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The PC ships with HP ProtectTools security solution and HP OpenView Inventory Agent preloaded. To use ProtectTools you must enable the embedded security chip through the BIOS. Once activated the chip enables ProtectTools to access the full breadth of HP security capabilities. OpenView must be installed via a command line prompt. For this to work you require various settings from your Client Configuration Management Server.
Both these programs, and indeed the whole vPro concept, are enterprise level solutions that require full server/client setups that are simply beyond the scope of our labs. Also, clients are likely to install a completely custom configuration as soon as they receive these systems so testing the review sample software is of limited use. All we can say is that the vPro capabilities are there and move on to how the system stacks up according to our usual criteria.
I tested the PC using SYSMark 2004 SE, our in-house 2D test suite, and PCMark05. I decided to forgo 3D performance testing because, without an additional graphics card, this machine would almost never be used for 3D applications and certainly wouldn’t be used for gaming. For comparison I’ve used the Dell XPS 700 which is based on an E6700, and our reference E6400 based system.
For a full explanation of our in-house 2D testing methodology please refer to our recent review of the Evesham Solar Extreme where Spode covered it in detail. SYSmark and PCMark are run with default settings on a clean install of windows.
In single tasks the dc7700p is consistently out performed by the other two systems. However, it still puts in a solid performance in line with what you would expect from the slower CPU.
Being a system that’s designed to run in enterprise environments where you are likely to have multiple tasks running in the background (like anti-virus monitoring agents) it is good to see the dc7700p cope well with our multi-tasking tests. Again it is bettered by the higher end systems but would still be a very usable system for everyday office work.
In terms of pricing, opting for a system with vPro will add around £100 to the price. Whether you consider this price worth paying will depend entirely on your needs but spreading the cost, over the three to five years the machine is likely to be in use for, would suggest it is worthwhile.
The benefits of the vPro system are clear with the potential to greatly increase desktop support efficiency and save businesses money in the long run. Combined with good overall performance the dc7700p is a great enterprise level desktop.