HP Compaq dx2250 Microtower Business PC

Executive Summary:

The HP Compaq dx2250 Microtower Business PC is a value PC that's 64-bit compatible, with dual-monitor support option, Vista compatibility, and 16x PCI Express card support.


HP Compaq dx2250

Microtower Business PC

Pros: Excellent value, good performance, 64-bit compatibility, dual-monitor support (with additional ATI graphics card), very quiet

Cons: No TPM support

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Price: Starts at $359; tested configuration, $538

Recommendation: For SMBs and enterprises looking for the most power at the lowest price point, this basic value-oriented business system is a great choice.

Contact: HP • 800-752-0900 • www.hp.com

The HP Compaq dx2250 Microtower Business PC provides a great balance of value and power. The dx2250 was designed as a task-oriented value PC and is particularly well suited to small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) or large enterprises looking to get the most power at the lowest price point. Although the dx2250 lacks high-end features such as Trusted Platform Module (TPM) support, it does provide some other performance features that are unusual in a lowerpriced system, such as 16x PCI Express card and dual-monitor support.

The unit I reviewed was equipped with one AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ dual-core CPU running at 2GHz; 1GB of RAM; an 80GB 7200rpm Serial ATA (SATA) hard drive; an ATI Radeon X300 integrated graphics controller with 256MB of allocated video memory; and a DVD-RW optical drive. There was no diskette drive. The system was also equipped with three USB 2.0 ports on the front of the unit plus headphone and microphone jacks. In addition, there was a SmartMedia/xD slot; a Compact-Flash Adapter slot; an AD/MMC slot; and a Memory Stick Pro/Memory Stick Pro Duo slot. Located on the back of the unit was a 10/100MB Ethernet adapter; four USB 2.0 ports; one serial port; one parallel port; an audio line-in port and an audio line-out port; a VGA port; a Digital Visual Interface (DVI) port; and keyboard and mouse ports.

The dx2250 utilizes a basic case design that’s opened by the removal of two screws. Inside the case, the system has a 250-watt power supply, two full-height PCI slots, one full-sized PCI Express x1 slot, and 1 PCI Express x16 graphics slot. The dx2250 supports a maximum of 2GB of Double Data Rate 2 (DDR2) SDRAM in two DIMM slots. Additionally, the dx2250 supports a maximum of two SATA drives. The microtower case design provides plenty of room for expandability.

The dx2250 that I tested came preloaded with Windows XP Professional SP2. You can also get it preloaded with Windows Vista Business, Windows XP Home Edition, or FreeDOS. HP offers 19 different processors ranging from the AMD Sempron 3600 to the AMD Athlon dual-core 64 5600+. You can choose among three different 7200rpm hard drive options ranging from 80GB to 256GB. The system comes with HP’s Backup and Recovery Manager, Corel InterVideo WinDVD, and a 60-day trial copy of Symantec AntiVirus 10. Other software options include Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Works 8.5.

The out-of-box experience was very good, and the system was up and running in about a minute. After an initial fan burst when the unit is first powered on, the fan runs quietly, utilizing HP’s cooling algorithms to control fan speed and on/off. One pleasant surprise considering that this is a value PC is the unit’s dual-monitor support. The unit supports ATI’s SurroundView technology, which essentially lets you add an ATI PCI Express graphics card. The system simultaneously drives monitors from both the PCI Express card and the integrated graphics adapter. Although my test system didn’t have Vista loaded, the integrated adapter is compatible with Vista’s new Aero interface. As you would expect, when running average office tasks the system performed well.

If you’re looking for a basic value-oriented business system, I recommend the dx2250. Its low cost combined with good performance makes it a great choice for typical office tasks.

—Michael Otey

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