The highly rated HP Pavilion Slimline PC thread

Discussion in 'Small Form Factor Systems' started by Archaea, Sep 19, 2007.

  1. Archaea

    Archaea [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,747
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    This thread was dedicated to the HP 3020 Slimline PC, but has been expanded to all other HP Slimline models as well. The HP Slimline in various configurations can be found for about a $300 pricepoint in refurbished condition at many retailers and auction sites. This marks a striking good deal for a small form factor PC fully capable of a silent media or HTPC role. Surprisingly, there are even some decent gaming upgrade paths for the adventurous and determined. At this point the best way to read this thread is probably to read this first post, and then start in the back of the thread and read forward. I try to keep the first post regularly updated. If you see something I've missed or would like to add something to this first post please let me know through a PM!

    [​IMG]

    The hotspot to to pick up these machines is ubid.com

    If you are lucky you can get a slimline decked out in a $1500 dollar fully loaded configuration for $300. I've purchased nearly a dozen refurbished slimlines encompassing several different models from buy.com and ubid.com There are quite a few different slimline models and they all have different specs - many have different motherboards, be careful on the slimline you select to ensure it has the upgradability you desire.

    The link below is a link to all the various HP slimline product pages.

    http://h20180.www2.hp.com/apps/Nav?..._client=S-A-R163-1&h_page=hpcom&lang=en&cc=us

    An example s3020n (my first slimline purchase) I purchased for about $350 from buy.com had

    AMD x2 3800+
    250GB Sata HD
    1GB of DDR2 RAM
    6150 Nvidia Graphics onboard card
    Wifi
    DVDRW/CDRW
    Memory card reader
    Windows Vista Home Premium
    160 watt PSU


    Stats on a s3200t I purchased were the "best" $1500 configuation and I only paid $330 shipped for it on ubid.

    Intel e4500
    500GB Sata
    2GB DDR2 RAM
    8500GT Graphics card
    WiFi
    HD-DVD/Blue-Ray/DVD-RW/CD/RW drive
    Memory card reader
    Windows Vista Home Premium
    HDTV Tuner card
    180watt PSU.


    Stats on a s3600t I purchased at ubid for $350 shipped.

    Intel Q9300
    500GB Sata
    4GB DDR2 RAM
    9500GS Graphics card
    DVD-RW/CD/RW drive
    Memory card reader
    Windows Vista Home Premium
    180watt PSU.

    These PCs are nice little classy piano black glossy small form factor machines that fit right in with home theatre equipment.

    They come with Vista Home Premium which would cost $100 by itself. The Windows Media Center application on Vista is quite good for HTPC use. Most of these units have drivers for Windows XP and soon to be windows 7- if preferred.

    Through reading and collaboration online the slimline community has found multiple important upgrade notes.


    [*]Most AMD based slimlines supports any AMD X2 65 watt processor (meaning you can upgrade to a X2 5600+) and more preferably for HTPC use, a BE-2300, BE-2350, or BE-2400. (45 watt processors). . The 4850e (2.5Ghz) and 5050e (2.6Ghz) 45 watt processors are supported at least by the Asus A8MN-BR / Hematite-GL8E mobo after upgrading to the the May 08 bios update as verified by poster C-Numb. The AMD slimlines using the M2N61-AR (Acacia-GL6E) motherboards will even support EE phenom quadcores following a BIOS udpate.

    [*]The Intel based slimlines work with any of the e2, e4, and e6 based processors that end in 00's.....Some of these processor upgrades will require BIOS updates. A few of the slimlines have Intel quad 9300 processors in them - with a 2009 BIOS UPDATE 5.23 for the IRVINE motherboards you should be able to use a Q9300 in any IRVINE motherboard - but to my knowledge this is untested since the BIOS update - if this is verified please let me know and I will update this.

    [*]The Slimlines support any low profile half height card that works within the 160 and 180 watt PSU limitations. Known working examples include Nvidia 7300, 7350LE, 7600gt and ATI 3450, 3650, 4350, and 4550. I would advise a power supply upgrade for the following video card choices (>40 watt power GPU power requirement) 8400GS, 8500GT, 8600GT, 9500GS, 9600GT, 9800GT, or the GTS250. I strongly recommend the 4550 as a good HTPC card based on fellow thread memeber's expieriences --- it utilzes very little power (30 watts max) and is fast! * Note: over the course of time -- a few people have found their systems becoming unstable with video cards over 40 watts with the stock PSUs even if they worked at first -- especially the 160 watt PSU AMD based slimlines. Moving to a low power AMD CPU, (as discussed above) or replacing the power supply seems to remediate the issue. A 9600GT or 9800GT card absolutely requries a PSU replacement. Plan on limiting your GPU upgrade to a card that draws less than 40 watts if you want to stay within the stock PSU capabilities. I personally found a 40 watt video card (the 8400GS) proved too much power draw for my stock 160 watt PSU over the course of time. Just utilize the ATI 4550 if you just want a HTPC with the stock PSU.

