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As you all know by now we are in the middle of replacing all of our workstation PCs at work and we have been buying the excellent DC7700 range from Hewlett Packard. However, in my most recent purchase, I hit a small snag. Until now, all of our previous PCs have been the tower design boxes. This is to say that the PC stands up vertically as opposed to the lying down small form factor design. I did this becaause oll of the PCs we require will be located under desks. Not on top which suits this design. When i spoke to the supplier, they informed me they could no longer get the DC7700 in tower form but did me an astounding deal on the small form factor desktop DC7700 seen here.
How it differs.... Between this and the standard tower DC7700, you notice 2 major differences. Size and weight. Firstly the box itself, If stood on its end next to a Tower DC7700 (see the picture) is smaller in every way. It is thinner, shorter,not as wide and shallower on all 3 Axis. Due to the massive reduction in size, it is also much lighter to carry. The boxes it arrives in is also much smaller! Less packaging means saving the environment. Even though it is designed to lie down, it can also be used on its end. However it does not come with a bracket to stabilise this position (like some Dells do) so be careful if using like this. Its not really weighted in the right places to be used in this way.
Looks... I actually prefer the looks of this smaller Form Factor DC7700. It has a very compact and accessible look with USB sockets, Audio and Power button all located in the front panel. Also on the front is the DVD rewriter drive although this contrasts to the rest of the front as it is Black as opposed to the Silver fronted case. What is predominant at the front of the case is the massive ventillation slots. Good ventillation means great cooling. It also contrasts to the tower DC7700 with smoothed corners as opposed to the angular and sharp design of the tower.
Due to its height, the expansion of this PC is limited. The PCI and AGP sockets inside the case are fiddly to access and also not full size. Hence the name small form factor. Therefore your standard PCI network cards, sound cards,etc will not fit this PC. This means that you will need special cards to expand this PC.
Saying this, you should not neet to expand it for some time. This PC comes with 1Gigabyte of ram installed, a 160Gb hard drive and a 2.13Ghz Intel Core 2 Due processor that is more than enough performance for all but the highest level office staff.
Rear connections that are already built into the PC are: integrated graphics adapter Gigabit connectivity Lan socket to access your network 6 USB sockets for connecting a variety of Mice, keyboards, printers scanner or cameras. A Parallel port for older style printer connections. This is located on a small form factor PCI card as opposed to the motherboard. It also has the PS/2 keyboard and mouse connections should your existing Keyboard and mouse by the older style connection. You should not need your old keyboard and mouse though as included in the box is a HP keyboard and optical mouse that connect via USB. There are 4 unused small form factor expansion slots at the rear right of the case for PCI and AGP style cards.
Again like the tower design DC7700, the sound is somehow delivered from the PC with no visible speakers. These are built in and come preinstalled with the operating system. So you will have sound during the XP setup.
Installation is quick as most of the install is ready to go. You just need to enter your regional and network settings. As mentioned before we have had issues with the pre installed Symantec AntiVirus software as it clashed with our existing A/V on the network but this is something we uninstall before proceeding now. We learnt the hard way!
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 as you might need to reinstall the operating system one day. Also installed on the PC is a trial version of Office 2007. I cannot really comment on this as we uninstall it immediately due to already owning Office XP.
AS the PC comes with a DVD writer built in, it also includes DVD creation software. On these PCs the software is Roxio which has proved easy and useful in use.
My suggestion is to buy these up quick. They have been superceded now by the DC8700 (new model for this year i guess!) and also the reason that they are being sold for the price they are. We were buying the tower version of this PC only 2 months ago for nearly double this price but we just bought 8 of these smaller PCs for only £288 + VAT from Insight. Of course once their stock is gone, its gone!
To be honest, I think these PCs are an absolute bargain for what you get with them and for the price you pay. I will upload some pictures of them today to show you how good they look!
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