Hardware review: HP Pavilion m7480n desktop

I’ve been using the Pavilion m7480n desktop for the last 2 and a half months, and I’m pleasantly impressed. This is a great desktop system, it’s fast, stable, packed with great features, but most of all, it’s well designed, and that’s what sets it apart from other desktops on the market.

HP Pavilion m7480n Desktop

HP Pavilion m7480n Desktop

I have never seen so many great and useful features packed into the desktop form factor. Let’s start with the front side of this computer, which is, as far as I’m concerned, fantastic.

HP Pavilion m7480n Desktop

HP Pavilion m7480n Desktop

A lot of computers have flash memory readers, but not a lot of them have them custom-built into the desktop case, located right at the top for easy access, and have so many choices when it comes to card formats.Want an all-in-one solution for writing DVDs and CDs? The LightScribe drive is it. Not only will it write single- and double-layer DVDs, DVD-RWs, CD-Rs and CD-RWs, but it will also print your label for you. Also included is an extra DVD-ROM/CD-ROM drive, just for fun.

See the two panel doors? One of them is for the Personal Media Drive Bay, which is hands-down, the coolest feature you’ll find in any desktop computer. Want extra storage? Just slide in a Personal Media Drive. Want to add another hard drive? Just slide in another Personal Media Drive. Seriously, it’s that easy! The drive slides in, and automatically connects to the computer through USB, and is also powered by a special connector, no wires required. I don’t know about you, but I’m really annoyed by the extra power cords and power adapters that come with external storage drives. Sure, the drive may look nice by itself, but when you add the bulky adapter and power cord, it’s suddenly not so nice and neat. So the great thing about HP’s Personal Media Drives is that there are no cables and power adapters – you only need the drive, which is a beautiful thing.

HP Pavilion m7480n Desktop

You’d think HP would charge you a ridiculous price for this extra convenience and the custom form factor, but they don’t, which is also nice. Currently, they come in three sizes: 160GB, 300GB and 400GB. The 160GB PMD is $149.99, the 300GB PMD is $249.99, and the 400GB PMD is $319.99, which runs a little above the low margin of the market for personal storage, but not by a lot.

Let’s look at the other useful front panel: the Connectivity Center. Tell me honestly, have you seen such a thorough front panel on any other computer line? I haven’t. There’s an S-Video port, composite video ports, the standard headphone/microphone jacks, two USB ports, and — a really nice thing — a Firewire (1394) port. Finally, a computer manufacturer gets it, and puts a ready-to-use Firewire port on the front of a computer.

HP Pavilion m7480n Desktop

Also on the front side of the desktop, let’s not forget the little things, like the sliding doors that hide inside the chassis for the front panels (the Personal Media Drive Bay and the Connectivity Center). They’re very useful because when you don’t use the panels, you can close the doors and hide away the ports. And, you don’t have to flip them up, like on a Dell desktop (yuck), or you don’t have to slide them up and have the door fall back down after it’s gotten a little used — no, you simply slide them to the side. It just works. An added bonus on the front is a Wireless Lan light that turns on when a connection has been established — this is a great visual indicator for those of us who are less tech savvy.

It isn’t just the front of the desktop that’s interesting. I like the side cooling grille as well. One small note: although the finish of the desktop case looks like plastic, it’s actually metal. Only the front and top side of the case are plastic — the sides are metal. Another useful feature is that this desktop runs very quietly. I’ve had desktops in the past that really made a lot of noise, so I can readily appreciate the silence in the room when I use this system. The only sound I can hear out of it is the hard drive — and that only when I really push it.

HP Pavilion m7480n Desktop

Another notable feature is the dock for an HP Photosmart printer right on top of the computer. Like the Personal Media Drive Bay, this is a feature that’s unique to HP desktops, and I really like it. Who’d have thought of building in a dock for a photo printer on top of the computer — but it makes perfect sense. You have the card reader right on top as well, so you simply slide in the flash card containing your photos or you connect your camera, and print your photos right away. You don’t have to worry about where you place the printer, because it’s right on top of the computer. This is beautiful, functional design.