    Jeremyshaw has some real good GPU information on page 169.

    I have personally owned the following cards and used each of them in a Slimline.
    The 8400GS is underpowered for gaming but is great in fanless configuration for home theatre use.
    The 8500GT is okay, fairly quiet, and is a good compromise card.
    The 8600GT from Galaxy has questionable build quality --- there were a couple guys who've posted that they had the plastic heatsink/fan melt on the card due to the heat generated in the slimline chasis. So if you get this card make sure your slimline has adequate ventilation.
    The 9300GS is underpowered for gaming, but good for home theatre use.
    The 9500GS is a okay gaming card(preforms about like an 8600GT), and a good home theatre card. I personally believe the image quality on the 9500GS is slightly better than the image quality on the 8500GT on my HDTV.
    The 9800GT is a beast for a low profile card - Silent and FAST! -- but requires a lot of power, and creates a lot of heat. Make SURE you've upgraded your PSU and have adequate cooling in your slimline before purchasing this card. The Galaxy GTS 250 is also quite fast - I've not used it yet.

    As mentioned above - if you decide you want a 9600GT or 9800GT you'll need a new PSU because the stock 160 watt and 180 watt PSUs are underpowered.
    The stock 160 watt PSU creates 12 amps on the 12 volt rail
    The stock 180 watt PSU creates 12.5 amps on the 12 volt rail
    The new stock 220 & 230 watt PSUs creates 16 amps on the 12 volt rail and are in the new slimlines.


    Here are a few of the options the guys in this thread have discovered

    • The Sparkle SPI270LE 270 watt
    • The Shuttle PC50 300 watt
    • the In-Win IP-P300F1-0 300 watt

    PSU Perk Comparison Points
    The Sparkle (~$50) is 80%+ efficient and has an active PFC (that's a good thing), and is quiet at low to moderate loads - It has enough juice to power my s3600t, with a 9800GT + Q9300 Quad Core CPU - but at this level of power draw was no longer quiet. I actually modded the casing with a 60mm fan in a similar configuration to the In-Win and resolved the loudness issue with my Sparkle 270 (see page 135)
    http://www.censuspc.com/product.php?productid=5902&cat=0&page=1

    The Shuttle (~$80) is expensive, but remains silent with the maximum load you could put in a Slimline (IE my s3600t w/ a Q9300 CPU, and 9800GT graphics card). The Shuttle also has an active PFC - but is only 70% efficient. NOTE: Pigskin80 and I both had the PC50, but there seems there may be reliability problems with this unit as we've both exp. trouble with it since our initial install. (I went back to the sparkle PSU) Krad has a s3200t with a 9800GT and a e4500 with no problems. Keep this in mind when selecting a PSU. The PC60 is out too, but untested in a slimline to my knowledge.

    The In-Win (~$30) is very cheap, but has been used by many people on this board with success - stat wise it is a less distinguished PSU than the Sparkle or Shuttle, but is quiet in operation --- with people stating it sounds like the stock HP power supply in regards to volume. As of lately there have been several reporting reliability problems with this PSU over the course of time. With this in mind I strongly recommend the Sparkle PSU first and foremost.

    Here is a video I made showing a generic upgrade guide for using the Sparkle 270 watt.vs. the Shuttle PC50. You can get an idea of how loud these two PSU's are in comparison.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8Y2PPMiiB0

    There is a 400 watt seasonic - but all signs point to it being too loud for most peoples desire. http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=Story&reid=131
    Jeremyshaw states this PSU will require modification of your slimline case in order to fit and recommends the Sparkle PSU instead.

    See around page 116 of this thread for lots of PSU discussion.

    If choosing to do a PSU and video card upgrade you'll likely need at least three adapters.

    The Slimline's ASUS motherboards require a special proprietary connector that you'll need purchase an adapter for. Forum member Jamesvill found this adapter which fits the bill.
    http://www.atxpowersupplies.com/20-pin-to-24-pin-hp-slimline-atx-converter.htm
    Sometimes these adapters can be found cheaper on ebay.

