Pros Lots of USB ports. Tower box provides much easier expandability. Quiet. Solid build.
Cons DVD writer would have been nice.
Summary I bought this in 2012. Assuming it has been in use since 2004 or 2005, this machine looks very tidy and works great. XP Pro still relevant and runs most software. Office 2007 works without a hitch and relatively quick.Adding additional RAM memory makes a big difference. The original unit had 1GB DDR RAM. Increasing it to 1.75GB made a huge difference to performance, particularly when tab counts rises above 5 in Firefox. I also noticed an improvement in Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10. Responsiveness and recognition accuracy both improved.
Sometimes a bit slow when browsers get scripts they don't like. Seems to happen with all the browsers I use, Chrome, IE8 and Firefox. Restarting them seems to clear the log jam. I'm not sure one can blame the machine for this.
It comes with a 80GB HDD. A larger HDD would have been nice but I've augmented it with a couple of USB HDD's for data storage and archiving, leaving the primary HDD for the OS and applications.
A Radeon X700 Graphics adapter gives the unit some gaming legs. GRAW2, Star Wars Lego Complete Saga all work well with good frame rates. I haven't tried to push it yet.
Updated on Jan 15, 2013
Pros I have run this machine daily for 5 years. It is quiet and reliable. As a tech, I deal with a lot of computers and I have not upgraded because I have not found one this good. I run it all night and it is so quiet I can sleep in the same room.
Cons Small form factor & weak power supply make it expensive to upgrade.
Summary I have run this machine nearly every day and every night for five years. I have upgraded it as much as I possibly can. I have 4 Tb of SATA inside with 4Gb RAM. The video card issue though has not been resolved, the ATI card I bought needs more power than it can supply, and the recent Win7 upgrade hosed my gaming ability (no onboard video support in 7 [!]). Prolly going to reinstall XP (cloned before the upgrade) so I can do the things I like. I run the big stuff on here like Adobe CS5 and it is slower than a new machine, but this computer is one of the best older machines out there, would make an excellent XP-based home theater machine.
Like I've said: I haven't upgraded (and I am a computer tech) because I haven't found a machine I like better and I only want one desktop machine.
It is so quiet I really can't hear it from 10' away. The onboard sound thumps my multi-zone speaker setup (handled in the Sony amplifier). My friends are amazed that this is an old machine that cost me $300 five years ago.
Again, video is my only problem, but in XP it ran DirectX 9c games wonderfully. Not so much in Win7, and Hulu sucks in 7 too.
When I DO upgrade machines, this will be my home entertainment server and I believe I will gat many more years out of it.
tl;dr: A great buy at modern prices, and if you can get one with a core-duo, you are set.
Pros quiet. good buy, compact form factor, quiet.
Cons quickbook adware preinstalled - anoying.
Summary i always like the option of choosing my processor, unfortunately someone else chose our workstations. AMD is the best, but intel will do since my options were extremely limited. i am installing this in a medical setting, so what are popups from quickbooks doing on the screen while the doctor is trying to view patient files and xrays? hp dropped the ball here. technical support for this product is disappointing. hp use to have excellent product support. note use of past tense.
what you want to do as soon as you get this workstation is repartition the hdd. i always go with os, data, and utility. c,d,and e. reload the os, and use an imaging software to back it up to your utility partition. this will get rid of all the adware. (note - you will need to download drivers from hp. better to have the nic driver before reinstalling the os.) the alternative is to edit the registry. it's a lot of complicated work and not recommended for the casual user. but since i had to install fifteen of these, i get a new workstation, repartition, copy a image to the utility drive, and zap it to the os drive. it's unfortunate that this is your only option if you want a clean o.s. i suspect other manufacturers work the same way. and i do wonder if i could have gotten a gateway with an amd processor without adware.
i always like the ability to send and receive faxes from the p.c. these workstations don't have modems, so fax doesn't come naturally. upside is that your pc isn't going to get zapped by the telco. (i understand how to use filters and surge protectors, but some don't)
Pros I have been working on my new HP for about a month now. It is blindingly fast. I went with the 3.6GHz version and 1G of RAM. There are sexier machines on the market, but this thing is built to last and has a 3 year on-site service agreement.
Cons Only 2 PCI slots. Although I think it has some sort of accesory you can buy to gain some more.
Pros 1. Good Reliability 2. Outstanding features 3. Good warranty 4. Mind boggling performance
Cons 1. Needs a graphics card 2. No space for much expansion 3. God! This ain't cheap!!