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While some of you may have already read my other DC7700 review here on ciao, I feel I should give you another details of another member of the range that we own. This PC is slightly lower performance spec that the one previously reviewed but also has some software differences that you need to be aware of.
If you are not aware the DC7700 by HP Compaq is not 1 PC. It is a range of models under the 1 badge. As previously mentioned we are migrating to becoming a predominant HP Hardware user in the office and these desktops have so far proved great value for money with great performance
Looks, Very square looking with harsh angular corners and a large capacity ventilation sytem on the front. This maximises the air circulation keeping your PC cool.The aluminium look front of the Case has a modern feel giving it a great contrast with its Black case sides and removable side panels make maintenance, upgrades and repairs easy with full access to the internal companents of the PC.
As with all PCs, the front gives access to the media loading devices. Here you only get a fantastic CD/DVD recorder, 2 USB sockets for attaching various devices such as printers,scanners, keyboards and mice as well as a microphone and headphone socket. Front connecting devices make it much easier when setting PCs up here at the office as you do not need to fiddle at the back of the PC. There is no floppy drive with this PC so time to move into the 21st century and bin your 3.5 inch disks.
Rear connections are varied and cope with most office environments. While having integrated graphics adapter on the motherboard, it also has Gigabit connectivity to your network with a 1Gb Lan connection. There are also 6 USB sockets as well as 1 Parallel port for older style printer connections, 1 serial port for specific devices (we use ours for connection to our door entry system) as well as the older style PS/2 keyboard and mouse connections. There are 4 expansion slots at the bottom of the case for PCI and AGP style cards for sound and graphic type devices should you need them.
Inside the Case there is 1 Gig of RAM pre installed to carry out all of the memory hungry applications that modern business needs. This can be expanded with the other 3 expansion slots to 4Gig! while the brains of the box, the processor, delivers 2.4Ghz Pentium Core 2 Duo technology. This comes in the E6400 version that was being used up until August. The newer PCs comes with E6600 technology but you are unlikely to notice any performance difference. Sound is somehow delivered from the PC with no visible speakers. These are built in and come preinstalled with the operating system. Its quite offputting when XP setup starts singing to you while installing.
Talking of installation, the setup of this PC was fairly straightforward after our trial and error intall on the first of these PCs. It does differ somewhat to the newer DC7700\'s we have. It comes with Symantec Antivirus preinstalled on it. This caused us great problems as we use a different version of Symantec Antivirus software that \"clashed\" with the preinstalled software. We tried to uninstall it but it was a case of shutting the gate after the horse had bolted. We could not install or uninstall in the end so had to wipe the PC and start from scratch! There are no install CDs with the PC itself and it asks you to make a set of recovery CDs when you initially start it up. I would highly recommend doing this to prevent any accidents like we had!
Also installed on the PC is a trial version of Office 2007 which gives you an insight into the future of office based applications. Again this will need to be uninstalled first if you plan on installing another version of Office on the PC.
AS the PC comes with a DVD writer built in, it also includes DVD creation software. This is intervideo DVD which is essential to even watch DVDs on a PC. We have made a couple of Data DVDs so far and it has more than been capable of the job.
Just so you are aware, you also get a HP keyboard and mouse with this PC. The keyboard is very traditional with no extra function buttons but the mouse is optical. Both are finished in matching Silver and Black to compliment the PC.
Buying these will be harder today as they have been superceded by a newer version of the DC7700. However, I think if you try a few sites such as Dabs or Pricerunner you may pick up a bargain. We were offered a deal on these PCs only last week with some older stock at Insight and managed to pick them up for £470 + VAT. That is a great price for a PC such as this.