    You'll also need a molex to SATA adapter in most cases because both the PC50 and the Sparkle 270 watt PSU only have two SATA power adapters and being that they are on the same power lead they will not reach both CD-ROM and Hard-Drive in the Slimline's 90* seperation mounting orientation. (HD faces down, CD-Rom faces forward.) A molex to SATA adapter will allow you to use a spare molex power lead to power one of your SATA devices
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812123137&Tpk=GC8ATAL

    You'll also need a molex to PCI-E 6 pin supplimental power adapter, because most SFF PSUs don't include that 6 pin (including the three recommended here)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812201004&Tpk=CVT46


    Example upgrades might be

    2GB or 4GB of RAM - The slimline motherboards only have two RAM slots so you'll discard or replace your old memory. All slimlines to my knowledge only support max of 4GB of RAM.

    Upgraded video card - I recommend a minimum of a Nvidia 8400GS or ATI 4550 for Hi-Def media playback.

    You may need a XFX low profile/half-height bracket set;
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814998301

    At this point the system will run solid as a HTPC or daily use machine, the 8400 GS or ATI 4550 are capable of 1080p media decoding, and light gaming duty.

    Total cost here of your slimline with extra RAM, video card, and low profile brackets is only about $400 dollars (with the bundled/included $150 dollar Vista Home Premium)

    One thing to keep in mind with these units is the limited power supply and small form factor. In my opinion, these PCs are best to be used for the casual PC users as a near completely silent home theatre media PC rather than a power rigg gaming station. If you want to make a power rigg you'd better be able to preform a few modifications! The people who have gotten frustrated with them in this thread are the people who have tried to push them beyond what the integrated (proprietary/difficult to replace) 160 and 180watt power supplies can muster and not taken the extra precautions and afforded the extra expense associated with preparing one of these devices to be a "power rigg" Note that the case has very little in the way of heat dissapation abilities. You can overcome heat issue like I have with my s3600t by putting a 120mm fan on the side or two 80 mm fans on the side of the case as shown in this link http://www.hardforum.com/showpost.php?p=1033961407&postcount=2726 (My s3600t currently is outfitted with a 1.5TB drive, Q9300 quad core, 9800GT, 4GB RAM) Overall these are a fantastic machine for the money - if one understands and accepts the inherit heat and power limitations in such a small form factor PC.

    Page 148, http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1224011&page=148, has some good information on a gaming upgrade path. ChuckP even put together a pricelist total including shipping and taxes as of Mid June 2009 to get you to a gaming power rigg slimine for a shade under $250 dollars.

    Here is the Official HP slimline Upgrade and Servicing Guide
    http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c00877796.pdf

    Compliments of Athlon1.2 here is a short video overview of an example slimline HP internal setup.
    http://app5.netjdn.com/~joako/pdf/arches_inside_pc_spref07.wmv

    360Spider found that this notebook cooler with the two small 60mm fans on it when dis-assembled is a good addon to disperse heat if you decide to push your slimline. The two small blue LED fans hook right up to the back of the slimline, like they were designed to be there with the notebook coolers included screws and you can power them by USB so you do not need to splice into any of the power wires.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834994002

    The.Ronin shares his methods of cooling
    http://www.hardforum.com/showpost.php?p=1032329611&postcount=438
    ignis states this method did not work for his slightly different slimline case http://hardforum.com:80/showpost.php?p=1035605127&postcount=4193


    Here is my cooling Saga for my S3600T with the quad core and 9800GT
    http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?p=1034241822#post1034241822

    Here is how I modified my Sparkle PSU to avoid the 40mm fan noise
    http://hardforum.com/showpost.php?p=1033931429&postcount=2686

    Check out slimilne video reviews on c-net (they typically score ~8.5 out of a 10 scale) at a pricepoint of $600 to $1500 dollars. An example review follows.

    http://reviews.cnet.com/desktops/hp-pavilion-slimline-s3020n/4505-3118_7-32391038.html


    Here is a review of the s3200t

    http://review.zdnet.com/desktops/hp-pavilion-slimline-s3200t/4505-3118_16-32743720.html

    In this review you'll note that the $1500 dollar slimline beats out the $3,800 dollar alienware in nearly everything and you can get the $1500 dollar configuration on ubid for about $330 shipped if you watch for it.

    http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1298300



    EDIT - thanks to comp.u.newb for getting a list of all processors supported by the various motherboard slimlines on page 49 of this thread.