HP Pavilion m7480n Desktop

The cover for the dock is easily removed, and the really nifty thing is that HP designers included a slot at the back end of the dock for the printer wires (USB, power). That way, you can slide them right through the case and out the back, easily connecting the printer to the computer and the power supply. Very, very nice! For example, I used the dock to sit my wireless antenna in it, and I slid the antenna cable through the very same slot, pulling it out through the back of the case, as you can see below.

HP Pavilion m7480n Desktop

The back panel itself is also very useful. Besides the usual connectors and ports, it has digital sound in and out, connectors for 5.1 speakers, 4 USB ports and another Firewire (1394) port, a video card with S-video and RCA video out ports, and an input slot with the following ports: composite A/V, S-video, TV/Cable antenna and FM antenna. I would have liked to see a DVI-out connector on the video card, but other than that, this is a pretty good collection of connectors and ports.

HP Pavilion m7480n Desktop

This system comes standard with a wireless keyboard and mouse, and they both work great. The battery life is as expected or longer: I only had to replace the batteries in the mouse after 2 months, and the keyboard batteries are still going strong. The only thing that could be improved on the keyboard are the keys. While they work fine, they’re a bit loud, and could stand to be made quieter. The multimedia controls on the keyboard also work all the time, which, at least for me, is a departure from the norm. I’m used to seeing multimedia keys on other laptops and desktops be unreliable, so it’s nice to see them working non-stop for a change.

The HP Pavilion m7480n is one great desktop. It comes with an Intel Dual Core chip, which clocks in at 3.00GHz for each core. My system had 2GB of RAM in it, and it ran wonderfully on that. The hard drive was 300GB, and HP reserved 10GB of it for a separate recovery drive that can be used to restore the OS and applications when needed. But what sets this desktop apart isn’t necessarily the specs (which are top of the line anyway) but the amazingly useful design. Serious thought was given to functionality and ease of use when it came to the case of this desktop, and that’s what impresses me and really counts.


74 thoughts on “Hardware review: HP Pavilion m7480n desktop

  1. can anyone comment on the video card or the video ports in the front? do they capture tv? can I hook up my cable directly from the wall to the back of the computer so I can watch and record tv?
    thanks

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  2. I just put in a Nvidia GeForce 8400 GS PCI Express Video Card with 512 mg ram
    Because the other replacement card a geforce 7300 with 256 mg ram went out
    because the cooling fan went out the …..temperature was way up there hahahaha
    I could hear the main fans going like crazy so I checked the temps and about had a coronary
    the video card was almost the same temp as boiling water
    now with the new one it stays between 53 and 55 degrees Celsius before at an idle it was 80 C and after playing Call Of Duty 2 it went way up there

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  3. I put in a new hard drive on my computer and it is working fine. Put My Personal Media Drive and Meida Card Reader are not working because I cannot figure out where to plug them into the motherboard. Can anyone help.

    I also have had a lot of problems with this PC and find that HP in not very helpful in getting them resolved.

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  4. What is the biggest/best video card I can put into this machine?

    Yes what is the meanest video card you can install on this system ?

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  5. I really enjoyed reading all the posts here. I am glad to see so many people really like their machine. I have gamed Counter Strike Source almost exclusively for the past 3 years. I just had the 300W power supply go out on me and i can get a OEM for about 29 bucks. Could you suggest a power supply for the upgrade below? (oh and I am also going to 4 MB ram) running XP.

    What is the biggest/best video card I can put into this machine?

    Thanks!

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  6. Raoul,
    Thanks for the tip. I pulled my machine apart and reset my video card, memory, etc and it did the trick. I’m up and running again. I think the heat must have caused the problem as I was in the states for three weeks. Sicily gets pretty hot this time of year.

    Thanks again…

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  7. Willard, it’s possible that the motherboard is fried, or one of the cards is fried. Maybe one of the RAM modules went bad, or maybe you just need to pull them out and snap them back in. Who knows… a lot of things can go wrong on a computer. Until you take it in to have it checked by a knowledgeable IT tech, in person, all we can offer you here is conjecture.

