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Help deciding between two computers

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Last response: in Systems
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February 19, 2011 5:20:16 AM

Hi, I'm a newbie to this forum who just bought a computer.

Have you heard about the Intel/Sandy Bridge c200 chipset issue? I probably wouldn't have - except I bought a computer with the issue.

HP seems to be dealing fair, but you have to pull info out of them as to what they're going to do about this.

Anyway, I've got 3 options: 1) a refund; 2) return my computer now for a different model; 3) return my computer in April for a new computer of the same model I bought.

I'm torn between 2) and 3). Either way I'm getting a new computer; it's a question of which computer I should get.

Basically, HP said I could choose from any of several computers. The top one - and the one I'd choose - is an HPE-590t. The one I've now got is an HPE-570t.

Here's the basic specs of each:

HPE-570t:
i7-2600 (not the 'k').
1.5TB HD
8GB RAM

HPE-590t:i7-970
1.5TB HD
9GB RAM
Blu Ray burning capability.

Here's the fuller specs:

HP Pavilion Elite HPE-590t series
Supercharged, high-performance PC with Intel six-core processor, massive memory and hard drive, 1GB discrete graphics, Blu-ray and a 2 year warranty. Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-970 six-core [3.2GHz, 1.5MB L2 + 12MB shared L3 cache]
9GB DDR3-1066MHz SDRAM [6 DIMMs]
FREE UPGRADE! 1.5TB 7200 rpm SATA 3Gb/s hard drive from 1TB
1GB DDR3 AMD Radeon HD 6570 [DVI, HDMI. VGA adapter]
Blu-ray player & Lightscribe SuperMulti DVD burner
2-year In-Home limited hardware warranty

------------------------------------------------------

HP Pavilion Elite HPE-570t PC
• Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
• Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2600 quad-core processor with Turbo-Boost [up to 3.8GHz, 8MB cache]
• 8GB DDR3-1333MHz SDRAM [4 DIMMs]
• FREE UPGRADE! 1.5TB 7200 rpm SATA 3Gb/s hard drive from 750GB
• No additional office software
• Norton Internet Security(TM) 2011 - 15 month
• 1GB DDR3 ATI Radeon HD 5450 [DVI, HDMI, VGA adapter]
• No speakers
• LightScribe 16X max. DVD+/-R/RW SuperMulti drive
• Wireless-N LAN card
• 15-in-1 memory card reader, 1 USB, audio
• No TV Tuner
• Beats Audio -- integrated studio quality sound
• HP USB keyboard and optical mouse

-----------------------------------------

My question is which I should get?

I will probably buy a couple of games, but nothing latest and greatest. I've never done gaming and wouldn't get much into it now.

I'm interested in photo and video editing, but haven't ever done a whole lot. I'd like to start now that I've got a computer that will handle it.

Most of the reason I bought the fairly high performance system I bought is because I frankly want a computer that will still be usable in six or maybe even ten years. One that gives me something cool now and resists obsolescance better than a lower end unit.

As I understand it, the i7-2600 blows away the -7-970 even though the later is a six core with 12 threads. It certainly does so in Photoshop, from what I read.

But I don't necessarily need the "fastest." Not if there's something else more important.

Still, the faster processor is a reason to keep the HPE-570t I've got (actually, trade it in for a brand new one with a defect-free motherboard in April).

On the other hand, the HPE-590t has an extra GB of RAM (9 vs. 8), PLUS it has the Blu Ray.

I doubt I would be downloading movies from the internet, and I don't care that much about the benefits of HD movie quality. What is more interesting to me is 27GB of storage vs. only 4.7GB for ordinary DVD.

At the same time, I just graduated from 650MB in CDs; I don't know WHAT I'd do with 27GB Blu Ray storage. But at the same time, I don't really know that I wouldn't use it or want it. I ran into a lot of space limitations with my old 30GB laptop. That's why I got a 1.5TB HD in this machine.

I DO have an expansion bay in this desktop, and could conceivably add a Blu Ray drive down the line when I needed it and when the prices came down.

What do you think? Should I stick with my i7-2600 machine, or trade in for the i7-970?

More about : deciding computers

February 19, 2011 8:32:29 AM

I'd wait for April, and trade in for another 2600K
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February 19, 2011 5:29:11 PM

I would go for the 590T, better video card, 2 year in home warranty and the Blu-Ray drive. The 570t does have wireless N, but those cards are pretty cheap. If you go for the replacement 570t you do get some free use from the one you presently have. I would still go for the 590t.
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February 19, 2011 6:44:53 PM

I'd go option 1 and refund it and build my own.
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February 20, 2011 1:41:05 AM

Thanks for the answers, guys. I need help making an informed decision.

On the other hand, three answers with three different conclusions. I should keep the 570t, except I should take the 590t instead, but I should build my own.