    -----------------------
    Irvine (Irvine-GL6E)
    Socket: 775
    Supports the following processors:
    Core 2 Duo E8xxx (65W)
    Core 2 Duo E6xxx (65W)
    Core 2 Duo E4xxx (65W)
    Pentium E2xxx series with Dual Core technology (65W)
    Celeron E4xxx series (35W)
    --------------------

    Core 2 Duo E8400 (W) DC 3.0 GHz (65W)
    Core 2 Duo E4700 (C) DC 2.6 GHz (65W)
    Pentium E2160 (C) 1.8 GHz
    Pentium E2180 (C) 2.0 GHz
    Core 2 Duo E4600 (C) DC 2.4 GHz (65W)
    Core 2 Duo E8200 (W) DC 2.66 GHz (65W)
    Pentium E2200 (C) 2.2 GHz (65W)
    Core 2 Duo E4500 (C) DC 2.2GHz
    Celeron E1200 (C) 1.6GHz (65W)
    Celeron 430 (C) 1.8GHz
    Celeron 420 (C) 1.6GHz
    Pentium E2140 (C) 1.6 GHz
    Pentium E2220 (C) 2.4 GHz (65W)
    Core 2 Quad Q9300 (y) 2.5GHz (65W)
    Core 2 Duo E4600 (C) DC 2.6 GHz (65W)



    --------------------
    M2N61-AR (Acacia-GL6E)
    Socket: AM2
    Supports the following processors:
    Athlon 64 X2 with Dual Core technology
    Athlon 64
    Sempron
    Phenom Quad cores
    --------------------
    Athlon 64 X2 (B) BE2300 1.9 GHz (45W)
    Athlon LE 1640 (L) 2.7GHz (45W)
    Sempron (M) 3800+ 2.2GHz
    Athlon 64 X2 (B) BE2350+ 2.1 GHz (45W)
    Athlon 64 X2 (B) BE2400+ 2.3GHz(45W)
    Athlon 64 X2 (B) 5000+ 2.6 GHz (65W)
    Phenom-9100e - 9350e (65W)
    Athlon 64 X2 (B) 4450e 2.3 GHz (45W)
    Athlon 64 X2 (B) 5200+ 2.7 GHz (65W)
    Athlon 64 X2 (B) 4050e 2.1 GHz (45W)
    Athlon 64 X2 (B) 5400+ 2.8 GHz (65W)
    Athlon 64 X2 (B) 4400+ 2.3 GHz (65W)
    Athlon 64 X2 (B) 4800+ 2.5 GHz (65W)
    Athlon LE 1620 (O) 2.4 GHz
    Athlon 64 X2 (W) 4200+ 2.2 GHz (65W)
    Sempron (M) 3600+ 2.0GHz
    Athlon 64 X2 (B) 4000+ 2.1GHz (65W)
    Athlon 64 X2 (B) 5600+ 2.9GHz(65W)
    Athlon 64 X2 (B) 3600+ 1.9 GHz (65W)
    Supports X2 4850e according to runtime



    --------------------
    M2NC51-AR (HematiteXL-GL8E)
    Socket: AM2
    Supports the following processors:
    Athlon64 X2 with Dual Core technology
    Athlon 64
    Sempron
    --------------------
    Athlon 64 X2 (B) 4400+ 2.3 GHz (65W)
    Athlon 64 X2 (W) 4200+ 2.2GHz (65W)
    Athlon 64 (O) 3800+ 2.4GHz
    Sempron (M) 3600+ 2.0GHz
    Athlon 64 X2 (W) 3800+ 2.0 GHz (65W)
    Sempron (M) 3500+ 2.0 GHz
    Athlon 64 X2 (W) 4600+ 2.4GHz
    Athlon 64 X2 (B) 4000+ 2.1 GHz (65W)
    Athlon 64 (O) 3500+ 2.2GHz
    Athlon 64 X2 (B) BE2350+ 2.1 GHz (45W)
    Athlon 64 X2 (B) 4800+ 2.5 GHz (65W)
    Athlon 64 X2 (W) 4800+ 2.5GHz
    Athlon 64 X2 (W) 5200+ 2.6GHz (65W)
    The M2NC51-AR (HematiteXL-GL8E) running bios 5.07 does NOT support the AMD athlon 64 x2 5050e (and likely not the 4850e). But it will support the BE-2350 and BE-2400. Thanks to Fabolouso for this information.
    Supports 4GB of RAM in 2x2GB configuration according to Novak
    Supports the X2 5600+ 65 watt processor according to Fabolouso and so will likely support the X2 5400+ 65 watt processor as well.