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  8. Bill,
    I wrote you last night. I’m in Europe. My HP Pavilion 7480m wouldn’t boot up when I returned from vacation in the states. The orange light came on and I heard the HD spinning but no boot up. After many tries, unplugging ribbon cables, power cables, etc., I finally found my original boot dish from HP and it booted up. I worked for several hours on it and it all seem OK. When I turned it on this afternoon it is doing the same thing and won’t recognize the boot disk. I have an orange power light and I can hear the HD. Nothing else. Any suggestions?

    Thanks for your help,

    Willard

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  9. As noted above, this machine seems to eat power supplies for lunch. However, I had mine replaced by a tech who after the second failure replaced it gratis (under one year warranty), and it has run fine since. He did replace the original 300 watt with a 350 watt. Love the machine and plan to use it longer. All else fails, Willard, you can get an USB hard drive case for about $30, pull the hard drive, and plug it into another computer to retrieve the files. Bill

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  10. I can’t get my HP Pavilion 7480n to boot up. I turn the system on and the orange light comes on and I see the disk drives lights come on. I’ve disconnected every wire and opened it up and reseated the ribbon cables and power cables. I live in Europe so it was running great when we left. I returned after three weeks and now nothing wants to come up on it. I lost my power after returning and when I turned the computer on it did come up with a blue screen and started running windows XP chkdsk. I can’t get it to reproduce that. Any suggestions? I really need to recover the harddrive at least.

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  11. Raoul
    Excellent review and comments on the m7480n. Had one for 4 years now, one crash but just had the 2nd power supply fail. I didn’t pay attention to the failure to turn off, come out of standby mode, etc., and ended up when it finally failed completely zapped my LCD screen as well. Other than that, it has been a great computer. Like WinXP as well. Hope Win7 is as good as they’re talking about. Thanks for the info.

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  12. Raoul,
    Thanks. My friend was able to back up my files to an external drive. He had a nifty Linux CD that was able to boot Windows up. Good news that I had not lost files. I think that I saw the video file, that I was working on, go by as the program was transferring files.
    I am such a weeny. How stable would a windows 7 beta be? Are there updates periodically?
    I am sure going to look into it, dkh2. Again, thanks, and if you think of anything else, let me know.

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  13. Windows 7 beta the latest is on the torrent sites (MiniNova for one ) version 7068 expires March 1st 2010

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  14. Thanks dkh2,
    Would I still have the some of the advantages of Windows XP Media……if there are any. I will tell my friend when he comes over. Any idea, when the Windows 7 would be on the shelves.

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  15. You know what I did to fix all the problems I have encountered ?
    I downloaded Windows 7 beta 7068 and installed it and man oh man what a big
    difference it runs like a champ and with Windows 7 you get all the good stuff
    with less system requirements
    Windows Media player 12 to start with

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  16. I have had mye m7480n since 2006. Have had few problems. Now, while working on editing video, I had several freezes where I had to shut down. Turning it off at the power button. Last time was through the task manager. Came back in to the room about 30 minutes later and the computer was on with a black screen.
    “We apologize for the inconvenience, but Windows did not start successfully. A recent hardware or software change might have caused this.
    If your computer stopped responding, restarted unexpectedly, or was automatically shut down to protect files, blah blah blah
    Start in safe mode
    safe mode with networking
    blah blah blah
    If I need to type the whole page, not a problem, but I imagine you have seen this.
    What is a girl to do.
    Anyone have a clue. A dear friend is helping with diagnostics, but I would love to be able to help him. He works during the day and is doing me a favor. I have no access to my email, so I will check this page.

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    1. Katherine, sounds like some drivers or other system files may have become corrupted during those forced shutdowns. It’s also possible that the video card or some other piece of hardware is nearing the end of its life, since the computer is almost three years old. You may need to do a re-install of the operating system, but if you do, make sure you don’t lose any files in the process. Don’t choose to reformat the hard drive, just re-install the OS. Or, as dkh2 suggests, you could try installing the free Windows 7 beta from Microsoft. It’s going to work until August, when you can upgrade to the paid final version. If you still continue to have problems after a reinstall of Windows or an upgrade to Windows 7, then it’s likely a hardware issue, and you may need to take it into a local computer shop so they can find the part that’s causing the problems and replace it.