I would like to take option 3, but have no experience and would rather be able to take more time learning how than "think fast." But I am seriously hoping that by the time it's time to get a new computer, I will be able to take cmcghee358's
advice and build my own.

I would be intrested in knowing how much I could save (or get a better machine for the same money, which is also saving) by DIY.

That said, my only two options for this computer purchase are the 570t or the 590t.

I really like the i7-2600 processor, based on both using it and what I've read about it. I have had no success getting meaningful comparisons between the two processors (i7-970 vs. i7-2600). I hear things about the six core being better in certain "multi-threaded applications," but I don't know what they are or if I'd ever do them.

I DO want Blu Ray, and the 590t gives that.

To Jim, thanks. The one thing I'd point out is that BOTH computers have a two year warranty. That was actually the thing that put me over the top deciding to purchase the 570t: I decided NOT to buy an extended warranty, but to put my money into better components. And the two years was my trigger, giving me both protection and components.

I have learned a lot since getthing this computer that I never knew before. I understand what Jim is saying: the 2600 has a built in graphics, and a dedicated card is better for hard-core gamers.

I plan to do SOME gaming, but not a lot. For me, it would be more photo and video editing. I'm told that some video apps take better advantage of the six cores and 12 threads of the 970. But I don't know if I'd do whatever that is. The tests show the 2600 is significantly better at Photoshop.

Ideally, based on what I know, I'd keep the 570t with the i7-2600 Sandy Bridge and add Blu Ray later - or maybe add it in April if I can. If I bought it later, I'd be waiting till the internal unit was under maybe $70 (and by then maybe I'd even have figured out how to do the install!).

I dare say that the things that would most influence me are:
1) how fast the i7-2600 vs. the i7-970 would be obsolete. The Sandy Bridge is newer and more advanced, but more and more apps are likely to take advantage of the six cores. Which will be obsolete faster???

2) how reliable and durable the 2600 would be relative to the 970. Would they both last about as long as each other??? The 2600 uses less power, and I understand it deals with heat very well, having a new fan system. But I don't know much, particularly comparing the two processors.

3) how inexpensive Blu Ray burners are likely to get. I don't need it now, but think I'd really want it down the road.

4) just the mix of components: the 2600 would seem to be a much better processor for MOST applications, even though it literally cost half as much as the 970. But is that worth passing on a system that has the Blu Ray right now? And then there's that matter of the i7-970 system having the extra gig of RAM.

Lastly, I'm not exactly sure what "wireless N" is. I paid an extra $50 to have a wireless card installed for internet. It has worked seamlessly with my Linksys "G" series router. I was happy that it worked with the old router, so I wouldn't have to upgrade with the older one was still working fine.

I have gone from deciding to keep the 570t, to deciding to get the 590t instead, to thinking maybe I'd keep the 570t and add Blu Ray down the road, to pulling hair out of my head...
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February 20, 2011 2:08:28 AM

the 2600 is a better cpu than the 970. Period. It outperforms the 970 in most programs (It competes with the 980x)


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February 20, 2011 3:05:51 AM

ScrewySqrl,

From what I've seen I agree with you. Do you think that's enough of a performance edge to give up the extra GB of RAM and the Blu Ray drive of the 970 system?
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February 20, 2011 4:11:07 PM

The difference between 8 gb and 9 gb is negligible. I'd say unless ou really, really want blue ray, stick with the 2600 (and you can get a blu-ray drive on newegg for $50)
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February 20, 2011 11:38:27 PM

I think I really, really want Blu Ray. Frankly, the day I bought my computer, I had heard of it only in terms of watching movies, rather than having enormous storage capacity.

My last computer (a notebook) had 30GB, which was actually pretty good in 2003 when I bought it. But storage capacity was the first "obsolescance" problem I ran into. So I'd like to make sure that I don't run into that one down the road with this machine.

So I really, really want Blu Ray. But I don't need it right now. I can afford to wait a while and then add it later.

Before I responded, I checked. And you aren't lyin'. Blu Ray drives for $50.

I would want one that plugged right in and gave me no software or hardware hassles, so it would probably cost me more.

One thing I'm slightly worried about with the HPE-570t is the fact that it only has a 300 watt power supply. I would not be adding a lot of external stuff, and I would be suprised if adding a drive would put me over the top, but I'd like to know how much room I've got to spare.

I appreciate your response, ScrewySqrl. I had a post discussion with a computer person at Kim Komando who said keep the i7-2600. And I was figuring I'd do that. Then I had a human-to-human discussion with a computer repair/programmer guy I know, and he said to take the Blu Ray. But I got the sense he didn't know the current market price of the drives after doing a little price checking.

I was leaning toward doing what you suggest, but wanted to hear some other ideas.

I chatted with HP customer support; I've actually got until the end of April to decide what to do. But I like this computer and would like to keep it unless there's an obvious reason to change horses.
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February 27, 2011 12:03:11 AM

Best answer selected by michaeldf.
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