    --------------------
    IPILP-AR (Locktite-GL8E)
    Socket: 775
    Supports the following processors:
    Core 2 Duo E6x00 with Dual Core technology (Conroe core)
    Core 2 Duo E4x00 Dual Core technology (Conroe core)
    Celeron D 3xx series (Cedar Mill core) - (rev D-O only)
    --------------------
    Pentium4 641 (C) HT 3.2GHz(65W)
    Core 2 Duo E4300 (C) DC 1.8GHz
    Core 2 Duo E6300 (C) DC 1.86GHz
    Core 2 Duo E6320 (C) DC 1.86GHz
    Celeron 360 (C) 3.4GHz
    Celeron 420 (C) 1.6GHz
    Pentium E2140 (C) 1.6GHz
    Core 2 Duo E4400 (C) DC 2.0GHz
    Core 2 Duo E6400 (C) DC 2.13GHz
    Core 2 Duo E6420 (C) DC 2.13GHz
    Core 2 Duo E6600 (C) DC 2.4GHz
    Pentium E2140 (C) 1.6 GHz
    Core 2 Duo E4500 (C) DC 2.2 GHz
    Supports 4GB of RAM in 2x2GB configuration according to Krad and ChuckP
    --------------------
    MCP73M01H1 (Irvine-GL8E)
    Socket: 775
    Supports the following processors:
    Core 2 Duo E8xxx (65W)
    Core 2 Duo E6xxx (65W)
    Core 2 Duo E4xxx (65W)
    Pentium E2xxx series with Dual Core technology (65W)
    Celeron E4xxx series (35W)
    --------------------
    Core 2 Duo E4500 (C) DC 2.2 GHz



    --------------------
    P5LP-LE (Leonite-GL8E)
    --------------------
    Socket: 775
    Supports the following processors:
    Core 2 Duo E6x00
    Core 2 Duo E4x00
    Pentium D 9x0 Dual Core
    Pentium D 8xx Dual Core
    Pentium 4 6x1 series
    Celeron D 3xx series
    ---------------------
    Pentium E2140 (C) 1.6 GHz


    A8MN-BR (Hematite)
    ------------------------
    Socket: AM2
    Supports the following processors:
    Athlon64 X2 4200+, 35W maximum TDP
    Athlon 64
    Sempron
    X2 4850e C-NUMB
    X2 5050e kakawak
    7720user
    confirms the A8MN-BR motherboard can utilize 2x2GB RAM (4GB) configuration.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2010
  2. lillimon04

    lillimon04 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,762
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    i really wanna buy one just cus of the looks! i love the case, anywhere to buy just the case? imma buy one when i get money.
     
  3. pc299

    pc299 [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,458
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    not bad at all for the price
     
  4. lillimon04

    lillimon04 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,762
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    hey can you take some pics and review the pcu heatsink on that thing, looks very promising for the little guy, and yes one hell of a price!
     
  5. nray

    nray Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    317
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    There is a 7600GS low profile card, btw. I bought one at Microcenter for $150 a few months ago.
     
  6. Archaea

    Archaea [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,747
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004

    I think the 7600GS low profile may require too much power for the s3020n? --- What size power supply do you run currently in your system?

    *******

    Here is the link of a thread were a guy claims to have successfully put a 65watt X2 5200+ in his s3020n

    http://forums1.itrc.hp.com/service/...28237&admit=-682735245+1190300134261+28353475
     
  7. nray

    nray Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    317
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    I've run the 7600GS in a system with a 250W power supply, not sure how it would do with the default power supply in the s3020n. It does look like a fairly standard SFX power supply though, so with a little bit of research you could find a replacement higher capacity power supply for that system. I think the only remaining issue at that point would be cooling.
     
  8. mavalpha

    mavalpha [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,617
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2005
    Tempting, with two caveats:
    I'm not a fan of refurbs usually, and there aren't many good, CHEAP low-pro tuners.
     
  9. pc299

    pc299 [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,458
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
  10. y3k

    y3k [H]Lite

    Messages:
    122
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    [​IMG]

    interesting


    This will make an awesome rig if you put in the maximum amount of ram, the fastest cpu it can handle, the best low profile gpu you can find and putting a better cooler than the one it has that's low profile on there and a new north/southbridge heatsink.
     
  11. Archaea

    Archaea [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,747
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Just noticed it comes with a free Canon printer, the iP1800.

    I didn't see that earlier when I purchased mine, but that sweetens the deal further.
     