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  17. Hi, Raoul.
    I have had the Pavilion m7480n desktop for a few years now and have had no major trouble with it. I especially like the personal media drive.
    I have a question that I don’t know where to find the answer. New Year’s resolution is to take all of our old VHS tapes and put them on DVD’s and be able to make copies for the kids, etc. Also want to put videos and pictures from mini-disks from our Sony Handycam on big DVD’s too. I am tearing my hair out!
    First the mini disks. They all play back on the camera but the + ones are the only ones that will play on the desktop. The – ones come up “please put a disk in”.
    Now the disks that we copy from the VHS on the Sony RDR VX555 that we bought especially to do this will not play on the Pavilion desktop nor either of the two Mac laptops that we have in the house. We’ve tried copying them on + and – DVD’s. !!!!!!!!!!
    Is it the Pavilion? When I pull up the info it says that I have Windows XP, Media Center Edition, Version 2002, Service Pack 2 if that makes any difference.
    Thanks for any suggestions that you might have. I don’t know enough about computers to know if this is a hardware problem, a software problem, a media problem or whatever… I’d hate to have to give up on my New Year’s resolution already.
    Again, thanks.

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    1. Trudy, it’s possible that the desktop doesn’t have the capability to read DVD-R discs, which, I assume, are the ones you’re trying to read with it. As for the other kind of media, I’m not sure what it is, but it doesn’t matter. Instead of trying to read that media directly with the desktop, what you can do is to connect it to it through the video card.

      The HP Pavilion has a TV capture card, and you can connect S-video or composite video (yellow/red/white cables) to it. Start up whatever media capture program you have on it, like the TV tuner application, and press record on it, then press play on your player. The video and audio should be transmitted automatically to your desktop, where they will be recorded. I can’t go into the details of how to record the video signal — you’ll have to look through the user manual for that — since I no longer have the Pavilion — but it shouldn’t be too hard. Once you have it figured out, you can use the same settings for all of the other video transfers.

      Good luck!

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  18. To all, I have had the HP m7480n for almost 2 years now and I have never had a single hardware problem. I would, however, like to give some advice to people who have this computer. Recently, my system became bogged down with various software. No viruses, no conflicts just lots of stuff loaded into the start-up and the registry files. I figured it was possibly time for me to purchase a new computer. However, before I went to buy one I wiped my “C” drive clean and restored my system. It made a world of difference. The 5 minute startup times dropped to about 3 minutes and most things ran correctly but I wanted more improvement. So I formatted the drive removed the “D” restoration partition and loaded a stripped down compact version of windows XP pro (This software was very lightweight in features and I opted to only load what I absolutely need, nothing extra. My computer now starts and is useable with about 30 seconds from a cold boot. My applications run WAY, WAY faster and I have no problems with the system whatsoever. The only cavet that I would offer is to make sure you are competent enough to know what your system components are and know how to load the related drivers. The original device drivers with the latest update can be downloaded from hp downloads. Be careful though and pay attention to the driver version numbers, as on the HP site they actually had the video driver for the nvidia 7300le with the wrong date and version attached to it. If anyone should make that same mistake and your screen goes black after restart simply start in safe mode and roll back your video driver. In summary I believe that everyone should restore your original Operating system software at least once a year. (Depending on how much you use your computer.)I use mine a lot for many different things. Also, if you don’t use the media center features or any of the other software that HP has planted in your system your system can benefit greatly, in terms of speed, buy not reloading all the extra stuff they included originally with this PC. I think I’ll probably wait for another year now before I replace this computer as the real power of the newer models hasn’t increased that much since. I think I’ll wait for a next generation windows7/Intel7 system and bypass Vista systems all together. P.S. Yes, I did have vista on one computer and I had nothing but buggy little compatability problems with it. My solution was to load XP Pro.

