The Bottom Line: For business use it is very close to being worth the expense. For personal use, the price range makes it less desirable.
The top and bottom line are that I use this machine primarily for business and it meets every need I currently have and is easily expandable.
Memory and speed are, of course, the primary things to look for in a pc for business or gaming. My HP d530 comes with 2 Pentium 4 3.2 GHz processors and 512 MB of RAM, this can easily be expanded to 2 GB if needed. For my purposes, the amount of RAM is sufficientI rarely have to wait for applications to load even while other applications are active. I multi-task between rich client applications, thin client applications, and browser based applications and can switch between them seamlessly. Except when the computer is downloading the monthly Windows updates, I have not run into any lag time while loading or switching between the applications I use.
For gaming, more RAM would, obviously, be helpful. The memory is located in an easily accessible location, so changing out or expanding RAM would present no problem, even for a novice.
I have run both Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 on the machine with no noticeable difference in performance. I have loaded and unloaded scores of applications and the machine has not behaved any differently, so any software I have used does not seem to cause any problems for the processors.
I use a Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet NIC card and have experienced no problems with this configuration. The HP d530 can handle a wireless card and is as easy to install as the memory. There are three SCSI ports on the motherboard to allow for a wireless card and 2 additional SCSI devices.
There are 6 USB ports, two in the front and 4 in the back. At times I have had nearly all of them in use and have encountered no problems. As is typical for the back of a tower like this; however, the connections are very close together, so if any of the USB cables are not the standard shape, it would be impossible to have all 6 ports active at once.
My HP d530 uses a CD read write and DVD ROM combo drive. I have experienced no problems reading from CDs or DVDs. Further, whether burning data, pictures, or music, the CD burner is adequate.
The video card that came with my pc is not adequate for playing most internet subscription games, so I cannot speak directly to that. Also, I have installed an NVIDIA dual monitor card for business purposes, so I cannot speak to the original video card that came with the machine.
It is not an inexpensive machine; however, for all but the most business functions, the machine is very reliable.
I have had no reason to call HP technical support, so I cannot offer an opinion on this.
This is certainly more a business machine than a gaming machine, but if you have a home office and do both, then this machine would easily be able to handle both with the right video drivers and card.
Amount Paid (US$): 2500 Operating System: Windows Processor: Other Processor speed: over 1000 RAM: More than 256 Internal Storage: CD-RW and DVD Hard Drive (GB): Over 50
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About the reviewer
Paul Savage (cyclone_march)
I name and describe everything and classify most things. If 'it' already had a name, the one I just gave it is better.
About this product
The innovative design of the HP Compaq Business Desktop d530 convertible minitower provides increased expandability, flexibility, convenience, and savings by letting you easily convert to a desktop or a minitower. Security, stability, and manageability features add IT peace of mind.