), for restoration purposes.
E: Empty Drive
Just the way I like my hard drives to be, large and from a name brand which has been around for many years.

--- NVIDIA 8600GT Graphics Card ---
Card is installed in the PCI-E x16 slot.
512MB dedicated ram.
DVI, TV-Out, & HDMI
I consider the 8600GT a decent mid-range card.
If you are a serious gamer, you will be able to play any game (PC / Vista compatible) on the market. I play Unreal Tournament 3 with video settings maxed out on a 22" LCD, video is beautiful. Super intense graphical games will have to be played at lower resolutions/settings (ex: Crysis) to remain stable/playable. If you are not into serious gaming (or large scale desktop publishing?), this video card will easily handle your needs.

--- WinTV HVR-1800 TV/Radio Tuner ---
PVR capable - Personal Video Recorder (record and pause live tv or set future recordings via Media Cener).
3 Coaxial inputs are located on TV Card.
ANT (Cable), TV, and FM Radio.
I am currently direct connecting Comcast to the TV tuner card and it works beautifully. I have tried the FM radio receiver (antenna is included) and it works great. I disconnected because I really don’t care about FM radio.
The real beauty of this TV tuner is its tight integration with Windows Media Center and the included HP remote control.

--- Remote Control ---
Nothing to do or setup, just install the included batteries and use it. Remote has over 40 buttons on it. It can control all aspects of Windows Media Center (Watching TV, Recording, Surfing the TV Guide, Radio, View Picture Folders, etc). Eject the DVD Drive, Print, and even put the computer in sleep mode.

Remote Control Buttons: Power, Visualization, Radio, Music, Pictures, Video, Print, OK, Back, 4 Arrow Keys, Windows Media Center Button, Record TV, Guide, Live TV, DVD Menu, Aspect, More Info, Slide Show, Channel/Volume Up and Down, Mute, Record, Eject, Play, Pause, Rewind, Fast Forward, Skip Chapter, Buttons 1 - 9, Asterisk, Pound Sign, Clear, and Enter.

--- Optiarc Multi-Drive ---
Burn DVDs and CDs, drive also has Lightscribe labeling feature. I am unfamiliar with this brand name drive but don’t put much stock into CD/DVD drives. They work or they don’t and this one works fine.
Speeds/Capabilities:
16x DVD±R, 8x DVD+RW, 6x DVD-RW, 8x DVD+R DL, 8x DVD-R DL, 12x DVD-RAM, 16x DVD-ROM, 40x CDR, 32x CDRW, 40x CD-ROM.

--- RealTek High Definition Audio ---
Integrated Motherboard Audio. It works good enough for me when playing video games at a loud volume. Audio is 8 speaker configurable per HP and capable of high definition sound. This computer does not come with speakers.

--- Wireless Keyboard and Wireless Mouse ---
I tried to like both of these devices but just can’t seem to do it. The mouse is comfortable and has a “uni-construction design”. The palm of my hand to the tip of my (index & middle) fingers all touch one piece. Mouse has left button, right button, and scroll wheel. I don’t like that the mouse buttons make a very loud clicking noise, it’s just plain annoying. Laser pointer works well, decent precision when in use.

Wireless keyboard leaves a lot to be desired. Close proximity of sleep key to escape key has caused me to unintentionally put pc in sleep mode more than once. Oversized “delete” key near “enter” key is another hindrance. No indicator lights are on the keyboard but the caps, num, and scroll lock buttons are present. When depressing one of the “lock” keys on keyboard, a small icon in the Windows Taskbar highlights blue (off is white).

FYI: You can hook up a wired (PS2 or USB) keyboard and/or mouse to this pc. Taskbar “lock” indicator lights will still work in conjunction with wired keyboard.

I find the keyboard to be borderline useless. Black background coloring with white lettering/numbering is lacking in visibility. Accuracy of typing is sub-standard due to layout regardless of battery state. I have noticed some very odd miss-spellings which have forced me to go back to a wired keyboard. I have typed the same way for years now and know my weaknesses. Keyboard has made things worse and forget about playing an FPS/RPG keyboard intensive video game, it’s useless.

