HP's first 64-bit-ready business PC

HP's first 64-bit-ready business PC

If you've been waiting to purchase a business PC with hooks into tomorrow's 64-bit world, the new HP DX5150 desktop system may be just what you need.

Built around AMD's 2.2-GHz Athlon 64 3500+ processor, the DX5150 is ready for future 64-bit operating systems - such as Microsoft's Windows XP Professional X64 - and comes stocked with components that take advantage of a wide array of technologies.

HP is currently shipping the unit with Windows XP Professional; 64-bit hardware device drivers will be available on HP's website.

Users who buy the system before Microsoft's X64 operating system ships are limited to buying the system with Windows XP Professional pre-installed; after the X64 OS ships, HP plans to offer this system with that OS preloaded.

In addition to its 64-bit-ready processor, the DX5150's motherboard features ATI's Radeon Xpress 200 chip set. It also supports a dual-monitor configuration (one VGA, one DVI-D), a rare find in a system that relies on integrated graphics.

Early Results Are Promising

We tested a preproduction DX5150 microtower system with 512MB of RAM and a 40GB hard disk. This system's cost, as configured, is $US915. Running the pre-installed 32-bit Windows XP Professional with SP2, the DX5150 earned a respectable score of 88 on WorldBench 5, which is in line with what we would expect for desktops in this class and configuration. In our hands-on evaluation, the DX5150 felt quite responsive and we had no problems using the standard keyboard and mouse bundled with the system. We were also impressed by the system's overall quietness, a plus in any business setting.

Our test system's interior was easy to open and neatly organised. Three of the six tool-less drive bays were occupied (by CD-RW, floppy, and hard drives), leaving room for two external (one 3.5- and one 5.25-inch) and one internal (3.5-inch) additional drives.

Other expansion options include two open PCI-Express slots (one x16 for graphics cards, one x1 for compatible modems and LAN cards); two open PCI slots; and two available memory sockets.

Our test model also had eight USB 2.0 (two front, six back) ports, but no FireWire port. The 17-inch HP L1740 LCD monitor ($US349) that came with our review unit displayed sharp, clean text and colorful graphics with good details.

Although we tested the microtower version, this model also comes in a horizontal desktop chassis, and with a standard range of removable media and hard drive choices and business software options. For budget-minded businesses, HP also offers the DX5150 with a 32-bit-only AMD Sempron processor as another option. HP's standard 3-year warranty and 24x7 phone support are also provided.

The HP DX5150 is potentially a good fit for anyone who wants to make a forward-looking investment in a 64-bit desktop business system.

Local information HP DX5150 Business Desktop Preproduction product, not rated Expandable options and 64-bit CPU make this business PC a good investment for the future. It is available for Configure To Order through Ingram Micro and Dicker Data. RRP: $US915

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