HP Pavilion A450e
At a Glance
AMD's speedy Athlon 64-bit CPU, initially found only in high-end systems, is making its way to midrange towers. The HP Pavilion A450e PC provides a good example of the possibilities of this processor. Using a 2-GHz version of the CPU, our test unit of the Pavilion A450e moved easily through our PC WorldBench 4 tests to a final score of 124. It was a tad slower than otherwise similarly configured 3.2-GHz Pentium 4 systems, but with that mark it should prove a good everyday workhorse with power to spare.
The light-purple PC is easy to open, though you will need a screwdriver to remove four screws that hold in the side panel. Inside, the system is tightly packed. One 5-inch drive bay out of two is available for expansion. A pair of 3-inch external bays and a single 1-inch internal drive bay are occupied by a combo DVD/CD writer, a DVD-ROM drive, and a card reader that supports most major memory cards (but not the newer XD-Picture Card).
The A450e offers five USB 2.0 and two FireWire ports, with one of each located in the front. The sleek 17-inch Pavilion F1703 LCD monitor that accompanied our test system turned in fine text and graphics. Small blue-gray Harman/Kardon speakers produce acceptable sound, but audiophiles will probably want to upgrade to a better set.
The HP Pavilion A450e is a decent midrange PC suitable for office applications.