HP Pavilion 7955 (40 GB, Intel Pentium 4, 1.5 GHz, 256 MB) Desktop

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HP Delivers A Good PC

Dec 30, 2003 (Updated Dec 31, 2003)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Ease of Use:

Pros:Package comes loaded with PC, Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, and Printer.

Cons:Package also comes loaded with a lot of extra useless stuff like XP.

The Bottom Line: Overall, a good PC powerful enough for every day computer use. If looking for something more human - better wait a few years.


Hello. My name is HP Pavilion 7955. Welcome to your new computer. In a moment you will have the opportunity to explore all the wonders that $799.00 has allowed you to, but first you must sit through countless anxious minutes while I explain to you all the features you can explore; all the features that just a little more money will allow you to explore; and all the features that you can’t live that yes require even more money. But first, sit back while I register myself with Mr. Bill Gates and so sorry if you fail to allow me to do so for if you do your expensive purchase becomes nothing more than yet another jack in the box with Bill Gates sticking his ugly head out laughing at you. Ruff, ruff!

The HP Pavilion 7955 was perhaps my darkest day in the computer industry. Not because it is not a well made and sturdy computer with enough features to last the average computer user for at least a few years (a decade in computer years) but because it was the first computer where I was asked on the spot by an individual looking to buy a computer which computer would be the best deal.

In my family I seem to have this aurora over me whereas members think I know more about computers than they could ever know (although time and time again I’ve tried to refer them to Epinions on their own). As such, I get pulled aside and asked “is this a good purchase”, “is this the computer for me”, “I want my computer to do this, what do I need to buy in order for it to do it”. There are times I don’t know what to say. There are times I feel that some around me want their computer to be advanced enough to take the dog for a walk around the block! But alas, try as I might to say “the best computer you can buy is the computer you have researched to fit your needs and fits within your budget” just doesn’t seem to cut it, even though they know I trust reviews especially here at Epinions.

My wife’s grandmother wanted to buy a new computer. Her last computer, some old Compaq was basically driving her nuts primarily in my belief because she never shut the thing off nor restarted it no matter how many error messages popped up. Her resolve, was to drag me to Best Buy to buy a new computer.

She not only wanted something new she wanted to be able to talk to it (oh, boy!). Using one of those fancy headsets with included software she wanted to dictate to the computer her almost century of knowledge and history and have the computer capture each sentence in perfect harmony (harmony=grammar). Going off of that, I knew that she would need a pretty powerful machine even though I knew in the back of my head that even the most powerful machine in the world unless powered by the imagination of Jerry Bruckimer wouldn't be quite powerful enough to completely understand human speech especially in enough perfection to satisfy someone in their 80’s.

Even so, Grandma trekked on.

After looking at a few models, my eyes shot straight for the HP Pavilion 7955 for one particular reason – one that you the reader should take into consideration if you are reading this while researching a used model. The package for the PC, monitor, printer, and Polk Audio speakers wasn’t high priced. Together, the total rang in at about $799.99.

Of course the customer representatives at Best Buy made the total shoot sky high by tacking on years of technical support, cables, mouse pads, power supplies with battery backups, etc., but as a base unit the base price wasn’t that bad.

Considering you get……

* Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition (5.1. Build 2600)
* Intel (R) Pentium (R) 4 CPU 1.50GHz
* 32 GB Hard Drive
* 256MB of Memory
* DirectX 8.1
* NVIDA RIVA TNT2 Model 64 Graphic’s Card
* 32.0 Mg Display Memory
* MX70 Color Monitor
* 1280,1024 Monitor Max Resolution
* Intel (R) Integrated Audio with 2 Polk Audio Satellite Speakers
* DVD-ROM Drive
* CD-RW Drive
* Front USB and Firewire ports
* Printer included, but not included in above picture of this model.

* Plus, there were a few countless million software packages pre-installed and enough instructions that just about anyone old enough to haul the boxes through the front door could put it together.

Overall the unit looked pretty promising.

There was plenty of memory; 256 had been the standard for many years now and unless you are a die hard gamer you won’t need much more to run your standard software packages. There was a powerful graphic card for most games, a monitor that could get really sharp, plus both a DVD and a built in CD burner. For expansion without having to break open the shell there were both back and front loading USB ports, and a front serial and firewire port which is used primarily for video.

It was enough for Grandma to last her for years to come.

But…it wasn’t what Grandma wanted. Grandma wanted to use the PC so she could dictate her biography using just her voice.

We found out in the first few weeks that not even the HP Pavilion 7955 was powerful enough for that – but I knew it wouldn’t be. The software would require lots of training, time, and patience and even then it would make mistakes requiring the use of the keyboard. In the end, I felt a little bad that I had Grandma buy a computer such as this when ultimately it was in effect too powerful for her as a consumer but lame for her expectations.

I, however am happy she bought it, as I use it quite frequently…but I’m jaded in the sense that I didn’t spend my money on it. I guess my ultimate position in my review is – the HP Pavilion 7955 wasn’t worth it for who I know bought it – but as a computer is not bad in the long run to those who will use the computer for what it can do overall.