--- NIC ---
RealTek RTL8168C/8111C Family
Built into motherboard, 10/100/1000 MBPS.

--- Card Reader ---
Mentioned in Case Section above.

--- Conexant 56K Modem ---
PCI Soft Data Fax Modem with SmartCP
Well, it's a modem.
I have not used a 56k modem in years. So I have no comment. I suggest ripping it out of the computer case if you are like me.

SOFTWARE
Desktop screen will have the following icons upon first start-up:
Recycle Bin, Ebay Internet Shortcut, Help and Support, Internet and Digital Services, Internet Explorer, My HP Games, Snapfish Photos, and Windows Media Center.

CyberLink DVD Suite Deluxe - Full Version. Allows editing and creation of data and audio discs, including images and disc labeling. "PowerDirector" portion of program is great for video editing/creation.

Quicken Financial Center - This is an internet link only, which allows HP customers to download Quick Books Small Business Edition for free (not a trial) or get a free 60 day trial version of Quicken Personal Finance software

Microsoft Works 9 - A watered down version of Microsoft Office. Includes: Calendar, Database, Portfolio, Spreadsheet, Task Launcher, & Word Processor.

Intel Matrix Storage Manager - RAID Implementation/Management:
RAID 0 - To improve Hard Drive Capacity and Access speed.
RAID 1 - Protect files against hard drive failure.
The beauty of RAID 1 implementation is you already have 2 hard drives with this computer!
RAID is not automatically implemented upon purchase of this computer. If desired, you must activate via software.

Muvee Autoproducer 6.1 - A nifty video creation tool, I've only tinkered a little bit with it. Import, edit, and create professional looking video clips.

--- Recovery Disc Creation: ---
After a few weeks of owning and using this computer everyday, a window pops up out of the blue: “Recovery Manager”. I am prompted to create recovery disks and am informed I can only create these discs once. I can do so now or at a later time. I opted in and was asked to provide 3 DVD’s or 17 CD’s to create the discs (used DVD’s). The process was simple yet time consuming. Software collects files, writes to disc, and then verifies discs. Verification stage is easily the most time consuming process.

--- HP Photosmart Essentials: ---
A nice little utility to import photos and videos from your digital camera. Preview pics with time/date stamps appear in program, checkmark (default checked, remove if desired) items you wish to import. Drive Letter and total file size appear on-screen.
After Importing Files:
You can print photo’s via this software or even perform multiple editing functions.
Edits include: Crop, Resize, Remove Red Eye, Flip, Rotate, Adaptive Lighting, Temperature, B+W, Sepia, and One Click Color/Lighting Fix.
Create Cards, Calendars, and Online Photo Gifts (not sure what that is)

--- HP Hardware Diagnostics Tools: ---
I like this program, it provides a good deal of information:
Model #, Product#, & Serial # are visible at top of window.
Alerts are provided, which are basically tips on keeping your PC running smooth.
Performs individual hardware testing or a full system test, with reports (can even test the motherboard).
Create bootable and diagnostic discs.
“System Information” section is thorough and informative. In fact, this entire program has a pleasant graphical interface.

TRIAL SOFTWARE
I believe all of the trial software I list here is discounted (if purchased after trial) verse retail street price and each listing is fully functional in its trial state.

My HP Games - A portal to internet gaming. Hundreds of games available. Trial based access to all games (I believe), uses a "coin" system to download full versions. Have not played with this yet, I believe I was allotted 4 free coins which gets me at least one full version game to keep.

Norton Internet Security - Free updates for 60 days. I dislike Norton software (not saying it's bad) so it was the first software to be removed from my computer.

Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 Trial - 60 day trial version. I do not use because I have the full version of Office XP which works perfectly fine on Vista 64bit Home Premium.

