Looking for Mr. Goodsystem

February 16, 2007 08:52 – 08:52

I looked at the HP a1730n yesterday at Micro Center. Its “experience” numbers looked good top and bottom, but graphics looked pretty weak because of the shared memory aspect of the 6150 LE, which can “borrow” up to 399MB of the computer’s 2GB of RAM. Not only is that borrowing not nice, but system RAM is slower than the 128GB on the 6150LE itself, resulting in graphics numbers down in the 3s.

To compensate, I almost left there with an nVidia eGeForce 7600GT and the a1730n–which would have brought the graphics up into the 5s, but thought I should do some research first, since I’ve never considered an HP before. It’s a good thing. The eGeForce 7600GT needs more juice than the a1730n delivers according to http://www.evga.com/products/moreinfo.asp?pn=256-P2-N615-TX&family=22.

So, if I go that route, I’d need to buy a new power supply, too.

I wonder why all of the new machines are so weak on power supplies? Well, no, I don’t really wonder. The reasons are simple: it’s cheaper. Offload the cost of a better supply to the consumer or to the reseller.

The other machine I’m considering is the T470. It comes with an eGeforce 7300GT. Curiously, though, the latter also only has a 300 watt power supply, while the 7300GT’s specs say it needs a minimum of 350 watts (actually, 360 is really what it needs). One wonders how Micro Center can in good conscience put a machine on their counter that’s under-rated for its own hardware. Maybe they’ve found that the 7300GT doesn’t really use that much juice. Perhaps I could get a 7300GT and the a1730n, under the theory that if the 7300GT works okay with the T470’s “300 watt” power supply, then it’d work okay with the a1730n’s “300 watt” power supply, too. Hmmm…

The quest for something to replace this lumbering PowerSpec 9261 continues.

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