The PC is great at making copies of CD – the included software is easy to use and quick (I’ve made a copy of a CD in less than 5 minutes). The front loading USB ports come in handy when plugging in additional units, and both the keyboard and the included speakers are good enough to for the average consumer. It is true that the speakers are not designed for PC home theater sound – but they are not $5 dollars speakers.

If there was one thing I don’t like about the HP Pavilion 7955 it would be….wait, if there was one thing I don’t like about almost all PC made these days it would be the same thing I don’t like about the HP Pavilion 7955 it would be…Windows XP.

I set up Grandma new PC and I have to wonder what it would have been like for her to set it up without me. Besides the color coded installation guide – once the power is turned on, HP and Microsoft attempt to milk a user for everything they can, and then some, even if they say nah.

I could recognize Microsoft’s attempt to make things easier by taking the time to have a talking wizard walk someone through their new computer but at the same time I could also recognize the space of one’s hard drive that such a wizard must be taking up for such one singular purpose.

Anyways – there was also the fact that the wizard tried to offer a whole mess of additional products and asked a whole mess of additional personal questions that even I was amazed at what type of information they were trying to get out of me and perhaps would have gotten out of Grandma. Not to say that because she’s older she’s more at risk – but the majority of identity theft unfortunately comes from seniors.

AnywaysOverall the HP Pavilion 7955 has been a good purchase for what I could imagine it could do but not for what its original purchase was meant to be. But I’m not about to fault an entire HP line for something like that – I just think it was important to note in my review. The 7955 is a pretty powerful computer, one that I’m still enjoying to toy with however I can.

My only changes – go optical for the mouse, upgrade to better speakers, and drop Windows XP – if you can.



Additional Information for us geeky PC users:

The following is taken from the DxDiag, minus all the stuff about drivers and the machine name.

------------------
System Information
------------------
Time of this report: 12/30/2003, 16:20:06
Machine name: *Censored for Spam reasons*
Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition (5.1, Build 2600) (2600.xpclient.010817-1148)
Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: HP Pavilion 04
System Model: P5269A-ABA 7955
BIOS: ASUS - 42302e31
Processor: Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 1.50GHz
Memory: 256MB RAM
Page File: 89MB used, 528MB available
Primary File System: NTFS
DirectX Version: DirectX 8.1 (4.08.01.0810)
DX Setup Parameters: Not found
DxDiag Version: 5.01.2600.0000 32bit Unicode

---------------
Display Devices
---------------
Card name: NVIDIA RIVA TNT2 Model 64 (HP)
Manufacturer: NVIDIA
Chip type: RIVA TNT2 Model 64
DAC type: Integrated RAMDAC
Device ID: Enum\PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_002D&SUBSYS_02211043&REV_15
Display Memory: 32.0 MB
Current Mode: 800 x 600 (32 bit) (60Hz)
Monitor: hp pavilion mx70
Monitor Max Res: 1280,1024
Driver Name: nv4_disp.dll
Driver Version: 5.13.01.1462 (English)
DDI Version: 7
Driver Attributes: Final Retail
Driver Date/Size: 8/16/2001 18:15:00, 1995385 bytes
Driver Signed: Yes
WHQL Date Stamp: n/a
VDD:
Mini VDD: nv4_mini.sys
Mini VDD Date: 8/16/2001 18:15:00, 818873 bytes
Device Identifier: {D7B71E3E-436D-11CF-4576-2022B7C2C835}
Vendor ID: 0x10DE
Device ID: 0x002D
SubSys ID: 0x02211043
Revision ID: 0x0015
Registry: OK
DDraw Status: Enabled
D3D Status: Enabled
AGP Status: Enabled
DDraw Test Result:
D3D7 Test Result:
D3D8 Test Result:

-------------
Sound Devices
-------------
Description: Intel(r) Integrated Audio
Device ID: PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_2445&SUBSYS_806A1043&REV_12
Manufacturer ID: 1
Product ID: 100
Type: WDM
Driver Name: ac97intc.sys
Driver Version: 5.10.00.3523 (English)
Driver Attributes: Final Retail
Driver Signed: Yes
Date and Size: 8/17/2001 13:20:04, 96256 bytes
Other Files:
Driver Provider: Microsoft
HW Accel Level: Full
Registry: OK
Sound Test Result:

-----------
DirectMusic
-----------
DLS Path: C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\drivers\GM.DLS
Version: 1.00.16.0002
Ports:
Microsoft Synthesizer, Software (Not Kernel Mode), Output, DLS, Internal, Default Port
MPU-401, Hardware (Kernel Mode), Input, No DLS, External
MPU-401, Hardware (Kernel Mode), Output, No DLS, External
Intel(r) Integrated Audio, Software (Kernel Mode), Output, DLS, Internal
Microsoft MIDI Mapper [Emulated], Hardware (Not Kernel Mode), Output, No DLS, Internal
Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth [Emulated], Hardware (Not Kernel Mode), Output, No DLS, Internal
MPU-401 [Emulated], Hardware (Not Kernel Mode), Output, No DLS, External
MPU-401 [Emulated], Hardware (Not Kernel Mode), Input, No DLS, External
Registry: OK


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): $799.99
Operating System: Windows
Processor: Other
RAM: 256
Internal Storage: CD-RW and DVD
Hard Drive (GB): 31-40


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