HP Touchsmart 520 All-in-One PC Review

PCMark & 3DMark Tests

To kick things off we fired up Futuremark's system performance benchmark, PCMark Vantage. This synthetic benchmark suite simulates a range of real-world scenarios and workloads, stressing various system subsets in the process. Everything you'd want to do with your PC -- watching HD movies, music compression, image editing, gaming, and so forth -- is represented here.  Also, most of the tests are multi-threaded, making this a good indicator of all-around performance.

Futuremark PCMark Vantage
Simulated Application Performance

Talk about getting off to an impressive start. The HP TouchSmart 520-1070 is clearly in class of its own when it comes to all-in-one PCs, and not only did it thoroughly trounce the competition, it performed nearly as well as the three desktop systems in our recent back-to-school roundup from a few months ago. We can attribute the disparity compared to other AIO PCs to the combination of a Core i7 quad-core processor (4 cores / 8 threads) and discrete graphics, which together provide enough muscle to help overcome a slow spinning 5400 RPM hard drive.

Futuremark's PCMark 7 suite is a newer collection of benchmarks, and because of its age, we're still working on building a database of scores to compare with. As we would expect, the 520 strutted through the Computation portion of the benchmark run with little problem, and struggled with the Storage metrics.

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage
Synthetic DirectX Gaming

The latest version of Futuremark's synthetic 3D gaming benchmark, 3DMark Vantage, is specifically bound to Windows Vista-based systems because it uses some advanced visual technologies that are only available with DirectX 10, which isn't available on previous versions of Windows.  3DMark Vantage isn't simply a port of 3DMark06 to DirectX 10 though.  With this latest version of the benchmark, Futuremark has incorporated two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, in addition to support for the latest PC hardware.  We tested the graphics cards here with 3DMark Vantage's Performance preset option, which uses a resolution of 1280x1024

Pitting the TouchSmart 520-1070 against the recently reviewed Asus ET2410 is like putting the class nerd in the ring with the schoolyard bully. This isn't Hollywood where the underdog has a shot at upsetting the frontrunner. Armed with an AMD Radeon HD 6450A graphics card, the 520 performed almost three times better than the ET2410, which only had an Intel HD Graphics 3000 core to work with. Equally impressive is the performance gap between the HP system and the Asus ET2011, which features an AMD E-350APU and Radeon HD 6310 GPU.

Like PCMark 7, Futuremark's 3DMark 11 is a newer version of the same benchmark, so there's not a lot for us to compare scores with just yet. This does, however, put things into perspective. While the Radeon HD 6450A is able to outrun systems using integrated graphics, it is by no means a high-end gaming solution, and the 3DMark 11 score highlights this.

We also ran the 520 through 3DMark 11's Extreme preset just for good measure. Brownie points go the HP for the mere fact that its all-in-one was able to run the benchmark, even if it did limp across the finish line.

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