"Nice Hardware Spoiled by Junk Software"4.0 starson by jwoertz
Pros: Excellent hardware except for the video card
Cons: Junk software forced me to reload OS
Summary: This is my first non-dell PC. I purchased this PC with an HP vs17 flat panel monitor, an HP PSC1610 all-in-one, and a 160 GB Personal Media Drive. The m7070n offered lots of interesting features at a reasonable price. I especially liked the built-in card reader (which Dell STILL doesn't offer), front-mounted audio and video jacks, and Personal Media Drive port. I was impressed with the quality of the hardware and the arrangement of the cables in the PC. Not bad for a store-bought PC. The PCs fans were a little noisy for the first few days. Since then, they've quieted down. I also had a problem with the lower optical drive door opening whenever I touched the front of the PC case. That also worked itself out on its own. The hard drive (Seagate 250 MB SATA) is noisy but that could be due to the placement inside the case. It resonates loudly. I can hear every little click of the drive. This is where newer Dell PCs really outshine this HP. The Dell drives are extremely quiet. Performance on the HP m7070n is so-so. I thought it would absolutely scream when I looked at the specs. It's fast, but not as fast as I imagined. Forget this PC for high-end gaming. For games like Quake II, Operation Blockade or Atomic Cannon, it's OK though. It's better for video production. No complaints there. Now on to the real problem....the software installed on this PC is a major issue. Half the stuff is demo software and the other half is just junk. Some of it can't be uninstalled because it looks for a "tmp" folder which simply isn't on the hard drive. I finally got so frustrated that I blew away the partition and loaded on MS Windows XP Pro WITHOUT Media Center. (The hardware drivers are on the "RECOVERY" partition. Grab them first and burn them to a CD.) Now I just use "Beyond TV" now with the TV card instead of MS Media Center and it works great. I can record TV shows and burn then to DVD with Nero. Awesome! All in all, I do feel a little regret about not sticking with Dell, but right now, Dell just doesn't have a PC with the same features. HP had some great ideas with this PC, and it does the job. But only time will tell how it will hold up. I also can't help but think that a Dell with the same specs would be incredibly fast as well as quiet, and without all the junk sofware.