HP's first 64-bit-ready business PC: dx5150 small form factor

HP's dx5150 business desktop is geared to those preparing for tomorrow's 64-bit world. It's the company's first desktop to feature an AMD Athlon 64 processor and indeed, its first use of AMD CPUs in desktops for about two years.

Built around AMD's 1.8GHz Athlon 64 3000+ processor, the dx5150 may be ready for future 64-bit operating systems but our test unit shipped with 32-bit hardware drivers and the 32-bit Windows XP Professional. However, Microsoft's Windows XP Professional X64 Edition is supplied at no extra charge.

The dx5150's motherboard features ATI's Radeon Xpress 200 chipset equipped with integrated ATI Radeon 9600 graphics delivering both VGA and DVI-output, a rarity for a PC with on-board graphics (great for LCD monitors).

The dx5150 series is available as a micro tower or small form factor unit. Working inside the latter required no tools. To swap the single hard disk for instance, first take off the top casing then the faceplate. Pull the green lever and the single 5.25in bay device (here a CD-ROM drive) can be moved backwards, allowing you to easily lift-up the remaining front framework.

The Dx5150's limited array of expansion options includes one x16 PCI-Express (PCIe) slot and two free PCI slots (all require low-profile cards) in addition to two free RAM slots. Our test machine came with 512MB of DDR memory and a 40GB hard disk.

Verdict The dx5150 earned a respectable score of 81 in PC WorldBench 5 and overall, is a quiet 64-bit business system with some nice cooling touches. It ships with a solid three-year parts, one-year on-site warranty. Richard Jantz

HP dx5150 small form factor Price: $1449 ($950 without monitor) Vendor: Hewlett-Packard Phone: 13 1047 URL:www.hp.com.au Specifications: 1.8GHz AMD Athlon 64 3000+ (939-pin); ATI Radeon Xpress 200 chipset (integrated Realtek AC97 audio and ATI Radeon 9600 graphics); 512MB DDR SDRAM; 40GB hard disk; 48x CD-ROM; built-in speaker; USB keyboard and mouse; 17in LCD monitor.

FEATURES: 7 VALUE: 7 OVERALL: 7

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Richard Jantz

PC World

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