  12. mavalpha

    mavalpha [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,617
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2005
    Not when it's an additional 25% tacked onto the cost of the computer...

    That, and I really wish nVidia made a LP tuner. I'm pretty sure my DualTV behaves a lot nicer than the PVR150 I had a year ago.
     
  13. burnin8r

    burnin8r [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,212
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    [​IMG]

    i think its cocky doody
     
  14. zauber

    zauber n00bie

    Messages:
    48
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
  15. Archaea

    Archaea [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,747
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    I just got mine in the mail this weekend. Fired it up for the first time today.

    Windows Vista scores are as follows (first time run- out of the box with NO upgrades)

    Processor = 4.8
    Memory = 3.9
    Desktop Graphics = 2.8
    Gaming Graphics = 2.4
    Primary Hard-disk = 5.4

    I'm getting ready to throw in the 2GB of RAM and 8400GS and run it again. I'll report back when I do. This thing is SUPER silent. I can't even hear it over the ceiling fan and floor vent in the room. Even the hard-drive is quiet. There is a little blue light at the top for power.

    My refurb unit arrived in basically perfect shape. I can't see a single scratch on the unit. It still had the plastic on the front face that you have to peel off.

    One thing that bothers me though is that it didn't come with XP Vista Home discs. I'm going to call HP and find out if that's normal. The manual says it's got a recovery application that you can burn the Vista disks from, but I imagine that's the Vista that HP has put tons of crapware into. I'd rather just have a straight MS copy. At any rate the Hard-drve has a seperate partition for system restore functionality. Ask me any questions you like and I'll get back with you on them. I'm impressed so far!

    I tried to run Doom3 - no good
    I ran Max Payne 2, Dungeon Siege 2, and Sid Mier's Pirates though without a hiccup. I'm hoping the extra GB of RAM and 8400GS will let me play Doom3 graphics level games at reasonable settings.
     
  16. lillimon04

    lillimon04 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,762
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    hurry up and get everything installed!! and tell us about the performance in games, im really interested in these!
     
  17. Archaea

    Archaea [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,747
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Alright. This thing is difficult to figure out how to take apart. I had to refer to the manual that HP has on their site to even figure out how to get the CD-ROM out of the way in order to install the RAM.

    Upgrade and service guide manual

    http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/manualCategory?product=3376325&lc=en&cc=us&dlc=en&lang=en&cc=us



    I'm doing the upgrade one piece at a time to determine what's effecting what score.

    The first upgrade I did was to remove the 1GB (2x512MB) pc4200 RAM in the machine and install a 2GB CORSAIR XMS2 (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit that I purchased from NewEgg for $65 after rebate.

    This is faster memory, unfortunately you cannot address overclocking of CPU nor RAM timing settings in BIOS, so your stuck with whatever the motherboard can detect. In this case, the 800Mhz DDR2 memory I purchased is reconized correctly in both Banks and runs using all default motherboard options.

    This made my Windows Vista System score go up noticably....

    I ran the test again and got the following scores

    Processor = 4.8
    Memory = 5.7
    Desktop Graphics = 3.1
    Gaming Graphics = 3.0
    Primary Hard-disk = 5.4

    So my memory scores went up significantly, which in turn raised the Nvidia 6150LE onboard graphics card scores. Pretty nice little upgrade. I can already tell a diffence buzzing around in Vista. Everything's more responsive --- I think Vista really should have 2GB of RAM for general use.
     
  18. Archaea

    Archaea [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,747
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    One more point of note. I downloaded the drivers for the Geforce 8400GS and realized I don't know if my OS is 64 bit or 32 bit. A jog over to the OS forum and a quick post and response gave me the answer - 32 Bit.

    http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1225016

    So I put the 8400GS in the PC...I had to take off the full lenght bracket and just kinda stuck it in there, it's not mounted securely because my XFX half height brackets I purchased through Compusabusiness haven't yet arrived. The case is on it's side and the board is sticking out of the case. First thing I noticed, you don't have much extra room at all --- The card couldn' t be much more than a 1" longer than the 8400GS and still fit, next thing ----- DANG, those 8400GS passive heatsinks get HOT!. Too hot to touch!......Hope that isn't a problem with the case on. I booted into windows, installed the drivers, and then ran the Vista system score again.

    Results?

    Processor = 4.8
    Memory = 5.9
    Desktop Graphics = 3.6
    Gaming Graphics = 4.4
    Primary Hard-disk = 5.4

    I'm not sure why my RAM scores went up two tenths? Maybe I get a further bonus if the RAM isn't being forcibly shared with the onboard 6150LE?

