How does an IT department find balance between desktop cost and desktop horsepower? How can any technology buyer be sure that a new PC will not be obsolete before the next fiscal year? When budget constraints are in place, reliability and long-term usability often top the list. And with the Compaq 6005 series desktop , HP  has married a forward-looking PC to a compelling price point, giving any user the ability to accomplish just about any task.
The 6005 series is all about choice and customization. First and foremost, the one feature all end users need is speed. With several AMD  dual- and triple-core CPUs available, there’s an ideal machine for almost every user. HP brings to the table an enormous number of options, from CPU type and hard-drive size to keyboard style and a washable mouse. What’s more, with an integrated ATI Radeon HD 4200 graphics processor, there is no need for an expensive upgrade. Add to this a maximum 16-gigabyte RAM supported by a quad-core AMD Athlon II X4, and you have a very powerful computer.
End users can choose either a small form factor box that can be tucked away, or a larger, more accessible microtower. Another nice touch is how quiet these computers are, with no fan or hard-drive noise of any kind.
For IT departments that want to minimize the impact their equipment has on the environment, the 6005 desktops offer several features that take carbon footprint into account. AMD’s Cool’n’Quiet technology reduces CPU speed and power voltage while using only the amount of electricity required to accomplish a command. In a high-volume setting, this adds up to large energy savings.
Also, in a move to lengthen lifecycles and thereby curb waste, HP has begun offering 64GB and 80GB solid-state drives for business-class PCs in conjunction with HP RapidDrive, an exclusive new technology available only on the 6005 series. This feature pairs a smaller SSD drive with a 7200 RPM drive, giving users the incredible boot and program access times of solid state with the storage space of a traditional platter hard drive. By selecting options such as HP RapidDrive and AMD’s Phenom CPU, technology buyers can be assured of a long and productive lifecycle for each PC.
The HP 6005 has an impressive list of features, but there is still some room for improvement. Expandability is severely limited in the small form factor machines. Few manufacturers are creating add-in cards for small form factor PCs, so buyers are best served purchasing the maximum specifications available in the micro machine. Also, if a large deployment is planned, be prepared for heavy lifting — HP builds every chassis out of steel. Moving the machines is a chore, and if glass desks are used or unique locations are being selected, these heavy computers must be placed carefully. Finally, with some of HP’s more advanced configurations, the price can climb quickly.
Paul Zimmerman is on the information systems team at Ketchum Community Library in Sun Valley, Idaho.