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  19. Laurence, I’m sorry to hear about that. My experience with the computer was positive, but I got to use it only for a couple of months, when it was brand new, so I didn’t get to see how well it performs long-term. Judging from your experience, it sounds like it doesn’t do very well at all.

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  20. Hi Raoul, I’ve owned one of these computers for about 18 months now, and have had nothing but problems with it. The first thing that went was the power supply (twice). HP replaced that. Then the Personal Media Drive stopped working. They sent a guy out who couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it, so the oprions were to send it to HP or live with it. As I need it daily, I had to lump it. Next, the hard drive went completely spastic and had to be replaced losing EVERYTHING I had on there, including all my email addresses. Then the fan started speeding up and got very loud and it too got replaced. Finally, the graphics card also went on the fritz and had to be replaced. The last three problems were out of warranty, so they were a somewhat costly fix. For a year old (at the time) computer, I was pretty disgusted at the amount of problems I’d had in such a short time. I’ll never buy a HP again for sure.

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  21. Thanks a bunch I bought one at Compusa because I didn’t want to wait to fix it but then found out I needed the recovery disk so I had to wait 3 days. I’m on my computer know but wow let me tell you it was a pain in my ars. Well after the failed adept to do the floppy recovery I got a problem. “BOOTMGR is missing” if you read on forums this can be a problem that will have your computer not working anymore if you can’t figure it out. Well I got this problem read forums and thought I was going to have a 20 pound paper weight. Well BOOTMGR is a booting file to allow you to boot your hard drives but when you change your settings in bios or on the hard drive to factory the BOOTMGR is missing from your secondary hard drive. Well a lot of people say a couple things like copy file to secondary hard drive but it cost money and a lot of time others say recover both hard drives individually. Well I unplugged my secondary, changed the settings to run 1 hard drive not group and went threw the initial beginning start up and it worked fine. I personally will never fill up a 320 GB hard drive so I will keep my secondary in the comp. With the Adaptor I bought I can connect the secondary USB to my comp fine. So I will use it as a back up. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I’m up and running again baby!!

    Wow have I learned a crap load with this new HP. I feel like a personal comp tech haha. I think I’m enjoying it a little. I’m going to study Graphic Arts in the Winter in college so my Knowledge I’m learning will come in handy some day. Your a great help and I would have been lost in many steps without your help. Thanks a bunch.

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  22. Ok so I completely dismantled my old computer to get the floppy drive out of it. Took the motherboard and all out. Then I ghetto rigged the floppy drive to my HP Pavilion. I run the first start up floppy like it ask and it loads the first file says I need to insert another floppy for the second file and I take out my floppy stick in the Drive 1 floppy like it says to do in the instructions but it wont even try to loan it. The sec I press any key Enter, F, D anything it says to press in the instructions it just starts the computer normally and brings me to the log in page with nothing to do. I have sooo much stuff on that computer I don’t want to have erased. I found a blank CD to burn but my CD burning doesn’t have a program anymore to burn with because this (moms comp) crashed and got a new blank hard drive. Should I just shoot my face. Seems like everything that can go wrong is going wrong. Plus I tried taking the hard drive out and inserting it into my Enclosure but the hard drive is new and doesn’t go in it……. Wtf.

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  23. Disregaurd my last message. The saved file was a file that my moms crappy computer wouldn’t open so I had to open a link further down the page. I guess I’m not as bad as I thought it was my moms computer tripping me up. Well I did all the steps and was feeling really good about myself all I had to do was pop the first floppy in and turn on the computer….. NO FLOPPY DRIVE! and no blank disc to make the CD version which you also need to make the Flashdrive version. So I’m stuck with my thum up my butt with a new computer that got messed up by a virus that I didn’t know I had. I always scan my computer for viruses and I use EMBARQs online security virus thing. This just sucks. I bought this computer new with my own money and this happens.

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  24. Ok thanks a bunch but I’m having a hard time understanding the beginning steps. When it tells me to right click save as I do it to all three then it says “- CD image – scroll down to “Download” section (includes SCSI drivers)” Does this mean from the file, from the link or after I get it on a CD? Do I need to buy a couple blank CDs for this password recovery? What do I do with the Floppy Image and SCSI Drivers file. I’m sorry if I sound stupid but I think the beginning steps are a little to short. I feel kinda dumb now. I haven’t been on computers very long I’m good with programs but as for the computer itself I don’t know much.