    I'll run some benchmarks on some games and let you know how they play. Any particular games you'd like to know about? If I have it I'll give you a feel for the performance.
     
  19. nray

    nray Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    317
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Using onboard graphics always hurts overall system performance because it takes up a big chunk of memory bandwidth, bandwidth that the CPU would normally have, but instead has to share with the GPU. (Which, frankly, is why I get really really annoyed when a site reviews a MicroATX motherboard only with on-board video and then tries to compare it to a full ATX motheboard with a graphics card - obviously the MicroATX will perform worse in that situation, it is absolutely necessary to test it with a graphics card in order to properly asses it's true capabilities and render a judgement).
     
  20. Archaea

    Archaea [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,747
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    another note.

    I just downloaded SiSoft Sandra.

    Sisoft reports this X2 3800+ as being a 45 watt CPU (rather than the 65 watt CPU I expected)


    Guesstimating this out

    AMD X2 3800+ 45 watt
    DVDRW 15 watt
    Memory Card Readers 5 watt
    Case Fan and lights 5 watt
    250GB Sata HD 10 watt
    8400GS 40 watt
    2GB of RAM 15 watt
    Motherboard unknown

    the total there is 135 watt. I would assume the motherboard takes more than 15 watts? So I may be in the danger zone on this 160 watt PSU.

    At any rate - It all works currently and hasn't looked up yet in benchmarking nor gaming.
     
  21. Archaea

    Archaea [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,747
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    I just purchased a 5200+ X2 rated at 65 watts. I'll get everything plugged in next week and provide a new update of scores (if my PSU doesn't burn up)

    Confirmed 160 watt PSU by the way, it has 12.x amps on the 12 volt rail.
     
  22. Archaea

    Archaea [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,747
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
  23. lillimon04

    lillimon04 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,762
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Get the new cpu in? Did you take my idea into consideration? I will mod it for you if you send it over here and pay for the materials.
     
  24. sleepeeg3

    sleepeeg3 [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,582
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Killer deal! That flexatx case is perfect. I hope this is trendsetting.

    Aw bummer, it's low-profile. :(
     
  25. zauber

    zauber n00bie

    Messages:
    48
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    I received mine last night. I put 2 gigs of the HP rebate promo ddr2-667 ram in it. Nice little machine for the price. Now its time to find a deal on a half height 8500gt card.
     
  26. Archaea

    Archaea [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,747
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    I got the AMD X2 5200+ (65watt - 2MB Cache) model installed. Didn't do a whole lot to the Vista benchmark.

    from 4.8 to 5.2 for processor upgrade.

    Everything else stays the same.

    It idles at 40* C and finished a 3dmark 2006 benchmark at 55* C which is just about the same as the 3800+ x2 that the system comes with.

    SiSoft Sandra reports it as a 55 watt chip for some reason. It reported the x2 3800+ as a 45 wat chip.


    Not sure the processor upgrade is overly worthwhile (hasn't proven it's merit yet)


    I think the video card is still pulling this thing way down. I'm still hoping for a low profile 8600GT to replace the 8400GS I bought.

    3dmark 2006 with all stock settings was 1558
     
  27. Archaea

    Archaea [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,747
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    after gaming with warhammer 40,000 for abut an hour the processors are at 53 and 51 *C according to Dual Temp. So heat may not be an issue.

    It seems as if the 160 watt PSU is keeping up with everything for now.
     
  28. Archaea

    Archaea [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,747
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    did you stick an 8500GT in yours yet?

    I've noticed the 8400GS can handle everything I throw at it at a low resolution like 800x600 or even 1024x768 with all things maxed. But it doesn't like 1680x1050 with everything maxed even on old games. It'll benchmark better than it'll play because the dips in FPS kill me, and average FPS in a benchmark doesn't show the harsh dips.
     
  29. zauber

    zauber n00bie

    Messages:
    48
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    No I haven't picked up a card yet.

    With just the integrated graphics and the upgrade to 2 gigs it is very adequate for web browsing, etc, which is all ive done with it so far. This is an extra comp for me, so i am in no hurry to pick up a video card for it til i find a killer deal somewhere. I'm still thinking we might see a half height 8600gt sometime in the near future so i might wait for that.

    http://www.galaxytech.com/Product_Details.asp?id=135

    This apparently exists but I don't think you can buy it in the US yet.
     
  30. lillimon04

    lillimon04 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,762
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    galaxy isnt a us thing, its in the uk i think.
     