PERSONAL BENCHMARKS & BENCHMARKING
The most important basic specs to keep in mind when reading this section:
- Windows Vista 64bit Home Premium Operating System.
- Intel Quad Core Q6700 processor (4 cores running @ 2.66 GHZ each, 1066MHz bus)
- 4GB DDR2 RAM
- 1 TB hard drive (7200 rpm)
- NVIDIA 8600GT video card installed.
- 350 Watt Power Supply
- Vista Service Pack 1 is pre-installed with this computer.

I’ll provide a few benchmarks you may want to consider. Maybe you want to compare the computer you’re using to this HP? Before I start rattling off benchmark scores, please hear me out. Benchmarking to me is not just a score provided by some fancy software, its real world numbers, like these:

---From a cold boot:---
Load/Access bios settings (diagnostic screen): 15 seconds (includes intentional system pause)
Windows Vista load time to login prompt: 37 seconds
Login entered/accepted followed by desktop loaded and able to move mouse: 4 seconds.

Effective load time for Vista from a cold boot is 41 seconds (post bios), likely a second or two quicker if user account is not password protected, hence login bypassed.

---Go to Sleep, Wake Up, Logoff, Shutdown:---
Time to sleep with no windows open:
8 seconds to sleep, additional 9 seconds to hard drive spin stopped
Wake Up from sleep mode, able to move mouse: 7 seconds

Time to sleep with 1 of each open (maximized window) - .xls, .doc, ie7, and .pdf:
12 seconds to sleep, additional 11 seconds to hard drive spin at none.
WAKE UP, able to move mouse: 8 seconds

Logoff initiated, login screen loaded: 13 seconds
Shutdown: 11 seconds, additional 15 seconds to hard drive spin at none.

---Clearing Internet Explorer History:---
Don’t laugh but such a simple thing like clearing all Internet Explorer history has caused multiple hangs for me in the past while using a Windows XP computer. I always clear all aspects of history after accessing personal information on the internet (Bank, Bills, etc.), force of habit. With the HP M9250F it has never taken longer than a few seconds to clear all aspects (Internet Files, Cookies, History, Form Data, & Passwords) of IE browsing. Something so benign truly amazes me.

--- Note: ---
The numbers all look very good in my opinion and this is easily the fastest computer I have owned. One possible hitch of having a massive sized 1 terabyte hard drive storage (that’s 1000 GB’s) is the extra few seconds necessary for platters to stop spinning. Don’t put much stock into that, it’s really irrelevant. Extra storage is much more important to me.

---File Benchmarks / Timed:---
Open a blank Office XP Excel spreadsheet: Less than 2 full seconds
Open a blank Office XP Word document: 1 second
Open Adobe Acrobat 8.1 Standard (not the free version): 1 second
Open IE7 (Yahoo Homepage / Comcast High Speed Internet): 2 seconds (All links and photos fully loaded).

Batch scan 27 pages to pdf format: 17 seconds
Every working day I write up property tax reports. Over the years I have collectively scanned many thousands of these reports and emailed them each day to my employer. After pages are scanned they get collectively sent through my networked (hard wired w/cat5) router to my computer for automatic .pdf creation. PDF creation time with the HP M9250F blows me away. I have never experienced such excellent processing power with my previous computers.

--- Note: ---
Webpage load times are definitely faster than I have ever experienced on any computer. I have broadband access (for at least 6 years now) which is largely the reason for quick loads but please realize that once TCP/IP packets are received, the computer must process and display data. I have absolutely noticed a small increase in internet speed while using the HP M9250F.

I see how these times could seem a little ridiculous if you are currently using an older computer, I assure you I have no reason to lie. If you were wondering: Office XP is 100% compatible (but runs at 32bit) with Vista Home Premium 64bit.