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  25. well you see i have a Hp pavilion a712n and when i came home from school when i turn on the computer the moniter did not turn on i want to know if i could fix it any possible? and the only time the moniter turns on is when i plug out the video cord on the back of the computer?

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  26. Raoul, Your a great help! I think you are about the best help I can find. Thanks for all the info and If your into designing stuff on Photoshop I’m apart of a site called vgboxart.com. My name is TrevOwnz and we are always looking for great artist to share are work with. I will bookmark your site and let people know about it. I have some Photography friends that might like to talk and share with you.

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  27. Trevor, processors CAN be upgraded just like RAM. You simply buy a new processor that’s compatible with your motherboard and you install it, like RAM. You have to be a little more careful, but it can be done, and I’ve done it several times. Only laptop processors can’t upgraded, because they’re usually soldered onto the motherboard — but even then, if you know how to solder, you can replace them.

    The two processors you mentioned are fine. Processor speed isn’t as important nowadays as multi-core processing. So as long as the processor speed is over 2GHz, and it’s dual-core or quadra-core, and it’s capable of 64-bit operations, then you’re fine. From my experience, I’ve found that AMD processors tend to run a little hotter than Intel processors, so if temperature is a concern to you, you may want to go Intel.

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  28. Oh that helps with some questions but do you know about the processor types I was talking about. Pretty much I want a computer with a good processor because thats not something you can just upgrade like popping in a new RAM stick. So I was wondering what is the difference between the two I listed, if you knew. Some are better than others but I don’t have an idea which would be better to buy.

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  29. Trevor, pretty much any PC can be upgraded as long as it has spare slots for hard drives, PCI slots, and PCI-E slots or AGP slots. That’s what you need to look for, a PC with extra slots.

    Now, as for that PC and video card you’re looking at, you need to look at the specs and compare. I see the video card requires a full-height PCI-E slot (it says so in the specs), and I see that the PC has a spare PCI-E slot (also in the specs), but I’m not sure if it’s full height. You’ll need to investigate that bit further to make sure it is, if you’re interested in buying it.

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  30. Raoul, Yeah I knew that I would have to do a lot of work to see what was wrong with it but the computer wasn’t worth the trouble so I took my hard drive out and put it in a enclosure and it works. I had a question about Processors. I want a new HP and I noticed there is many types and some like a 2.3 GHz Intel Core Duo and 2.3 GHz AMD Athlon 64 X2 are the same in GHz’s but different processors. Wondering what the difference might be. I’m getting a computer for college and I want one that I can upgrade if needed with RAM, Hard drives and Graphics.

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  31. Trevor, not sure what’s going on, but it’s possible that the motherboard is affected as well. When lightning strikes a computer, the huge power surge can damage any number of components. When that happens, each component (power supply, motherboard, processor, video card, hard drives, DVD drive, etc.) should be tested individually to see whether it’s faulty. Without specialized equipment (available in computer repair shops) the only way to do it is to put each component in another, similar system, and see if it works there.

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  32. Thanks Trevor. We put a new power unit into it at the end of March and it’s been running continuously since then without any problems.

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  33. Dave, Maybe dust is burning? or causing the fan to want to move but being forced to slow down and burn up. Those are just thoughts. My guess is get a new one. COMPUSA is a great place to go. They treat your problem like there own. I have had them go out of there way to do computer talk with me.

    Raoul, I (think) my computer was hit with lightening. I had the idea that my mother board and all crapped out but I changed the power supply with my brothers old one and the computer turned on and started running but I didn’t have it bolted in so I went to turn off the computer to finish and then see how it ran and it wouldn’t turn back on. The fan would move a little then stop and I went and got a new one and it wouldn’t move at all. I threw the computer away it wasn’t worth the trouble but I was wondering in case I run across this again if you had any idea what that was all about?

