Pros I did a lot of research looking for a gaming computer at a decent price. Although not a gaming computer, this has a great CPU, Memory, and HD space for relatively little $$.
Cons Video card, power supply, wireless card, limited expansion due to the case
Summary I spent a lot of time doing research on gaming systems. Bottom line is that this is not a gaming system but is a great value as it has a extremely fast CPU and more memory than most $2k+ systems. The downside is the video card. I replaced the existing card with a Nvidia 8800GTS. This required a couple of things - 1. I had to put in a new power supply. I put in the Rocketfish 700w unit. I had never done this before but it was actually very easy. 2. I had to disconnect the front 1394 port as the card would not fit in the PCI slot with the 1394 line in the way. Not a big deal as there is another 1394 port on the back. My windows vista video rating went from 3.3 to 5.9 and the machine runs great and not that hot. The wireless card was worthless as it could not pickup my network. I put in a wireless USB adapter and it works great.
All in all I have about $1,500 in the machine and it is comperable to a $2500+ system.
Pros LOTS of everything!
Cons Vistra is trying, without a doubt!
Summary For the $$, you cannot beat a quad core processor, 3 gb ram, 2 - 320gb hard drives, wireless mouse/keyboard, tv tuner.... I am adding new video card & second dvd drive. Will have a great little machine for the $$!
Pros fully equiped, lot of RAM and power
Summary I am at a 6 so far.
When I bought it the install of my new wide screen HP 22" monitor crashed...
I had to recover to original facttory setting to make it work properly.
Then, Zone Alarm keeps freaking out....
so, if you buy this item, go very slowly in installing programs. One at a time, let it run for a while and if it works, goon in installing one more (and then same routine).
It will safe you time and energy.
Pros Quad core, plenty of memory, tv tuner, lots of storage
Cons Weak wireless reception, power suply and graphics are minimalistic
Summary I got mine at Circuit City. It has a 50 dollar mail in rebate. It took a while for the wireless to find my network. I had a laptop beside me running mce and it didnt have any problems. Still the signal strength is weak with the included wifi antenna, and I had to move my Linksys network signal booster to the same room to get the same speeds my lappy was getting (53mbs) without any aid. Also plan on spending near to an hour on the initial out of the box set up..
I cant really complain about the price and couldnt of built this box for the same money. The video and psu are on the small side. If all one does is surf and email, nothing need be changed. To play games such as Battlefield 2 and Half-Life 2/Source based games, get a new vidcard. Just be sure to get one of the 8000 series nvidia cards that are direct x 10 because dx10 is on Vista to start with. I would also suggest upgrading the psu to 500 watts or that new vidcard will cause your system to crash with anything above a 8600 geforce.
The installed memory is 2x1gb and 2x512gb for a total of 4 dimms. I'm going to replace the two 512 with 1gb modules which can be had for less than 100 dollars both, another inexpensive upgrade for a killer box.
I found a way to fix the poor wireless reception:
1)Turn off pc and remove ac cord from back of tower.Remove the side panel and locate the wireless card above the 120mm exaust fan.
2)gently remove the wireless antennae wire that hooks to the card. Just pinch it at the connection and apply gentle downward pressure and it will pop off.
3) re-locate same wire and plug to the gold antenna connector beside the one you just removed the wire from. Place the 90 degree wifi antenna wire end on the gold plug and apply gentle upward pressure and it will snap into place. Problem solved.
"Waste of Money"on by popdean
Pros everytime crashes
Cons cannot shutdown
Summary I brought this crap like month ago.
Very low performance (cannot download/read photo from the digital camera)- every time Crashes.
Cannot shutdown, keep hangs/crashed while shutting down . Wasted $1150 on this.