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The HP Pavilion 790-0020 is an entry-level gaming PC, that is better suited for the graphic artist more than it is for a budding gamer. Still, it can do both. For the creatives whose needs are primarily video and media creation, audio encoding and consumption, this Pavilion is an excellent choice. When not playing, the 8th Gen. Intel Core i5 processor and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 will get you playing some of your modern titles without much fuss.
This system is what you’d describe as a high-end multimedia PC (that was almost six years ago), nowadays they simply call them mainstream desktop PCs. Of course, it comes with features that you couldn’t find at this price range a few years back, including a dedicated GPU, a peppy CPU chip a solid-state drive (SSD) storage option. If you’re looking at replacing an aging laptop or a $3000 tower and not spend much, you can as well start here.
On looks, the HP 790-0020 still bears the same Pavilion aesthetic, with the signature black painted side panels, that extends to the rest of the system except for a green HP logo on the upper front deck. The standard tower design is spacious enough to accommodate memory and storage expansions, just in case you need to in a few years.
Measuring 14.33 by 6.5 by 14.88 inches (HWD), this tower is about the right size for most office desks. If you’re constrained on space, you can always opt for mini-towers, but you’ll have to sacrifice upgrades and expansions down the road. Talking of upgrades, the included 300W power supply is enough for the GTX 1060 GPU, should you decide to upgrade to, let’s say GTX 1080, you’ll also be expected to get a larger power supply as well.
Inputs and Storage
While most PC manufacturers are dropping the optical drive, this one has one in form of a vertical-loading DVD burner on the front panel. Other I/O ports on the same panel are: one USB 3.1 Type C, two USB 3.1 Gen 1, two USB 3.1 Gen 2, and a headphone/microphone combo. Around the back, there is a pair of USB 2.0 ports, Ethernet port, two HDMI out, four USB 3.1, and audio/microphone jacks alongside a 3-in-1 card reader. There are also 3 DisplayPorts, one HDMI and a dual-link DVI port for multi-monitor setups.
Bundled into the package is a wired mouse and keyboard, while the monitor is bought separately. In testing, we hooked up the system to the 23-inch Acer R240HY and managed to achieve pretty all tests without any lost pixels on our multimedia and gaming pursuits.
Storage comes in way of a 256GB SSD, which you can easily swap with a bigger capacity drive or even use an external hard drive. Having an SSD really boosts performance, better than you’d get with traditional spinning hard drives, only that you rarely get the tons of storage like we used to get with the latter. For wireless connectivity, there is an 802.11a/b/n/ac Wi-Fi card and Bluetooth 4.2.
Casual gamers and multimedia enthusiasts will find the HP Pavilion 790-0020 an appealing choice, thanks to an exciting feature set and components. Powered by an 8th Gen hexa-core Intel Core i5-8400 (2.80GHz) processor, 8GB system memory (user upgradeable to 64GB) and a dedicated Nvidia GTX 1060 GPU, this PC can handle most productivity thrown its way. Plus, with the SSD storage option, its possible to launch a project and get working in a few minutes. The Core i5 gets 11644 points on CPU benchmark, which is almost what you’d find on most 7th Gen Core i7 chips. For multimedia tasks and general productivity, this is among the best chips to get on a budget.
With a dedicated Nvidia GeForce 1060 (3GB) GPU, the Pavilion 790 will let you play modern games, albeit at medium settings, maxed at 1080p resolutions. On gaming tests, it delivers acceptable frame rates per second (fps), which is exactly what we expected of it. Played at 1080p with maximum detail settings, this PC delivers 60 fps on Grand Theft Auto, 93 fps Overwatch and 82 fps on Battlefield 4; which is almost the same experience you get with the CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8060A5, a VR-Ready gaming PC with the same GTX 1060 graphics card.
Though billed as a gaming PC, the HP Pavilion 790-0020 does more as a mainstream system than a gaming rig. It blends a strong feature set and solid components to deliver good performance on both casual gaming and productivity, underlain by a clean aesthetic that even fits an office setup. This is one of those systems that will let you complete a multimedia project, and get playing the next minute hassle-free at a cost lower than a matching laptop.
The GTX 1060 GPU supports Virtual Reality (VR) headsets and harbours all the requisite for a virtual setup. Thus, for solid productivity performance, latest components and reasonable pricing, the newest HP Pavilion 790-0020 emerges top as an excellent choice for anyone in the market for an affordable mainstream PC.