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  34. Hello there all. I have owned this desktop and do many things with it. It is a common problem to have the power supply’s die in this desktop. I have owned mine now for 2+ years and have had to replace the power supply twice. Granted that this unit is on nearly 24/7 and all things but I have seen it on other sites that this is a common problem. Upon the first time this happened I called HP and they too advised me that this is a common issue and that sorry your machine is no longer under warranty. I have replaced the power supply with a 550w and a 350w, standard type and both fit rather well, except the area where the green LED was on the orginal one was. No big deal. This unit sucks a lot of air, and needs to be cleaned out regularly (like most pc’s). I can think only of a few minor issues that I have had with this unit. Software: This computer came preloaded with tons of unneeded stuff from HP like their pay for games and things. Some of the HP updates have rendered one thing or another not to work properly from time to time, but they end up getting it fixed. Hardware: Nothing I can think of, other then its impossible to fix a broke piece of plastic that the cd/dvd dives come thru so the door doesn’t always open or close properly and HP doesn’t sell the case fronts at all to anyone. In close I am still very happy with this computer. It is fast, and does everything from video editing, dvd burning to simple games and more.

    physco219

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  35. No, I haven’t, but it sounds like the power supply went kaput. If you end up mixing and matching parts, just make sure all of the connectors match. Good luck!

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  36. Have you ever heard from anyone else with the same problem?

    I am surprised that the power unit reacted this way after only unplugging and reglugging it twice.

    I’ll try to get an equivalent power unit from another machine to test whether that is the problem. The problem so far, though, is that two other machines standing-by have similar power units to the m7480n but disimilar wires and connectors coming from the power units.

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  37. Dave, I’m sorry, but I’m not in sales. I don’t know what these things cost. Visit one of your local stores to see what the prices for power supplies of that size are. Take the computer’s power supply along with you to make sure you get something of the same size and shape, so it’ll fit inside the case.

    As I already hinted, I don’t know if a new power supply will solve your problem. I can’t precisely troubleshoot a computer via hearsay. I can only point you in what I think is the right direction based on what you’re telling me.

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  38. The smell comes directly from the power supply. The power unit has the following numbers:

    Model DPS-350AB-8A
    Max continuous output power = 350 W

    What do you think it would cost to get a new power unit, and do you think that a new power unit will solve the problem?

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  39. Dave, I’m not sure, but it may be that something in the power supply or the motherboard got burned. If you say the smell came directly from the fan in the power unit, then the power supply is toasted. Otherwise, if the smell came from the general direction of the rear exhaust grille, then some component inside got burned. Try swapping power supplies (make sure to get ones with matching power outputs or bigger) and see what happens.

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  40. I’ve got a Hp Pavilion m7480n that ran into trouble recently. The machine was on and we unplugged and replugged the power cord two times within about one minute. Each time the cord got plugged back in, surprisingly, the machine turned on, rather than staying off. When the cord was plugged back in and stayed plugged in for about 10 minutes, the smell of something burning came from the fan in the power unit at the rear top of the machine. We let the machine cool off for a day, and then plugged it back in and turned it on. Windows loaded, but then the machine heated up and turned off. Now when we plug it in and turn it on, the machine turns off within 10 seconds.

    Any thoughts?

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  41. Well, I believe if you add too much, you run the risk of creating scrambled eggs with your system. Of course, sometimes you can get away with it by luck.

    Of course I could be wrong but that’s what the HP tech told me.

    Oh, an amazing side note…this desktop is still being sold through Walmart.com for over $1100.00 which is incredible after nearly two years on the market especially for the tower only. Surprised they haven’t completely replaced it with the Vista model “m9040n.”

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  42. The mother board can only go to 450 watts ????
    I didn’t know they had a limit I always thought that they would just take what they needed

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  43. Thanks guys!

    I actually checked with HP and figured it out shortly before I received the email from Raoul. I’ve decided to upgrade to a 400 watt power supply unit. I would upgrade even further but my motherboard is only capable of 450 watts and I’m somewhat on a budget =P

    Thanks again for your help and I must say this site is pretty cool how it is still updated.

