HP packs power and storage into a small, power-sipping package
Featuring a microATX motherboard the HP Compaq 6005 Small Form Factor PC is relatively svelte, measuring 13.3 inches by 14.90 inches square and less than four inches tall. (Note: HP also sells the model 6005 in a micro-tower configuration).
Built around a motherboard with an AMD 785G chipset, the system sports a 3GHz AMD B95 CPU. The “95” in B95 denotes a thermal design power (TDP) of 95W, while the “B” means “business.” These business-class CPUs are identical to their 45nm retail cousins and offer 2MB of L2 cache (512KB dedicated per core) and 6MB of shared L3 cache.
As with many business desktop PCs, this system uses integrated graphics; in this case, the ATI Radeon HD 4200 core built into the 785G. It won’t win any gaming benchmarks, but it should handle most light-duty business 3D chores, including running Windows 7’s Aero mode.
The system ships with an interesting storage setup, consisting of a 64GB SSD (solid state drive) and a 320GB, 7,200RPM rotating media hard drive. These drives are actually paired as a single-volume JBOD (just a bunch of disks) using the RAID controller built into the AMD chipset. This contributed to an extremely high score of 13,178 on PC Mark Vantage’s hard-drive benchmark. (A system with only a 7,200RPM hard drive would typically score in the high 5,000 to low 6,000 range.)
The problem with this setup is that it’s fast when you first begin using the system, but as you fill the drives up with data, the system will seem more sluggish due to some data being stored on the standard hard drive. Windows 7 will monitor your commonly used applications and data, keeping them on the faster areas of the storage system, but there’s not much it can do if you fill up the available space.
The HP Compaq 6005 offers a plethora if I/O ports, including 12 USB 2.0 ports (six in the rear, four in the front, plus two more headers on the motherboard), audio input and output in the rear (also replicated on the front), an actual nine-pin RS-232 serial port, VGA, gigabit Ethernet connector, and DisplayPort. We’re just starting to see DisplayPort monitors, and if your LCDs have only DVI for the digital input, you’ll need to acquire either a DisplayPort-to-DVI adapter or use good old VGA. Would it have cost HP that much to put in a DVI-I port instead of the VGA port, and throw a DVI-to-VGA adapter in the box?
A standard USB mouse and keyboard ship with the system, rendering the PS/2 mouse and keyboard ports unnecessary. The system also ships with a TPM (Trusted Platform Module) embedded-security chip, which can be enabled in the BIOS. A Kensington security slot provides physical security, and sensors warn if the system cover has been removed.
The system seems snappy overall, and the SYSmark 2007 composite score of 181 is right in line for a system in the sub-$900 price class. The quad-core CPU offers good multitasking performance as well. Several of the individual PCMark Vantage sub-tests run three tasks simultaneously, for example, all of which ran without waiting much on the other. About the only anomaly we saw with the PC Mark tests were occasional audio dropouts during the PCMark Memories test, which is heavily multimedia oriented.
We were also pleasantly surprised by the relative efficiency of the system, which idled at 37 watts; standby power was just 2.7 watts. The maximum power consumption we witnessed during our benchmarking was 122 watts, which didn’t really push the 89% efficiency, 240-watt power supply. The overall system noise is quite low as well.
Overall, the HP Compaq 6005 is a solid entry in a highly competitive field. Its utilitarian appearance is well matched by its quiet efficiency and decent performance. While you may see the system bog down a bit as the hard drive fills up, this system looks to be a more than adequate performer for standard, daily desktop use.
Editor's Note: This review was corrected to reflect minor inconsistencies between the text and the spec chart on March 2, 2010.
HP Compaq 6005 Pro Small Form Factor PC
Compact; lots of inputs; efficient; three-year warranty; SSD storage; quiet.
Uninspired appearance; hard-drive performance will likely slow over time; a little pricey.
3.0GHz AMD Phenom II X3
ATI Radeon HD 4200 (integrated)
16x SuperMulti LightScribe DVD+/-RW
64GB SSD, plus a 320GB HDD (7,200rpm)
12 USB 2.0 (10 external), RS-232, PS/2 (mouse and keyboard), audio in/out, DisplayPort, VGA, Gigabit Ethernet