This morning, HP revealed its newest edition to the Pavilion lineup, the Elite m9600, sporting Intel's Core i7 processor, and Nvidia's 9600 GS, depending on the configuration.
Looks as though HP is trying to turbo-charge its line of Pavilion desktop PCs, as the company today said that its new HP Pavilion Elite m9600 (opens in new tab) is ideal for media enthusiasts and creators seeking high performance, tons of storage, and high definition. Packed with Intel's Core i7 processor and Nvidia's GeForce 9600 GS, the new rig offers consumers a total powerhouse package tagged with a great, affordable price. But on the flip side, hard-core gamers looking for a meaty machine for over-the-top resolutions melted by white-hot framerates may want to look elsewhere; this is not the ultimate gaming rig, or at least, not at the default configuration.
As always, HP sets up the consumer with a base configuration and lets them go to town with different options, however, the base configuration isn't too shabby, especially for its $949.99 price tag. For starters, the Elite m9600's Core i7 920 processor clocks in at 2.66 GHZ, using 1 MB L2 and 8MB L3 cache with QPI technology. The rig also comes packed with 3 GB of DDR3-1066 MHz SDRAM (3x1024), and a 500 GB 7200 rpm SATA 3 Gb/s hard drive. As already stated, the graphics portion consists of Nvidia's 768 MB GeForce 9600 GS featuring DVI, VGA, and HDMI connections. Additionally, the PC also features a Lightscribe 16x DVD+/-R/RW SuperMulti drive, a 15-in-1 memory card reader and on-board LAN (10/100/1000 Base-T). The rig also has Windows Vista Home Premium (Service Pack 1, 64-bit) installed by default.
“Our highly compelling solutions help to explain why customers all over the world have made HP the global leader in consumer PCs," said John Cook, vice president, Marketing, Worldwide Consumer PC Business, HP.
So what does the Elite m9600 offer with a maxed-out configuration? For a not-too-shabby $3,209.97 (without adding additional software save for the OS upgrade), consumers get the Intel Core i7 940 clocked at 2.93 GHz, 1 MB of L2 cache and 8 MB of shared L3 cache with QPI technology. This machine, when maxed out, offers 12 GB of DDR3-1066 MHz SDRAM (6x2048), 1 TB RAID 0 (2 x 500 GB SATA hard drives), ATI's Radeon HD 4850 with 1 GB memory (2 DVI, HDMI, and VGA), a Blu-ray writer and Lightscrabe SuperMulti DVD burner, and additional 16x DVD-ROM, and HP's w2558hc 25-inch vivid color widescreen flat panel monitor. The list goes on to include a TV tuner with remote, a personal media drive, Windows Vista Ultimate (64-bit) and more. It's certainly great stuff to drool over, maybe fantasize about, and even offers a free copy of everyone's DRM-ridden PC game, Spore.
Along with the Pavilion Elite m9600's announcement, HP revealed four widescreen monitors with 16:9 aspect ratio: the 18.5-inch diagonal HP w1858 Monitor (opens in new tab), 20-inch diagonal HP 2009m Monitor (opens in new tab), 21.5-inch diagonal HP 2159m Monitor (opens in new tab) (with HDMI), and the 23-inch diagonal HP w2338h Monitor (opens in new tab) (with HDMI). The company also revealed the HP Wireless Eco-Comfort Mouse as well, a PVC-free device designed with 30 percent recycled plastic; the packaging consists of up to 76 percent recycled materials.
For consumers seeking jam-packed performance for their money may rest easy after purchasing the Pavilion Elite m9600 PC; HP computers are generally rather stable and easy to upgrade if needed. The default configuration isn't too shabby, and gets even better once meatier parts are thrown into the mix. That's nothing new of course; configuration "options" feel more like a tease in a way, a trap that entices consumers to upgrade components until the price tag gets so out of whack, they have to start over with the entire checkout process (been there, done that).
Still, the PC certainly looks tasty in its default configuration, however the company seriously needs to reconsider the overall presentation. Paint a horned, slobbering beast on its side, or give the chassis a more updated, curvy feel than slap components into a lackluster, black box. She may be gorgeous on the inside, but there needs to be a little attraction on the outside too.