---Benchmark: Windows Experience Index:---
Vista’s handy little benchmark reports the following scores (5.9 is max)
Processor: 5.9 / Memory (RAM): 5.7 / Graphics: 5.5 / Gaming Graphics: 5.4 / Primary Hard Disk: 5.7
Base Score: 5.4, which is determined by lowest subscore of: 5.4
Total of subscores, not including base: 28.2 (29.5 is maximum obtainable)
Average of all subscores, not including base score: 5.64

The included Nvidia 8600GT video card is a very capable mid-range card (more on that later), but it also slightly drops the overall Windows Experience Score. This card is easily superior to any computer I have seen with on-board graphics as the only option.

---Cinebench R10:---
free benchmarking program
All default program settings used during testing.
Rendering (1 CPU) - Score: 3,047 CB-CPU
Rendering (x CPU) - Score: 10,681 CB-CPU
Multiprocessor Speedup: 3.51x
OpenGL Standard – Score: 4,107 CB-GFX

--- Note: ---
I noticed all 4 processor cores stayed rock solid at 100% usage (per the free “All CPU Meter” gadget) during the “x CPU” test, until test completion @ 1 minute 24 seconds. Excellent, since workload assignment per core differs. Core 4 completed its assigned load first and immediately helped out another core (Core 2 I believe, not positive on which core) while remaining at 100% usage. My point is: The Intel Q6700 Quad Core processor in the HP M9250F truly works the way it should and it didn’t miss a beat.

CONS Summarized
Wireless keyboard and mouse (mentioned in Hardware section) leave a lot to be desired.
After 20 minutes of inactivity, Vista initiates sleep mode without a hitch. User initiated sleep mode is finicky, multiple times I have initiated sleep mode and have found this computer likes to immediately wake after sleep. I’m positive this is not of my doing and suspect the Conexant Modem (or possibly open browser windows?) is to blame. Closing IE7 browser and unchecking "Allow this device to wake computer" under modem settings in Control Panel has drastically improved user initiated sleep mode.

I’m not in love with the included 350 watt power supply. I look at this as a potential future “con”. This power supply can easily handle all included hardware out of box. If you want to upgrade the video card to play graphic intense games at high resolutions, better get a higher wattage power supply.

64bit Vista does not have exact same application compatibility as 32bit Vista. Yahoo Jukebox is a prime example:
http://music.yahoo.com/jukebox/
See specifications (32bit Vista compatible, not 64)
I tried and tried, and it just won't work. Changing O.S. compatibility mode is 100% useless.

BIOS battery is located behind WinTV pci card on Motherboard. Card must be removed if you ever need to replace the battery. I consider this to be a minor con.

PROS - revisited and added
Many aspects of this compute please me, like:
Processor speed and temps, Low noise output from case, 64bit Vista, TV tuner card, 4GB DDR2 memory, decent video card, remote control, storage space, lightscribe capable, blue/orange LEDS pending power state, 1 year total warranty, plus HP website well designed regarding this model & info.

What is the biggest kicker?
(Mentioned in File Benchmarks section above)
Do you think high bandwidth is the end all be all?
Try high speed internet surfing on a QUAD Core Vista 64 computer like this one and see what happens...
I gained a noticeable increase regarding surfing speeds! I love it.

PLANNED UPGRADES
I have not altered hardware makeup in any way so as to write this review from a true end user experience.
I own a 500 watt power supply and a Nvidia 8800GT SuperClocked video card, which will be installed shortly after submitting this review.

RATING
I rated 4 out of 5 stars because...mentioned in "Cons"
Aforementioned wireless keyboard/mouse and 350 watt power supply have drawbacks. Again, power supply is perfectly fine for current hardware makeup but not for those of us with killer video cards to install. I don't agree with Bios battery location, it's inconvenient.

Speed, Storage, RAM, Noise, Temps, RAID, and Multimedia capabilities are 5 star rated.

Hp M9250F website:
http://www.shopping.hp.com/store/product/product_detail/KJ382AA%2523ABA/1?jumpid=in_r329_personalization/browse1/PDP_PDP

Thanks for reading my review!
© nonedude (-Mike Glassboro-)


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 1159
Processor: Other

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