  31. omjeremy

    omjeremy Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    236
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    Nice thread... I've ordered the MSI 7600GS low profile for my machine and will let you all know how it works. An interesting thread I've found is: this one. It states the power consumption of virtually every graphics card out there. It seems that the 7600GS is rated for 27watts, so it ought to work just fine. Also, the 8400gt is rated for 38watts, and the 8500gt is rated for 40watts, so I would think that the 8500gt would work fine if the 8400gt works. I decided to get the 7600gs because it is a better gaming card than the 8500gt and I don't think the 8600gt low profile will be out in the US any time soon.

    I've also ordered a C2D E6700 which is the fastest that the board allows, along with 2GB DDR2-667 RAM, maxing out the memory. I hope that the PSU will be able to handle all of this, but I'm not worried too much, considering the low power consumption of the 7600gs and the E6700.
     
  32. Archaea

    Archaea [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,747
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
  33. lillimon04

    lillimon04 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,762
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Looks nice. Except the gddr2 part, but hey it will play games. Now im seriously wanting to sell my pc and just buying one of these slim lines just cus of the look and now a 8600gt will fit, almost bought a case, but there are now mobos that will fit in it :confused::(:mad:. Dammit.
     
  34. ARgnasher

    ARgnasher n00bie

    Messages:
    32
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    Where did you order your 7600GS?

    I've been noticing as well that the 7600GS is the best gaming low-profile card, it's just hard to find it. I've only found it on newegg, and that's open box and $99.

    The 7600GS and 8500GT are cards I've been looking at. The 8500GT gets a 5.1 gaming graphics score in Vista, not sure how much that matters but for low profile cards that's the highest I've seen so I look forward to finding out how your 7600GS performs.
     
  35. alcuin

    alcuin Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    422
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2005
    If anyone in this thread is upgrading cpu's from the stock 3800 and would like to sell the original, please pm me or email me at alcuin99 at gmail dot com. Thanks.
     
  36. omjeremy

    omjeremy Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    236
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    It's a funny thing you ask... I too have seen the open box 7600GS on NewEgg, although it is no longer there now. I happened to be browsing ZipZoomFly.com and found the 7600GS there for only $89.99 with free shipping. I get tax with NewEgg, so I usually buy most of my gear at ZipZoomFly. Anyway, I ordered it and looked at the site for the item a few hours later and saw that it was now out of stock, so I guess I got the last one. Sorry!

    I'll post here what kind of vista scores I get with the MSI 7600GS. I should get it on Monday.

    Anyway, RE: the MSI 8600GT, if you notice, it's on the global (Taiwan) website. If you look on the US website for the low profile 8600GT, it is not there. I emailed MSI about this and they never wrote back. If the 8600GT comes out, it'll definitely be better than the 7600GS.
     
  37. ARgnasher

    ARgnasher n00bie

    Messages:
    32
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    Yeah, I keep the 7600gs link on my favorites, and one day it directed me to a blank page. Doing a different search I found it listed here.

    But yeah, what's the link for the 7600gs on zipzoomfly? I searched and couldn't find the low-profile. I haven't made up my mind about a card anyway, so maybe they'll have it in stock by the time I do.
     
  38. omjeremy

    omjeremy Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    236
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    The link used to be here, but ZipZoomFly has since removed the item from their database. I presume that they're not going to be carrying it any more.
     
  39. omjeremy

    omjeremy Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    236
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    For those who are interested... I just installed the E6600 on my s3100y and it works perfectly! I was going to put a E6700 in, but I lost the ebay auction! hah... Anyway, I am waiting for the arctic silver 5 that I purchased, so I'm using some crappy thermal grease I had laying around. The temp is fine with the heatsink/fan that came with the s3100y. Everything runs much smoother and faster. Brought the Vista score from 3.7 to 4.3 and raised the graphics score 0.1. I'll post my findings as I get the ram and video card.
     
  40. Archaea

    Archaea [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,747
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    what are your individual scores/before and after.

    I'm curious?

    I've had no lockups yet with my s3020n and that includes several multiple hour sessions in gaming now so I think there is an all clear at this point. My one remaining nuisance is that my USB intellimouse 3.0 won't come back to life after the machine wakes up from sleep. I have to unplug and plug the mouse back in. I installed the newest drivers to no avail. I'm not sure if this is a intellimouse specific problem or not. I disabled USB power management through device manager as well so I have no idea why it's doing that. The light is on for the mouse, but it doesn't move ---- only after the computer "sleeps"