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  44. yes the geforce 8600gt would be great but as it is now I think the maximum upgrade could be a 8400 I looked at the power requirements and with a 300 watt power supply thats all yo could go up to
    A guy might as well get a 550 watt power supply and get it over with
    oh By the way I up-graded to the Windows XP SP3 Version Build 3264 RC1
    But I see the final SP3 is coming out in a couple weeks

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  45. Thanks Dan! Then it’s pretty safe to say that Kyle will need a new power supply… 🙂 That video card is a monster: 350 Watts! Yikes. That computer will likely eat twice as much electricity after it gets upgraded…

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  46. I found the power supply specs some where but it’s been at least 4 weeks ago so I don’t remember where I found them

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  47. Kyle, I’ll email this to you as well, but just off the top of my head, I doubt it will, unless you also upgrade the power supply. Unfortunately the specs don’t make it easy to approximate this sort of thing, unless you open it up, jot down all the wattage figures from the components, and add them up so you can compare with the rated wattage of the power supply.

    My advice to you, if you still want to upgrade the video card, is to pick up a power supply as well. I’d pick one that’s rated at 350 Watts + your current supply’s wattage rating, just to be on the safe side.

    Not sure if you care about this (I do) but you realize your computer will consume more electricity after it’s upgraded, right?

    Hope this helps.

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  48. Please email the response if you still check this page!

    I need to know the power supply in watts because I currently own one of these, love it, have loved it for a year and six months, but I decided to upgrade the video card to an XFX 8600 GT Geforce card instead of the 7300LE, I need to know if the power supply will support a 350 Watt card. Thanks for your help!

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  49. I have the same problem as …….JSA
    My HP Pavilion m7480n is turning into a piece of crap I bought in June of 2006 for around $1100 and the extended warrenty they wanted $300 so I didnt get it The first time it broke down it was under warrenty they replaced the memory it has worked fine for the last year then all of a sudden the case fan is kicking into high gear every time i open any little program like windows media viewer or a web page that has a flash program or any simple thing like dragging and dropping a file to another folder so i got Speedfan and it says the cpu is running at 60 to 62 degrees centagrade or 140 to 143.6degrees farenhieght and for the life of me I cannot find what it is supposed to run at any input would help

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  50. I had read your reviewed and I have question about HP m7480n. I have one like you and now I was installed Window Vista Prof. instead of Window XP. Then I lost Media Center Program and TV that it was come from HP. I would like to restore my computer back, but I can not get into restore when I press F10 on restarting my computer. I don’t have restore disc too.
    Do you have any idea about this problem? any suggestion greatly appreciated.

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  51. I just purchased a new HP W2007 flat screen monitor which has a DVI output. I thought that the HP Pavilion M7480N had a DVI output as it illistrated it on the connector sheet but much to my dismay it does not or least I can’t find it.

    What say you Hewlett Packard?

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  52. Sorry to hear about that, JSA. All I can say is that I had a great experience with that desktop. For what it’s worth, I also purchase extended warranties on all my computers, just in case. You never know when something might go wrong, regardless of the brand or model.

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  53. I have owned my HP Pavilion m7480n for 8 months now and it is a piece of junk. It was blue screening me and constantly rebooting, so I took it to get it fixed under the manufacturers warranty. They said the RAM was bad and they replaced it. It started happening again, and they replaced the RAM again. By the time it started happening the third time, my manufacturers warranty had expired and they will not fix what the real problem is.

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  54. Hey Bill, not to worry, your email address isn’t displayed on the site. It’s only for me, so I can contact you directly if needed. Thanks for the nice comments! I loved the desktop while I had it. Good friends of ours had let me use it for a while. Now it’s back with them, and they love it. It’s a workhorse. They tell me it still runs great and that it’s really fast. They use it as a home server, and run multiple virtual machines on it.

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  55. Raoul,

    I really enjoyed reading of your experience with the HP m7480n PC. I just bought one (reconditioned) at Ubid. To be honest, had I read some the posts available on the Net about this PC, I might not have made the purchase. I would appreciate knowing if you are still satisfied with yours now (Jan 07). Thanks.

    Bill

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