HP's easy-on-the-eye P6627uk is an excellent choice for first-time PC users, with a good deal of interactive help and a generous software bundle.

HP’s proprietary case design is a little unorthodox – the motherboard is upside-down when compared to conventional setups, so the P6227uk's case opens from the right rather than the left. It’s easy on the eye, however, and comes with a card reader and smart, concealed drive bays.

Unique to the P6227uk is HP’s Pocket Media Drive Bay. This custom bay allows you to slot one of HP’s external Pocket Media Drives (an external 2.5in hard disk) directly into the front of your PC.

A pair of front-facing USB ports and audio jacks are concealed behind a sliding flap, while the case’s black-and-silver finish continues to the monitor. Both share illuminated power buttons.
The HP P6227uk's monitor is an HP-branded 21.5in model. It’s a nice-looking screen, but it’s also the first full-HD monitor we’ve seen without a digital video input.

Although the HP P6227uk comes with a Core i7 860 processor and 6GB of DDR3 RAM, its three memory modules don’t work in three-channel mode as they would on a Core i7 920 system. In fact, the top 2GB of RAM reverts to single-channel mode.

Nonetheless, the HP P6227uk performs very well. The Intel CPU provides an excellent balance of speed and affordability, and this system’s WorldBench 6 score of 135 is just a single point lower than some competing PCs fitted with the Core i7 920.

The exception to this is gaming performance. The nVidia GeForce GT 220 can’t keep up with the competition, performing around five times slower at Crysis and resulting in unplayable framerates. However, older games titles such as Fear run without a hitch on the HP P6227uk, as does the large selection of preinstalled games trials.

Chart ranking: Power desktop PCs (issue 176)

  1. Eclipse Evolution i792R585
  2. Chillblast Fusion Eclipse
  3. Arbico Elite 9257 HD
  4. CyberPower Infinity i7 Andromeda Elite
  5. HP P6227uk

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